Thinking about Knowledge Categories, Contexts, Voices and Silences.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Bandana PURKAYASTHA, University of Connecticut, USA
Many feminist scholars have challenged West-centric epistemologies and offered concepts such as multiple modernities and decoloniality as more appropriate frames for understanding knowledge hierarchies.  Much of these challenges have come from the two-thirds world, though some emanates from scholars located in the one-third world (who are often mislabeled as “post colonial” scholars).  The discussions of knowledge hierarchies continue to be broadly classified within binaries such as the Global North and South, or one and two thirds worlds even though every region, nation-state, and locale is marked by many discussions, debates, and challenges between the privileged and marginalized within that realm, currently and historically.

In this presentation I wish to focus on indigenous and transnational knowledge production, and the silences and silencing processes embedded within our current understanding of knowledge hierarchies. Indigeneity carries within it an understanding of groups that experienced settler colonialism (within nations).  Do indigenous knowledge challenge, contribute to, or fit in with knowledge produced by the privileged non-indegenous within their realm?   The term transnational feminism is often used to denote knowledge that is developed through and across nations during the current phase of globalization.  How do earlier phases of transnational knowledge production play a part, if at all, in how we understand transnational knowledge today?   Does transnational knowledge include indigenous knowledge?  Do our discussions of knowledge production have to reframe some of the categories of knowledge producers, politics and contexts of knowledge production to identify how power works to give voice or silence different types of knowledge production?