Symposium on Academic Dependency and Indigenous Knowledge: The Role of Social Sciences
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (12-14 December, 2019)
Abstract submission deadline: 15 September, 2019
Colonialism has had an enduring impact not only on the colonized world, but on the greater global society as well. It has shaped the histories of specific countries, but in doing so, it has also conditioned our epistemological frameworks, socio-political preferences, and economic choices among other things. The relevance of the colonial experience to the greater global community lies in the ideological hierarchies it has created, stemming from classifications of what is ‘legitimate’ and what is not. The political implications of this kind of thinking has given rise to what can be crudely termed as ‘racism’, which also lends itself to epistemological practices where one kind of knowledge is privileged over another. There are, this thinking dictates, more systematic, legitimate, and ‘real’ ways of knowing, and that which this knowledge produces is more valid than its alternatives, including political systems, social arrangements, and economic structures.
In this Symposium, we will critically examine dominant epistemological frameworks and methodologies in the Social Sciences and Humanities as they are practiced in higher education institutions in the global South together with their relevance and applicability to understand and explain contemporary political, economic, social, and cultural issues. Secondly, we will explore alternative epistemological frameworks, theories, and methods that are based on intellectual traditions rooted in countries of the global South with a focus on Asia.