Justice Against the Epistemicide: A Critique of Modern Western Reason

Tuesday 27.8.2019

at 12.30 – 13.30

Place: Main auditorium, Main building (Juhlasali, Päätalo), Kalevantie 4

Justice Against the Epistemicide: A Critique of Modern Western Reason
João M. Paraskeva
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

This keynote address dissects footprints of Western Eurocentric Modernity which lead to the current global great regression (Honneth, 1991) that needs to be contextualized within crisis of the yoke of Modern Western Eurocentric reason (Paraskeva, 2016; 2011). In doing so, I will advance a critique of such reasoning – which is the matrix of the epistemicide -, unpack its theoretical and methodological despotism, and argue that the Western Cartesian Modernity model, as an eugenic hegemonic matrix, with its arrogant claim to address global justice, is not just moribund, it is dead. Modernity, was/is a misleading dream (HARDING, 2008), a finished game (Fanon, 1963). In this context, I argue for the need to open up the theoretical and methodological canons, to go above and beyond Modern Western Eurocentric epistemological platforms and to think alternatively about alternatives to work methodologically towards social and cognitive justice. I call educators to lead the just struggle against the epistemicide by working within an itinerant educational theory and pedagogy of society (Paraskeva, 2016), championing non-relativist dialogues between the global North and South and within the North and South (Santos, 2014).

João M. Paraskeva is a Full Professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and founder and Chair of the Department of Educational leadership, Program Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (2010 – 2016). He was also the Director of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University Massachusetts Dartmouth (2012-2016). Honorary fellow (2000 – 2004) at the University of Wisconsin Madison, a Professor at the University of Minho, Portugal, as well as visiting Professor at the University of Coruna, Spain, University of Florence, Italy, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, and University Agostinho Neto, Angola. He was appointed the European Union Promodoc Ambassador of the Erasmus Mundus Graduate Program in the United States. Founder (2010) and senior editor of the Journal Curriculum without Borders www.curriculosemfronteiras.org.

With more than 50 books published in Europe, Mexico and the US, Professor Paraskeva championed the struggle against the epistemicide in education, perpetrated by Modern Western Eurocentric epistemological platforms. He works within and beyond critical and poststructuralist platforms swimming within anti-colonial, indigenous and southern-theories to better understand and unpack systems of dominance. In his work he attempts to open up the veins and the canon of the Western Eurocentric power matrix to denounce how education is part of the Western Eurocentric epistemicide. He challenges critical educators not just to examine education within the dynamics of ideological production (in which class, race, gender and ethnicity crosses with categories such as economy, culture and politics) but also to decolonize, inclusively the ‘decolonial’. Paraskeva put forward the Itinerant Educational and Curriculum Theory (ICT) as people’s theory, the best way to promote social and cognitive justice.

Some of his books included
• Conflicts in Curriculum Theory. Challenging Hegemonic Epistemicides (New York: Palgrave)
• Curriculum Epistemologies. Towards an Itinerant Curriculum Theory New York: Routledge;
• International Critical Pedagogy Reader. New York: Routledge (With Antonia Darder and Peter Mayo)
• Towards a Just Theory: The Epistemicide. New York: Routledge;
• Curriculum: Decanonizing the Field. New York: Peter Lang;
• Curriculum: Whose Internationalization? New York: Routledge
• Unaccomplished Utopia. Neoliberal Dismantling of Higher Education in Europe. Rotterdam: Brill/Sense.

He just finished a new book The Generation of the Utopia. What Happen with Critical Theory! and he is currently working on a new manuscript The Critique of the Educational Reason. Towards a People’s Community Pluri-subversity