“Coloniality is not over: it is all over” On reconstituting the deconstituted in and through the humanities
CCS Webinar: “Coloniality is not over: it is all over” On reconstituting the deconstituted in and through the humanities
A dialogue initiated by Clint Le Bruyns, Saajidha Sader & Fikile Vilakazi
Members of the UKZN Decoloniality Action Forum
Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2018) argues, “Seek ye epistemic freedom first!” and explains that “epistemic justice is about liberation of reason itself from coloniality”. He further explains, “The definitive entry of descendants of the enslaved, displaced, colonized and racialized peoples into the existing academies across the world, proclaiming loudly that they are human beings, their lives matter, and that they were born into valid and legitimate knowledge systems, enabled the resurgence of long-standing struggles for epistemic freedom.”
Thus epistemic freedom speaks to cognitive justice. Epistemic freedom is fundamentally about the right to think, theorize, interpret the world, develop own methodologies and write from where one is located and unencumbered by Eurocentrism.
This is the point of departure taken in initiating this dialogue on decolonizing the humanities.
Clint Le Bruyns is a black liberation theologian working in the area of public theology and ethics, in and beyond South Africa since 1994. Prior to joining UKZN in 2011, he served at Pat Kelly Bible College, Cornerstone Institute, Eastern University, and Stellenbosch University. As Director of the postgraduate Theology and Development Programme at UKZN, he teaches and mentors Honours, Masters, PhD and postdoctoral scholars as they share their mutual commitment to reflect on and be engaged in a liberating social transformation for responsible public impact in and through African theological scholarship. In addition to the publication of many popular and scholarly articles, he co-edited 3 books: The Humanisation of Globalization (Germany, 2008), Ragbag Theologies (South Africa, 2009), and Teologia Pública no Brasil e na África do Sul (Brazil, 2014).
Saajidha Sader, who identifies as a decolonial feminist activist scholar, is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. She is a founding Member of the International Network on Gender, Social Justice and Praxis (commonly referred to as The Network), which is based at the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE), University of Newcastle, Australia). The Network includes founding members from South Africa, Ghana, Sudan, the US & Australia. Saajidha was instrumental in setting up the annual UKZN Decoloniality Summer School, which is offered in collaboration with the Centre of Study and Investigation for Decolonial Dialogues (CSIDD), El Mirador de Colón, Barcelona, Spain.
Fikile Vilakazi is currently an academic and an intellectual activist working at the School of Social Sciences within the department of Political Science and Public Policy lecturing in both disciplines. She is a member of the UKZN Decoloniality Action Group. She is a former Executive Director (2007 – 2012) of the Coalition of African Lesbians, a radical feminist organization in Africa that is based in South Africa to champion a collective of African lesbian women feminists. She has been involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] activism; feminist activism and gender-based violence activism in Johannesburg, South Africa, Africa and Internationally since the year 2004. Prior to that she was involved in student, youth, women and gender politics, social and public policies in South Africa with specific focus on leadership, youth and sex work, adolescent sexuality, community development and women organising between the years 1993 – 2004. She continues her activism through a lens of corporate social responsibility, community mobilization, feminist organising and intellectual activism.
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