zum Inhalt springen

Making Theory from the South: Where, Why, and What Next?

Mary Lawhon (University of Edinburgh / International Faculty UoC)


What does it mean to theorize from the global south?  This question has emerged and taken on renewed importance in the context of calls to 'decolonize' not only knowledge but the academy itself.  In this lecture, Mary Lawhon will draw on the wider literature to consider this question in the context of urban and environmental studies. She will trace the limits of ongoing understandings, which have long been conflated with colonialism, whiteness, modernity and development. While such critiques are well-established, it is less clear what comes after such a critique.  In this context, Mary will examine ongoing debates over the process of theory-making in relation to the south. This includes consideration of how theory ought to be made; how theories might responsibly travel; who can make theories from the south; why this matters in and beyond the academy; and whether we might someday be ready to theorize beyond a north/south binary.

Mary Lawhon is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geoscience at the University of Edinburgh. She graduated from Clark University in 2011 and has worked at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, Pretoria and Oklahoma. Currently, she is a member of the International Faculty of the University of Cologne.


December 09, 2021


Ü3 Südbau
Geographisches Institut
Otto-Fischer-Straße 4
50674 Köln

Zoom Link to attend online:


Meeting-ID: 935 1297 7262
Passwort: 483743