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Ralph Weber Teaches at Summer School in Dakar

Summer School 2018

Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber, Assistant Professor for European Global Studies, was part of the teaching team of a summer school on African Studies and Area Studies in Africa. The topic of the event was “African Studies and Africanists: Whence the Gaze?” The summer school took place from August 20-24, 2018, in Dakar, Senegal.

The summer school was attended by 15 doctoral students from several African countries, the United States, and Switzerland. It set out to reflect on the researcher’s own position and their relationship to the society or region they study. Traditionally, this assumption was mainly based on the experience of and reflection on a ‘one-way’ perspective from the ‘Global North’ (the researcher and research funds) to the ‘Global South’ (the object of research). This summer school sought to reflect critically on this relationship, and to identify approaches that allow for a ‘reciprocal’ perspective by reflecting methodological and conceptual foundations but also, in practice, by systematically taking these issues into account in frameworks of exchange and collaboration.

Ralph Weber gave a presentation on “Eurocentrism, Reciprocal Comparisons and Post-Comparative Area Studies.” The research projects of the students touched upon issues like decolonizing universities, peacebuilding in South Sudan, or social politics in Senegal, among many other topics.

The event constituted the third edition of the Summer School in African Studies and Area Studies in Africa. It was organized by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the Centre for African Studies Basel (CASB). The overall objective of the Summer Schools on African Studies and Area Studies in Africa is to stimulate and consolidate interdisciplinary approaches to research on Africa, but also on other regions of the world undertaken from within the African continent.

The summer school was led by Elísio Macamo, Associate Professor of African Studies at the University of Basel. He was assisted by Sophie Oldfield, Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Basel and the University of Cape Town, and Ralph Weber, Assistant Professor of European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies of the University of Basel.

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