Pitzer College Professor Explores African Intellectual History in New Book

Reconstructed - Jessica McCoy

Claremont, Calif. (August 8, 2013)—Pitzer College Professor Emeritus of Creative Studies Ntongela Masilela’s new book, An Outline of the New African Movement in South Africa, was recently released by the African World Press.  

In his new book, Masilela details the intellectual history of the New African Movement, a movement of writers, political and religious leaders, artists, teachers and scientists who were engaged with creating “knowledge of modernity” from approximately 1860 to 1960. He concludes that these African intellectuals did not necessarily reject tradition, but attempted to reconcile tradition with new ways of formulating and creating political and cultural practices.

At Pitzer College, Masilela taught world literature, literary theory and postmodernism. In 2004, he launched the New African Movement Website, a vital resource for conducting in-depth research on modern African intellectual history. His previous books include The Cultural Modernity of H. I. E. Dhlomo and To Change Reels: Film and Film Culture in South Africa, which he co-edited.

Masilela’s writings about African literature, thought and culture have been published throughout Africa, Europe and the United States. With a career and a wealth of knowledge global in their scope—he has taught in Kenya, Poland and Italy—Masilela is an expert on African, Central European, Latin American and ancient Asian literature.

Masilela joined Pitzer’s faculty in 1989 and retired in 2012.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

Press Releases, 2013–14 Academic Year