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Accepted Paper:

What Does It Mean to “Decolonize” Anthropology?  
Zunayed Ahmed Ehsan (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper attempts to unpack the multifaceted dimensions of the “grammar of knowledge production” and how it reproduces the “coloniality of knowledge” within the “colonial matrix of power”, even when we are witnessing the current hype of “decolonizing” anthropology.

Paper Abstract:

A rising body of academic literature on decoloniality has demonstrated that the production of knowledge is largely subjected to imperial and colonial designs across the world. While “invisibilizing” and “subalternizing” other epistemes, the geopolitics of knowledge universalizes European thought as only scientific truths (Walsh 2007). Though the worldwide discussion on decoloniality is happening within the academic space, the idea of decolonizing the concept of the “knowledge” itself is largely overlooked, and this is no different within the domain of “decolonizing” anthropology. Often, we forget that the universal concept of the (modern) university or (rational and scientific) knowledge itself follows a Eurocentric model. The dominant mode of knowledge is based on a Eurocentric epistemic canon that blindly follows Western ways of knowledge production (Mbembe 2016). If we look at the universalized knowledge system (modern university) and the imposed relationship between knowledge and “scientific” methods, there exists a “grammar of knowledge production”. In this context, does “decolonizing” anthropology challenge or destabilize the “grammar of knowledge production” or produce knowledge while maintaining the “sacred methodologies” set by modern academia? This paper attempts to unpack the multifaceted dimensions of the “grammar of knowledge production” and how it dilutes the revolutionary spirit of decolonization and reproduces the “coloniality of knowledge” within the “colonial matrix of power” even when we are witnessing the current hype of “decolonizing” anthropology.

Panel P172
What’s in a name? A reality check on recent claims and practices of decolonising anthropology
  Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -