Symposium on Academic Dependency and Indigenous Knowledge: The Role of Social Sciences
September 2019

Colonialism and modernity have had an enduring impact not only on the colonized world, but on the greater global society as well. It has shaped the histories of specific countries, but in doing so, it has also conditioned our epistemological frameworks, socio-political preferences, and economic choices. The relevance of the colonial experience to the greater global community lies in the ideological hierarchies it has created, stemming from classifications of what is ‘legitimate’ and what is not. The political implications of this kind of thinking has given rise to what can be crudely termed as ‘racism’, which also lends itself to epistemological practices where one kind of knowledge is privileged over another.

The aim of this symposium is to put into question these assumptions by drawing attention to alternative knowledge’s in the social, political, and economic realms. To this end, abstracts are called for that preferably focuses on one or more of the following themes:

1) Academic dependency in social sciences and its varied forms in the global periphery with emphasis on south Asia

Consequences of this for the practice of social sciences as vehicles of human liberation suitable to the particular contexts

How indigenous knowledge was marginalized during the colonial and postcolonial periods?

Role of indigenous knowledge in re-shaping social sciences and their teaching, research, publication

Particular and critical readings of texts or contexts from the global periphery/south Asia with a view to identifying tools of analysis 

How a reformed social science can contribute to social reform?

Critical evaluation of social science methodology

Liberal capitalism and viable alternatives to it

2) Pre-colonial social arrangements

3) Epistemological alternatives to dominant knowledge traditions (with a special focus on southern theory)

4) Democracy and the third world

Theoretical contributions from southern theory, postcolonial and pluralist sociology

Collaborative mechanisms among social scientists in the global south, in particular south Asia

What conceptual, theoretical and methodological tools from indigenous social sciences can contribute to the broader intellectual community's growth and how?




Paper Presentations 


Parallel Sessions