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Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate
 


a website by

 


Wim van Binsbergen

cliquez ici pour la version française de cette page-toile

Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate: This website (established March, 2001) brings together a number of articles written by Wim van Binsbergen on the related topics of Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate. Through its Forum and its bibliographical section this website is intended to serve as a focus of exchange, not only on Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate but also on African history, global cultural history, identity, race, and intercultural philosophy.

This bilingual website is offered both in English and in French; click here for the French version of this page.

proceed to the Shikanda portal in order to access all other websites by Wim van Binsbergen: general (intercultural philosophy, African Studies); ethnicity-identity-politics; Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate; Ancient Models of Thought in Africa, the Ancient Near East, and prehistory; sangoma consultation; literary work
also a highly sensitive in-site search facility is now available at the overall Shikanda.net portal homepage, covering all Wim van Binsbergen's sites in a single search action

Recent assessments of this work

In 1998, in the authoritative journal Classical Philology, Molly Myerowitz Levine (recognised specialist on the bibliography of the Black Athena debate) proclaimed Wim van Binsbergen's contributions to that debate to be 'the most interesting and the best informed'. More recently, two prominent francophone authors (Théophile Obenga et Jean-Loup Amselle) have assessed Wim van Binsbergen's stance on Afrocentrism and the Black Athena debate. Click here to read their appraisals in full.

Papers included in the present website:

(all papers ?Wim van Binsbergen)

title provenance
Is there a future for Afrocentricism despite Stephen Howe's dismissive 1998 study? paper prepared for the Colloque sur l'Afrocentrisme, Centre de Recherches Africaines, Universite Paris-I (Sorbonne), 9 Rue Malher, Paris, May 2, 2000
A short defence of Afrocentrism in the light of Stephen Howe's 1998 book English version of: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 2000, ‘Le point de vue de Wim van Binsbergen’, in: Autour d’un livre. Afrocentrism, de Stephen Howe, et Afrocentrismes: L’histoire des Africains entre Égypte et Amérique, de Jean-Pierre chrétien [ sic ] , François-Xavier Fauvelle-Aymar et Claude-Hélène Perrot (dir.), par Mohamed Mbodj, Jean Copans et Wim van Binsbergen, Politique africaine, no. 79, octobre 2000, pp. 175-180
With Black Athena into the Third Millennium CE?

click here for the French version

click here for the Italian version

paper read at the XVth International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Amsterdam 1999; a much shorter version has been published in the proceedings of this Congress; A French version has been published as: W.M.J. van Binsbergen, 2000, ‘Dans le troisième millénaire avec Black Athena?’, in: Fauvelle-Aymar, F.-X., Chrétien, J.-P., & Perrot, C.-H., Afrocentrismes: L’histoire des Africains entre Égypte et Amérique, Paris: Karthala, pp. 127-150
NEW an Italian version was published as:

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 2004, 'Atena Nera: La tesi di Bernal ha provocato reazioni in diverse discipline, dalla storiografia all'antropologia e pone ancora problemi di epistemologia multiculturale', Prometeo: Rivista trimestrale di scienze e storia, 22, 85 (March 2004): 102-111

