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English Department

Decolonizing Knowledge: African Perspectives on History, Politics, Movement

Student and PhD Workshop with Achille Mbembe and Felwine Sarr

What does it mean to be 'African' today? How do Eurocentric notions of knowledge
and politics differ from what's actually happening on the continent? To what extent do
colonial legacies influence and limit our understanding of contemporary migration
movements from Africa to Europe? How do concepts such as "Afrotopia" and
"Afropolitanism" frame notions of the future in Africa? And how can they revise
European/Eurocentric understandings of history, knowledge, politics, and movement?

In this student and PhD workshop, participants will discuss current events and
scholarly perspectives on the African continent with two of its foremost thinkers:
Achille Mbembe and Felwine Sarr, authors of Critique of Black Reason and Afrotopia
respectively. As a contribution to postcolonial academic efforts to "provincialize
Europe" and "decolonize the mind", this timely workshop offers a unique opportunity
of exploring critical perspectives on history, politics and the arts that question many
of the Eurocentric assumptions still prevalent in academia.

All students, PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers with interest in such
questions are cordially invited. Previous knowledge of the works of Mbembe and Sarr
is not expected. We will circulate selected texts in preparation of the workshop.

Please register by August 9 via email to: &

Date: August 20, 2018; 10.00-12.00
Venue: English Seminar, Plattenstrasse 47, PLH-05