INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: DECOLONISING THE SOCIAL SCIENCES IN THE ERA OF INTERNATIONALISED EDUCATION (Singapore, 7th/8th March 2018)
Summary of the Workshop
The social sciences are typically understood as having been formally institutionalised in the manner that we recognise them today in a specific Western context. The significance of this is often overlooked despite it continuing to play a role in shaping approaches to teaching and research in the social sciences today. Nonetheless, there have been numerous scholars, particularly those from the periphery, who have highlighted the ways in which the social sciences remain thoroughly ethnocentric. These scholars argue that the perspectives and contributions of various minorities, particularly non-Western scholars, have been excluded from academic knowledge production. Crucially, this exclusion has not been due to a dearth of erudite non-Western scholarship, but due to historical factors that produced Orientalist hierarchies in imagining which types of scholars produce the most useful knowledge. In recent years there has been an intensification of calls to overcome ‘academic imperialism’ by way of ‘decolonising the curriculum’. This workshop will bring together a diverse and interdisciplinary range of participants to discuss the ways in which the social sciences remain parochial and why. In order to further the discussion in a way that it often isn’t, special emphasis will be placed on theorising innovative proposals that may address the problems that are identified. This FREE workshop will provide an inclusive space for scholars, students and those who are curious to discuss these pressing themes regardless of occupation, status or disciplinary specialism.
Syed Farid Alatas is Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. He is also appointed to the Department of Malay Studies at NUS and headed that department from 2007 till 2013. His books and articles include Ibn Khaldun(Oxford University Press, 2013); Applying Ibn Khaldun: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in Sociology (Routledge, 2014), and (with Vineeta Sinha) Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon (Palgrave, 2017). His areas of interest are the sociology of Islam, social theory, religion and reform, intra- and inter-religious dialogue, and the study of Orientalism.
Biko Agozino is a Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Virginia Tech, USA. He was educated at Edinburgh University (Ph.D.), Cambridge University (MPhil), and University of Calabar (BSc). He is the author of Counter-Colonial Criminology: A Critique of Imperialist Reason, London, Pluto Press, 2003; and of Black Women and the Criminal Justice System: Towards the Decolonisation of Victimisation, Aldershot, Ashgate, 1997, among other works. He directed and produced ‘Shouters and the Control Freak Empire’, winner of the Best International Short Documentary, Columbia Gorge Film Festival, USA, 2011.
Wednesday 7th March 2018: 15:00 – 18:30
Thursday 8th March 2018: 11:00 – 16:00
The workshop will be held at the University of Liverpool in Singapore, Block 29B, Tampines Aveune 1, 528694, Singapore.
Participation in the workshop is FREE. Registration is essential to facilitate appropriate catering and room bookings. There are a limited number of places available which will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register, send an email with your name and email address in the body of the email to: ULIS@Liverpool.ac.uk. Please indicate whether you wish to attend on day 1, day 2 or both days. Registration will close on Wednesday 28th February 2018.
Multiple travel assistance grants of £100 are available for scholars attending the workshop that are based in category B and category C countries (as defined by the International Sociological Association: http://www.isa-sociology.org/en/about-isa/membership/table-of-economies-by-category/). Scholars who wish to be considered for one of these grants should email ULIS@Liverpool.ac.uk with a brief description of why they wish to attend the workshop. The travel assistance grants will be paid to selected participants on condition of attending all of the workshop sessions.
Day 1: Wednesday 7th March
15:10 – Audience to be seated
15:20 – Welcome by Dr Leon Moosavi, Director of the University of Liverpool in Singapore
15:30 – Professor Syed Farid Alatas – ‘Decolonising the Social Sciences: Resurrecting Knowledge in the South’
16:15 – Professor Biko Agozino – ‘The Decolonization Paradigm and the Postcolonial Criminology Perspective’
17:00 – Discussion
17:30 – Open buffet with networking opportunity
18:30 – Event end
Day 2: Thursday 8th March
11:00-13:00 – Symposium discussion 1: The problem: In what ways and why are the social sciences ethnocentric? What other forms of exclusion in academia need to be addressed?
13:00-14:00 – Open buffet with networking opportunity
14:00-16:00 – Symposium discussion 2: The solutions: Can the social sciences be decolonised and if so, how? What has already been done that seems to be working?
16:00 – Event end