CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Intercultural Philosophy and Critical Development Theory in Dialogue

++ Please read the Call also in Spanish, French, German. We thank Mariela Vargas  and Rodrigue Naortangar for the translations. ++

Intercultural Philosophy has taken a global perspective from its start, it endeavoured “to interconnect contributions from all cultural traditions into philosophical discourses equally, this is to say, not just putting them aside each other in a comparative way, but rather bringing them into an open common space, so that all positions in this polylogue are kept open for change” (Mission Statement POLYLOG).

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[How Do We “Know” the World Series] About International “Experts” – Critical Thinking and an Inferiority Complex

by Janita Bartell

The following are reflections on my 3.5 years of working as a Research and Learning Manager for a local Cambodian NGO. I do not wish to reveal names of people, organizations or sectors in this essay as I believe these details might distract from the underlying pattern across most people, organizations and sectors.

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[How Do We Know the World Series] The Power of Agency: Bringing Back Subjects’ Agency in Academia and Activism

by Sophie Bergmann

In the last few months a spectre appears to haunt Europe and its cultural institutions, namely museums and their artefacts – it is the spectre of postcolonialism.

The cultural and intellectual structures, that epistemically prepared and justified the occupation of the African continent and the exploitation of its economic and cultural wealth in the past, are now the same that ‘contextualise’ the looting of art during the 18th and 19th century in an attempt to legitimize and perpetuate the composition of Europe’s museums.
The impact of postcolonial thought and theory on power asymmetries will hopefully go beyond the contentual and epistemic orientation of exhibitions in Africa’s and Europe’s museums, and alter the systems of knowledge that have caused colonization, racialisation and discrimination.

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[How Do We Know The World Series] Knowing The World? Navigating Asymmetries of Power through a Politics and Praxis of Care

by Siti Maimunah and Enid Still

“How do we know the world?” It is a difficult and multi-layered question. Yet it enticed us, two colleagues, women from the global north and south respectively, to collaborate and reflect upon our journeys as researchers, activists and now as fellow PhD students. Reflection upon our experiences, Enid as a researcher in India and Mai as an activist in Indonesia, brought together very particular understandings of the intimate power relations between the participant and researcher – how power manifests, how it is inscribed upon our bodies, and how people resist or attempt to counteract power in different ways. Continue reading “[How Do We Know The World Series] Knowing The World? Navigating Asymmetries of Power through a Politics and Praxis of Care”

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[How Do We Know The World Series] Thinking with and not about the Global South – Challenging Eurocentrism in Social Science Research and Teaching

by Sebastian M. Garbe

As a result of political and intellectual efforts, post- and decolonial critiques have become more and more prominent during the last decades, but to counter Eurocentrism within the Social Sciences is still a big challenge. In this contribution, I would like to share some attempts of how I have been dealing with this challenge in my own research and teaching. Both experiences share the idea to decentralize and decolonize the own local context (the city of Giessen on the one, and the European solidarity movement, on the other hand) by confronting it with the history and present of (post)colonial entanglement as well as “epistemologies of the South” (Sousa Santos 2009).

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Decolonization: not just a buzzword…

by Budd L Hall

This is the name of a ‘headphone verbatim show’ capturing campus conversations at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.  It will be the third interaction with discourses of decolonisation and epistemic justice that I will have within two weeks. The first interaction was with Florence Piron, a scholar of epistemic justice at Laval University.  I spent three days with her and her colleagues in Quebec City, Quebec. She shared with me the special issue of the journal Sociologie et Societes on epistemic injustice edited by Baptise Godrie and Marie Dos Santos of the University of Montreal. In that journal she shares an article, Haitian Meditation where she recounts a visit to Haiti to teach about epistemic justice (2017). She reminds us of the words of Frantz Fanon written in 1992, speaking about the dominance of European thought in the colonial world, “my friends, the European game is definitely over…if we want to see humanity advance, for Africa and for the world, we need to invent and discover a new way of thinking”.

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[How Do We Know The World Series] To Reform or not to – The crescendo of decoloniality within Higher Learning Institutions in Africa

by Gift Mwonzora

There has emerged a growing chorus for a need to decolonize the African higher education system. This chorus for reform has been widely pronounced within the Global South, especially in African countries. Countries that have witnessed the crescendo of such demands include South Africa, but others are also beginning to reconsider such within this growing wave of decoloniality. Notwithstanding the fact that there have been many strides in the higher education literature and in African studies scholarship to tackle issues of decoloniality, through calls for reforms for the curricula and syllabus, it remains poorly understood why academe should be decolonized. Hence, intense debates and polarity on the discourse of decoloniality have emerged, revealing silences that underpin how we ‘know’ the world.
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[How Do We Know the World Series] What are the limits of identity and positionality in the decolonisation debate?

by Grace Ese-osa Idahosa

This short piece addresses the issue of the limiting role of identity and positionality on the extent of individuals’ contribution to the decolonisation process in institutions. Focusing on universities in South Africa (SA), it interrogates the role of identity and social positions in the decolonisation and knowledge production process. It asks to what extent factors like race, class, gender and sexuality affect an individual’s commitment and contributions to the decolonisation process?

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[How Do We “Know” the World Series] Looking Back to Walk Forward: Decolonisation as Self-Determination

by Vanessa Bradbury

Aotearoa, the long white cloud. A vast country secluded by ocean; a depth of ecological beauty with rolling hills of green, empowering mountains that cut through soft white clouds; rivers, lakes and oceans that flow with the crisp, clean air; sunsets that radiate the surroundings with a peachy gentleness; long roads and vast land; a silence that fills the void with reflection.

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