Nacht van Ontdekkingen: lecture by Dr Harry Wels

On Saturday 21 September, between 5 pm and 1 am, the seventh edition of the Nacht van Ontdekkingen ('Night of Discoveries') will be organised by Leiden University. Dozens of scientists, theatre makers, musicians and artists take you into their world. This year's theme is LIGHT & DARK. Dr Harry Wels, convenor of the CRG Trans-species perspectives on African Studies, will give a lecture entitled 'Shedding New Light on African Studies: Transspecies Perspectives'.

One of the outcomes for African Studies and other (sub)disciplines in the Social Sciences, of the overwhelming scientific evidence that concludes that humans and animals only differ in degree and not in kind, should be to reconsider the anthropocentrism in theory, methodology, and research. To date, this argument has not been considered accepted wisdom in academia. The responses to the start of the Collaborative Research Group ‘Transspecies Perspectives on African Studies’ at the African Studies Centre Leiden have been mixed: Some hail it as progressive and timely, others accuse it of neo-colonialism. Developing a transspecies perspective in these contexts requires sensitivity to the political nature of knowledge, on the one hand, and a keen eye for emerging understandings in academia on the other. By way of example, this presentation will show how a transspecies perspective affects the particular topic of nature conservation in southern Africa, based on a recent publication from the African Studies Centre Leiden.                                                                                        

 

Speaker

Harry Wels portrait

Harry Wels is the Publications Manager of the African Studies Centre Leiden. He is also the convenor of the CRG Trans-species perspectives on African Studies. Wels is trained as an organizational anthropologist.

 

 

Date, time and location

21 September 2019
17.00 - 1.00 (AM)
Hortus Botanicus, Rapenburg 73, 2311 GJ Leiden