African Studies Virtual Forum 2021–22 AT UNIZULU

The University of Zululand will be a hosting a webinar series that is championed by the Vice Chancellor’s office on Wednesday; 27 July 2022  titled: The African Studies Global virtual forum, an experiment in form and substance the webinar will be presented in a hybrid format

The African Studies Virtual Forum 2021–22,which is  led by Prof. Sinfree Makoni, seeks to decenter hegemonic epistemologies and to decolonize the Western canon to facilitate other ways/waves of knowing. Through a series of online conversations, participants in the forum will challenge the notion of the “universal truth” and discuss how the only truth that is universal is the truth of complexity. To decolonize knowledge, epistemic perspectives need to be pluralistic in ontologies, cosmologies, and insights, and the emergence of Epistemologies of the South is one such response to the decolonial turn. Joining us from around the world, our speakers will discuss the multiple approaches taken in the humanities and social science scholarship to decolonize knowledges by paying attention to complexities, heterogeneities, and multiple ontologies.

The Lecture series will be presented by Professor Makoni who is  a  Professor of Applied Linguistics and African Studies at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU). He is originally from South Africa, he did his undergraduate work in Ghana and received his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1989. Prior to PSU, he also held academic positions in South Africa, including Chair of Linguistics at the University of The Western Cape and Associate Professor of language and literature at the University of Cape Town; and he is former President of the Southern African Applied Linguistics Association.

Prof. Makoni’s research spans a number of areas, including the socio-historical construction of colonial linguistics and postcolonial urban languages, anthropological approaches to health and aging in multilingual communities, police communication, discourses of militarization and terrorism, and the sociolinguistics of Arabic. Dr. Makoni’s many books include the co-edited collections Black Scholars on Black Languages: Problems and Possibilities(Routledge, 2002) and Disinventingand Reconstituting Languages(Multilingual Matters, 2007). His work has appeared in the pages of a wide variety of journals, such as Current Issues in Language Planning, Language Policy, Language in Society, Journal of Politeness Research, Journal of Multilingual and MulticulturalDevelopment, Language and Communication, Applied Linguistics Review, Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, or Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology. His work covers a diversity of geographies as well, such as Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, or Brazil. His latest book is a monograph titled Innovations and Challenges in Applied Linguistics from the Global South,co-authored with Alastair Pennycook.

Compiled by: Gcina Nhleko (APR)

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