The Production of Ethnographic Writing in the Context of Colonial Africa: Jean-Hervé Jezequel’s “Voices of their own? African participation in the production of colonial knowledge in French West Africa, 1889-1919.”

Jezequel, Jean-Hervé. (2007). “Voices of their own? African participation in the production of colonial knowledge in French West Africa, 1889-1919.” In Tilley, Helen and Robert J. Gordon (Eds.), Ordering Africa: Anthropology, European Imperialism, and the Politics of Knowledge (pp.145-172). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Jean-Hervé Jezequel’s chapter focuses on the political and social history of ethnographic writing among West African educated elites, or indigènes, in French-speaking Africa during the late-nineteenth century to early-twentieth century (145-146). The authors who produced these ethnographies were African “schoolmasters trained at the Ecole Normale William Ponty in Senegal” (145). Due to the “structural inequalities” of colonial Africa, which influenced the status and scholarly division of labour between African ethnographers and colonial administrator-ethnographers, the contribution of these African authors to the discipline of anthropology and ethnographic writing was, and remains, overlooked (145-147). Jezequel’s examination constitutes one of the five imperial relationships investigated within the Ordering Africa volume and demonstrates how African educated elites, though restricted by imperial power structures, contributed to the development and material body of anthropological scholarship in the context of French colonialism (Tilley 3; 166). By investigating three contexts, “the history of knowledge production, the social history of African intermediaries, and the political history of the local arenas”, all of which influence how these African ethnographies were produced, read and stored, Jezequel reveals that these neglected ethnographies contain a wealth of data about the political and social realities of colonial West Africa and that within this colonial context, ethnographic writing, for African authors, became “a vehicle to advance their own interests” (146). In addition to revealing the ties between imperialism and anthropology, this chapter allowed the ANTH 603 participants to review how diverse motivations influence the production and interpretation of anthropological knowledge, but also appreciate that the discipline’s subjective qualities yield valuable information about the contexts wherein this knowledge was produced.

Jezequel begins the history of anthropological knowledge production in West Africa in 1895 and demonstrates that it is characterized by structural inequality and a division of scholarly labour (145-147). French colonial officials required ethnographic data as information about the local people and area provided them with “a better understanding of native cultures as well as a better means to control them” (146). Local informants, both illiterate and educated were utilized by French scholars and colonial administrators in order to acquire and produce this ethnographic information, which resulted in a division of scholarly labour, characterized by networks of local informants providing ethnographic data for French officials, who had publishing privileges (146-147). Interestingly, it is during this period that we see the emergence of indigenous studies, an example of the links between knowledge production and colonialism (146).

Despite the contributions of African informants, specifically the written work of literate informants, their role in the production of knowledge remained unofficial and subordinate as they were viewed by western administrator-ethnographers as lacking the skills to engage in ethnographic interpretation and writing (148-149). However, Jezequel identifies a change in the 1930s, as colonial authorities began encouraging local participation in indigenous studies (149). This encouragement, however, was tied to colonial motivations and was a method of procuring colonially-relevant data from educated Africans and discouraging “the publication efforts of detribalized Africans”, which could potentially threaten the legitimacy and ideology of the French colonial administration (149-151). Despite the dubious intentions of colonial administrators, by encouraging indigenous studies, the ethnographies produced by African authors began to be accepted and by the 1940s there were career opportunities for African ethnographers in academia, though they were still subordinate when compared to other academic positions and opportunities (152-153).

Though limited and smothered by the power and intellectual dynamics of colonialism, Jezequel encourages readers to see that the participation and material produced by African authors reveal valuable political and social information about the roles Africans played in the local and transnational dynamic of imperialism and knowledge production (153; Tilley 26). Jezequel demonstrates that as “knowledge intermediaries, capable of producing the information that colonial administrators needed”, educated Africans saw indigenous studies and ethnography as a method of achieving higher status and potentially navigating and succeeding in a “stratified colonial service” (158-162). In addition, African authors were also influenced by the local political arena. Knowing that their writing would be stored in local archives and that it would be referenced by colonial administrators, ethnographic writing was an opportunity to reinvent indigenous traditions or reinvent the legitimacy of an author and their family’s claim to local social and political power (163-165). Writing was an opportunity for educated Africans to benefit from the colonial administrations’ faith in the written archive and influence the colonial administrations’ perspective towards the local arena (163-164). This interpretation, heavily inspired by the work of Terence Ranger and Eric Hobsbawm, demonstrates how educated Africans appropriated a degree of power through colonial structures and standards of knowledge (164).

