We kickstarted a new project of Interface member Jenny Bentley and her colleague Twisha Mehta at the summer school in Ascona.
It all began with a discussion over coffee in Geneva when Peter shared the idea of the summer school and having a session on decoloniality. With two of us, Jenny and Twisha, based in India, we started playing with the idea to bring students and researchers from Switzerland and India together to discuss issues of decoloniality.
Our key motivation was to initiate a discussion between interested students/researchers affiliated with powerful hegemonic knowledge production institutions and interested students/researchers in a former colony enrolled in a university system that is strongly shaped by the British educational system, but whose scholars have in the past also taken lead in postcolonialism and subaltern studies.
In this conversation the idea for transnational Learning Circles on Decolonising Knowledge production was born. Learning Circles are peer-driven engagements beyond the institutionalized university set-up. Topics, potential in-put speakers, and form of the sessions are co-designed by the participants, a slack community enhances informal engagement.
The first Decolonial Learning Circle took place at the Interface summer school on “Critical sustainability engagements: Anthropological perspectives on theory and practice”. Moderated by the interface team, the Ascona summer school students and a group of students from various parts of India engaged in a hybrid session and discussed their takes on two input texts, one by the keynote speaker of the summer school Florence Babb, the other by Anapurna Menon, a scholar warning of the co-opting of the decoloniality discussion within the Indian context. The main focus was feminist studies and their input to decolonial thinking.
The exchange raised numerous questions and insights, which called for further discussion. The Learning Circles will continue as part of a wider vision of con-necting conversations and audiences across the globe.
We invite you to join the group of interested people to take part in and shape future Decolonial Learning Circles with us.
If you want to participate, please send us an email at email@example.com
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