CFP- Conference Panel 'A Historical Perspective on Modernity, Colonialism Social Inequality and Education in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Afro-Asian Countries'

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Call for Papers
February 7, 2019 to February 10, 2019
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Asian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, History Education, Literature

Call for Symposium Papers


A Historical Perspective on Modernity, Colonialism Social Inequality and Education in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Afro-Asian Countries

Fourth Peoples Education Congress, 7-10 February 2019

(Focal Theme of the Conference: Afro-Asian Education Systems: Post Colonial Experiences and Perspectives)

Organized By Peoples Council of Education In Association With Centurion University of Management And Technology, Utkal University of Culture, Ravenshaw University, National Law University, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, Birla Global University and Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar.

Centurion University, Bhubneswar, Odisha, India


Symposium Organizers

(A.) Dr. Vikas Gupta (Department of History, University of Delhi, India) –Chairperson

(B.) Dr. Anirudh Deshpande (Department of History, University of Delhi, India) –Convener

(C.) Dr. Arun Kumar (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Linnaeus University, Sweden) –Convener


The proposed symposium will comprise of presentations on various aspects of colonial and post-colonial education in India and Africa at the Fourth Peoples Education Congress. The objective of the symposium is to deepen our understanding of the education system which developed in colonies. Post-colonial and national education initiatives, public and private, will be assessed in the context of persistent colonial educational legacies and the possible attempts made to overcome/reproduce them.


The symposium will examine the limits and potentials of the structure of colonial and post-colonial education underlined by curricular homogeneity and structural disparity. It will study the evolution of the colonial structure of education and see its differentiated impact on society. How has the colonial education system sustained indigenous inequalities and produced new asymmetries? With the view to understand these issues, we also need to examine the extent to which the educational apparatus in colonized countries of Asia and Africa were similar or dissimilar among each other and from the ‘normative’ Western/modern patterns. The symposium will engage with the issue of educational apparatus from the global history perspective. While we think that circulation, connections, and halts are important category to explain the unfolding of the colonial education system, we are equally interested in examining the local life of transnational and local ideas. To what extent categories such as race, caste, religion, gender, region, and colonialism are important in explaining the difference and similarities of the colonial education systems? The proposed symposium will also engage with the question of connections between the colonial and post-colonial education systems. It will seriously take up the question of decolonization without which no education system in the former colonies can progress on the lines of democracy, social justice and a true scientific temper. Decolonization raises the problematic of change from the colonial to the post-colonial context. We, therefore, invite papers that seek to explore the following and related themes:


  • Circulation of educational systems, ideas and practices at the global scale and their local adaptions.
  • The major socio-epistemological dimensions of curricular knowledge prescribed for school-going children in colonized societies of Asia and Africa in the 19th & 20th century.
  • The potentials of education for social change as well as for the retention of existing hierarchies (class, race, labour, gender, caste, religious, regional, disability, language, and ethnic) in colonial and post-colonial contexts.
  • The overall making of colonial and post-colonial education systems in Asia-Africa and the problematic of elitism versus mass education.
  • Nature, achievements and efficacy of pedagogic interventions made by individual reformist or traditional indigenous interlocutors in the sphere of colonial school education in Asia and Africa.


The symposium is based on the contention that colonialism could not have functioned without the help of a hegemonic discourse to which education was central. In response to this, the reaction to colonialism also focused on education without which a transition to modernity seemed impossible to the intellectuals in the colonized countries. Both of these discourses faced the challenge of the asymmetries of social order. Therefore, the deconstruction of the colonial discourse on education is a pre-requisite for genuine decolonization in the former colonies encumbered with a heavy colonial ideological burden. However, such a deconstruction of the colonial legacy and its juxtaposition with national response in the sphere of education, or the examination of the colonization and decolonization of the Afro-Asian mind should be carried out in the interest of political democracy, social egalitarianism and cultural modernity.


Please send an abstract of your paper (maximum 700 words) along with your CV to: by 25th September, 2018 marking a copy to Dr. N.P. Chaubey, the General Secretary, Peoples Council of Education on For the purpose of conference proceedings and an informed discussion, papers will be pre-circulated before the conference dates. Panel members have to pay the membership and conference registration fee. All registered delegates shall be provided free Guest House/Hostel accommodation and food (Feb 06-10, 2019) and conference papers etc. For further details about paper submission, registration, accommodation, travel support, full plan of the conference, or any other issue, please see our conference brochure (email for a copy) and directly contact the conference organizers for any query (other than the academic aspects of this panel) through Dr. N.P. Chaubey, the General Secretary, Peoples Council of Education on

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Arun Kumar

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