I was in Cambridge to participate in a workshop on colonial knowledge. I had no idea what I was walking into, but with dacoit on my side [a complete surprise], I figured it will be ok. It was great, actually. The participants were equal parts Africanists, SAists – historians and anthropologists. It may have been that I was the first up, and everyone was still in travel mode, but it was shock and awe! Ok, not quite that dramatic. My discussant, Chris Bayly did a fine job of showing who’s boss.
As expected, the Cambridge crowd was disdainful of poco scholars. As expected, the Chicago crowd showed their mean upbringing. What was unexpected, were the Africanists who _really_ oughta look more closely at India. In fact, as SAists, we should look to do such cool projects – to trace the policies and personnel that get tested and trained in India before implementing in Africa. I certainly have a new angle for my job interview [the all-too-eager collaborater!].
It was a rousing success of peer validation for me. Which, I assure you, never happens.
You can see a photo diary here.