Africa Knows! It is time to decolonise minds

Panel E35 (1 video; 3 papers, 0 withpdf files)

Title of panel:

Towards a multispecies approach in African Studies
[initiated by the ASCL and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam]

Marieke van Winden (conference organiser, African Studies Centre Leiden);
Harry Wels (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

Stream: E: Transdisciplinary debates
Start time: 5 February, 2021 at 14:00 (UTC+1)
Session slots: 1

Long abstract:
Scientific evidence nowadays leaves no doubt that humans differ from animals only in degree and not in kind. Human exclusivity and anthropocentrism therefore no longer hold, hence non-human animals, and their absences / invisibilities, need to be included in African Studies. However, taking non-human animals as serious participants or 'respondents' in African Studies, in the same ways that humans are part of such research, comes with huge theoretical and methodological challenges. The anthropocentrism of conventional African Studies has not really equipped scholars with tools to answer these intellectual challenges in adequate ways so far. Nonetheless attempts are increasingly made all over the African continent and universities (as elsewhere around the globe) to rectify this reductionist approach and include non-human animals in the African Studies research practices.

3 Accepted papers:
1 no pdf file present Are we smart enough to include more than human sentience in African Studies?

2 no pdf file present The multispecies and multisensorial classroom: walking with herders to find giant grazing snakes, Gods dog and to learn from the plants

3 no pdf file present Experiments in using non-human animals as 'respondents' by working with Southern African animal communicators: traversing the nature/culture divide and implications for scientific knowledge making

* This conference took place from December 2020 to February 2021 *
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