For many African researchers whose studies are often personal and close to home, it gets to a point where the most important question to ask is the ‘then what?’ question. Now that the research is done, what is its purpose for the people involved? How do we move from the ivory tower, from the knowledge we write about, to making an actual difference in a really tangible way for the people that we work with?
The is a call for an indigenous and feminist lens to highlight the ways that mainstream research in postcolonial societies run the risk of staying within an academic bubble and echo chamber, of languishing on book shelves and journals, struggling to translate into real change for the people whose knowledge(s) and lived experiences it theorises from. Working with Bagele’s (2017) perspective involving four ‘Rs’ of accountability: respectful representation, reciprocal appropriation, rights of the researched and regulations – how can/do we as researchers ‘walk our talk’?
From the above principles, an ethical framework emerges that is firmly focused on what happens after research especially, what happens to the participants and communities? The forms and ways that we account for the knowledge that has been shared with us and translate it into practice in a way that effects meaningful change? Based firmly on an ‘African relational axiology’ – one that addresses at its core the relations among people and communities, this is a call for researchers to share ways that they have moved their works on from theory to praxis.
We look forward to hearing from ‘scholar-activists’ and those who have managed to convert their scholarship into change movements. This change also does not have to be big, it can be in the little ways too. What we are especially interested in seeing is the ways that knowledge co-created has been utilised by all involved.
I would like to receive paper proposals from interested individuals through my email – hadiza.abdulrahman[at]bishopg.ac.uk.
Submissions should be made by the 8 March 2020.