Parts of some chapters of this book were presented, in earlier drafts, at
various fora. By order of gestation of the ideas, the materials in chapter 4
are the oldest. The first two sections of that chapter were presented
under the title ‘‘The Idea of History in Postcolonial Discourse’’ at the
John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University on 12 April 2003. I would
like to thank Walter Mignolo, who hosted the presentation as part of the
center’s seminar on Dialogical Ethics and Critical Cosmopolitanism. In
addition to Mignolo, Wahneema Lubiano and George Lamming were in
the audience during my talk. They offered helpful comments that led to
appreciable revisions to what was, at that time, a project in a draft form.
The subsection of chapter 5 titled ‘‘Rationality and the Politics of
Memory’’ is the result of a presentation to a humanities faculty seminar at
the University of Cape Town on 17 October 2003. I wish to thank those
responsible for inviting me to the university: Ramphele Mamphele (at
that time the vice chancellor) and Robin Cohen (at that time dean of the
graduate faculty of the humanities). André du Toit, who was head of the
department of political studies, was responsible for the organization of
the seminar at which my paper was delivered. I am immensely grateful to
André and fellow participants for their questions and insights both dur-
ing the seminar and throughout my six months’ work at the university.
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