Scholar-Activist to Discuss the Fate of African Socialism

John S. Saul, professor of social and political science at York University in Toronto, Canada, will speak on “Whatever Happened to African Socialism Now that we Really Need It? Some Recollections and Reflections,” on Tuesday, Oct. 28, in Room 203 of Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave., 4-5 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Born in Canada and educated at the universities of Toronto, Princeton and London, Professor Saul taught at the University of Dar es Salaam from 1965-72, witnessing first hand the hey-day of Tanzania’s “Ujamaa” (African Socialism) period. While there, he also established close contacts with many leaders of the southern African liberation movement, headquartered in Tanzania. Later he visited the liberated areas of Mozambique with members of Frelimo, the Mozambican liberation movement. In the early 1980s he returned to Mozambique, which was then an independent country, and taught at the Frelimo party school and the University of Eduardo Mondlane’s Faculty of Marxism-Leninism.

Both a scholar and an activist, Professor Saul has written or edited a dozen books on eastern and southern Africa, including “Socialism in Tanzania,” “A Difficult Road: The Transition to Socialism in Mozambique” and “Recolonization and Resistance: Southern Africa in the 1990s.” He worked with the Toronto Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa, under whose auspices he visited South Africa illegally on a fact-finding mission in the late-1980s. He worked on the Toronto Committee’s widely-read publication, Southern Africa Report. He is currently preparing two books for publication, “South Africa: Apartheid and After” and “What is to be Learned? The Rise and Fall of Mozambican Socialism,” as well as working on a long-term project, an analytical history of “The Thirty Years’ War for Southern African Liberation: 1960-1990.”

Professor Saul spent last summer in South Africa studying the struggle within the ANC-led alliance over the rival claims “neoliberal” and more progressive development options.

The next talk in the African Studies Council series will be on Tuesday, Nov. 4, when Professor Grif Cunningham, Department of Social Science, Atkinson College, York University, Canada, addresses “Ujamaa in Tanzania: Socialism in One Country.”

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