African Epistemologies for the 21st Century

On March 4-5, 2022, the Council on African Studies will host a conference on African Epistemologies for the 21st Century to discuss novel conceptual frameworks in epistemology studies and the academy’s role in incorporating diverse knowledge systems in universities. The conference will bring together Africanist scholars and practitioners who have incorporated indigenous knowledge systems into their projects. The larger goal of the conference is to chart pathways for the practical application of African knowledge to address current and emergent problems in the continent.

Key questions of the conference include: Is indigenous knowledge evolving with the times? How do we transform indigenous knowledge studies from marginal to mainstream? How can academics, policymakers, and industry practitioners cooperate in implementing indigenous knowledge?

Highlights of the event are two keynote addresses that will be delivered at the start of each conference day. The first address is by Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. He is the author of The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly & African Knowledge Production (2018) and What do Science, Technology and Innovation Mean from Africa (2017). His keynote address is “Dare to Invent the Future: Knowledge in the Service of & through Problem Solving.” The second day’s keynote address will be a joint session by Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Director of the Rutgers Advanced Institute for Critical Caribbean Studies, Professor Extraordinarious at the University of South Africa, Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, and Co-chair of the Frantz Fanon Foundation, and Zandisiwe Radebe, Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences and founder of the Blackhouse Kollective, based in Soweto, South Africa.  

Individual sessions will engage with decolonial intellectual movements, critical thinking pedagogical tools, and decolonial approaches to the study of ancient heritage. Conference attendees will also hear about African Eco-philosophy as it relates to climate change. The conference will close with dynamic graduate student panels on Saturday, March 5, with student participants from universities in Uganda, Nigeria, and Germany.

The conference is generously sponsored by the Council on African Studies and The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund at Yale’s Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.

Register to Attend Here: