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Accepted Paper:

Sketches for a Transition Anthropology College  
Caroline Gatt (University of Graz)

Paper short abstract:

In order to decolonise anthropology other ways of being/knowing need to be allowed to affect the discipline's entire orthopraxy: pedagogy being essential. After a failed attempt to do this within a university context, I now propose for discussion an independent Transition Anthropology College.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years indigenous scholars, anthropologists and educational theorists have increasingly critiqued the divide between non-western, indigenous or traditional knowledge and 'western academic knowledge' as a form of 'epistemological ethnocentrism' (Reagan 2004) or 'epistemic colonialism' (Viveiros de Castro et al 2012). Boaventura De Sousa (2014, 2018) has outlined how social injustice is underpinned by epistemological injustice, and that the end of empire can only become a reality with the end of the cognitive empire. As the 'decolonize the university' movement has gained such widespread support we can say that this is a watershed moment in understanding how to decolonise the very fabric of the university. Arguing for a collaborative anthropology, I have written that in order to decolonise anthropology other ways of knowing and being need to be allowed to affect the discipline's entire orthopraxy (Gatt 2018). How anthropology is taught is essential in this.

However, UK anthropology departments are facing a near-intolerable period: budget cuts, crushing workloads, Kafkaesque audit culture... This is the least likely moment for anthropologists to experiment changing their pedagogies in any meaningful way. Having failed to decolonise my pedagogical practice within a university context I have turned to designing an independent Transition Anthropology College (TAC), both of which I will present for discussion.

What the decolonising movement tends to gloss, however, is that even within the heart of the metropole, not all knowledges are hegemonic. TAC therefore incorporates ways of knowing that have been subjugated within colonial centres of power as well as settler colonial contexts.

Panel D08
The global challenge of decolonising anthropology: how do our critical pedagogies lead to shifts in research praxis?
  Session 1 Friday 6 September, 2019, -