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Current topicalities: as from the years 2010-
  news on the Shikanda portal : Wim van Binsbergen's recent publications and work in progress

1. Intro

This series (established February 2002; on this page only current topicalities from the year 2008- are included; click here for the years 2002 and 2003; and here for the years 2004-2005; and here for the years 2006-2007; and here for the years 2008-2009) is to alert the visitor of new additions and changes in the Shikanda portal, and reports on recent and forthcoming developments in Wim van Binsbergen's professional activities inthe fields of African Studies, Intercultural Philosophy, Long-Range Cultural Analysis, and Poetry. Hyperlinks give access to the texts in question, and photographs accompany the entries. The information appears in tabulated form. The closer to the top of this page, the more recent an event is. Some events have a page of their own, accessible via a hyperlink; others are merely summarised below, and may then have a simple illustration to mark them.

2. Other sites in the Shakanda portal

if you are through with the topical information below, 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  
    contact information Wim van Binsbergen
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5. Topicalities: Wim van Binsbergen's recent publications and work in progress

on this page only current topicalities from the year 2010- are included; the series was initiated in 2002; click here for the years 2002 and 2003; and here for the years 2004-2005; and here for the years 2006-2007; and here for the years 2008-2009

NB: the default language in this webpage is English; however, the site owner lives and works in the Netherlands, and writes poetry in Dutch; entries reflecting an entirely national Dutch context will be in Dutch, and will be marked by an orange background; major entries will be separated by a light green beam:

date topic, links

details, background illustrations etc.

     
     
October 2010
  The 4th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Comparative Mythology (IACM) will take place at Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.), USA, in the early days of October, 2010. Wim van Binsbergen proposes to present a paper entitled:

Aspects of the hero in the comparative mythology of Africa, Asia and Europe (click here for proposal / abstract)

on this occasion, Eric Venbrux and Wim van Binsbergen intend to launch the Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Meeting IACM, 2008, which they are editing and which are to be published mid-2010.

 
September 2010
     

While the paper highlights especially the bee part of the reed-and-bee complex of the Ancient Egyptian royal titulature as (at least, that is what my argument claims) echoed in modern South Central Africa, this photograph shows King Kahare Kabambi of the Mashasha Nkoya, Kaoma district, Zambia, 1977, holding a reed-mat as emphatic sign of historical identity. His explicit reference was that when the expanding Luyi ousted the Mashasha (the name has no conscious reed-mat connotations but refers to sour beer) from the Zambezi flood-plain, they carried their reed-mats with them -- an enigmatic action, for reed for new mats can be found everywhere in Western Zambia; however, my hypothesis is that these mats were mobile coffins, containing the bodies of royal ancestors.

A second, truncated installment of Wim van Binsbergen's views on links between Ancient Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa is to be published in i-Medjat 5:

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., 2010, 'A reed-and-bee complex?”: Excerpt from Wim van Binsbergen, “The continuity of African and Eurasian mythologies as seen from the perspective of the Nkoya people of Zambia, South Central Africa’, 2nd Annual Conference International Association for Comparative Mythology, Ravenstein (the Netherlands), 19-21 August 2008.”, i-Medjat: Papyrus 'electronique des Ankhou: Revue caribéenne pluridisciplinaire éditée par l’Unité de Recherche-Action Guadeloupe (UNIRAG), 5, septembre 2010: p. 7-8; click here for PDF

and click here for the original 2008 conference paper


reed
-mat burial was practiced in Early Dynastic Egypt; cf. Goneim, M. Zakaria, 1956, The Lost Pyramid, New York: Rinehart

August 2010    
July 2010    
June 2010    
May 2010

Stephanus Djunatan (left) conducting an interview with shrine guardians in the prayer hall of their most senior exponent, at the village of Rawabogo, Ciwidey, West Java (2007)

Wim van Binsbergen (left), Stephanus Djunatan (right) and a colleague during a slamatan (sacrificial collective meal) that forms part of pilgrimage at the shrine of Nagara Padang (2010) -- note the pilgrim's uniform; click here for full report

The Asia Africa Conference Museum, home of the 1955 Bandung conference of world-historical significance; click here for photo essay highlighting the African involvement

