28. Chike Jeffers on Precolonial African Philosophy

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Co-host Chike Jeffers and Peter chat about the themes and questions raised by the podcast so far.



Further Reading

• C. Jeffers (ed.), Listening to Ourselves: A Multilingual Anthology of African Philosophy (Albany NY: 2013).

• C. Jeffers, “Embodying Justice in Ancient Egypt: The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant as a Classic of Political Philosophy,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (2013), 421-42.

• C. Jeffers, "Kwasi Wiredu et la question du nationalisme culturel," Critique 771-772 (2011), 639-49.

• C. Jeffers, “Strategies of Organization: Paget Henry and Traditional African Philosophy,” in M.P. Banchetti-Robino and C.R. Headley (eds.), Shifting the Geography of Reason: Gender, Science and Religion (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 2006).


Jose on 12 May 2019

It has been a real joy

It has been a real joy listening to this podcast. The conversation between the both of you was fantastic. It was fun learning a little bit more about Chike Jeffers and his views. It was great to find out what the both of you learned in the process of creating the podcast.

I think you've both made a wonderful resource for students of philosophy and others interested in the subject. I've commented before on how in my program, there was not one class on the subject of Africana Philosophy but your podcast, along with the reading recommendations have been amazing. I've actually picked up a few books that you both have listed in the comments already. I also appreciate Professor Jeffers for mentioning topics he wanted to discuss but did not have the chance to.

Finally, I am excited for the next part of this series. Colonial and Post-Colonial studies are a large part of my focus within my studies and I'm glad to see this podcast to delve into these heavy topics (of which, I have no doubt that some listeners will find uncomfortable discussing). Political Philosophy was my major and in that, when looking towards this next section, I am incredibly curious how/what you will cover in detail. It also applies to the last section of this podcast! There's been an amazing amount of research and study done within the last few decades on the subject so I wonder who will be covered in that! For me, the wonder/excitement is especially true in regards to the philosophy of race, a field I adore and tutor on.

So again, thank you both for putting so much effort and time into making this podcast on Africana Philosophy available.

In reply to by Jose

Chike Jeffers on 14 May 2019

Thank you!

Very glad about how much you've enjoyed and I share your excitement about the continued development of the series!

John Leys on 18 May 2019

Thank you & a Question

Thank you both for this series on Africana philosophy. It's been fascinating and enlightening to learn about philosophical traditions that I knew little to nothing about.

One question. You mention other oral traditions that you may need to cover (like native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, et al.). Have you considered pre-Roman European philosophy, ie Celtic or Germanic culture? I'm honestly not sure what information is available to do such a servey, but it might be interesting.

In reply to by John Leys

Peter Adamson on 19 May 2019

Other oral traditions

Thanks, glad you like this series! I had thought a little about this, especially in relation to Nordic myths. And one could get into texts like Beowulf too. However my current thinking on what I might eventually do (and this would be a long time from now, since the rest of Africana and then China, at least, will come first) is something on pre-contact thought of the Americas, which would mean Aztec, Incan, and Native American/First Peoples culture and not just oral cultures all over the world which seems too varied and indefinite to form a series. That would mean missing out oral traditions elsewhere like in Europe or Australia, but it would make for a better podcast series and book I think. All this is way off in the future though, as I say, so I have plenty of time to decide!

Evan on 22 June 2019

The Shift from Orality

Lynne Kelly's The Memory Code believes ancient building was often for the purposes of memory - as people shifted from oral to more settled ways of life.  This includes Stonehenge and the Easter Island statues.  It is really interesting (her Ph.D. written up).

DM on 29 February 2020



will you be releasing a book on African Philosophy a you did with the others?


In reply to by DM

Peter Adamson on 1 March 2020

Book of Africana

Actually we will be releasing two books! The first volume will cover topics and thinkers up to 1900, and there will be a second volume on the 20th century. So in the podcast we are actually coming gradually towards the end of the material for the first of the two volumes.

Austin on 10 August 2020

I've really been enjoying

I've really been enjoying this podcast, it's been challenging and exciting stuff to dig into. Thank you both for the work you've put into this. I hope we can get some stuff on Africana Philosophy and Film when we get into the 20th and 21st century stuff!

In reply to by Austin

Peter Adamson on 11 August 2020


Great, glad you have been enjoying it! That's a good point about philosophy and film, we had thought more about music (like covering Sun Ra and P-Funk in an episode on Afrofuturism, that will be fun) but I think not movies. We'll bear that in mind!

Nzinga Metzger on 25 August 2020

Fantastic Work

Hello, I'm a professor of anthropology and I just wanted to say thank you so much for this great series! I'm sharing with my students and friends alike. If you are still checking this email, I'd like to be in touch for dialogue once I listen to the complete series.



N. Metzger

In reply to by Nzinga Metzger

Peter Adamson on 26 August 2020


Thanks so much! Yes we always have a look at comments left on the site (if it is about the whole series rather than an individual episode you may want to leave it on the general "comments" page just so other listeners don't overlook it).

matthew anthony on 18 May 2024

thank you. would love to be in contact

Hello Chike Jeffers and Peter Adamson

Thank you for this resource. I am a freshman at Minneapolis College majoring in African diaspora studies, and a student worker in the philosophy dept compiling an audio archive of resources for students and faculty. Your podcast is excellent, and I will be including it in the resourse kit, if that is alright.

 Further,  I am wondering if you are in network or aware of other africana philosophy podcasts. I have a number of high quality ones so far, (Africa World Now Project, The History of Philosophy: India, Africana, China, a couple others) but would love the insight of a producer of this podcast if possible. 

Thank you so much for your work! Hope to be in contact soon.


In reply to by matthew anthony

Peter Adamson on 19 May 2024

Other podcasts

Oh thanks, yes please do add us to your archive! The more listeners the better.

You might also check out the UnMute Podcast. It is not only about Africana philosophy but has covered some relevant topics e.g. Fanon.

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