Producing knowledge was a method of social and political advancement within Africa’s colonial and local arenas (162). In these settings, individual and collective motivations for success and advancement influenced the interpretations and content of African auto-ethnographies (Tilley 7). In an effort to attain higher status, African authors could reproduce colonial discourse or strategically contest it within their ethnographic writing (162). By studying the contexts in which African ethnographies were produced and identifying who was reading and using African auto-ethnographies, Jezequel demonstrates that African authors had diverse motivations for participating in indigenous studies and ethnography, despite their ties to colonialism (153).

Colonial power incentives promoted the development of anthropological research and indigenous studies. However, the participation of African authors was an opportunity “for capturing power and influencing the colonial authorities”, who trusted written resources (165). Jezequel’s descriptive investigation provides insight on “the intricate ways imperialism and anthropology in Africa shaped one another” and that despite the inequalities that colonialism produced, African ethnographers contributed to this dynamic (166). The subjective motivations of colonial officials and African authors for producing ethnographic writing fosters scepticism about anthropology’s claim to scientific objectivity. Nonetheless, as Jezquel’s investigation demonstrates, subjectivity reveals information about social and political realities and the ideologies that drive anthropological interpretation. Recognizing the value of subjectivity provides contemporaries with the opportunity to understand the conditions in which anthropological knowledge was and continues to be produced.

However, to truly appreciate Jezequel’s work, the participation of African authors in colonialism and the production anthropological knowledge can no longer be neglected. By “privileging an elitist perspective” towards anthropology and its intellectual contributors, contemporary anthropologists prevent themselves from understanding how colonialism functions and the conditions in which anthropological knowledge was produced (153). Contemporary researchers must ask themselves if the continued disregard of African participation in the history of colonialism and anthropology is evidence of colonialism’s ongoing legacy. As the graduates of ANTH 603 concluded, contemporary researchers must be aware that the discipline of anthropology is historically intertwined with colonialism and that by ignoring this, we risk reproducing the power and intellectual inequities of this context.

Tilley, Helen. (2007). “Introduction: Africa, imperialism, and anthropology.” In Tilley, Helen and Robert J. Gordon (Eds.), Ordering Africa: Anthropology, European Imperialism, and the Politics of Knowledge (pp. 1-45). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Pierre Bourdieu’s Homo Academicus: Objectifying the Academic Object.

Bourdieu, Pierre. (1984). Homo Academicus. Peter Collier, trans. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Pierre Bourdieu’s Homo Academicus is an ethnological and sociological “analysis of the academic world” (xi). Inspired by the “political positions or trade-union affiliations” held among France’s academics during the events of May 1968, a period of social and academic unrest, Bourdieu contextualizes his theoretical investigation of the academic world and demonstrates that the opinions and stances adopted by academics during this period correspond to “the interests directly associated with their position in the academic field” (xvii-xviii). At first glance, Bourdieu’s work appears to be a theoretical review of a specific historical moment and period of academic transformation. However, as the students of the ANTH 630 seminar realized, Bourdieu’s “structuralist and constructivist” approach towards the study of the academic and their position in the university field, which affords them “the propensity to theorize or intellectualize”, addresses the core concerns of the seminar and is applicable to the contemporary university institution and standards of knowledge production within the discipline of anthropology (xiii-xiv). The book’s inspiration and approach towards the study the university field, which is intimately bound to the construction of academic habitus, encourages the critical reflection of scholars and reveals that the supposed objective qualities of academic discourse is not impartial, but the by-product of an academic’s conformity to university norms and their position in the university’s hierarchy (29). Bourdieu’s work discloses the “relation between power and knowledge” and is an opportunity for anthropologists, and other academics, to question how different scholars, methods of research and intellectual perspectives are endorsed and invalidated by the mechanisms of power located throughout the microcosm of the university’s social structure (Fisher 591; Bourdieu 104-105).

