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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Call for Proposals: WISC-IRIIS Exploratory Workshops

Deadline: 7 November 2015

11 – 13 January 2016, New Delhi, India

Theorizing in the International Relations discipline remains a Global North (mainly North America and Western Europe) enterprise that continues to be the primary knowledge-, especially theory-producing hub shaping its foundational parameters and key problematiques. Many, if not most, alternate intellectual formulations, concepts and tools offered by scholars from the Global South are de-valued on account of being ‘metaphysical’, ‘spiritual’, or, at best alternative ‘belief systems’ – none of which meet the ultimate gold standards of rationality and scientific spirit – or, largely as a source of knowledge about local realities, but never of theory and hence considered as ‘second class’.

A central premise of the WISC-IRIIS Exploratory Workshops for which this “Call” is issued is that the globe is indeed home to different cosmologies with diverse knowledge systems and, each of these may have different ways of knowing and, often these are indeed constitutive of different realities. The Workshops seeks participation of scholars who are trying to think through ways of doing IR differently, which may well entail stepping out of the precincts of IR to engage with other disciplines and other ways of knowing realities.

In particular, applications are invited from scholars whose research;

1) Critically interrogates both epistemological and ontological standpoints for knowledge creation in International Relations, with due recognition to the inherent multiplicity of ontologies.

2) Draws upon the historical pasts of different civilizations including the Indian, the Chinese, the Egyptian, the Aztec, the Maya or the Inca located in the Global South or, those located in the recessive margins of the Global North such as the Aboriginal and Indigenous people of the North and South Americas and Australia, for devising new (alternate?) knowledge practices in International Relations.

3) Explores ways to expose, unravel and, possibly transform the deeply embedded practices of ‘othering’ in International Relations that work
through inscribing a whole range of binaries such as ‘men versus native’, ‘men versus women’, ‘white (wo)man versus black (wo)man’ to ‘reason versus belief’, ‘objective versus subjective’, ‘order versus chaos’, north vs south and ‘primitive’ vs ‘modern’—all of which are cast in an explicit or implicit hierarchy where the ‘self’ or the first category is privileged, most often also de-legitimizing the ‘other’.

In view of the ‘exploratory’ nature of these workshops, scholars are invited to address any of these problematiques from a theoretical, methodological standpoint or debate the multiple ontologies embedded in different histories or contemporary social, cultural or political practices through which these have been enacted in the past and the present.

We encourage applications from early-career scholars coming from or studying in the Global South and Asia in particular. However, in principle, everybody could apply. Ideally participants will have diverse backgrounds and come from different scholarly communities. For this workshop, ‘early-career’ refers to doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and scholars not more than 5 years tenure in any academic position.

Applicants must provide a ‘statement of purpose’ of up to 500 words as to how their research engages with the overarching theme of the workshop along with their curriculum vitae and, up to 500 words abstract of their paper proposal.

WISC-IRIIS will provide a limited number of travel grants, depending on the number of applications and financial needs of the applicants (see attached WISC Travel Grant Application Form). Normally travel grants will consist of partial support for travel and local hospitality. There may be exceptions to this rule if sufficiently substantiated (see Travel Grant Form).

Participants are expected to submit a think piece (approximately of 2500-3000 words), two weeks ahead of the workshop. Up to 16 scholars, selected by competitive and peer reviewed process, will be invited to take part in this workshop, to be held on 11-13th January, 2016 in New Delhi, India.

Applications (curriculum vitae, statement of purpose and paper abstract) should be addressed exclusively to contact@iriis.in. The deadline is 7th November 2015. Decisions will be communicated by third week of November at the latest.

Call for Proposals: WISC-IRIIS Exploratory Workshops

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