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2019 Decolonizing Knowledge Workshop

Workshop Details: In this hands-on workshop, we will explore both the theory and practice of decolonizing knowledge. Western colonization gave rise to Eurocentric, patriarchal, capitalist, Christian, and heteronormative paradigms that lead us to believe, advocate for, and retain an epistemic hegemony. These centuries-old epistemic hegemonies, today, dictate our pedagogy, inquiry, and praxis when it comes to the acquisition, management, and dissemination of knowledge. Further, knowledge, more often than not, is generated by and within these systems of global inequalities and they, in turn, reinforce various forms of hierarchical, unequal and discriminatory structures built on race, gender, class, sexual, caste, ethnic, religious, linguistic and other identities. The implications of learning under hegemonic epistemologies (for example, in institutions of higher education) on various careers – such as development, peace and conflict, education, environment and related disciplines – is that we start with the belief that we have the answers to the world’s most pressing problems, leading us to re-colonize the colonized through our impositions. During the workshop, we will question our own epistemologies and then, we will use decolonial (understood as going beyond post-colonial) frameworks to understand how knowledge is acquired, legitimized, and disseminated. Further, we will explore how decolonized knowledge can challenge power structures, whether in the classroom or when working in the field.


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