JTPP Vol. 3, No. 2 (August 2021) Article # 4


Challenges the definition and role of intellectuals in the contemporary public sphere


Pan-African/Black Public Intellectuals as Beacons of Hope: Possibilities of Counterhegemonic Narratives in Higher Education

Alex Otieno (Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice at Arcadia University, USA)

This paper emerged from and is part of an ongoing project inquiring into human rights as emancipatory praxis. It highlights historical and contemporary Pan-African/Black public intellectuals as part of the genealogy of human rights discursive practice and seeks to examine and understand the relationship between human actions and their social context.

The focus is on how ideas and life stories are useful resources for illuminating the elimination of racial discrimination prior to and after the promulgation of the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965).

I discuss how I have explored Black public intellectuals and historicised Black freedom struggle as a central part of global human rights discourse. Through systematic analysis drawing on reflexive journaling, and artefacts, I discuss the ways that life stories/auto/biographies of Black public intellectuals have constituted critiques of domination in higher education.

Honourable Association