restricted access The Re-invention of Africa: Edward Said, V. Y. Mudimbe, and Beyond

Edward W. Said and V. Y. Mudimbe are both whistleblowers against ideologies of Otherness, which Mudimbe calls "alterity" and Said has made famous as "Orientalism." Said traces "the invention of the Orient" back to the Western quest for "the Other" while Mudimbe traces "the invention of Africa" back to similar Western explorations. In reality Africa has been re-invented in different stages. The first stage saw North Africa as part of the classical Mediterranean world; the second concerned Africa's interaction with Semitic peoples; the third was stimulated by the birth of Islam and its expansion both north and south of the Sahara; the fourth came with the impact of European capitalist penetration and subsequent colonization; and the final phase was its globalization. In the final analysis, the essay reaffirms that Edward W. Said and V. Y. Mudimbe are bulwarks against the exotic "Orientalization of Africa." They have sought to contain the forces of "Otherization" in North-South relations.