From 28 April to 12 May 2010 Wim van Binsbergen visited Bandung, Indonesia, in order to finalise the supervision (jointly with Prof. Bambang Sugiharto of the Department of Philosophy, Catholic University Bandung (UNPAR), and Prof. Robert Wessing of The Hague, Netherlands) of Stephanus Djunatan's PhD thesis in philosophy. This thesis consists of the elaboration of The Principle of Affirmation dealing -- on the spur of an African methodological and theoretical inspiration, notably the work of the lamented Odera Oruka -- with a West Javanese mountaineous pilgrimage complex and its associated worldview, Taoism, modern Japanese philosophy, Deleuze and Ricoeur; the thesis is to be defended before Erasmus University, Rotterdam, which also sponsors this trip

The trip coincided with study days of the Department of Philosophy (c. 40 students and nearly a dozen members of staff) at the devotional shrine of Nagara Padang, village of Rawabogo, Ciwidey, West Bandung, which plays a major role in Mr Djunatan's thesis. Having visited the shrine in 2007 and having provisionally reported on it, Wim van Binsbergen took the opportunity to renew the acquaintance and see the students and staff in action there. At the request of the staff members involved, he wrote a lavishly illustrated report, available here.

Bandung was the home of the 1955 Asia Africa Conference, where world history was made -- birth of the Non-Allied Movement, and (in the Conference Declaration) the sign for the final phase of docolonisation in Africa. The original conference hall was turned into a Museum, and a photo essay highlighting African involvement reports on a visit to that historic place.

In this connection Wim van Binsbergen presented a seminar entitled 'The crisis of meaning under conditions of globalisation, urbanisation and commoditification, and the reconsideration of traditional wisdom approaches as a possible way out -- with special attention to Africa and Indonesia today', the Department of Philosophy, Catholic University Bandung, Monday 10 May 2010, 16.00-17.00 hrs

while being orally adapted to the specific Bandung situation at hand, this seminar largely formed a truncated version of:

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., 2009, Expressions of traditional wisdom from Africa and beyond: An exploration in intercultural epistemology, Brussels: Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences / Academie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-mer, Classes des Sciences morales et politiques, Mémoire in-8º, Nouvelle Série, Tome 53, fasc. 4, 68 pp. (click for full-text PDF)

ABSTRACT
Wisdom is initially defined (cf. Aristotle) as creative practical knowledge that allows one to negotiate the contradictions of human life (especially in less rulegoverned domains manifesting uncertainty and incompatible multiple truths), thus accepting that human life is social and finite. After indicating (1) the resilience of wisdom as a topic in modern thought and science, an overview follows on wisdom in various periods and regions of the world (2). (3) The dilemma of expression of wisdom: while scholarship thrives on specialist explicit language use, wisdom is often secret and risks being destroyed by expression and translation. Section (4) offsets expressions of traditional wisdom against four modes of 'tacit modern unwisdom' (in such fields as corporality, conflict regulation, the concept of mind, and myth). (5) Can wisdom be transmitted interculturally, within and outside an academic context, and by what mechanism of situational oppositional framing is traditional wisdom both an alterized object of study and a site of identification and encounter? (6) Defining the specific difference between scientific and wisdom modes of knowing, in the former's reliance on standard, repetitive, intersubjective procedures of knowledge formation embedded in limiting conditions. (7) The four modes of tacit modern unwisdom (cf. 4) are then contrasted with African perspectives. (8) Finally, intercultural philosophy is argued to spring from a situation (today's globalization) where Western mainstream philosophy has to give way to a wisdom perspective as defined above.

