Books to be discussed...

"My philosophy is summed up this way: If you know all, and I mean all, the languages of the world and you do not know your mother tongue, that is enslavement. If you know your mother tongue and add all the languages of the world to it, that is empowerment."    -Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Book 1

Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature (Heinemann Educational, 1986), by the Kenyan novelist and post-colonial theorist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book, which advocates linguistic decolonization, is one of Ngũgĩ's best-known and most-cited non-fiction publications, helping to cement him as a preeminent voice theorizing the "language debate" in post-colonial studies

Decolonising the Mind is a meld of autobiography, post-colonial theory, pedagogy, African history, and literary criticism. Ngũgĩ dedicated Decolonising the Mind "to all those who write in African languages, and to all those who over the years have maintained the dignity of the literature, culture, philosophy, and other treasures carried by African languages

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Book 2

Defying conventional studies of colonial domination, this enduring work emphasizes the importance of visions in fighting oppression and the cultural resources that keep such visions open and plural. Colonialism, it argues, damaged both colonized and colonizing societies, and Indian anti-imperialism found in Gandhi's counter -modernity a new language of dissent built on the lifestyle, values, and psychology of everyday life in India and on dissenting Western vocies. 

First published in 1983 and in print for over twenty-five years, this edition of the classic work is being published with a new postscript by the author. It will appeal to general readers and students and scholars of sociology, history, politics, psychology, and cultural studies. 

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Book 3

First published in 1961, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a masterful and timeless interrogation of race, colonialism, psychological trauma, and revolutionary struggle. In 2020, it found a new readership in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the centering of narratives interrogating race by Black writers. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in spurring historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other.


A landmark text for revolutionaries and activists, The Wretched of the Earth is an eternal touchstone for civil rights, anti-colonialism, psychiatric studies, and Black consciousness movements around the world. Translated by Richard Philcox, and featuring now-classic critical essays by Jean-Paul Sartre and Homi K. Bhabha, as well as a new essay, this sixtieth anniversary edition of Fanon’s most famous text stands proudly alongside such pillars of anti-colonialism and anti-racism as Edward Said’s Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

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Book 4

Using a wealth of Native American research and hundreds of interviews with indigenous scholars and activists, LaDuke examines the connections between sacred objects and the sacred bodies of her people—past, present and future—focusing more closely on the conditions under which traditional beliefs can best be practiced. Describing the plentiful gaps between mainstream and indigenous thinking, she probes the paradoxes that abound for the native people of the Americas. How, for instance, can the indigenous imperative to honor the Great Salt Mother be carried out when mining threatens not only access to Nevada’s Great Salt Lake but the health of the lake water itself? While Congress has belatedly moved to protect most Native American religious expression, it has failed to protect the places and natural resources integral to the ceremonies

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Book 5

In his new preface to this paperback edition, the author observes, "The Indian world has changed so substantially since the first publication of this book that some things contained in it seem new again." Indeed, it seems that each generation of whites and Indians will have to read and reread Vine Deloria’s Manifesto for some time to come, before we absorb his special, ironic Indian point of view and what he tells us, with a great deal of humor, about U.S. race relations, federal bureaucracies, Christian churches, and social scientists. This book continues to be required reading for all Americans, whatever their special interest.

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Book 6

Since its publication in 1993, From a Native Daughter, a provocative, well-reasoned attack against the rampant abuse of Native Hawaiian rights, institutional racism, and gender discrimination, has generated heated debates in Hawai'i and throughout the world. This 1999 revised work includes material that builds on issues and concerns raised in the first edition: Native Hawaiian student organizing at the University of Hawai'i; the master plan of the Native Hawaiian self-governing organization Ka Lahui Hawai'i and its platform on the four political arenas of sovereignty; the 1989 Hawai'i declaration of the Hawai'i ecumenical coalition on tourism; and a typology on racism and imperialism. Brief introductions to each of the previously published essays brings them up to date and situates them in the current Native Hawaiian rights discussion.

Book 7

Today, indigenous communities throughout North America are grappling with the dual issues of language loss and revitalization. While many communities are making efforts to bring their traditional languages back through educational programs, for some communities these efforts are not enough or have come too late to stem the tide of language death, which occurs when there are no remaining fluent speakers and the language is no longer used in regular communication. The Maliseet language, as spoken in the Tobique First Nation of New Brunswick, Canada, is one such endangered language that will either be revitalized and survive or will die off.


Defying Maliseet Language Death is an ethnographic study by Bernard C. Perley, a member of this First Nation, that examines the role of the Maliseet language and its survival in Maliseet identity processes. Perley examines what is being done to keep the Maliseet language alive, who is actively involved in these processes, and how these two factors combine to promote Maliseet language survival. He also explores questions of identity, asking the important question: “If Maliseet is no longer spoken, are we still Maliseet?” This timely volume joins the dual issues of language survival and indigenous identity to present a unique perspective on the place of language within culture.

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