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A Promising Start and Frustrating End: The Rise and Fall of the Economic History Department, University of Zimbabwe

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Original languageEnglish
JournalHistory in Africa
DOIs
Accepted/In press21 May 2022
Published8 Jun 2022

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Abstract

The paper explores the internal dynamics of knowledge production at the University of Zimbabwe. I introduce the term epistuicide to refer to situations where a people destroy their own knowledge systems. I use this term in contrast to what have been called epistimicides—that is, the killing of a peoples’ knowledge systems by another. In this paper, I demonstrate how the history of the Economic History Department is a classic case of epistuicide, as a flipside to epistimicides. It is a history of not only unrecognized effort but also of how internal dynamics and systems derail rather than promote knowledge production. From its inception, the Department of Economic History faced onslaughts which heightened in the new millennium. Admittedly, there are pockets of successes to record, such as the expansion of the teaching of the discipline to secondary schools and growing recognition of economic historians locally.

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