The Costs of Decolonizing Knowledge

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Balcony M, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Patricia Lopez, Abigail Neely
Chairs: Patricia Lopez


This session is a continuation of a the conversation about decolonizing the discipline, its possibilities, and its limitations begun at the RGS-IBG Conference in London, 2017. In recent years there have been a number of calls and efforts to decolonize the discipline of geography and academia more generally. Stemming from a recognition of its colonial roots and their effects on who gets to produce and what counts as scholarly knowledge, a number of programs have sought to increase collaborations among scholars and institutions in the Global North and the Global South, with indigenous communities, and in conjunction with community-based social movements. Feminist geographers have taken the lead in many of these efforts to decolonize academic work, questioning the divisions between theory and empirics, praxis and knowledge, and taking their work beyond the university.

But these lessons are rarely, if ever, incorporated into mainstream efforts of the discipline of the university, as scholars and their collaborators often come up against the academy’s multiple neoliberal formations. This session examines how and why this marginalization takes place, addresses some of the barriers to decolonizing knowledge, and imagines alternative emancipatory futures. We ask: What are the ways in which scholars are disciplined to reproduce knowledge from the Global North? What counts as decolonizing knowledge? What counts as knowledge from the South? (Where is the South?) Whose work counts as knowledge production in geography and in the academy? These papers include such diverse topics as: decolonizing the classroom and new pedagogical methods; challenges to publishing work produced through new collaborations; activism on campuses and beyond, etc.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Discussant Beatriz Bustos Universidad de Chile 10 8:00 AM
Presenter Alessandro Angelini*, Johns Hopkins University, The Pedagogic Favela: Decolonization and the Research Encounter in Rio de Janeiro 15 8:10 AM
Presenter Dacia Douhaibi*, York University, Fearful Fieldwork: De-colonializing the Discipline Begins with Confronting our Imaginings of Safety and Risk in the ‘Dark Continent’ 15 8:25 AM
Presenter Arnisson Andre Ortega*, University of the Philippines, Geography of geography: towards a commitment to place 15 8:40 AM
Presenter Abigail Neely*, Dartmouth College, Anecdote as Method: A Contribution to the Project of Decolonizing the Academy 15 8:55 AM
Presenter Susmita Rishi*, University of Washington, Amy Piedalue, Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne, Engaging Southern Theory: Decolonizing Territories of Thought in Urban Geography 15 9:10 AM
Discussant Amy Piedalue Australia India Institute 10 9:25 AM

To access contact information login