Alternative models of intercontinental interaction towards the earliest Cretan script
van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, 'Alternative models of intercontinental interaction towards the earliest Cretan script', in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, Hoofddorp: Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, special issue, Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, vols 28-29, 1996-97, pp. 131-148
Black Athena Ten Years After: towards a constructive re-assessment
van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, 'Black Athena Ten Years After: towards a constructive re-assessment', in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, Hoofddorp: Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, special issue, Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, vols 28-29, 1996-97, pp. 11-64
Geomantic divination (Ifa, Hakata, Sikidy) and the mankala board-game: rethinking Africa’s contribution to global cultural history
van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, 'Rethinking Africa’s contribution to global cultural history: lessons from a comparative historical analysis of mankala board-games and geomantic divination', in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, Hoofddorp: Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, special issue, Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, vols 28-29, 1996-97, pp. 221-254
Une défense de l'Afrocentrisme contre Stephen Howe van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 2000, ‘Le point de vue de Wim van Binsbergen’, in: Autour d’un livre. Afrocentrism, de Stephen Howe, et Afrocentrismes: L’histoire des Africains entre Amérique et l'Egypte, de Jean-Pierre chrétien [ sic ] , François-Xavier Fauvelle-Aymar et Claude-Hélène Perrot (dir.), par Mohamed Mbodj, Jean Copans et Wim van Binsbergen, Politique africaine, no.79, octobre 2000, pp. 175-180
Dans le troisième millénaire avec Black Athena? W.M.J. van Binsbergen, 2000, ‘Dans le troisième millénaire avec Black Athena?’, in: Fauvelle-Aymar, F.-X., Chrétien, J.-P., & Perrot, C.-H., Afrocentrismes: L’histoire des Africains entre Égypte et Amérique, Paris: Karthala, pp. 127-150
   

some of the items above have been published in: W.M.J. van Binsbergen, ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, TALANTA volumes XXVII-XVIII (1996-1997), which has been out of print since 1998; a revised and much expanded reprint of this book is now in the press with LIT Verlag/ Transaction Press, under the title Black Athena Alive. You may write to the publishers to reserve a copy of the reprint edition.

Bibliographical section

It is impossible to appreciate, leave alone to participate in, the debates on Black Athena and Afrocentricity without at least some access to the enormous literature which serves as a background to these debates. Moreover, these debates themselves have meanwhile generated a substantial literature in their own right. Both debates touch on a wide range on previously detached fields of scholarship, ranging from African history to Greek and Egyptian mythology, Egyptology, Assyriology, classics, archaeology, historical linguistics, anthropology, etc. Even scholars who are certified specialists in any of these fields, are likely to be virtually ignorant of some, or many, of the other fields. As a result, these debates are characterised by the fact that, while eliciting considerable passion, they are inevitably conducted by partial or total lay people. The enormity of this situation calls for easily accessible and extensive bibliographical information.

click here to enter the very extensive bibliographical section

Forum/ Message board

Click on the larger blue rectangle below to access this site's Forum/Message board on Afrocentricity and Black Athena

DIRECTIONS:
Access
Click on the larger blue rectangle in order to access the Forum. Once there, you select, by clicking, one of the subjects offered there
Reading:
Use the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons in order to read the contents of the Forum topic by topic. It is not always obvious whether a particular entry has already received any reaction, therefore keep on clicking!
Entering text
If you wish to initiate a NEW topic with a contribution, remark, question, announcement of your own, then you click on ‘New Article’.
If you wish to enter your reaction to an already existing topic, then you click on ‘Reply
When entering, you see a box with a name and an e-mail address; these belong to the person who made the last entry
before you, so do not forget to overwrite these entries with your own name and e-mail address!

 
 

Vignette and background illustration

the illustration used on this page is adapted from the image of a black-figure Greek vase from Athens, late 7th to early 5th century, originally representing a warrior arming himself ; the accurate and scaled representation of the continents amounts of course to an artistic liberty totally anachronistic in the original iconographic context. At the same time it evokes the centricity of Africa (with a focus on Ancient Egypt), and its relations with Ancient Greece -- some of the guiding ideas of this website. Finally, the illustration (by showing a modern map on an ancient vase) is an ironic comment on the mutual accusations, typical of the debates around Black Athena and Afrocentricity, to the effect that opponents have distorted ancient evidence so as to let it serve today's political priorities.

cliquez ici pour la version française de cette page-toile

 

proceed to the Shikanda portal in order to access all other websites by Wim van Binsbergen: general (intercultural philosophy, African Studies); ethnicity-identity-politics; Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate; Ancient Models of Thought in Africa, the Ancient Near East, and prehistory; sangoma consultation; literary work
also a highly sensitive in-site search facility is now available at the overall Shikanda.net portal homepage, covering all Wim van Binsbergen's sites in a single search action

 

page last modified: 08-04-04 17:36:12 Bravenet.com