India-Africa: Towards a Dialogue of Humanities (Indian-European Advanced Research Network)

13 December 2022
Inde Afrique

The project “India-Africa: Towards a dialogue of humanities” wishes to open a space of reflection mutual to India and Africa, which would produce a transfer of the “view from afar”, by escaping the colonial links constituting the dialogue India-Europe and Africa-Europe. The project thus takes the shape of a heuristic device to bring to light the blind spots of the colonial view at the very root of the production of academic knowledge, since this view is no longer constructed from Europe. It aims to produce a dissipation of implicit relations of domination, on both content and methodologies.
The “India-Africa: Towards a dialogue of humanities” project is positioned on three axes:
Axis 1. Critical historiography of the field of India-Africa cross-studies
The purpose of axis 1 is to provide an overview of India-Africa cross-studies through a critical inventory of existing publications. The scholarly literature concerning India-Africa relations is almost exclusively centered on economic, military or strategic issues. By contrast, the aim is to produce a critical historiography of India-Africa cross-sectional studies in the field of cultural studies.
Axis 2. South-South thematic micro-studies
The “South-South thematic micro-studies” axis aims to increase opportunities for dialogue in the form of thematic India-Africa micro-studies from the start of the project. It will be open to new contributions throughout its duration (three to five years). These micro-studies, which are based on the expertise and knowledge of the participating researchers, are likely to bring out new or poorly documented research objects in the field of cultural anthropology, history, philosophy, literature and religious studies.
Axis 3. Reflective return to the epistemological foundations of the academic disciplines
The two axes mentioned above, “Critical historiography of India-Africa cross-studies” and “South-South thematic micro-studies”, set the conditions for a reflective return to the epistemological foundations of the academic disciplines represented by the various researchers engaged in the project. They constitute two approaches favouring the discovery of underlying intellectual mechanisms in the production of academic knowledge. In this perspective, the theoretical obstacles to the inclusion, in the instituted disciplines, of new India-Africa objects of research take on an epistemic value. It will thus be assessed how and to what extent it is possible to substitute representations and methodologies that go through colonial history with a sensitive transversal path, which would also shed light on the view induced from Europe.
You can download the program here.