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The idea for Decolonising Recognition was born of a series of encounters. The person that would inspire the title for this book is Victoria Fontan, the author of Decolonizing Peace. Victoria was invited to speak at ePIC 2018 by Don Presant, a long time Canadian colleague, who introduced me to Open Badges. From the experience with Open Badges emerged the idea of “Open Recognition” initially formulated in the Bologna Open Recognition Declaration with the complicity of Don and Nate Otto, an American colleague. The encounter of Decolonising Peace with Open Recognition would be the fertile ground on which the ideas of Decolonising Recognition would grow.
To put this idea to the test I challenged Patrick Werquin, who I met whilst he was working at CERI-OECD, to submit an article on decolonising recognition. He accepted willingly and wrote Décoloniser la VAE (Validation of Acquired Experience) an article in which he shares his African experience with recognition methods coming from elsewhere…
Regina Klein, the other co-editor is the most recent encounter. Regina became interested in the work we were doing with Philippe Petitqueux on the EU project MIRVA (Making Informal Recognition Visible and Actionable), while working on postcolonial approaches to deconstruct ‘Western’ recognition regimes and Eurocentric recognition standards.It is thanks to her that the intention of a book has evolved into this call for authors.
There are many other encounters that should be mentioned, but I need to close this list and will do so with a key one: Claire Héber-Suffrin who, for years, has been at the forefront of the battle for the recognition of people and the value of their informal knowledge. Claire graciously accepted to accompany the destiny of Reconnaître, the association that holds high the banner and values of open recognition.
Why Decolonising Recognition? The first formulation of this idea was born from the observation of the increasing colonisation of the informal by the formal, that the spaces of freedom that are peculiar to the informal were shrinking under the onslaught of all kinds of norms and metrics: for example, a recent French law on equality and citizenship, requires universities to recognise students voluntary civic and community participation. In order to reward them with ECTS (European Credit Transfer) this previously voluntary and informal participation in the polis has become an injunction whose value is formally measured against ‘standards’ and rewarded with more or less ‘credits’ or badges.
The second formulation of this idea is more literal, it is the ‘developed’ countries’ claim of the superiority of their standards, models and knowledge. As Décoloniser la VAE elicits in the context of recognition, this is a failure. It is even a double failure: for those who have not and will not be recognised, but just as much for those who have ignored what could have been learned from those asked to comply with estranged knowledge and frameworks.
Through the lenses of the inhabitants of the formal world, the informal world more than often resembles these “savage” territories in need of a “civilisation” which, at best, will transform the lively production of “primitive” thinking into the artefacts cherished by museologists. On a lighter note, let us quote Baroness Blackstone, who, during a lecture, offered her definition of an academic: “an academic is someone who sees something working in real life and wonders whether it would work in theory.”
It is these observations that led to the formulation of the chapters that make up this book. Each one is introduced with an indication of the state of our reflections and the possible paths of recognition you are invited to discover and explore (recognise!) together.
You can contribute to all or part of the proposed chapters, without limitation. The final structure of the book will depend on the content of the accepted contributions.
- Abstract deadline: October 12 2020
- Paper deadline: November 16 2020
- Camera-ready papers: December 7 2020
- Publication: January 2021
How to submit a contribution?
- Notify your interest by filling in the online form
- Write the contribution using the book template
- Submit the contribution by sending it to email@example.com
Editors: Patrick Werquin, Regina Klein and Serge Ravet
Language: English and French
Publisher: Editions Atlantique + open access
Book website: decolonising.openrecognition.org
The full call for authors here
Table of Contents
- Economies of recognition — the unexpected rise of recognition capital
- Epistemics of recognition — the transdisciplinary nature of a recognition theory
- Cultures of recognition — the transgression beyond transcultural recognition spaces
- Technologies of recognition — the contribution of digital technologies to recognition
- Pedagogies of recognition — the co-construction of identities
- Practises of recognition — the emancipatory potential of mutual recognition
- About the Editors