The Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a Distinguished lecture as part of the UPE Distinguished Lecture Series by Prof. Raewyn Connell titled “Decolonizing Knowledge: Global Power and Intellectuals in the 21st century” on April 13, 2017.
Prof. Connell’s lecture focused on the processes and politics of knowledge production and circulation. She fore grounded the ways in which the knowledge production occurs within institutional sites of post-colonial societies and related these to the history of its linkages with the western colonial hegemonic framework. She thus advocated the need to ‘decolonize’ this process. It is important she suggested that there is an awareness of the ways in which the global knowledge system is embedded in wider material relations. She proposed the idea of alternative knowledge systems and suggested that these are needed to democratize the process of knowledge formation and thereby contest the monopoly of the ‘global metropole’ over the process of knowledge production. In this connection she spoke of the role of intellectuals in re-shaping the knowledge project of universities. Underlining her activist wisdom was a belief in pedagogy and its politics. Evoking the motto of the World Social Forum, “Another World is Possible”, she concluded her lecture on an optimistic note stating, “another knowledge is possible.”
Prof. Connell is Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney, and a Life Member of the National Tertiary Education Union. She became Professor of Sociology (foundation chair) at Macquarie University in 1976. In the early 1990s she moved to the University of California at Santa Cruz, then returned to a chair of education at the University of Sydney, and was later appointed University Professor. She has also held posts at the Macquarie University in Sydney and Flinders University in Adelaide. She has held visiting posts at the University of Toronto, Harvard University, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. Prof. Connell has worked extensively on social theory, class dynamics, gender relations, masculinity and the politics of knowledge formation, and has authored several books including Ruling Class, Ruling Culture; Gender and Power; Masculinities; Southern Theory, and Confronting Equality.