Within his work, Bourdieu presents the academic to readers as an object, in order to emphasize that an academic’s authority and claims to objectivity are not the inherent qualities of an individual, but the result of constructed and academically sanctioned properties that characterize the scholar and the scholar’s position in the structured space of the university field (19-24). The university field, which is hierarchically organized, is the by-product of positions of power, or academic capital and prestige, which are “obtained and maintained by holding a position enabling domination of other positions and their holders” (84). In addition, this academic power is maintained by rigorous “selection and indoctrination” processes (40-41). These processes or stages of succession include completing the sequences of career related achievements, such as the thesis and publication, which affords the academic credibility and access to more prestigious positions within the academy (88). These processes also include, and in most cases require, an ambitious scholar to seek a supervisor throughout their academic career (94). This relationship, familiar to all aspiring graduate students, establishes “relations of dependency” and reinforces the academic power and authority of the supervisor (90-95).

The powerful supervisor, who monitors the progress of their student, and ensures that their student respects the university field’s “order of succession”, has the power to suspend or license their student’s academic work, career and reputation as a legitimate scholar (84-87). In order for a student to progress within academia and obtain their own academic capital, the student respects the hierarchical order of the university and conforms and adopts the sanctioned properties, or characteristics, of their supervisor and other established academics within their field. The properties that the aspiring academic adopts are summarized by Bourdieu through the concept of habitus; “a system of shared social dispositions and cognitive structures which generates perceptions, appreciations and actions” (279). This system, which students and professors maintain by conforming to the established habitus and associating academic capital to positions within the university, reinforces the structural power dynamics of the university field (91-95).

These examples of power relations found within the university field are only a portion of the structural patterns presented by the theorist. However, seeking a supervisor and successfully completing academic career criteria, in order to accumulate academic capital and be recognized as a legitimate scholar, is a familiar and accepted process among scholars and should be critically considered. For a reader who has already invested into the academy, and unconsciously, as Bourdieu argues, adopted the habitus of the university field, the aforementioned academic career processes clearly explains how power and conformity shape and legitimize an academic’s career and distinguished position within the university (91). Most importantly, this dynamic directly influences the production of knowledge, which is the central concern of Bourdieu’s investigation and attempt to stop scholarly knowledge from being “an instrument of power” (16).

The power structure of the university field and the adoption of the habitus of “the academic order which has produced” and legitimized a conforming scholar negatively impacts the production of knowledge (116). The hierarchical power structure of the university field and the temporal qualities of an academic’s career has the potential to impede research, as a scholar must gain academic capital in order to acquire the right to engage in types of research and disseminate data to the academic community (104-105). In addition, the adoption of academic habitus diminishes the potential to develop alternative research methods and perspectives, as the scholar is conforming to the properties and standards of already established academics (104). The power dynamics of the university field determine who can be recognized as a legitimate scholar and what constitutes valid research (104-105). Bourdieu’s work reveals that the standards of academic objectivity, which are associated to the scholar and their discourse, is not objective, but subjectively constructed by the mechanisms of power and conformity that exist within the university (29).

Bourdieu does not provide readers with a method of manoeuvring or resolving the power dynamics of the university. However, as Bourdieu aims to “exoticize the domestic”, meaning that the theorist wants academics to critically engage and understand the academic world they currently inhabit, he provides readers with the opportunity to consciously question what motivates their research questions, methods and conclusions (xi). For the graduates of the ANTH 630 seminar, Bourdieu’s work made it possible to review how power and conformity within the university field influences the production of anthropological knowledge. By reflecting, for example on university grades, it became clear that anthropology students learn the standards of their discipline through the evaluations of their professors, who have adopted the field’s habitus (201). Early indoctrination, and the steps towards obtaining academic capital, which require conformity to the field’s properties, informs how an anthropologist conceptualizes of the discipline and the type of field research and interpretations that qualify as appropriate anthropological research (40-41). Realizing that anthropological authority and authorship are influenced by positions of power and conformity upsettingly indicates that new methodological and theoretical perspectives are potentially being suppressed and that innovative developments within the discipline are being hindered. Additionally, the knowledge that power dictates an anthropologist’s scholarships suggests that anthropological field observations and theoretical interpretations may be inaccurate, conservative or biased.

