Nikita Dhawan and Olivia Rutazibwa - Decolonizing Knowledge Production (UAntwerpen)


The Faculty of Social Sciences, the Institute for Development Policy and Management, together with the Doctoral School of the University of Antwerp, invite you to one day training on ‘Decolonizing Knowledge Production’ with keynote speakers Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan (University of Innsbruck) and Dr. Olivia Rutazibwa (University of Portsmouth).

‘Decolonizing’ refers to the problematization of how the production of (scientific) knowledge tends to be dominated by specific schools, paradigms, concepts, theories or methods. We kindly invite PhD students and researchers interested in the topic, and especially those working on issues regarding gender, LGBTQ, ethnic or marginalized groups, to join us on our one-day training to discuss when and how such a form of dominance is problematic. We will address questions such as: How to recognize and tackle prevailing paradigms, concepts and theories that make it complex to study particular issues you deem important? Which conceptual tool box do you then dispose of and how to bring it in? How to approach dominant methodological requirements if they do not allow you to unpack what needs to be brought up? Is everybody entitled or able to write about anyone or anything? What about the voice of research subjects? How do you deal with power relations between researcher and research subjects? Can a researcher become the research subject? The aim of our study day is to encourage researchers to investigate their own position in their fields of study and to reflect upon ‘positionality’ and ‘reflexivity’. Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan and Dr. Olivia Rutazibwa will each give a lecture in the morning. Professor Dhawan will talk about ‘What Difference Does Difference Make?: Diversity, Intersectionality, And Transnational Feminist Politics’. Doctor Rutazibwa’s talk is titled "Urgent and For Real: Thinking Through the Need and Implications of Decoloniality".

In the afternoon, the lecturers will each lead a workshop wherein researchers can discuss their own research and address questions to Dr. Nikita Dhawan and Dr. Olivia Rutazibwa. Participants need to submit a short note on their research and indicate the most important issues or challenges in the light of our workshop theme.

Nikita Dhawan is Professor of Political Science (Political Theory and Gender Studies) and Director of the Research Platform Gender Studies: "Identities – Discourses – Transformations" at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Publications include: Impossible Speech: On the Politics of Silence and Violence (2007); Decolonizing Enlightenment: Transnational Justice, Human Rights and Democracy in a Postcolonial World (co-ed., 2014); Global Justice and Desire: Queering Economy (co-ed., 2015); Negotiating Normativity: Postcolonial Appropriations, Contestations and Transformations (co-ed., 2016),…

Dr. Olivia U. Rutazibwa is a Belgo-Rwandan senior lecturer in European and International Development Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Her research centers around ways to decolonize thinking and practices of International Solidarity by recovering and reconnecting philosophies and enactments of dignity and self-determination in the post colony: autonomous recovery in Somaliland, Agaciro in Rwanda and Black Power in the US. She is the former Africa desk editor and journalist at the Brussels based quarterly MO* Magazine for which she continues to write occasionally. Publications include: A 2011 TEDxFlanders Speech: "Decolonizing the Western Minds": (2017); "From the everyday to IR: In Defense of the Strategic Use of the R-word" in Postcolonial Studies 19(2) (2016); "Migration and the Need to Decolonize (Hegemonic Thought) in Markus Böckenförde, Nadja Krupke, and Philpp Michaelis (eds.) A Multi-Disciplinary Mosaic: Reflections on Global Cooperation and Migration" in Global Dialogues 13, Duisburg: Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21) (2014),…

Date: 23 june 2017 – 9 AM to 5 PM. We will provide lunch and snacks.
Location: University of Antwerp, Grauwzusters Klooster, Promotiezaal, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp
Keynote Speakers: Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan (University of Innsbruck) and Dr. Olivia Rutazibwa (University of Portsmouth)
Participants: Please send a confirmation of your attendance by the 1th of June 2017 by e-mail to kristien.gillis(at) Please indicate whether you would like to attend the morning lectures and/or the afternoon workshop. When participating in the workshops, please attach your research note together with your confirmation. Participation is free of charge

More information:

Plaats en tijdstip

Promotiezaal Grauwzusters Klooster - Universiteit Antwerpen
Lange Sint-Annastraat 7


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