Pfarelo Matshidze

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

U. of Venda

Grant number

Gr. CONF-719

Approve Date

March 4, 2016

Project Title

Matshidze, Dr. Pfarelo, U. of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa - To aid conference of Anthropology Southern Africa (ASnA) on 'Decolonising Anthropology in Southern Africa,' 2016, in collaboration with Dr. Helen MacDonald

How can southern African anthropologists engage positively and thoughtfully with renewed calls for the decolonisation of the humanities in African universities? This year’s Anthropology Southern Africa annual conference, to be held at the University of Venda from 30 September to 2 October 2016, invites papers and panels that engage with this theme from ethnographic, theoretical, or pedagogical angles. In part we are inspired here by the need to bring southern African voices to bear in global conversations about the decolonization of knowledge and the relativization of ‘Western’ canons of thought about the subjects of humanistic scholarship. Anthropology occupies a paradoxical position in this project, being the field that more than any other has historically devoted itself to the study of the whole of humanity, without privileging the West, and yet also the discipline that more than any other has been identified with the project of Western colonialism. Given this history, how can we contribute to new conversations about epistemological decolonization and globalization in the context of southern African research and pedagogy? Possible themes for contributions include: decolonisation of theory and method; anthropology and the postcolonial public; anthropology and the curriculum in African universities.