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Text Box: Knowledge from the Margins: Speaker & Abstract
Text Box: KOJOLA

“Permitting Discourses of Science and Risk in the Politics of Copper Mining in Minnesota”

Kolawole, Oluwatoyin Dare: Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana

The concepts of the ‘core’, ‘semi-periphery’ and ‘periphery’ emanated from a combination of dependency and postmodernist thoughts, which rejected the notion of a Third World from which local knowledges presumably emanate and develop. That local or indigenous knowledge is perceived as backward and anti-development is no longer new. The illogical arguments or ‘enthymemes’, the ‘rhizomes’ and ‘minor literatures’ and disruptive narratives continue to threaten the hegemony of the Academy. Although the autochthonous and ambivalent nature of local or indigenous knowledge appears problematic for finding a ‘methodological coherence’ for these knowledge systems in the knowledge production frontier, it certainly provides an opportunity for the advocacy of a context-specific and holistic approach to addressing development problems. The paper provides a historical background on the emergence of dominant knowledge. It therefore stands its ground in affirmation that Western science is as diffuse as local knowledge in terms of real life applicability and relevance – the scenario, which eventually does not make local knowledge inferior, although with its own limitations, too.  The paper goes further to offer a critique on the activities of the insider African academics and researchers who aid and abet the outsiders’ development agenda, which are problematic to the valorisation of community people’s knowledge. Ultimately, in realising the full potential of local knowledge, models for navigating through the challenges posed by modernity and globalisation are suggested.

“Knowledge from the Periphery: Issues,  Contestations and Challenges from Within and Without”