Question Six

6. Democratizing and Decentralising Academic Research 

  • Q: May I know how PARC plans to: (1) address the negative attitudes that global North Institutions, academicians and researchers have towards African Researchers, books written by Africans, and (2) make books written by Africans to become major books for all students in all institutions of Higher Learning in global North?

I think that finding answers to these questions can help a lot in the agenda of decolonialization that we are discussing.  I appreciate the initiative.  Dr Isaac Kabelenga, Executive Director for the Zambian Center for Poverty Reduction and Research Limited, and Lecturer at the University of Zambia, Department of Social Development Studies. 

  1. A: In thinking about change in global North – Africa research relations, we consider it essential to make explicit and reflect on the attitudes of those involved on both sides – and to pinpoint where shifts and a new consciousness are required.  Our efforts in this regard must start at home and we are beginning with developing plans to stimulate, and make available spaces of trust for, open, guided reflection and discussion on attitudes, values and interests among UoB researchers.  With time the spaces could, and perhaps should, be opened to allow for true dialogue with African partners.
  1. The ‘decolonise UoB’ effort is thinking carefully about ways to dismantle the dominance of Western thought systems and scholarship in curricula and changes in key reading lists.  We at PARC have not yet explored how in practical terms we could contribute to this work.  One potential way, would be to make connections with African scholars able to suggest key African works for inclusion in teaching across disciplines.  Space to make such suggestions could be made available on our website.