Die nächste Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie wird vom 29. September bis 2. Oktober 2019 an der Universität Konstanz stattfinden.
Panel 47. Are African curricula decolonizable?
Organizers: Michael Bollig, Michaela Pelican und Karim Zafer (RG Afrika)
The dominance of the Eurocentric epistemic academic model, which attributes truth to the Western way of knowledge production, has been challenged by different actors in Africa and other parts of the world. Student/academic activists, most pronouncedly in South Africa, decry the colonial legacy of African universities. They demand curricula that are tailored to the practical needs of African students and recognize African forms of knowledge production. In the process of negotiating their demands, they face resistance by other actors whom ascribe to the idea of global knowledge production, asking: What will be the place of Western knowledge in the new curricula? Should African curricula be limited to African universities? How can they contribute to globally applicable curricula? While for a long time, the Western model of academic organization seems to have been non-negotiable, discussing the possibilities for decolonizing academic curricula is important and long overdue. In fact, the decolonization project is the beginning of a new negotiation process over what is to be taught and learned and what is valuable knowledge for Africa and academia in general. In this panel, we invite anthropologists who do research on this topic. We wish to jointly reflect on the following questions: The current calls for the decolonization of curricula in Africa are diverse, as different definitions of ‘decolonization’ and ‘curricula’ are in use. What is the essence of the definitions employed by different actors? In a globalized world, how can advocates of decolonizing African curricula and promoters of indigenous knowledge negotiate and justify their claims? How can these advocates succeed in their mission when they are complexly involved (for example, through their university affiliations) in producing and disseminating knowledge that has been influenced by the legacy of colonialism? What are alternative models of knowledge production and dissemination, and how could they be applied?