Thinking with and alongside Critical Indigenous Scholarship: Call for Contributors

stylised weave work with red and yellow colouring against grey background


We explore Indigeneity in all its diversity while celebrating the flourishing of Indigenous scholarship

Dates: 17-20 April 2024

Location: University of Oxford



The last sixty years have seen unprecedented efforts world-wide to create spaces for the flourishing of scholarly work produced by non-mainstream knowledge-holders, in particular that of Indigenous peoples. University programmes that strengthen and engage Indigenous scholarship are now well-established in North America, Australia, and New-Zealand. New Indigenous studies programmes continue to be created every year on all continents. These programmes chart the persistence, renewal, and recognition of Indigenous peoples in all their plurality, while also generating a wealth of written and audio-visual records, which  illustrate the richness of Indigenous epistemologies, pedagogies, and methodologies. By circulating across varied audiences, these cultural productions disrupt numerous boundaries and divisions, especially those between: academic disciplines; higher and secondary (or even primary) education; science and art; institutionalised and informal sites of knowledge production; or academia and activism. Given that English has become the world’s lingua franca of science, business, and academic research and teaching, it is not surprising that the bulk of this circulation has mainly involved English-speaking circles. However, cultural programmes from globally less prominent regions in South America, Asia, and Africa are becoming equally vibrant.

There is today greater awareness of the fact that Indigenous pedagogies, methodologies, and ways of knowing have persisted in many diverse ways, yet their contributions to science and to academia have yet to be fully appraised. This is particularly true for Indigenous ways of knowing that have flourished in unconventional settings. Moreover, Indigenous scholars, while welcoming this new interest in and respect for Indigenous epistemologies, insist that their cultures need to thrive for such interest not to veer into appropriation. For Indigenous communities conscious of having inherited fragments of smashed knowledge, weaving back what has been torn apart often requires struggle. The Indigenous pedagogical work of educating learners’ minds, hearts, and lives has not been confined to the science of education or to the humanities. Expansive and varied, Indigenous knowledge concerns all aspects of life and science. Yet, little is known about the ways in which Indigenous scholarship has contributed to Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. At a time when global universities propose to decolonise their research and teaching programmes (see for instance the ‘Diversifying STEM Curriculum Project’ of the University of Oxford available at, documenting Indigenous ways of engaging modern science takes on new dimensions. If the work of exceptional historians such as Joseph Needham has shed light on the multicultural origins of modern science, we have yet to apprehend fully the contributions made by local knowledge-holders and Indigenous scholars to contemporary scientific developments.

The conference aims to explore the creative and critical ways in which Indigenous scholarship has enriched learning, teaching, and becoming with the world. How has Indigenous scholarship combined the project of enlivening the imagination with the mission of encouraging questioning and promoting responsibility? And how has it engaged the liberal education project of cultivating ‘the whole human being for the functions of citizenship and life generally’ (Martha Nussbaum 1997:9, Cultivating Humanity)? In what ways is Indigenous scholarship contributing to the renewal of liberal values?  



•How do Indigenous scholars communicate the visions that underpin their research and teaching? How do they debate -and form alliances around -community, land, society, and the economy?

•What forms of cross-cultural learning have emerged through intercultural collaborations?

•What writings and pedagogical projects have taken shape through intercultural dialogue and collaboration?

•How does Indigenous scholarship deal with intimate connections between description and prescription?

•What are the distinctive features of Indigenous climate change education?

•In what ways does Indigenous scholarship contribute to scientific knowledge?

•How do Indigenous scientists deal with specialized and expert knowledge?

•How do Indigenous scholars contribute to debates around biases in digital technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning?

•What overlaps are there between decolonizing and indigenizing methodologies?

•In what specific ways does Indigenous scholarship address ‘post-human futures’ or contribute to environmental humanities?

•In what ways does Indigenous scholarship renew the intrinsic goals and principles of education for a democratic society?



FOR PANEL PROPOSALS: Monday 30 October 2023


FOR FORA AND ROUND TABLES: Monday 6 November 2023

FOR INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Monday 4 December 2023

FOR POSTER PRESENTATIONS: Monday 15 January 2024




Critical Indigenous Studies Network