Decolonizing Knowledge: Re-Centering Africa and African Epistemologies in the Quest for Global Transformation
Oyeronké Oyewùmí
Stony Brook University
November 24th, 2021 | 5pm (GMT)


Today, the exhortation to decolonise universities, disciplines, social movements and even knowledge itself has global resonances. Nowhere is this demand for social transformation more resonant than in Africa, and among communities of African descent, given their secular place in an unequal and unjust global system. Since their emergence, Eurocentric epistemologies have been central to the subjugation of conquered peoples and to their continued domination. Thus, the recovery of endogenous intellectual traditions is necessary to Africans' efforts to reclaim their sovereignty. This lesson will draw on my decades-long research on African knowledge systems, gender, race, decoloniality, and self-recovery.

Bio note

Oyèrónkẹ́ Oyěwùmí is a sociologist at Stony Brook University (New York) and a world reference in Gender Studies and Postcolonial Feminist Studies. Born in Nigeria, her work is a landmark in African Gender Studies. In her award-winning book, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997) she challenged the concept of gender as a universal and ahistorical category. She has subsequently made significant contributions to these fields in publications such as African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood (ed.) (Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2003) and What Gender is Motherhood?: Changing Yorùbá Ideals of Power, Procreation, and Identity in the Age of Modernity (New York: Palgrave, 2016), among others.


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