Monthly Archives: April 2021

Dr. Nancy Nenno participates in panel discussion on Decolonizing Knowledge at Johns Hopkins University

This Thursday, April 29th at 3pm ECT, Dr. Nancy Nenno, CofC Professor of German, will participate in the virtual panel discussion “Decolonizing Knowledge: German Studies and Beyond” hosted by Johns Hopkins University. See below for the panel description and write for the zoom link and password if you’re interested!

Decolonizing Knowledge: German Studies and Beyond

Thursday, April 29th: 3-5pm

A Roundtable sponsored by the German Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University

The 21st century can be characterized by efforts to address systemic racism, increasingly taken up in academic scholarship and praxis. Nevertheless, systems of secondary education continue to be a major participant in the reproduction of privilege, specifically vis-à-vis race. Literature on critical pedagogy tends to focus on certain fields, and in particular, on the study of education. Contemporary scholars of decolonization argue that most university classrooms today remain mired in hierarchical models of education, which, largely inadvertently, privilege those students already privileged in terms of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and more.

In a recent article, Achille Mbembe argues that universities must decolonize their practices through removal of colonial leftovers on campuses and inside classrooms. While Mbembe has worked extensively in European and American contexts, his discussion is situated in South Africa. What would/does the practice of decolonizing knowledge look like in your institutions and classrooms? What would it mean to decolonize epistemology in languages, literatures, philosophy, media and other fields across the humanities? Does this require an interdisciplinary or a transdisciplinary approach?

Format: Katrin Pahl will introduce the event. We invite each speaker to offer a short 5-10 minute contribution on the topic. Then Maya Nitis will comment briefly and facilitate a dialogue between the panelists, before inviting audience participation for the remainder of the 2 hour panel.

Confirmed Speakers:

Sam Spinner (JHU)

Jeanette Ehrmann (U of Giessen)

Mark Thompson (JHU)

Nancy Nenno (College of Charleston)

Adrienne Merritt (Washington & Lee U)