Within the award funding gap: The Im-possibility of an All Ireland Africanist network in 2020

Dina Zoe Belluigi*, Ebun Joseph

*Corresponding author for this work

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Patterns of research funding in the UK clearly evidence unequal awarding to the detriment of applicants of African descent. This paper presents a case from ‘within’ this larger machine of knowledge production: a failed funding application made by two applicants to establish a social science network connecting African/ist scholars in Northern Ireland (UK) to those of its neighbouring Republic of Ireland (ROI). Rated highly with positive reviews by the two peers appointed by the funding agency, the deficit cannot be readily placed on the content of the application nor on the universities of the applicants at the time, both highly positioned within the institutional stratifications in the UK and ROI. To illuminate from within this darker side of structural knowledge delegitimation in the global North, we situate this ‘case’ as an insider example of the conditions which militate against advancing marginalised study areas. We do so to work against the prevailing impression of such work not being possible; turning towards that which is not structurally delineated by institutions nor national funding mechanisms. In publishing this paper, we re-assert our ethical obligations and agency as intellectuals to bring to light the defunding of such endeavours and the larger genealogies of influence in our times.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Identities
Early online date21 Oct 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Oct 2021


  • higher education
  • Ireland
  • Northern Ireland
  • African
  • research
  • funding


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