April 2010
     
Establishment of a new website devoted to Wim van Binsbergen's research on traditional religion, housing, urban culture and globalisation in Francistown, Botswana (1988-2005)

This was occasion for the re-issue, in digital form (on this new webpage) of three 1989 progress reports (on Francistown self-help housing, on the Francistown squatter area PWD, and on Kalanga bibliography), of the Research project: 'The growth of urban society in Francistown', Francistown: African Studies Centre University of Leiden / Applied Research Unit Ministry of Local Government and Lands Republic of Botswana

 
 
The jointly-authored book Researching power and identity in African state formation, by Martin Doornbos and Wim van Binsbergen (500 pp.) was accepted for publication by UNISA [ University of South Africa ] Press, Pretoria, South Africa, in conjunction with LIT Verlag, Berlin / Boston / Munster
 

 

Professors Matsumura, Berezhkin, van Binsbergen and others at the 2nd Annual Meeting of the IACM, Ravenstein, the Netherlands, 2008

Dr Kazuo Matsumura, associate professor at Tenri University, Tokyo, and one of the Directors of the International Association of Comparative Mythology (IACM), recently (2010) published a book in Japanese entitled Shinwa-Shiko (Mythical Thinking, 604+51 pp.): a collection of 37 of his papers on comparative mythology. The first paper is "The Present State and Future of Comparative Mythology: World Mythology" (likewise in Japanese), seeking to introduce Japanese researchers to the recent work of four other prominent comparative mythologists, notably Steve Farmer, Yuri Berezhkin, Michael Witzel, and Wim van Binsbergen; click here for the Japanese fulltext of this article.

Shinwa-Shiko, by Kazuo Matsumura

 
While the 2009 (XXIII) and 2010 (XXIV) volumes of Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy / Revue Africaine de Philosophie are now being prepared for the press so as to come out before Summer 2010, intensive preparations are being made for volume 2011 (XXV). Among the various options open we can mention the following: a volume entirely devoted to the seminal work of the Cameroonian philosopher Fabien Eboussi Boulaga -- which if it could be realised would be one of the three major publications to come out of the Eboussi project which has been running for the last few years, with extensive participation of Cameroonian scholars, and further involvement of such prominent specialists as Prof. Procesi (Roma), Prof. Kasereka and Prof. Mudimbe (USA) -- , the latter a member of the Quest Advisory Editorial Board. The participants in this project are all of them professionals, most of them philosophers. This work possibly envisaged in the Quest context would distinguish itself from two other recent publications on Eboussi. The first one published in Paris, 2009, was a volume of Mélanges in his honour, under the editorship of Ambroise Kom; the second, intended to be published by Presence Africaine (in principle), will include the proceedings of the 'Journées Eboussi' which were organized at the University of Yaounde, Cameroon, in the summer of 2009. These various hommages celebrate Eboussi as one of the most original and influential minds of modern Africa.  

Fabien Eboussi Boulaga

 
The Belgian city of Genk has a jumelage with the Botswana city of Francistown. As a specialist on Francistown, Wim van Binsbergen has been invited to advise the Municipality of Genk on socio-cultural historical background of this Botswana boom town, and to participate in a medical panel meeting to be held in Genk, Belgium, 19-20 April, 2010
to the left, click the operating triangle to watch a superb short movie bringing out, against the homely theme of an ordinary mature woman killing and preparing a cock for dinner, many of the contradictions of modern Francistown life, between (youthfully revived) dust-coloured tradition -- and glossy, gaudy globalisation: "Ready", a 2004 (2008 re-edit) video by Eva Heldmann, intercutting a ballroom dancing competition in Francistown, Botswana, the Mogwana Dancers in Gaborone, Botswana, and more. The quality of the film allows full-screen playing, by activating the square of four arrows bottom right in the video screen. Although the traditional dancers, like the ballroom ones, clearly dress up for the occasion and (as cynical culture critics would be quick to point out) present some sort of performative maskerade, yet the young girl's dance solo at the end has all the vigour and the redemptive beauty of historic African culture through the ages -- as I am qualified to say, as a certified Botswana sangoma, i.e. traditional therapeutic and divinatory dancer, myself

After the movie Ready, take the opportunity of sampling a few more videos of Botswana life, by clicking on the upward arrow extreme right at the bottom of the video screen
In April 2010 bezocht Wim van Binsbergen de stad Genk op uitnodiging van de gemeente Genk, en hield daar een tweetal voordrachten:

