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Call: The Decolonial Turn and the Humanities Curriculum: Prospects, Practice and Interventions

University of Pretoria, 10 - 12 July 2019


The “decolonial turn” (aligned to the broader concept of decolonisation) is a nuanced, layered and sliding signifier. Despite its conceptual slipperiness, the insights, debate and discussion that it spurs provides a productive framework for critiquing and thinking about the education transformation project. This takes two forms:

  1. The `epistemological' case in which decolonisation is seen as constitutive of reorganising and rethinking knowledge; and,
  2. The `historical' case in which decolonisation is seen as playing an unprecedented role in reviewing and reconstituting social relations and identities in contemporary society.

This international conference will investigate the ‘decolonial turn’ and explore how it produces new or different renditions of the Humanities Curriculum.

We invite abstracts for scholarly papers for praxes-oriented sharing and panel sessions that expand critical horizons while remaining open to the nuances within a pluriversal critique. We would like to encourage Humanities’ scholars and students to interrogate the following broad philosophical themes:

  • Histories and politics of knowledge production in the era of globalisation
  • Knowledge production & decoloniality
  • Critiques of the decolonial turn in curriculum transformation
  • Students & curriculum transformation
  • Technological (im)possibilities in teaching & learning
  • Critical pedagogies & curricula to address bias and inequality
  • Contradictions & prospects for curriculum transformation in a marketised global higher education sector

We also welcome papers and presentations that address more practical concerns such as:

  • The Humanities Curriculum
  • Discipline, knowledge formations and epistemic (in)justice
  • Meaning, nature and purpose of universities
  • Knowledge & Pedagogy
  • Theories, methodologies, practice
  • Global economy of knowledge
  • Knowledge roles and the global South
  • Remaking of intellectual cultures
  • Remaking textbooks, undergraduate & postgraduate syllabi
  • Reforming institutional architectures and cultures & intersectional erasures

Panels will be organised once abstracts and proposals are received and accepted for the conference.

Papers presented at the conference will be uploaded to the Unsettling Paradigms Knowledge Portal (https://www.up.ac.za/unsettlingparadigms) and will be submitted to the Journal for Decolonising Disciplines for publication.

Abstract Submission Guidelines: Submission deadline is 31 January 2019.
Please upload the following information to the call's website

  • Abstract for individual oral presentations of no more than 300 words, and/or your proposal for a panel session (to include names of proposed speakers/facilitators) of no more than 800 words
  • A short biography (150 words) that includes your university affiliation details and relevant contact information

Further information: Call