skip to content

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Online webinar
Event date: 
Thursday, 11 February, 2021 - 17:15 to 18:45

CIS Public Talk given by Dr Sertaç Sehlikoglu, Institute for Global Prosperity, University College, London

The aim of this paper is to locate critique at the intersections of the genealogy of knowledge in anthropological thinking and decolonizing movement. The paper approaches the decolonizing movement as one of the most crucial points in anthropological thinking, as long as it can go beyond filling the gaps in genealogies by engaging with non-Eurocentric scholarship and, additionally, by carrying the critical angles to the ways it engages with those non-Eurocentric scholarships. To illustrate, it uses the case of Ibn Khaldun, an Arab scholar of social sciences and historical analysis from 14th Century - who is often referred to as the first sociologist. On the one hand, his influence in classical Western thinking is largely dismissed. On the other hand, as a counter-response to this dismissal, the new Islamic revivalist intelligentsia in the Muslim right engage with him in a selective manner that not only rejects that central critical thinking, but, even worse, sanctions the local regimes of power, including that local canon. By locating his scholarship to multiple tropes in anthropological theory and reading his evolutionist thinking vis-à-vis the post-colonial literature in anthropology and sociology, I question the limits and possibilities of critical thinking within and beyond the decolonizing movement.

Sertaç Sehlikoglu is is a Senior Research Associate at the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity. She is the Primary Investigator, ERC Starting Grant, "Imaginative Landscapes of Islamist Politics Across the Balkan-to-Bengal Complex", and the author of Working Out Desire: Women, Sport, and Self-Making in Istanbul. 

Related content