We are very happy and proud to let you know that the newly developed course African Philosophy CPT 58306, taught by Birgit Boogaard, has won our Universities Excellent Education prize in the category ‘specialized courses’!
Upon accepting the prize in a virtual meeting on the 9th of June, Birgit gave a brief speech in which she thanked philosophers on the African continent, whose work is the fundament of the course. She also emphasized that African philosophy demands that we critically reflect on our Western way of reasoning and looking at the world, which tends to be largely Eurocentric. African philosophy thus requires an intercultural approach based on mutually respectful dialogues. You can read her full text here in pdf.
The jury report reads as follows: “The course gives an introduction to African philosophy, with the goal to better understand African perspectives towards problems, solutions and innovations related to development issues. But it also has the aim that students critically reflect upon their own cultural and scientific background, from the perspective of global challenges and development issues that are often intercultural. Students acquire basic methodological skills as well as engagement in intercultural dialogues. The jury was impressed by the way the teachers take the students out of their comfort zone, while safeguarding a safe environment, by using a variety of teaching methods, it is a real eye-opener. The teachers use lectures, videos, music, drawings, storytelling.
Quotes from students: “this is an amazing, little secret course”, “It challenges your own way of thinking which makes you think for yourself instead of following the way of thinking around you”, “I love this interactive way of teaching”, “The topic itself was very interesting but the way the teachers gave the lectures made it so much more interesting. I’m super satisfied with this course”, “PS: what could be improved: making the course an integral part of the study”.
We hope that this award will be a step towards giving African philosophy a more structural place at WUR.
Read the acceptance speech of Birgit Boogaard.