University of Nottingham Malaysia
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Emancipating the Shackled Mind: Decoloniality and Critical Education

16th November 2022
In his ground-breaking article (published in 2000) on intellectual imperialism, the late Syed Hussein Alatas declared: “The emancipation of the mind from the shackles of intellectual imperialism is the major condition for the development of a creative and autonomous social science tradition in developing societies”. It is apparent that we are far from meeting this ‘condition’ and this poses the questions as to why this is the case and how do we free ourselves from ‘intellectual captivity and bandage’ (Alatas 2000). Inspired by the critical work by such intellectuals as Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Albert Memmi, Paulo Freire, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Edward Said, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Aníbal Quijano, Walter Mignolo, María Lugones, Syed Hussein Alatas, and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, I aim to initiate a dialogue on how we might emancipate the academic (and ideological) vocation in Southeast Asia from hegemonic western/colonial intellectual traditions, epistemologies, and methodologies. I propose that we need to engage in decolonising, not just our minds as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has aptly advocated, but also our ways of knowing (epistemologies), being (ontologies), and acting (axiology) by rediscovering, restoring, regenerating, elevating, and validating Indigenous onto-epistemologies. Concurrently, we need to decentre or ‘provincialise’ the colonial logic that pervades everyday life across present-day government, education and social relations and manifested in racial privilege, racial capitalism, and gender and sexual hierarchies.


16 November 2022, Wednesday
Time: 14:00 to 16:00 (GMT +8)
Location: Room F1A15
                 The University of Nottingham Malaysia
                 Jalan Broga 43000 Semenyih Selangor  

About the speaker
Professor Alberto Gomes is the founding director of the DEEP (Dialogue, Empathy, Ecology, Peace) Network and Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University (Melbourne). He is currently a visiting professor at the University of the Philippines (Baguio) and has had held visiting professorships at University of Helsinki, Universitat Jaume 1 (Spain), and University of Innsbruck. Known primarily for his scholarly work on the Orang Asli (Malaysian Aborigines), he has also published on Malaysia’s cultural politics. His books include Modernity and Identity: Asian Illustrations (edited volume, La Trobe University Press, 1994), Malaysia and the Original People (with R. Dentan, K. Endicott, and M. B. Hooker, Allyn and Bacon, 1997), Looking for Money: Capitalism and Modernity in an Orang Asli Village  (COAC and Trans Pacific Press, 2004), Modernity and Malaysia: Settling the Menraq Forest Nomads (Routledge, 2007) and Multiethnic Malaysia (edited with Lim Teck Ghee and Azly Rahman, USCI and SIRD, 2009).

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8001

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