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Felwine SARR

Fellows

Felwine SARR

Economy, Gaston Berger University, Senegal

Fellowship : October 2017 to June 2018

Discipline(s) : Economics

Pays : Senegal

Research project: Writing Humanities from an African Perspective

The research project is based on the issue of the writing of African humanities. It starts from the premise of the diversity of approaches to reality depending on civilizations and eras, the plurality of ways of knowing, as well as gnosiological and epistemological relativity. It proposes to rethink the plurality of the journeys of human thinking starting from the idea of the principle of equality of the different schools of thought, while acknowledging their incommensurability. This leads to envisaging these different schools of thought from their horizons and the configurations of the imaginable which they propose, like unique journeys of the mind which have developed concurrently, shaped by the cultures from which they originate.

Thinking about these questions in an African context calls for an epistemic shift. It is necessary to incorporate the complexity of African social structures and embrace them in their cultural and historical distinctiveness. This requires a change of position within the fields of constituted knowledge and recovery; an act of thinking which pays particular attention to its archaeological setting and actual trends in the societies being examined. But more fundamentally, it is a question of acquiring more in-depth knowledge of African societies and cultures, based on their own gnosiological criteria. To achieve this, it is necessary to adopt other modes of understanding reality, besides the scientific knowledge that has been constructed thus far. The exploration of the relatively unfamiliar territories of African ontomythologies and epistemogonies allows a more open-minded approach to various types of knowledge, thus keeping African societies alive.

 

Biography

Felwine Sarr is a Senegalese scholar and writer born on 11th September 1972 in Niodior, in the Saloum islands. After studying Economics at the University of Orléans, he has been teaching at the University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis since 2007. In 2009, he obtained the “aggregation” in Economics. In 2010, he was awarded the Abdoulaye Fadiga prize for research in Economics. In 2011, he became Dean of the Economics and Management faculty of the University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis, and Head of the new faculty of Civilizations, Religions, Arts and Communication (CRAC) of the same university and for which he was in charge of the implementation. His lectures and academic researches focus on economic policies, development economy, econometrics, epistemology and history of religious ideas. He is also a writer and has published to date Dahij 105 Rue Carnot Méditations Africaines and Afrotopia which is an essay wherein he appeals to a conceptual decolonisation and a re-appropriation of the metaphors of their future by the Africans". As a musician, he has published three musical pieces to date: Civilisation ou Barbarie (2000), Les Mots du Récit (2005) and Bassai (2007). With the writers Boubacar Boris Diop and Nafissatou Dia, he cofounded the publishing house known as Jimsaan. Since 2014, he has been Vice-President of the Boards of Directors at OSIWA (open society for West Africa). Felwine Sarr is also editor of the magazine Journal of African Transformation (CODESRIA-UNECA). In October 2016, he put together with Achille Mbembe the Ateliers de la Pensée (the workshops of thought) which gathers thirty Afro-diasporic scholars and artists in Dakar and Saint-Louis in order to consider transformations in the contemporary world.

Major publications