Encountering Flavors, Discussing Knowledges: Challenging the Centre

23/11/2016, 16:00 - 18:00


A seminar as part of the Borders and Bodies research theme at the School, with guest speaker Maria Meneses.

Kitchens are huge laboratories which pose questions about how and where we create dialogues in the world, searching for other (non-Western) epistemological connections.

Preparing food, the act of cooking, combines mutually intelligible knowledge and practices found in distinct identity groups. The taste, textures and sequences of dishes are essential to retrieving the history, geography and other knowledge shared within and between cultures, a process where women play a key role. As social laboratories, kitchens and food processing possesses immense potential to enlarge the ecology of knowledge, following the theoretical and methodological challenge posed by postcolonial critiques and the epistemologies of the South, as this presentation seeks to discuss.

The seminar will be followed by a wine reception in the foyer at the School of Modern Languages between 17:00 and 18:00.

The event is sponsored by Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, I.P.

Maria Paula Meneses is a Principal Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, integrating the Research Group on Democracy, Citizenship and Law (DECIDe). She holds a PhD in Anthropology by Rutgers University (USA) and a MA in History from St. Petersburg University (Russia). She lectures in various Doctoral programs, co-coordinating the program on ‘Postcolonialisms and Global Citizenship’. Previously she was a Professor at Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique.

Among Maria’s research topics are postcolonial debates in African contexts, legal pluralism – with a focus on the relationship between the state and ‘traditional authorities’-, the relationship between official history, memory(ies) and other narratives of belonging in contemporary identity struggles. She has carried out various projects on these topics. Recently (2015) she organized a number (n. 106) of Revista Crítica de Ciências Socias on colonialism, memory and violence. The results of a research project on the colonial violence and the cold war processes in Southern Africa are published in a book coorganized with Bruno Sena Martins, entitled ‘Liberation Wars and Colonial Dream (in portuguese, Almedina, 2013). She also integtaes the team of ALICE project, headed by Boaventura de Sousa Santos.

Maria’s work has been published in journals, books and reports in several countries, including Mozambique, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, United States, England, Germany, Colombia, amid others. Recent publications include also a co-edited volume with Boaventura de Sousa Santos, on “Epistemologies of the Global South” (Almedina, 2009, 2011; Cortez, 2010 and Alkal 2014), integrating contributions of scholars from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, and (with Júlio Lopes) “O Direito Por Fora do Direito: As Instâncias Extra-Judiciais de Resolução de Conflitos em Luanda, Angola” (Almedina, 2012).

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Room 2.18, School of Modern Languages
66a Park Place
CF10 3AS

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