Tuesday, July 18, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Empathetic Scholarship: From Odia Ofeimun to Richard Joseph

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Femi Mimiko, mni" <femi.mimiko@gmail.com>
Date: 18 Jul 2017 9:38 a.m.
Subject: Re: Empathetic Scholarship
To: "Tunji" <tolaopa2003@gmail.com>

EVC Dr Olaopa,

Quite an exciting and refreshing thought, this certainly is, on your concept of "empathetic scholarship." It is more so because it challenges, and to good effect, the conventional cannons - commitment to objectivity - by which social science scholarship is benchmarked. The truth actually is that at some moments, and on some subjects, what we social scientists do is to struggle to achieve what at best does not go beyond mere detached academic studies/proclamations. Herein for me, lies the critical value of your thesis, that we should, maybe not always, take the liberty and courage to allow our empathy some space in our scholarship. The present danger, however, is that we may easily slip off into mere advocacy thereby.

I concur that Project Nigeria is indeed a project, for all the reasons you adduced, as nation building everywhere is a journey not a destination. On the widespread frustration with and about this project, the central issue remains the same. The prevailing level of alienation which the Nigerian contraption is ensconced in, makes it practically impossible for it to be stable. It can neither seriously undertake nor accomplish the task of development. Elsewhere, I used the concept of "terra nullius" to explain this. It is the impression that Nigeria is not really owned, in the true sense of the word. It doesn't seem to belong to anyone, and so everybody, especially its ruling elites, would readily lay it to waste without any compunction whatsoever. Maybe this is where your thesis on empathetic scholarship becomes relevant, focused as it were on practical modalities of stanching alienation, including on the intellectual plane, and getting the country to be owned, and thus empathised with, so that the development agenda could for all time be mainstreamed.

- femi mimiko, mni.

On Jul 16, 2017 11:52 AM, Tunji Olaopa <tolaopa2003@gmail.com> wrote:

On 13 Jul 2017 20:36,

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