The imperial legacy in scholarship

What censorship about articles in a French journal tells us about the state of France-Africa relations, imperial legacies and the impact these have on the production of knowledge about Francophone Africa.

On March 22, 2019, I learned that the director and three other members of the scientific board of the journal Afrique contemporaine had resigned. The director, Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, protested political interference in the publication of a special issue on Mali that I was editing and that was set for publication in early 2019. All of the articles had been through a thorough peer-review process, which had all authors revising their texts and two articles being rejected. Yet, after the scientific team’s decision to publish, I continued receiving awkward demands to revise my own texts (I wrote the issue’s introduction and one article). Coupled with unusual delays, I began to suspect political obstacles—suspicions confirmed by the director’s resignation.

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