Decolonising Research Webinar: Unsettling Global Challenge Research

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This session focuses on the fraught politics and radical potentials of working on collaborative "global challenge" research alongside Majority World co-investigators and co-authors in postcolonial contexts. Via a critical overview of an ongoing GCRF-funded project in a purportedly "lesser developed" region, the presentation offers insight into the complexities that emerge when using desire-based research approaches developed by Indigenous community members and land defenders who are part of an autonomous social movement. The speakers begin with a synopsis of an engaged project situated in the Global South that is oriented towards both democratising and mobilising knowledge for social change before detailing their insights as to why researchers must remain ever aware of the inherent exclusions and repressions that continue to characterise orthodox knowledge production. Ultimately, the presentation aims to illustrate the generative possibilities offered by Indigenous epistemologies whilst highlighting the contradictions that emerge when institutions lay claim to "decolonising" and mandate that research abide by Western-liberal ethics, bureaucratic protocols, and definitions of "expertise."


Filiberto Penados, Center for Engaged Learning Abroad (Belize), is Chair of the Julian Cho Society and technical advisor to the Toledo Alcaldes Association and Maya Leaders Alliance. His research focuses on Indigenous future-making.

Shelda-Jane Smith, UoL Power, Space, and Cultural Change Unit, has a research focus on the conceptual, social, and political dimensions of contemporary psychology and biomedical practice with an emphasis on youth wellness.

Levi Gahman focuses on emancipatory praxis and engaged movement research. He is author of Land, God, & Guns (Zed Scholar) and former Editor of the open access journal ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies.

Event series
This event is part of the webinar series Decolonising Research. Over the last decade, the debates in the social sciences and humanities, but also in further disciplinary fields, have focused on decolonising teaching and the curriculum. While this is a crucial venue of exploration into and transformation of contemporary higher education, these debates need to go in parallel with an effort to decolonise the other central activity that universities engage in, namely research. To advance this debate at the University of Liverpool, the present webinar series will explore what it means to decolonise research at our own institution, but also in the contemporary UK and global higher education setting. Focusing on topics around research methodologies, ethics of research and hiring, data collection and analysis practices and dissemination, we will use a pool of research conducted by members of the university research staff to open up a sometimes uncomfortable, but ever more important conversation of what we can do better to decolonise our research praxis.


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  • Added:26 Apr 2021
  • Uploaded by:David Jones
  • Length:49:26
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