Bourdieu’s work is an example of academic “intervention” as it encourages scholars to reflect on their current position within the university field and review what processes or standards inform their research (Wacquant 2). Bourdieu’s work has the potential to inspire radical changes regarding academic standards and research. However, academics must honestly reflect on their position of power, what constitutes the standard for academic research, who can participate in the production of this knowledge and by whom this knowledge is validated.

Fisher, Donald. (1990). “Reviewed Work: Homo Academicus”. The Journal of Higher Education 61(5): 581-591.

Wacquant, Loïc J.D. “For a Socio-Analysis of Intellectuals: On “Homo Academicus”. Berkeley Journal of Sociology 34: 1-29.

Academic Containment: Laura Pulido’s “Faculty Governance at the University of Southern California.”

Pulido, Laura. (2014). “Faculty Governance at the University of Southern California.” In Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira (Eds.), The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (pp. 145-168). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Laura Pulido’s chapter “Faculty Governance at the University of Southern California” utilizes personal experience and observations to better understand the dynamics of neoliberalism and its link to the hierarchical power structures that exists within the imperial university (p.146-150). The theorist’s reflexive approach enables readers to identify the mechanisms and consequences of academic containment, one of the conceptual frameworks presented by Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira, which functions to support the economic, racial and ideological logics that maintain U.S. imperialism from within the boundaries of the academy (p.13-25). By investigating one of the many possible forms of academic containment, the tenure process, Pulido identifies how faculty governance is stifled and controlled within an increasingly privatized university culture (p.150-154). Pulido’s inquiry of the University of Southern California’s tenure process, which reveals issues concerning transparency and suspected racial and gender discrimination, is an opportunity to understand the multifaceted nature of academic containment and how the complicity or restriction of faculty governance maintains the ongoing commodification of universities and their relationship to U.S. imperial power (p.157-160). The graduate students of ANTH 630 were encouraged to critically evaluate the status of faculty governance within the context of the imperial university and, as Pulido appeals, how faculty governance, or the lack of it, influences the academy as a whole along with the production and dissemination of knowledge (p.146).

Pulido contextualizes her investigation of the University of Southern California’s tenure process by identifying the growing trend towards the privatization of U.S. academic institutions (p.145-146). According to the theorist, private universities are recognized for establishing an academic standard, which public institutions aspire to emulate by replicating “the policies, practices and philosophies of private elite schools” (p.146). Pulido argues that the University of Southern California, in an effort to become more academically competitive with private universities, established “an extremely hierarchical institution with very limited faculty governance” (p.148). In this hierarchical structure, faculty only have the opportunity to make recommendations to the board of trustees and senior administration, the governing bodies that manage the academic and administrative operations of the university (p.148-149). According to Pulido, the composition of the upper echelons of this hierarchical governing institution “illuminates a larger culture characterized by backroom deals, a lack of transparency, no real faculty governance, a commitment to avoiding a paper trail, and a merciless drive to become a top-ranked institution” (p.150). The lack of faculty governance and the secretive quality of the university’s hierarchical governing institution, has directly affected the academy’s tenure process (p. 150).

Pulido explains to readers that in order to increase the academic standing of the university, tenure standards were reformed, an alteration the theorist supported. Pulido’s anxiety, however, concerns the tenure process, which she believes should be characterized by transparent decision making and consistent standards (p.150-153). Through a variety of case studies from the University of Southern California, the theorist demonstrates that transparency, consistency and overall professionalism were not respected during the tenure process, as demonstrated by the delay tactics utilized by the university’s governing body (p.151-153). By further investigating the discrepancies of the university’s tenure process and even contesting tenure denials made by the university’s administration, Pulido identifies that the incongruities of the tenure process supports evidence of gender and racial discrimination (p.154-160). By avoiding transparency and limiting faculty governance, Pulido argues that the administration of the University of Southern California was able to successfully engage in “racial management and social control” (p.156).