1. een voordracht over de verhouding tussen traditionele en moderne biomedische geneeskunst in Afrika, met bijzondere nadruk op Francistown; dit was een van de bijdragen (de andere waren van Dr Jean-Louis Lamboray en Dr Rituu Nanda, AIDS specialisten; Dr Ombelet (fertiliteitsspecialist / gynaecoloog), en enige verpleegkunde studenten die onlangs een stage hadden gedaan in Francistown op 'Een avond over gezondheidszorg', in de grote gehoorzaal van het Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg (Z.O.L.) te Genk, maandag 19 april 2010, 20.00-23.00 uur. Wim van Binsbergens bijdrage kwam sterk overeen met die welke hij in oktober 2009 voor studenten te Utrecht gehouden heeft, klik hier om deze te openen

2. Een voordracht: 'De stad Francistown in Noord Oost Botswana, geschetst in haar sociaal-historische ontwikkeling: Presentatie voor de Gemeentelijke Stuurgroep Jumelage Genk / Francistown, Gemeentehuis, Genk (België)', dinsdag 20 april 2010, 11.00-13.30 uur; klik hier om deze presentatie te openen (sommige illustraties nemen nogal veel tijd om te laden, maar de links zijn in orde -- geduld dus)

Francistown: modern formal structures in the 'dustbowl full of sand' (a colonial stereotype for Botswana)

heraldic sign of the city of Genk

March 2010
In March 2010, Wim van Binsbergen and his wife Patricia went on an extensive journey through South East Asia (Sarawak and Sabah as parts of Malaysian Borneo; and Bali and the Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia). Click here for extensive lavishly illustrated and fairly referenced (yet extremely provisional) notes concerning genetic and cultural relations between South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the rival Sunda and Pelasgian hypotheses, details of the Niah Cave archaeological site and its significance, glimpses of Iban and Chinese components of Malaysian Borneo society and its colonial background, reflections on Balinese culture in the face of globalisation, Balinese New Year (Nyepi), initial fieldwork on Balinese religion, as well as further reflections on the global distribution and interconnectedness of ecstatic cults, shrine cults, fire cults, and of mankala boardgames

(this is a 51 pp., 19 Mb, PDF file, which is best first downloaded to your computer under 'Save Target As...' rather than opened within your browser)
December 2009-March 2010
UNIVERSITE PROTESTANTE PROTESTANT UNIVERSITY
D’AFRIQUE CENTRALE (UPAC) OF CENTRAL AFRICA (PUCA)

International Colloquium on The Problematic of Peace and Development in Africa: Balance Sheet and New Stakes in the 3rd Millennium (convenor Jr. Prof. Célestin Tagou), Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations, Protestant University of Central Africa, Yaounde, Republic of Cameroon, 6-9 April 2009

After the successful completion of this International Colloquium in May 2009, the convenor, Jr Prof. Celestin Tagou, managed to have all the papers revised and submitted within half a year, and the conference book is now ready to go to the printer's. Wim van Binsbergen has been honoured to advise on the editorial process, and to contribute a Foreword to this splendid and timely collection
Jr Prof. Celestin Tagou, UPAC

Archaic cosmology: Rain and its Adversary, the Rainbow

February 2010: publication of
van Binsbergen, Wim, 2010, 'Short note on Kings as “tears of the Rain” and Mankind as “tears of the Sun”: Excerpt of “The case of kings as Tears of Rain (Nkoya, Zambia) / humankind as Tears of Re' (Ancient Egypt)”, i-Medjat: Papyrus 'electronique des Ankhou: Revue caribéenne pluridisciplinaire éditée par l’Unité de Recherche-Action Guadeloupe (UNIRAG), 4, février 2010: p. 7 (click for PDF)

The eye of Horus

The five-tiered ethico-linguistic system of
the Bronze-Age Mediterranean, arguably
including a proto-Bantu / Khoisan substrate

Stealing the moon by building Kapesh kamunungampanda, 'The Kapesh tower from forked branches', in a major Nkoya
myth of kingship, Zambia

In February 2010, Wim van Binsbergen will be 63 years old. It is time to begin to wind up the research projects in which -- with the constant support of the African Studies Centre, Leiden, and with great inspiration from the Netherlands Institute for Advances Studies, the Philosophical Faculty Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the Harvard Round Table on Comparative Mythology -- he has engaged for the past twenty years: ever since his unsettling transcultural experiences during anthropological fieldwork inFrancistown, Botswana, brought him to radically reconsider standard forms of North-South knowledge construction in anthropology and oral history, and to engage in transcontinental explorations aimed at ascertaining the pre- and proto-historical continuities between Africa and other continents -- ultimately in a bid to establish the empirical foundations for the thesis of the fundamental unity of humankind. Around the turn of 2010 Wim van Binsbergen has been working on the finalisation of a number of books and articles that are scheduled for publication in the course of that year, notably:

