Decolonizing Methodologies and Epistemologies: Discourse Analysis and Sociology of Knowledge

Call for papers ending on


Dear Colleagues,


We hereby invite you to submit an abstract for the session “Decolonizing Methodologies and

Epistemologies: Discourse Analysis and Sociology of Knowledge”, organized by Reiner Keller, Sasa Bosancic, Florian Elliker and Annette Knaut (Germany and Switzerland) at the Online‐Conference “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (SMUS Conference) and “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” in cooperation with ESA RN21 “Quantitative Methods” 23 – 26.09.2021, organised and hosted online by the University of Botswana. The deadline for submission is 31.05.2021. See below for more Details.


Kind Regards,

Sasa Bosancic





Session “Decolonizing Methodologies and Epistemologies: Discourse Analysis and Sociology of



Session Organizers: Reiner Keller, Sasa Bosancic, Florian Elliker and Annette Knaut (Germany and



In the mid‐1990s, Stuart Hall proposed to analyze discourses as knowledge processes: “[D]iscourses are ways of referring to or constructing knowledge about a particular topic of practice: a cluster (or formation) of ideas, images and practices, which provide ways of talking about, forms of knowledge and conduct associated with, a particular topic, social activity or institutional site in society” (Hall 1997a: 4). A few years later, in her influential work on “Decolonizing methods”, Linda Tuhiwai Smith pointed out that in the context of a necessary “decolonization of methods”, the question of knowledge becomes of central importance. She argued that we should focus on questions “about the roles that knowledge, knowledge production, knowledge hierarchies and knowledge institutions play in […] social transformation” (Smith 2012: XII), and that we should look for methodologies suited to that purpose. Taking Hall’s and Smith’s arguments together, discourse research integrating “discourse”, “knowledge” and “power/knowledge” seems to provide research with a concept that allows for such inquiries. The planned session therefore asks about the suitability of discourse‐related as well as sociology of knowledge‐related perspectives for the tasks of a contemporary and future decolonized social research that focuses on knowledge in social relations and the politics of knowledge – in Foucault's words: the power/knowledge regimes – in the North/South relationship. In particular, the potentials of the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD) and other (related) perspectives in discourse research will be explored. Submitted proposals should therefore discuss from a methodological perspective the possibilities, pitfalls, limits and extensions of such approaches with regard to core questions of decolonization of methods. This might include discussing the need for and challenge of hermeneutic procedures, interpretation and translation of data. It might also include examinations of the (current state of the) conceptual apparatus that has been developed primarily based on ‘northern hemisphere’ views on the discursive construction of reality in and between rather diverse social arenas and more or less ‘public’ spheres. Proposals may also address questions of the challenges and limits of the concepts of knowledge or discourse that arise from the post‐ and decolonial condition. The session welcomes papers on conceptual and methodological questions as well as presentations from empirical work relating to its purpose.





Submission of Papers

All sessions have to comply with the conference organization rules (see below). If you want to present a paper, please submit your abstract via the official conference website: until 31.05.2021. You will be informed by 31.07.2021, if your proposed paper has been accepted for presentation at the conference. For further information, please see the conference website or contact the session organizers, Reiner Keller, Sasa Bosancic, Florian Elliker and Annette Knaut

(reiner.keller@phil.uni‐; sasa.bosancic@phil.uni‐;;





About the Conference

The “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS) together with the Research Committee on “Logic and Methodology in Sociology” (RC33) of the “International Sociology Association” (ISA) and the Research Network “Quantitative Methods” (RN21) of the European Sociology Association” (ESA) will organize a “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (“SMUS Conference”) which will at the same time be the “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” from Thursday 23.09 – Sunday 26.09.2021, hosted by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. Given the current challenge of the COVID‐19 pandemic, the conference will convene entirely online. The conference aims at promoting a global dialogue on methods and should attract methodologists from all over the world and all social and spatial sciences (e.g. area studies, architecture, communication studies, educational sciences, geography, historical sciences, humanities, landscape planning, philosophy, psychology, sociology, urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning). Thus, the conference will enable scholars to get in contact with methodologists from various disciplines all over the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from various methodological angles. Scholars of all social and spatial sciences and other scholars who are interested in methodological discussions are invited to submit a paper to any sessions of the conference. All papers have to address a methodological problem.

Reiner Keller, Sasa Bosancic, Florian Elliker, Annette Knaut
Gaborone, Botswana
Contact person
Sasa Bosancic
Contact person email address
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