Welcome to the INPE Conference 2024

We’re looking forward to hosting you at Edge Hill University, 7th -10th August 2024!

Note on the theme: “Postcolonialism: Forging a Knowledge of Belonging”

The topic of postcolonialism continues to attract substantive and critical attention, with increasing correlations with decolonisation, internationalisation, as well as Africanisation. The term ‘postcolonial’ is often reserved for a discourse or discipline that purports to explain the deleterious effects of power in imperial and colonial relationships including cultural legacies although it is also part of the narrative of political independence (Peters, 2019). Amid increasing currents of migration, displacement, as well as the possibilities of new iterations of postcolonial citizenships, and what these might look like, it seems very likely that the debates on postcolonialism will continue. On the one hand, are the appealing possibilities of seeing things differently, departing from counter-knowledges, offering a language of and for those who have no place, who seem not to belong, of those whose knowledges and histories are not allowed to count (Young, 2009) – opening a natural gateway for conversations on raced-gendered epistemologies that emerge from the social, cultural, and political (Bernal, 2000). On the other hand, the heterogeneity associated with postcolonialism contributes to inevitable fluidity, leading to questions, tensions, and vulnerabilities as to the pragmatic potential of a postcolonial way of life. Of concern, is not only how to move around or transcend ‘colonialism’s economic, political and cultural deformative traces’ (Shohat, 1992: 105). But also, whether it is at all possible to re-inscribe ‘other’ cultural traditions into ‘narratives of modernity and thus transforming those narratives’ Bhambra (2014: 116) to ensure belonging, whether in educational settings or the public space.

If we agree that postcolonialism has developed within a broader politics of knowledge, then what kinds of knowledge do we need to disrupt dominant assumptive conceptual frameworks which have rendered the ‘other’ as passive and docile (Bhambra, 2014), and more importantly, how, do we instil these new kinds of knowledge into our educational contexts? How might postcolonial theory and pedagogy assist in taking us out of western essentialism and exceptionalism, and into a new kind of world in which the racial, social, and cultural subjugation of any people becomes antithetical to the very idea of being?

The conference seeks to create a vibrant space of deliberation, dialogue, and debate, and invites philosophical papers reflecting on education in relation to the theme above and/or in relation to the following sub-themes:

  • Knowledge and indigeneity
  • Postcolonial identities, stories, and implications for democratic citizenship
  • Essentialism and exceptionalism
  • Postcolonialism and philosophy of education
  • Postcoloniallanguage, curricula, and pedagogies
  • Early childhood education and development
  • Adult/community education and vocational training
  • Belonging, and social justice
  • Activism in formal and informal education
  • Postcolonialism and decolonisation