WORLD ANTHROPOLOGICAL UNION

CONGRESS 2024​

SELECTED PANEL

( pn63 )

Interlinking Horizons: Bridging Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories in Anthropological Discourse

Organizers

    Maria Beldi Alcantara

    Brazil

    Universidade de Sao Paulo - Faculdade de Medicina

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Alejandro Parellada

    Denmark

    IWGIA

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

IUAES Affiliation: Medical Anthropology and Epidemiology

Keywords:

Anthropology, Postcolonial Theory, Decolonial Theory, Ethnography, Knowledge Production, Colonial Legacy

Abstract:

This panel invites scholarly papers that aim to bridge the conceptual and practical spaces between postcolonial and decolonial theories within the domain of anthropology. By examining the dialogues and tensions between these two critical theories, the panel seeks to create an integrative discourse that not only critiques the colonial past of anthropology, but also actively participates in the discipline’s decolonial future. We welcome contributions that elucidate, compare, and critically analyze the theoretical underpinnings, historical context. The methodological approaches of both postcolonial and decolonial theories draw on the foundational works of Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Walter Mignolo, and Anibal Quijano. Papers are encouraged to explore how postcolonial theory, with its roots in the examination of the cultural, political, and historical legacies of colonialism, as articulated by Said (1978) in Orientalism and Bhabha (1994) in The Location of Culture. The paper will explore how postcolonial theory intersects with decolonial theory’s radical critique of Eurocentric epistemologies. Its call for epistemic liberation, as proposed by Mignolo (2000) and Quijano. (2000). Contributions should aim to uncover the synergies and divergences between these theories and how they collectively contribute to a more nuanced understanding of colonial and postcolonial conditions in anthropological research. The panel seeks papers that critically reflect on the application of these theories in ethnographic fieldwork and anthropological practice. This includes exploring the implications of integrating postcolonial and decolonial perspectives in research methodologies, ethical considerations, and the representation of marginalized voices and narratives. Papers might also examine the role of the anthropologist in navigating the complex dynamics of power, identity, and representation in postcolonial and decolonial contexts. Submissions that offer innovative perspectives or case studies demonstrating the interplay of postcolonial and decolonial theories in specific anthropological research settings are highly encouraged. The panel aims to foster a critical dialogue that not only deconstructs colonial legacies, but also actively contributes to the ongoing efforts to decolonize anthropological knowledge production and practice. This call for papers represents an opportunity for scholars to contribute to a critical and evolving discourse. Enhancing the understanding of anthropology's role in a world that is increasingly conscious of its colonial past and seeking paths towards a more inclusive and decolonized future.