Department of Educational Policy Studies

EDPS 501

Conference Course on Selected Topics
Feminist Theories and Epistemologies

Instructor: Dr. Dia Da Costa
Email: ddacosta@ualberta.ca

Time: Tuesdays 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Dates: September 5– December 8, 2017

Course Description:

This graduate seminar introduces students to feminist contributions to key debates over explanations for social phenomena (i.e. theory) and to key debates over how we know what we know (i.e. epistemology). Foregrounding the politics of knowledge production, students will be trained and expected to engage consistently in two basic feminist practices: a) reflecting on the histories and relationships of power that shape what counts as knowledge in any given context and b) foregrounding the generative struggles, resistances and refusals that have intervened in the knowledge production, acquisition, and legitimation process. Whilst unrecognized within the academy for a long time, feminist thought has long since informed anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and nationalist movements. Its recognition within the Western academy grew to public prominence in the 1960s with the work of artists, intellectuals, activists and social movements. The course will proceed thematically and draw upon seminal as well as contemporary material in order to expose students to a variety of debates over knowledge production paying close attention to the historical context within which these debates gained prominence in the first place.


Conference Course on Selected Topics
Knowledge and Decoloniality in the Americas

Instructor: Dr. Alexandre Da Costa
Email: adacosta@ualberta.ca

Time: Thursdays 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Dates: January 8– April 13, 2018

Course Description:

This course examines the ways in which knowledge and epistemology have played a role in colonial and neo-colonial formations in the Americas. The course proceeds in the vein of colonial, post-colonial, and decolonization studies. However, the theoretical and methodological perspectives studied draw primarily from those studying the politics of decoloniality in Indigenous Studies, Black Studies, and Latin American Studies. The analysis of coloniality has become increasingly influential in academic and activist engagements in critical study, theorization, and politics. Diverse actors engaged in this work have sought to challenge the ways hegemonic epistemological frameworks produced through the “coloniality of power” influence constructions of difference, shape the hierarchical valuing of peoples, cultures, and forms of knowledge, and shape the nature, practice, and violence of state institutions and policy. The course explores as well as critically interrogates the foregrounding of epistemological questions within the struggles for decolonization. In particular, we focus on the relationships between knowledge production, identity, politics, pedagogy, schooling (both formal and informal), labor, land, indigeneity, gender, and sexuality. We explore the ways such theoretical and pedagogical work emerges from and continually grounds itself in the knowledge and praxis of communities considered subaltern, in particular, black and Indigenous peoples in the Americas. The overall geographical focus of the course is the Americas (Western Hemisphere) more broadly, with special attention to theories and perspectives emerging out of the South American, Caribbean, U.S. and Canadian contexts.