Københavns Universitet
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Optimism as a Crossroads of Composites

Seminar — Get ready for the semester start seminar September 28th with Francis B. Nyamnjoh! The lecture will be held in Kirkegaard Auditorium from 15:15-17.


Date & Time:

Kirkegaard Auditorium on South Campus

Hosted by:
Centre of African Studies


The Centre of African Studies, along with the IARU Alliance Global Transformation Network and the Global Development Network are hosting a keynote seminar on Optimism . Francis B. Nyamnjoh, the author of #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient Colonialism in South Africa, will be the lecturer for this event. Below is an excerpt by Nyamnjoh outlining the goals of the seminar.

In this keynote lecture, I seek to understand the meaning we bring to the notion and sense of optimism as an attribute shared by individuals and societies universally in an interconnected, interdependent and dynamic world. I use the idea of incompleteness to argue for relationality and negotiated inclusivity in optimism as a communal force and potential for being and becoming through mobility, encounters, empathy and indebtedness. I argue that it is impossible in an interconnected world to be optimistic without endangering or cannibalising the optimism of others. Consequently, to be optimistic in a negotiated and inclusive manner necessitates an ethic of being, becoming, relating and sociality inspired by incompleteness and conviviality as a framework to mitigate the violence, violation, opportunism, impunities and the mass production of pessimism that we risk from unequal encounters engineered and sustained by zero-sum games of desire, hope and fulfilment. I use the flexibility and compositeness of Amos Tutuola and his character, The Skull turned “The Complete Gentleman” and then deactivated back into The Skull, to illustrate the role of incompleteness in motion, encounters, debt and indebtedness, compositeness and conviviality in the making, unmaking and remaking of inclusive optimism as a permanent work in progress.