Decolonizing African Media Studies

Howard Journal of Communications, January 18, 2021.

Accepted at the International Communication Association Annual Conference, May 27-31, 2021 (Virtual).

Abstract: African Media Studies which is marginalized in the Global North academy lacks not only representation from African students/scholars but is also under-theorized. Employing a decolonial approach, this article presents a critical analysis of African Media Studies from the perspective of a recent PhD graduate and early career scholar. Using what I call an African feminist autoethnography framework, I draw on my experiences as an African graduate student in the Global North to demonstrate the erasure of African Media Studies in curricula and highlight the challenges faced by African students and scholars within this field. I argue that to understand the challenges mitigating the growth of African Studies scholarship produced by Africans, it is imperative to understand the lived experience of Africans in the academy and pay attention to how these experiences can guide us toward a path of decolonizing African Media Studies. The article also highlights the importance of drawing on indigenous African knowledge systems to build theories that best suit our research on African media. It also draws attention to the importance of transdisciplinarity to the growth of the field and provides alternative ways to rethink the position and growth of African Media Studies in the global academy.

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Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed 

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