Transforming Sociology

Inaugural Workshop of the BSA Study Group on Postcolonial and Decolonial Transformations

25 October 2019
BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London, UK - time tbc

About the Event

Our contemporary world is shaped by historical and ongoing processes of colonialism, enslavement, imperialism, and racial capitalism. Sociology as a discipline, however, often fails to engage with these processes as constitutive of the making of the modern world. This study group on Postcolonial and Decolonial Transformations aims to better understand these historical processes as a central aspect of the sociological project, as well as to examine their political, economic, social, and epistemological consequences in the present. The PDT study group questions the disaggregated nature of much sociological thought and aims to rethink sociology in the context of its many entanglements. This means eschewing simplified binaries of ‘East’ and ‘West’ or ‘developed’ and ‘underdeveloped’ and instead examining how these concepts have been abstracted from their broader, connected, contexts. The PDT study group will also address the marginalisation and silencing of subjects, both historically and in the present, paying attention to the multiplicity and intersections of such issues.

Call for Interventions

Decolonising sociology is, at once, a theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical project: interrogating the discipline’s historical relationship to histories of empire, race, and capitalism must be accompanied by a commitment to dismantling white supremacy in the classroom. Conversely, the decolonisation of institutional spaces must entail contextualising contemporary inequalities within longer histories of empire. To that end, the inaugural PDT workshop calls for short interventions on the following topics:

  • Situating the sociological within post/decolonial studies.
  • Assessing the relationship between sociology and empire.
  • Connecting race/empire and exploring the intersections and differences between anti-racism, postcolonial and decolonial work and activism.
  • The everyday practices of decolonising sociological pedagogies.
  • Decolonising the curriculum and cultivating an anti-racist classroom.
  • Thinking about post/decolonial sociological futures and setting a research and teaching agenda.

We invite short interventions (5-7 minutes each) that engage with any of these topics. Structured around these interventions, the workshop will create a space to discuss challenges and best practices for decolonising sociology more broadly, as well as to think through a research agenda in relation to the sociological canon and sociological pedagogy. To this end, the workshop will culminate in the production and dissemination of a working guide to transform the sociology classroom.

Please send the topic and title of your intervention to the organisers by 1 October 2019.