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STIAS Lecture Series 2019: Sylvia Tamale – Peeling away the layers of colonization: The case of the African academy

STIAS Public Lectures Series

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Sylvia Tamale professor and coordinator of the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research CentreSchool of Law at Makerere University and STIAS fellow will present a talk with the title:

Peeling away the layers of colonization:
The case of the African academy


Any discussion of decolonization must first grapple with the content and intent of coloniality. Coloniality is manifested at two fundamental but interlinked levels. The first involved the expropriation of indigenous worlds by imperial colonizers. Such expropriation included the corralling of indigenous peoples and their ecological spaces for the benefit of imperialism.   It ended with formal independence but the extraction and exploitation of indigenous worlds continues today through neoliberal capitalism and globalization. Second level coloniality is much more insidious and dangerous. It involves the colonization of the mind, patterns of knowledge and social structures of indigenous peoples. Historically, the African Academy has, if unwittingly, been key in facilitating level two coloniality. The lecture addresses ways that Africa’s academies can break free of colonial legacies and domination. It discusses five layers or sub-systems of colonization that we have to painstakingly peel away in the second-level decolonization of our institutions of higher learning. Those layers lie on a potent kernel, which is the engine that pumps fuel into the veins of the layers. That kernel is called internalized colonialism. Consequently, the lecture commences with a brief discussion of how internalized colonialism operates before tackling the five layers that we need to peel away from their launch engine in decolonizing the Academy.

Sylvia Tamale is a leading African feminist, multidisciplinary scholar and Coordinator of the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Centre based at the School of Law, Makerere University in Uganda. Prof Tamale was the first female Dean of Law in Uganda and has been a visiting professor at several universities including Oxford, Pretoria and Zimbabwe. Prof Tamale combines her academic scholarship with activism and adopts a critical approach to the Law that aims at enhancing students’ transformative personal growth and agency. She has served on several national and international boards, including the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. She is the author of numerous publications, including the African Sexualities Reader which she edited in 2011. Prof Tamale is currently a fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies (STIAS) where she is developing a book on Decolonizing and Reconstructing Africa: An Afro-Feminist-Legal Perspective.

We look forward to welcoming you at this event – not to be missed!

For more information, contact Ms Nel-Mari Loock at 021 808 2652 or [email protected]

Date and time

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

13:00 – 14:00​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)


Adam Small Theatre Seminar Room

15 Victoria St, Stellenbosch Central

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