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Contemporary Politics of Knowledge and African Initiatives in Decolonization of African Studies

Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni (University of Bayreuth)



The resurgent and insurgent decolonization of the 21st century has resulted in reopening of basic epistemological questions. These basic epistemological questions are inextricably intertwined with some long-standing existential questions haunting the peoples of the Global South in particular. This public lecture starts with a reflection on the reopened epistemological questions reverberating at the centre of contemporary politics of knowledge. The basic epistemological questions include: where does knowledge come from, does identity matter in knowledge generation, what role does geography play in knowledge, what is the place of biography and experience in knowledge productions, and finally, does ideology play any role in knowledge production. Building on these long-standing but difficult questions, the public lecture ventures into the broader issues of how knowledge is colonized and implications of this for African consciousness and scholarship; what is decolonization; and how have Africans tried to decolonize knowledge, including the challenges encountered. The public lecture ends with reflections on the present conjuncture dominated by resurgent and insurgent decolonization of the 21st century. 


20 June 2022, 16 Uhr


International House
University of Cologne
Kringsweg 6, 50931 Cologne