The decade-long revolution known as May ’68 is commonly framed as a political protest radiating out from European and North American universities. However, much is gained by instead viewing May ’68 within the context of both anticolonial struggle and the emergence of what Wallerstein terms “the world university system.” Understanding student protests within the context of anticolonial struggle, including within African universities, reveals the extent to which the neoliberal university we inhabit today is the product of a profound counterrevolution designed to undermine the promise of the university as a site of radical and anticolonial transformation.
The Long ’68: African Anticolonialism and the Emergence of a World University System
Isaac Kamola is associate professor of political science at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. His research examines critical globalization studies, the political economy of higher education, and African anticolonial theory. He is the author of Making the World Global: US Universities and the Production of the Global Imaginary (2019) and coeditor of Politics of African Anticoloinal Archive (2017) and The Transnational Politics of Higher Education (2016).
Isaac Kamola; The Long ’68: African Anticolonialism and the Emergence of a World University System. Cultural Politics 1 November 2019; 15 (3): 303–314. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-7725451
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