Hierarchies of knowledge production in academic collaborations between Africa and Europe - (Panel of the Association for the anthropology of social change and development - APAD-)

Marie Deridder (University of Louvain)
Social Anthropology
Room 04
Session slots:
Thursday 13 June, 8:45 - 10:30
Thursday 13 June, 10:45 - 12:30

Short abstract:

This panel invites critical qualitative analyses of academic collaborations (research, publishing, teaching etc) between Africa and Europe. What kinds of connections and power relations are created? To what extent are such projects able to disrupt or 'decolonise' hierarchies in knowledge production?

Long abstract:

International mobility of researchers is a growing phenomenon in the increasingly competitive and global academic market. Meanwhile, collaborative projects which involve partners in the Global South are ever more in vogue among Northern funding bodies, reflecting attempts to generate more equitable processes of knowledge production. But what are the implications and impacts - whether social, economic, political or intellectual - of such activities? In this panel, we invite speakers to share case studies of collaborations between Europe and Africa (and potentially beyond), whether they concern research, publishing, capacity-building, networking, public engagement, teaching or related academic endeavors. While some information on the project rationale or outputs would be useful to provide context, we are more interested in critical analyses of such initiatives which speak to the conference themes of 'connection' and 'disruption'. What kinds of connections do these activities promote? What kinds of power relations are created, reproduced or contested? Were there instances of disruption in terms of challenges or conflicts? Can these activities and their ensuring dynamics be considered disruptive of broader hierarchies, potentially 'decolonizing' academic knowledge production, or are there limitations to this political objective? How might such constraints be overcome? Contributions from any discipline are welcome, but we expect a qualitative analysis of the project presented. Abstracts can be in English or French. They should include a brief explanation of the activity in question and the main points of the analysis, which should ideally be supported by theoretical concepts and speak to wider scholarly debates.