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., ‘The continued relevance of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena thesis: Yes and No’

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., ‘Before the Pre-Socratics: The evidence of a common elemental transformational cycle underlying Asian, African and European cosmologies since Neolithic times’

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., ‘The continuity of African and Eurasian mythologies: As seen from the perspective of the Nkoya people of Zambia, South Central Africa’, in: van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., & Venbrux, Eric, eds., New Perspectives on Myth: Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., Cluster analysis assessing the relation between the Eurasian, American, African and Oceanian linguistic macro-phyla: On the basis of the distribution of the proposed *Borean derivates in their respective lexicons: With a lemma exploring *Borean reflexes in Guthrie’s Proto-Bantu

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., Towards the Pelasgian hypothesis: An integrative perspective on long-range ethnic, cultural, linguistic and genetic affinities encompassing Africa, Europe, and Asia

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., Out of Africa or out of Sundaland: Mythical discourse in global perspective

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., Joseph Karst: Pioneering long-range approaches to Mediterranean Bronze Age ethnicity

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., 'Reconsidering spiked wheel traps: An exercise in global cultural distribution analysis'

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., 'Towards the prehistory of African divination'

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., ‘Building with skulls, and stealing the moon: Aspects of the continuity of African and Eurasian mythologies: As seen from the perspective of the Nkoya people of Zambia, South Central Africa’, in: Venbrux, Eric, & van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., eds., Studies in Comparative Mythology

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., & Venbrux, Eric, eds., New Perspectives on Myth: Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology

Venbrux, Eric, & van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., eds., Studies in Comparative Mythology

van Binsbergen, Wim M.J., & Woudhuizen, Fred, Ethnicity in Mediterranean proto-history

draft versions of many of these texts have already been made available from this website; specific hyperlinks to these earlier versions will soon be provided, while their imminent publication is pending

Dendrogram of the proposed relationships between
linguistic macrophyla under Starostin's *Borean
hypothesis, including the likely place of Bantu
and Khoisan, with various alternative time scales

A schematic transformative cycle of elements,
such as arguably underlies the Taoist
cosmology, the Nkoya clan system in South
Central Africa, and the pre-Socratic / Aristotelian four-element system

In Wim van Binsbergen's most recent work, a central role is played by his Pelasgian Hypothesis as the culmination of his transcontinental research, over the past 20 years, into geomantic divination, mankala games, leopard-skin symbolism, comparative mythology, language macrophyla, the spiked wheel trap, and other formal systems demonstrably linking Africa and the other two continents of the Old World -- against the background of the increasingly detailed and convincing long-range insights molecular genetics, comparative and historical linguistics, and comparative mythology, are offering into the past of Anatomically Modern Humans, especially from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards. Wim van Binsbergen's imminent publications scheduled for 2010 are intended to present most of this work in progress. Here the Pelasgian Hypothesis will appear as a viable alternative, not only for Stephen Oppenheimer's intriguing and perceptive Sunda thesis, but especially for Martin Bernal's Black Athena thesis. The Pelasgian Hypotheis lacks the reductionist (albeit refreshingly antihegemonic and anti-Eurocentric) Egyptocentrism or Afrocentrism of Bernal's work, and instead highlights the exceptional continuity and creativity of the Mediterranean-centred Pelasgian Realm -- as a major seedbed even of African languages and cultures; in the process, much new light is cast upon one of the most formative periods of global proto-history: the Sea Peoples Episode at the end of the Bronze Age.

 
current year: 2010 (begins above this line; the closer to the top of the page, the nearer to 2011); click here for the years 2008-2009

on this page only current topicalities from the year 2010- are included; the series was initiated in 2002; click here for the years 2002 and 2003; and here for the years 2004-2005; and here for the years 2006-2007; and here for the years 2008-2009

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
 

 

page last modified: 08-06-2010 09:53:26