Citing Folayan and Allman (2011), Biruk notes that whereas researchers earn money, status, and accolades for their work, research participants are expected to understand their role as voluntary, altruistic, and towards the collective good (2018: 103). While I hold this assumption to be problematic, it exhibits the importance of the principle of “collective good” as it pertains to the practice and cultures of research. I have organized one of my documents around exploring investments and discourse about the role of the university in African society and for societal development is important to better understand how the university has been conceived of as (or as not) a public good and place for the generation of knowledge for society. This document will help me to better understand how the relationship between the production of knowledge (through the university) in/for Africa has been conceived of and invested in. By understanding conceptions of the role of the university in/for African society as held by diverse actors such as colonial officials, tech philanthropy companies, the World Bank, and anti-colonial activists, I will be better prepared to read the discursive levels in the discussions about African data repositories.
AO: This artifact explains in brief why I decided to focus on the university (within the African context) as part of my comprehensive orals examination and how it pertains to my dissertation project.