Signe Arnfred from the Institute of Society and Globalization, Roskilde University delivers a Sussex Development Lecture on knowledge production and gender in Africa.
Today many African universities have centres for Gender and Women’s Studies. Often, however, these centres have been created in uphill struggles against hostile university establishments, where women are made to feel that they do not belong. Furthermore, once constructed, the centres receive little (if any) core funding, making them depend heavily on donor money – a situation which raises dilemmas of donor-driven consultancy-type investigations versus more explorative and potentially innovative research.
Other dilemmas are raised by gender researchers’ often multiple identities as researchers-cum-activists: what kind of activism combines in which ways with what kind of research? With a point of departure in my collaboration over many years with gender scholars based at African universities, the lecture will discuss some of the dilemmas and challenges with which these scholars are faced, but also elaborate on possibilities of innovative knowledge and epistemologies rooted in African realities.
About the speaker
Signe Arnfred is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Society and Globalization, Roskilde University.