The “Reversing the Gaze” Project at the VAD Conference

The “Reversing the Gaze” project is represented at this year’s Conference of the Association for African Studies in Germany (Vereinigung für Afrikawissenschaften in Deutschland – VAD e.V.). Lerato Posholi and Ralph Weber convene a panel on “The politics and epistemic value of positionality” and Ralph Weber chairs the roundtable “Concepts without borders – reciprocating analytical perspectives” together with Elisio Macamo (Centre for African Studies and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Basel), who is also a principal investigator of the project. Additionally, Winnie Kanyimba and Matthias Maurer Rueda (University of Basel) will host a panel on “Translating concepts from Africa to Europe.” The conference takes place on June 7-10, 2022 in Freiburg (Breisgau).

The panel “The politics and epistemic value of positionality” starts from the observation that it has become an unquestioned trend to assume that social location (positionality) determines epistemic location. The purpose of the panel is to critically examine the relationship between social location and epistemic location.

The roundtable “Concepts without borders – reciprocating analytical perspectives” aims to place the most important resource available to social scientists, namely the concept, under scrutiny by discussing the changes they undergo to be able to render phenomena intelligible in different settings.
 

Lerato Posholi (left) and Ralph Weber (right)
About the conference

The 2022 Conference of the Association for African Studies in Germany is organised by the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT) of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. The conference will focus on the theme Africa and Europe: Reciprocal Perspectives and will address processes of co-production of knowledge as well as the mutual questioning of different ways of thinking. It takes place on June 7-10, 2022.
 

About the researchers

Lerato Posholi is an SNSF Fellow in the project “Reversing the Gaze: Towards Post-Comparative Area Studies” at the Institute for European Global Studies. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her research interests include social epistemology, decolonial theory and curriculum studies.

Ralph Weber is Associate Professor of European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies. He specializes in Political Theory, Chinese Politics, and modern Confucianism. Currently, he is the President of the European Association for Chinese Philosophy and the Chair of the Section on Political Theory in the Swiss Political Science Association.

Decolonial Promise or Pitfall? Ralph Weber on “Reversing the Gaze” at Workshop in Athens

Ralph Weber, co-Principal Investigator of the Reversing the Gaze project, presented some of the key ideas regarding the project at the Comparative Political Theory Workshop 2022 at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on April 13 and 14, 2022.

For Professor Weber, “Reversing the gaze” means working towards a more truly global history of political thought and comparative political theory. He recently presented this process . In his talk, he analyzed in how far it constitutes a decolonial promise— or a pitfall.

The Comparative Political Theory Workshop 2022 was held under theme “Authoritarianism in the Eurasian Context: From Antiquity to the Present”. The aim of the workshop was to bring together scholars to discuss the emerging acceptance of authoritarianism in the contemporary world and to reflect upon and derive insights from the rich historical experience and the depth of sources produced by Eurasian cultures from antiquity to the present.

Ralph Weber is Associate Professor of European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies. He specializes in Political Theory, Chinese Politics, and modern Confucianism. Currently, he is the President of the European Association for Chinese Philosophy and the Chair of the Section on Political Theory in the Swiss Political Science Association.