Subtheme 3: Decolonial methodologies: On the praxistical (im)possibilities of diversalising ontologies of dissent, fracture, and resistance
12th ICMS conference, 16-18th December 2021, BML Munjal University, India
Sadhvi Dar, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
Jenny K Rodriguez, Work & Equalities Institute, Alliance Manchester Business School, UK
Alexandre Faria, FGV-EBAPE, Brasil
Joshua Kalemba, University of Newcastle, Australia
Deborah Brewis, University of Bath, UK
Marcela Mandiola, Alberto Hurtado University, Chile
Ayesha Masood, Lahore University Management School, Pakistan
As calls to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ are becoming increasingly familiar to those in the field of Management and Organisation Studies (MOS), it is imperative that the methods employed to do the work of decolonising are problematised. When we are called to ‘decolonise’ by institutions implicated in and reliant upon the reproduction of coloniality, and operate by their principles, our work can reproduce the structural oppressions that we set out to disrupt (Lorde, 1984). Smith (2012) contends that research is a space where coloniality is rearticulated, so it results in silencing the voices of the marginalised. Hence, decolonial methodologies cannot merely invite researchers to study the experiences of the marginalised, instead decolonial methodologies must center survival, recovery, non-linear development, and self-determination of marginalised people.
Anchored in the question of engagement, resistance, and fracture inherent to decolonial thinking and praxis (Decolonizing Alliance, 2020), this stream is interested in critical discussions about decolonial methodologies. Mignolo (2009: 3) notes that “The de-colonial option is the singular connector of a diversity of de-colonials. The de-colonial path has one thing in common: the colonial wound, the fact that regions and people around the world have been classified as underdeveloped economically and mentally”. As such, engaging with decolonial methodologies as constitutive of dissent, as well as critically recalibrating the conditions that define the ‘truth’, requires us to understand decolonial methodologies as inherently political and embodied. However, defining decolonial methodologies can be challenging in part because of contradictions in how they are interpreted and mobilised. There is dissonance around framing and articulating purpose: while some suggest that Eurocentric methodologies can be re-designed as inclusive approaches that de-centre Eurocentric knowledge (Lincoln & Gonzalez y Gonzalez, 2008), others argue that decolonial methodologies are an embodied politics in which the researcher commits to the disbandment of sense-making that occurs in a colonised imaginary (Perez, 1999). The tensions among such positions highlight the need for ongoing reflexivity and agile collective imagining on decolonial methodologies. Such imagining can support the development of strategies to resist the capitalist political economy and racist foundations of management knowledge and enhance the capacity for MOS to transform the norms of academia.
Committing to a decolonising agenda – be it in intellectual, epistemic or praxical terms – signifies an important rupture in the “coloniality of power” (Quijano, 2000). Embarking on a decolonial project requires us to actively work against much of what we consider to be the foundations of our lives, careers and societies, all of which are central to the “resistance and struggle of the social groups that systematically suffer the injustice, the oppression, and the destruction caused by capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy” (Santos, 2018:1). These foundations shape (non)inclusive and partial dynamics of knowledge production (Nkomo, 1992) and de facto reject and negate the possibilities of engaging with the world from a pluriversal perspective.
Areas of interest and an indicative list of topics
This stream provides decolonial scholars, activists and practitioners with a space to reflect on the (im)possibilities of decolonising methodologies. We invite stream participants to join us in generative dialogue that charts the shape and parameters of decolonising-recolonising methodologies that aim to stimulate production and reproduction of knowledge within and connected to MOS.
We invite contributions on the following topics (this list is not exhaustive):
- The scope, framing, and limits of decolonial methodologies – e.g., how do we define decolonial methodologies? What are the political implications of generating definitions? What/where are the limits of decolonial methodologies?
- The intersections between intellectual reparations and authoritative positioning in decolonising praxis – e.g., who is/can be/should be a decoloniser?
- Tensions between institutional and structural pressures and embodied praxis of decolonising – e.g., how do/should we reconcile playing the game while fracturing it?
- The politics of knowledge production in academia – e.g., is decolonising an exercise in recolonising? Are decolonising and recolonising symbiotic?
- The phenomenology of colonial/neocolonial/decolonial continuum – e.g., what meanings colonialism/decoloniality assume in everyday practices of ordinary people? What can these everyday practices tell us about decolonial methodologies within and beyond academia?
- Decolonising methodologies and epistemic emancipation – e.g., how do efforts to decolonise management and organization knowledge reproduce epistemic inferiority?
- Decolonising within and across space, geopolitics, and borders – e.g., how are borders produced and broken in decolonial research praxis? Where and how can we methodologically locate exteriority and sites of resistance to coloniality?
- Risks and consequences of decolonising praxis – e.g., can decolonising ever be “done”? If so, what happens next? What are some of the fractures and fissures within the practice of decolonial methodologies? How do the contours of decolonial praxis differ in (ex)colonial, (ex)colonized, (neo)colonial and (neo)colonized states?
- Imagining alternate and otherwise worlds and possibilities – e.g., what would decolonial worlds or institutions look like? How and in what ways we, in our multiple subject positions, have practiced decoloniality? What has worked, what hasn’t?
- Interplay between decolonial methodologies and other critical frameworks – e.g. What tensions, fractures, solidarities and collectivities can be imagined from the encounters of decolonial methodology and feminism, intersectionality, critical race theory, ecology, etc.?
How will the stream run?
The stream will integrate online and face-to-face platforms in delivery, where possible. This method will be used to address barriers to travel and participation that the COVID pandemic and visa restrictions impose on the possibilities for in-person conference attendance. The session will be live streamed by the convening team so that those unable to travel to India will be supported to participate online. The convenors commit to supporting discussions in languages they have connections to: Spanish, Portuguese, Zulu, Chichewa, Hindi, Urdu, French, and English.
Format of submissions
We encourage a diversity of submissions including more traditional research papers (minimum 3000 words), extended abstracts (up to 1500 words), polemic essays (minimum 3000 words), poems, performances, case studies, videos / podcasts (maximum 20 mins), and online or in-room exhibitions of creative work. Convenors will curate submissions so that the form and communicative dimensions of each submission are honoured.
How to submit your work and deadline for submissions *note new deadline*
Please submit your work to: email@example.com with the subject ‘ICMS 2021’ by Tuesday 31st August 2021. We will aim to review submissions and communicate decisions by end of September 2021.
Decolonizing Alliance (2020). Decolonial resistances, contestations, and reclamations: Walking with Brown folk. Available at: https://decolonizingalliance.wordpress.com/
de Sousa Santos, B. (2018). Decolonising the university: The challenge of deep cognitive justice. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Lincoln, Y. S., & Gonzalez y Gonzalez, E. M. (2008). The search for emerging decolonising methodologies in qualitative research: Further strategies for liberatory and democratic inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 14(5), 784-805.
Lorde, A. (1984). The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. Sister outsider: Essays and speeches, 1, 10-14.
Mignolo, W. D. (2009). Epistemic disobedience, independent thought and decolonial freedom. Theory, culture & society, 26(7-8), 159-181.
Nkomo, S. (1992). The emperor has no clothes: Rewriting “race in organizations”. Academy of Management Review, 17(3), 487-513.
Pérez, E. (1999). The decolonial imaginary: Writing Chicanas into history. Indiana University Press.
Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America. International Sociology, 15(2), 215-232.
Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books.