When Pulido’s findings are examined through the lens of Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira’s concept of academic containment, which can be understood as the various ways in which scholars and the types of knowledge produced within the academy are policed by hegemonic powers within the U.S., it is possible to understand Pulido’s conclusions and how privatization, limited faculty governance and the tenure process of academic institutions maintain U.S. imperialism (p.21-22). When academic containment is contextualized within what critics identify as culture or class wars, the privatization of universities is a method for U.S. dominant powers to restrict “the new, increasingly racially integrated middle class” from accessing higher education and producing knowledge that could potentially dismantle the logics that support U.S. imperialism (p.25). As discussed amongst the seminar participants, in order to secure the profitable and imperial qualities of privatized academic institutions, various methods of academic containment develop. Pulido’s work specifically demonstrates that limited faculty governance and a secretive hierarchical administrative organization, facilitates the ability for imperial powers to maintain their status by regulating scholars and their scholarly work. In addition, the tenure process ensures that junior faculty remains cooperative with the multiple forms of academic containment promoted by the university administration, potentially manipulating junior faculty to adopt a lifelong habit of silence and complicity (p.154-157).

Pulido’s observations and experiences from the University of Southern California demonstrates to readers that academic containment is multi-layered and combines economics, class, and race with academically sanctioned forms of knowledge. Sadly, Pulido concludes that her evidence demonstrates that universities within the U.S. strive to adopt a privatized structure, and cannot conceptualize of their institutions being academically competitive and characterized by racial and gender diversity simultaneously (p.162). As seminar participants reflected on their own academic experiences and locale, along with Pulido’s statement that diversity is only acceptable in academic institutions if “its politics can be contained”, it was found that academic containment requires a degree of tenured faculty compliance to function (p. 162). Pulido comes to the same conclusion and despite her criticism of administration, the theorist finds fault with tenured faculty for “not regularly challenging the administration in any substantive or collective fashion” (p.154). As Victor Bascara demonstrates in his chapter on colonial universities, established scholars have access to the language and ideologies of the imperial power and can utilize them to successfully engage in scholarly dissent (p.57). In a similar tone, Pulido encourages scholars to consider the condition of faculty governance and their role within academic containment and the imperial university (p.146).

Pulido’s observations and experiences from the University of Southern California was an opportunity for seminar participants to understand the diversity of structural mechanism and actors involved in academic containment. The theorist’s chapter required seminar participants to reflect on the structural and academic composition of their previous and current universities and consider how cohorts of the administration, faculty and student population benefited or were disadvantaged by academic containment. Pulido reveals a disconcerting reality and as scholars this is an issue that we must acknowledge and individually and collectively decide how to respond.


Bascara, Victor. (2014). “New Empire, Same Old University? Education in the American Tropics after 1898.” In Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira (Eds.), The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (pp. 53-77). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Chatterjee, Piya, and, Maira, Sunaina. (2014). “The Imperial University: Race, War and the Nation-State.” In Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira (Eds.), The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (pp. 1-50). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

The Two Sides of the Imperial University: Victor Bascara’s “New Empire, Same Old University? Education in the American Tropics after 1898.”

Bascara, Victor. (2014). “New Empire, Same Old University? Education in the American Tropics after 1898.” In Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira (Eds.), The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (pp. 53-77). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Victor Bascara’s chapter “New Empire, Same Old University? Education in the American Tropics after 1898” addresses some of the issues and questions that were voiced during the first ANTH 630 seminar meeting, such as how the intersectional relationship between the academy and U.S. imperialism function across and within university systems (p.54). By concentrating on the institutional histories of the University of Hawai’i, the University of the Philippines and the University of Puerto Rico, Bascara investigates the official discourse and material culture of these academic institutions and demonstrates that U.S. imperialism functions spatially, as well as developmentally through the establishment and maintenance of universities (p.54-63). Through Bascara’s case studies and methodology, the theorist illustrates that the spatial and developmental links between the empire and the academy make the university a potential site that “can both legitimate and challenge the terms and conditions of contact” between empire, university and colony (p.55). This chapter provides readers, as it did with the ANTH 630 seminar participants, with the occasion to critically assess how “the classroom is a microcosm of empire” and a possible space to provide the ideology and devices for scholarly dissent and the processes of decolonization (p.61).

Bascara’s work is the opening chapter for the book’s section on imperial cartographies, a concept that helps demonstrate that the research methods and scholarly forms of knowledge, which are upheld by universities, aid in the settlement and maintenance of the empire (p.13-14). Through the University of Hawai’i, the University of the Philippines and the University of Puerto Rico, and their respective connection to U.S. imperialism, Bascara approaches the framework of imperial cartographies through a spatial and developmental outline.

