Construction of New Domains of Knowledge By Southern-Tier Intellectual Workers

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:45
Oral Presentation
Patrick BROWNLEE, University of Sydney, Australia
Robert MORRELL, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Rebecca PEARSE, University of Sydney, Australia
The postcolonial critique of Northern hegemony in social science is now well established at a conceptual level. There remains, however, a great need to explore empirically how the global economy of knowledge works, and how relations of centrality and marginality are negotiated. This paper reports from a collaborative study of intellectual workers in Brasil, South Africa and Australia, in three historically recent domains of knowledge – HIV/AIDS, climate change, and gender studies. New domains of research do not in themselves challenge global inequalities of recognition or resources, which easily reproduce Northern hegemony. But they also open spaces for contestation, create counter-dependencies, and generate alternative commitments. These appear in the valorization of local knowledges, in two-track publication strategies, and in the creation of local work forces and institutions with their own concerns and priorities. Multi-centred knowledge production becomes a historical possibility.