from 26 to 28 November, 2015

Decentrings : the Souths and the epistemological challenges of a common world

The souths through the gaps

The notion of decentrings refers to a process that calls for gathering different sites subsumed under the concept of souths. Thereby would be tested, both in theory and in practice, social sciences organised within the framework of a hegemonic episteme imposed by the west. This tension between the latter (the western episteme), acting as a regulator of relationships between different forms of knowledge at a specific time in history, and the souths, illustrates this displacement well. Decenterings amounts to querying the cognitive and political reconfiguration of the world since the ‘80s and especially since the end of the Cold War, with a view to understanding the potential of possible new epistemological approaches. Indeed the souths emerge, both outside the west by trying to have epistemes from other continents recognised, as well as within the west in the reconfigurations of the terms of university research in the critique both of the categories of domination through positing the universal, as well as of those that, inversely, much exaggerate particular prerogatives, in the claim to a new disciplinary distribution recognising its right place in relation to Humanities. The “souths” also emerge in new methods for the organisation of knowledge going beyond the division into area studies. This conference therefore calls for understanding the souths through the gaps, unorthodox places, resistant lines (lignes de fuite) where alternative epistemes emerge.

This interdisciplinary conference endeavours to go beyond national logics of knowledge organisation. It provides, on the one side, a debating space where knowledges from Asia, Latin America, Africa or elsewhere are given precedence; on the other, one where knowledges resulting from claims for the recognition of their human rights, are carried by various social groups in the west and elsewhere, groups excluded in whatever way, whether in terms of race, gender, class, etc. The various presentations will delimit at the same time a pluriverse. They will take into account the different genealogies of the non-hegemonic conceptual apparatuses and corresponding concepts, and will also present various approaches to the construction, transmission and reception of knowledges, with the goal of investing them into the thinking and speaking of a common world.

Conference organized by Rémy Bazenguissa Ganga, Rada Iveković, Kadya Tall & Allison Sanders


Thursday november the 26th

9:00 - 13:00 - Idea of Souths

14:00 - 15:00 - Decolonisation of knowledge

Friday november the 27th

9:30 - 13:00 - Re-questioning categories of domination

14:00 - 17:00 - Translations : the future of a common world

Saturday november the 28th

9:30 - 13:00 - Lignes de fuite

See the detailed program


Localisation : November 26 th| Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian - 39 bd de la Tour-Maubourg 75007 Paris / November 27/28 th | Columbia University in Paris - Reid Hall, 4 rue de Chevreuse 75006 Paris
Download: Programme Décentrements (EN) Final(1).pdf
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