Decolonization Epistemologies: Black Women Creating Space Between the Words

Type: Panel
Theme: Black Geographies
Sponsor Groups: Sexuality and Space Specialty Group, Black Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Napoleon D2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Organizers: Sharon Fuller
Chairs: Sharon Fuller


Contrary to conventional scholarly conceptualizations, a black woman’s intellect is not constituted through her assimilation into western ideologies and practices. Zora Neal Hurston captured the meaning of black people’s lives as “complete, complex, undiminished human beings” in her ethnographies of rural southern communities in the 1930s. Such a bold approach during the Jim Crow era undeniably put her academic and literary career at great risk. Using culturally relevant pedagogy, in this interactive call-and response-session we will discuss alternative epistemologies to how we challenge ourselves to show up differently in the work that we do. Our lived and material experiences will serve as the foundation to examine how we interpellate positive relationships with self through alternative sites of knowledge production such as music, storytelling, movement, conversation, observation, spirituality, and silence. In reclaiming space nestled between words of intellectual inferiority within dominant discourses on race and gender, we will explore how our beliefs and subjective positioning as researchers, instructors and scholar activists creatively produce a particular decolonizing knowledge. Through self-definition and recognition of the value of ideological and cultural difference, in this session panelists will engage participants in a dialogue about the complexity of black women’s lives as complete human beings. A space will thus be provided to discuss how the risks taken daily support our creative and transformative intellectual efforts in the academy and more importantly society as a whole.

Collins, P. (1990) Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.

Giddings, P. (1984) When and where I enter: the impact of black women on race and sex in America. New York: Bantam Book.

hooks, b. (1994) Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.

hooks, b. (2009) Belonging: A culture of place. New York: Routledge.

Hurston, Z. (2008). The complete stories. New York: Harper Perennial.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Sharon Fuller 20
Panelist Sophonie Bazile UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY 20
Panelist Frances Roberts-Gregory 20
Panelist Chryl Corbin University of California - Berkeley 20
Panelist Carolyn Finney University of Kentucky 20

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