Traveling Academy « De-Colonizing Knowledge – Views from India and Tunisia », New-Delhi; 21-25 November 2022

Colonial structures, institutional as well as epistemological, still persist in academies across the world. One central goal of the Merian Centres is to face up to this challenge and work towards a decolonization of academic practices, based on equality and mutual respect between partner institutions coming from diverse geopolitical contexts. The Merian Centers MECAM (Tunisia) and ICAS:MP (India), along with the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies (India), are jointly organizing a conference on “Decolonizing knowledge – Perspectives from India and Tunisia”. The two central animating questions of this conference are as follows:

  • How to understand and theorize the persistence of (neo-)colonial histories at the heart of our present?
  • How to engage the root causes of the Euro-American epistemological hegemony, in terms of existing institutional arrangements, funding structures, direction of circulation of ideas and concepts, and curricular and bibliographic inequities?

Coming from a Latin American tradition, decolonial studies have had a certain intellectual trajectory.  The question that will be discussed here relate to how other postcolonial contexts, such as of South Asia and Maghreb, relate to this form of decolonial theory and/or generate alternative forms of post/de-colonial critique, given the different histories of colonialism, British and French, settler and non-settler, in these different parts of the world. The conference will encourage an intense exchange of ideas between academics from Tunisia and India, as they reflect on their respective experiences of systems of knowledge production, evolution of university structures, debates on research methodologies etc.

The Traveling Academy’s two-day academic conference will be complemented by a social program aligned with the keynote theme, including visits, talks, excursions, and conversations between Researchers and Fellows of MWF, ICAS:MP and MECAM.


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