MAP Bristol Conference: Postcolonial and Decolonial Reception of European Thought, University of Bristol, Jun. 6-7, 2019

Philosophers recently have become aware that there is a risk that Eurocentric biases in philosophical tradition may distort the scholarship of the broad academic theoretical work. To correct these biases — which have been critically denounced by the scholars from non-European continents — the postcolonial scholarship made an effort in deconstructing the European theoretical referents, as well as developing new theories.

The aim of this conference is to offer an opportunity for the discussion of broad issues concerning the reconsideration of the classical western thought in the post-colonial era, that is, a revision of the dialogues and tensions among European and peripheral epistemologies.

With this purpose, we plan to center the discussion in two foci. On the one hand, the deconstruction of the global influence of the European classical and modern epistemologies during the past few centuries; and on the other hand, their present critical reception via a ‘non-Eurocentric’ or decolonial view. We hope that the conference will contribute to the good understanding of the post-colonial and decolonial standpoints.

The questions that will be mainly addressed are as follows: To what extent does the post-colonial scholarship from different fields add to contemporary philosophy by offering new insights? How are the European classical and modern epistemologies received and understood by the different postcolonial/decolonial theoretical approaches? What are the basic ideas that constitute the criticism?


The Conference will be located at University of Bristol, specific Location TBC. This Conference is open to all, people with disabilities are especially welcome. The Conference will be divided in three panels and a final talk. Thanks to our sponsors we will count on British Sign Language (BSL) in the panels where the service is required. Some catering and refreshments will be provided for all the assistants. Unfortunately, we cannot offer lunch to all the assistants, we can only offer lunch to the first people registered. However, there are many cafes and shops around to find extra provisions. Please, fill the Eventbrite registration form if you are interested in attending the conference.

Panel 1: Decolonising Classics, 6th June 10.00-13.30 hrs.

10.00-10.40 Facing the Human: David Malouf’s Ransom and the Rejection of Categories. Valeria Spacciante (MA student in Philology, Scuola Normale Superiori, Italy)

10.45-11.25 Traveling Ideas across Postcolonialism and Romanization: a comparative study of the Romanization discourse from postcolonial perspectives in Anglo-American and French scholarship in 20th and 21st centuries. Dr. Danielle Hyeon (PhD graduate in Classics, King´s College London)

11.25-11.35 Break

11.40-12.30 Classics at the Borderlands: How to decolonize a discipline. Dr. Mathura Umachandran (Keynote speaker from Department of Classics, University of Oxford).

12.35-13.30 Decolonising the Hero’s Homecoming. Dr. Justine McConnell (Keynote speaker from Department of Comparative Literature, King´s College London).

Panel 2: Decolonising movements in Africa, South Asia, and Oceania 6th June 14.30 -18.00 hrs

14.30-15.20 The Meanings of ‘Decolonisation’ within African Legal Thought. Dr. Foluke Adebisi (Keynote speaker from School of Law, University of Bristol)

15.25- 16.15 Afro-Asian Solidarity Networks in the Decolonising World. Dr. Su Lin Lewis (Keynote speaker from Department of History, University of Bristol).

16.15-16.25 Break

16.30-17.10 Between Worlds: J.L. Mehta’s Postcolonial Hermeneutics. Dr. Evgenia Ilieva (Department of Politics, Ithaca College, USA).

17.15- 18.00 Maori philosophy, Heidegger and the tempo of the earth. Professor Ruth Irwin (University of Aberdeen, School of Education).

Panel 3: Enlightenment revised, 7th June 10.00-16.20 hrs.

10.00-10.40 The Treat of European, Enlightenment Thinking in (Post)colonial Spaces. Kate Holland (MA student in Global Studies, Humboldt University, Germany).

10.45-11.25 The Paradoxical Localization of Philosophy and Hegel’s Paradoxical Engagement with Chinese Philosophy. Lea Cantor (PhD student in Philosophy, University of Oxford).

11.25-11.35 Break

11.40- 12.30 Hegel in Beijing: Debating the Science of Logic during the Cultural Revolution. Dr. Tzu Chien Tho (Keynote Speaker from Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol)

12.30- 13.30 Lunch Break

13.30-14.20 Enlightenment: A Subversive Reading from The Hugo Zemelman’s Thoughts. Hugo Parra (PhD student in Education, University of Bristol).

14.30-15.20 Critique, epistemology, abstraction: problems for postcolonial social theory? Professor Gregor McLennan (Keynote speaker from School of Social Sciences, University of Bristol)

15.20- 15.30 Break

Final Talk 15.40-16.30

From Effective Altruism to Effective Empowerment. Dr. Joanna Burch-Brown (Keynote speaker from Department of Philosophy University of Bristol)

16.30.-17.00 Drinks

We are working to meet most of the BPA/SWIP Criteria for a “Good Practice Scheme”.

This Conference is generously sponsored by

Bristol Alumni Grant

Department of Philosophy of University of Bristol

Department of Classics and Ancient History of University of Bristol

The British Classical Association 


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