It is a 2022 publication. But currency is not the only unique selling point of Professor Olufemi Taiwo’s Against Decolonisation: Taking African Agency Seriously.
A book questioning the empowering limits of decolonization theory and decolonial practices for Africa is an inherently hot intellectual menu. It is more so if it has been written by an African, a Nigerian at that, based at a major metropolitan knowledge production centre as Cornell University in the US where the contestation around decolonization theory is sharper when compared to much of Africa.
This thus promises to be an unusual book, not the least because of the interest it is bound to generate within the club of critics of postcolonial theory and decolonial practices across Europe and North America but even so outside of that club, again especially in Europe and North Africa. The reviews so far, featuring leading names in centres of knowledge production on Africa in the UK, US, Canada point to nothing less than that.
The site of struggle that the book turns into and the power relations that brings about should add value to the struggle for African liberation in tandem with the knowledge/power nexus.
It is of strategic importance that the book is the work of a Nigerian because if there is any African country where postcolonial theory should be so completely mastered, at least in the universities, it should be Nigeria. Although Nigeria is currently in considerable disarray, the optimism is that it will rise and prosper, a process for which the debate around the book is a discursive requirement. This is hoping then that those who make things happen in Nigeria will come round to the points that Nigeria’s union of academics is making in its case for a modernist university education regime in the country.