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Istratii, Romina (2019) Cross-cultural understanding and the recovery of histories in post-colonial times: An argument for epistemological decolonisation at SOAS, University of London. In: European Association of Archeologists Beyond Paradigms, 4-7 September 2019, Bern, Switzerland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The discourse of decolonisation has become increasingly salient in British and European Universities, but how decolonisation is to be understood is a question that each institution, discipline and scholar must explore from their unique location in global geography and history. At SOAS the debate has been equally diverse with emphasis being placed on decolonising the curriculum, diversifying taught syllabi and improving pedagogies to engage more interactively and substantively with minority students. The Research Students’ Association, acting through the platform of the SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research (SJPR), has placed emphasis on decentring western epistemologies. As a previous editor-in-chief of SJPR, I will focus my presentation on epistemological decolonisation, which may be understood as a deeper reflection into the historical mechanisms of knowledge-making and its colonial and ethnocentric underpinnings. It is imperative to recognise that knowledge, as well as the standards that determine what makes valid knowledge, have been disproportionately informed by western systems of thought and ways of reflecting about the world. Promoting cross-cultural understanding and recovering global histories, which precisely falls within the remit of archaeological and culture studies, requires both reflection on epistemological hierarchies and willingness to understand the world through the belief and knowledge systems, lived experiences and aetiologies of the local insiders.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 10:29
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/31565
Funders: Other

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