Time to fire the canon? Sociology and the coloniality of knowledge

Hosted by the Department of Sociology



Dr Ali Meghji

Dr Ali Meghji

University of Cambridge


Dr Clive James Nwonka

Dr Clive James Nwonka


Sociology formally developed at the high point of colonialism in the 19th century. In this period, sociology came to be a central academic discipline for producing and reproducing colonial difference.

In this regard, sociology greatly contributed to the logic of the imperial episteme. Over a century later, and sociology has yet to shake off its commitment to this imperial episteme. In this talk, I will focus on firstly an act of disciplinary remembering, in order to see how sociology became entangled with colonial ways of thinking and knowing. I will then trace how sociology has maintained its commitment to this coloniality of knowledge into the present day. I will finish the talk by arguing that for sociology to be a critical discipline in the future, it must embrace the decolonial option. I will highlight sociology’s need to embrace the decolonial option by considering two key problems of our time: the global resurgence of the far-right, and the climate crisis.

Dr Ali Meghji is a Lecturer in Social Inequalities at The University of Cambridge.

Dr Clive James Nwonka is an LSE Fellow in Film Studies within the Department of Sociology, LSE.

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