Bascara argues that through the dissemination of colonially sanctioned knowledge the empire becomes a spatial reality. By educating students through the aforementioned colonially sanctioned knowledge, the empire ensures that education reinforces its hegemony (p.59-63). In addition to the empire’s spatial reality, it is upheld through concepts of development. By conceiving of the empire as the developed core and colonies as the periphery, Bascara demonstrates that within this developmental framework colonies are always “on the receiving end” of imperial knowledge and concepts of progress (p. 63). However, the flow of knowledge can be reversed. If knowledge is disseminated from the periphery to the core, it is always received through the preconceived notion that the colony is a “laboratory” for the empire to be inspired by (p.64). Bascara’s spatial and developmental breakdown of the intersections between the empire and the academy reveal how the empire, or U.S. imperialism, is extraterritorial and maintained through the flows of colonially sanctioned forms of knowledge, which are upheld by the imperial university (p.57-61).

Bascara demonstrates how universities are implicated in colonial or imperial projects, as the forms of knowledge they endorse “serve the empire that established them” (p.67). However, imperial cartographies, as introduced by Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira, have the potential to produce “alternative cartographies”, which constitute forms of knowledge that do not serve the empire and potentially form the basis for scholarly dissent (p.18). Despite being colonial institutions, Bascara’s case studies reveal that imperial universities were established and informed under the liberal and modern ideologies purported to be upheld by the empire (p.65-66). Access to these ideas provides scholars with the ideology and language to reveal the contradictions that exist within the empire and the imperial university (p.57). To illustrate his point, Bascara references the University of Hawai’i, which in the 1930s was characterized by a diverse and integrated student population, unlike the segregated United States. In this instance, the periphery was able to expose the inconsistencies that existed within the alleged developed core (p.66-71).

Bascara’s approach reveals that universities can be complicit with their relationship to the empire and that they can remain imperial institutions. The content of this chapter, however, also demonstrates that universities, due to their relationship and access to the ideologies and language of the empire, are ideal sites to scrutinize the spatial and developmental frameworks of the empire. However, as the imperial and alternative cartographies of this chapter were further discussed, along with the excerpt “if you think education is imperial, then try decolonizing without it” the graduate students of ANTH 630 began to question how forms of knowledge and practice, which exist outside the domains of universities, factor into Bascara’s outline (p.61). By approaching alternative cartographies solely through the forms of knowledge that are supported within imperial universities, other valid forms of knowledge, which could potentially contribute to the processes of decolonization, are overlooked. In addition, by viewing alternative cartographies as arising from the forms of knowledge that are upheld by imperial universities, it was found that these alternative cartographies risk reproducing the conditions of the empire, or possibly being appropriated by it. By overlooking the forms of knowledge that exist outside universities and utilizing colonially sanctioned forms of knowledge to critique the empire and engage in scholarly dissent, scholars are in danger of reproducing the spatial and developmental model that sustains the empire and the imperial university.

It is important to note however, that the goal of Bascara’s work is to understand the intersectional dynamics between the empire and the imperial university (p.54). Due to the theorist’s intent, forms of knowledge that exist outside the university were omitted in order to identify and address the relationship that exists between the empire and the imperial universities, which influence the forms of knowledge being produced and transmitted among scholars. Bascara’s focus also limits the theorist’s ability to provide readers with the tools to avoid reproducing the empire and from having the means and language of scholarly dissent being appropriated by the empire. Bascara’s case studies and method, however, reveal how the dynamic relationship between the empire and the academy function. It is only when this reality is revealed, that the processes of divorcing the empire from the academy can occur. Bascara provides readers with the critical knowledge of the relationship that exists between the empire and imperial universities. Together, the seminar concluded that the expectation of Bascara’s work is to have scholars build awareness and constantly engage with the spatial and developmental intersections that maintain the empire and the imperial nature of universities. With awareness, it is possible for scholars to identify how their academic institution is tied to the empire and how they can efficiently contest this connection. The real challenge for scholars, however, who are imbedded in this imperial relationship, is to use Bascara’s information and act upon it.


Chatterjee, Piya, and, Maira, Sunaina. (2014). “The Imperial University: Race, War and the Nation-State.” In Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira (Eds.), The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (pp. 1-50). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.