Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Columbia Global Centers In Africa

The Africa Global Seminar includes "Sage Philosophy," a research project based around a concept coined by the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka (1944-1995) who was based at the University of Nairobi. He developed sage philosophy in the 1970s, as a fieldwork-based interview and documentation technique working with wise people in Kenyan communities, in response to a dominant derogatory attitude in Western academia that was skeptical or outright dismissive of the possibility of philosophical thought in Africa. Oruka and his research assistants traveled the country to seek out people who were recognized as "wise" within their own communities, and documented their discussions with them, thus creating an accessible archive of individual Kenyan thinkers outside of academia.

 

 

To come:
Week-long workshop, 21-25 May, Nairobi, in collaboration with Goethe-Institute Nairobi; Columbia Global Center, Nairobi; Institute of African Studies, Columbia University, and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Nairobi
including a Full-Day Conference Workshop, Friday, 25th May, 9am to 5pm: "Re-thinking Sage Philosophy"