Knowledge inequalities and possibilities for decolonizing the academy
Divine Fuh (UCT), Ernesto Seman (UiB), Temi Odumosu (Malmö University), Maria Paula Meneses (University of Coimbra).
Many recent works from across the globe—including the book Epistemic Freedom in Africa (2018), calls us to fundamentally re-think knowledge regimes, epistemic traditions and the nature of academic practice, including the institution of the university. Such discussions relate fundamentally to problematic colonial and postcolonial relations between the so-called South and the so-called North and critiques should be directed against long-standing, hegemonic understandings of (academic and other) knowledges and global academic hierarchies. This roundtable will critically engage and examine such calls for what we could call ‘intellectual emancipation’ or ‘epistemological liberation’, and ask:
What can the nature of trans-continental research and academic partnerships be in light of such perspectives? What would a decolonization of the academy—or academic practice—involve? What are the possible roles of law and legal practice in relation to confronting global or local knowledge inequalities and, more generally, the horizon of decolonization?
Moderated by Bjørn Enge Bertelsen (University of Bergen). Conversation with Divine Fuh (University of Cape Town), Ernesto Seman (UiB), Temi Odumosu (Malmö University), Maria Paula Meneses (University of Coimbra).
Ernesto Seman teaches Latin American history at University of Bergen. His forthcoming book is a history of antipopulismo in Argentina.
Temi Odumosu is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Malmö University. She is author of the book Africans in English Caricature 1769-1819: Black Jokes White Humour (2017). Her research and curatorial practices are concerned with colonial archives/archiving, slavery and visuality, race and visual coding in popular culture, postmemorial art and performance, image ethics and politics of digitisation. Overall, she is focused on the ways art can mediate social transformation and healing.
Maria Paula Meneses is a Principal researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. A Mozambican scholar, she has published extensively on the decolonization processes with a focus on Southern Africa. Among her latest major publications are Knowledges Born in the Struggle Constructing the Epistemologies of the Global South (Routledge, 2019, edited with Boaventura de Sousa Santos) and Os Saberes Feiticeiros em Moçambique: Realidades materiais, experiências espirituais (Almedina, 2019).
Photo: Paul Saad/Flickr, “Fees Must Fall Demonstration, Pretoria”.