This month we are publishing Decolonial Voices, Language and Race edited by Sinfree Makoni, Magda Madany-Saá, Bassey E. Antia and Rafael Lomeu Gomes. In this post the editors explain how the book came together and introduce the new series that it’s part of, Global Forum on Southern Epistemologies.
Decolonial Voices, Language and Race
This book is based on a series of individual interviews with some of the most original thinkers and scholars who have researched the areas of decoloniality, language, race, and Southern Epistemologies. It gives insight into how the seasoned authors have written about these topics and documents their interaction with the editors of the book and the participants of the Global Virtual Forum. Apart from the five conversational chapters, the book contains a Foreword (by Prof. Alastair Pennycook), an Introduction in which the co-editors present personal vignettes and methodological reflections about the production of the volume, and an Epilogue authored by co-editor Prof. Bassey E. Antia. This book is part of the Global Virtual Forum, which is an open and politically engaged virtual space.
Global Virtual Forum: ‘Shifting the Geography of Reason’
The Global Virtual Forum — led by Prof. Sinfree Makoni and co-organised by Prof. Bassey E. Antia, Kim Hansen, Rafael Lomeu Gomes, Magda Madany-Saá, Chanel van der Merwe, Višnja Milojičić, and Phoebe Quaynor — is a convivial space of robust engagement with knowledge-making and knowledges about/on/in/from/with the Global South(s). It fosters collegiality and dialogue, using the technologies essential to productivity during the pandemic that have served our collective benefit. As such, it has engaged a truly global and multicultural audience, united not by discipline but by a search for complementary and alternative perspectives to the prevailing epistemological orthodoxies. Video recordings of sessions of the Forum can be found on the Pennsylvania State University African Studies Program YouTube channel.
Critical Reception of the Forum
“The Global Forum has been to me a much-needed breath of fresh intellectual air. No ego performance, just the pleasure of thinking together in the most constructive and collaborative manner. This is how I have always envisioned academic work but never experienced it until now.”
Simon Fraser University
Editor, Language, Culture and Society
“‘Every generation has its mission to fulfil or betray’, wrote the great Frantz Fanon. The Forum is playing a crucial role in fulfilling the mission of bringing truth to an age marked by tendencies to leap into the arms of pleasing falsehoods instead of embracing displeasing truths.”
Professor and Head of Philosophy at UCONN-Storrs; Honorary President, Global Center for Advanced Studies; Honorary Professor, Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa; Visiting Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Chairperson of the Awards Committee, Caribbean Philosophical Association
“I appreciate very much the fact that the Penn State Global Forum has made so evident the need to decolonize knowledge construction and has engaged the participants with so many different and complementary perspectives on a wide range of topics. The post-presentations discussions have been so productive!”
Salikoko S. Mufwene
University of Chicago: The Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College Professor, Committee on Evolutionary Biology; Professor, Committee on the Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science; Professor, Committee on African Studies
Global Forum on Southern Epistemologies: Book Series
Decolonial Voices, Language and Race is the first volume of the newly established Global Forum on Southern Epistemologies book series. This series consists of remarkably accessible volumes of ‘conversational chapters’ involving presentations by established and emerging global thinkers, activists and creative writers who seldom appear in the same collection. In the series, we have been particularly interested in the ‘geopolitics of knowledge’ as it pertains to language studies and many of the volumes will illustrate how scholarship in the Global North is partially indebted to diverse traditions of scholarship in the Global South(s). Ultimately, our concern is not only epistemological; it is also political, educational and social. We experiment with the format of the book, challenging the colonial concept of a single monologic authorial voice by integrating multiple voices, consistent with decoloniality and the politically engaged nature of our scholarship.
Members of the Series’ International Advisory Board: Jane Gordon, Alastair Pennycook, Oyeronke Oyewumi, John Joseph, Sibusiwe Makoni, Jason Litzenberg.
For more information about this book please see our website.
If you found this interesting, you might also like Decolonising Multilingualism by Alison Phipps.