TAPAS/Thinking About The Past


Decolonizing Practices and Discourses in Belgium

TAPAS/Thinking About the Past is pleased to announce its next workshop and reading group series on Decolonizing Practices and Discourses in Belgium (2018 - 2019) in Ghent. 

Around the world, the idea of ‘decolonization’ has become the rallying cry of those trying to undo the racist legacies of the past. Following this international trend, various social movements in Belgium fighting for equal rights and against discrimination increasingly entangle their present-day demands for equality with demands to ‘decolonize’ our society. This doctoral school focuses on the complexities of the struggle for decolonization and discusses its dilemmas in the particular context of Belgium, on a practical and a conceptual level. It brings both researchers at universities and people from outside academia together in a reflective critical exercise on the question of what a ‘decolonization’ of ‘Belgium’ could mean and for whom.

P¨lease click here for more information and the full programme. 

About TAPAS, an Interdisciplinary Forum for Reflection on our Relation with the Past

In the course of the last few years, there has been a growing interest in our relationship with the past in a large variety of different cultural and social areas. Examples are historical trauma studies, history and memory, history and identity, history of science, as well as the more traditional philosophy and methodology of historiography. What is special about this tendency is that is its pre-eminent transdisciplinary character. There are tendencies to reflect on our relationship with the past in many different disciplines (historiography, literary sciences, post-colonial studies, jurisprudence, philosophy of science, sociology,…), but it does not hold a mainstream position in any of them. As a consequence, researchers who are interested in reflecting on our relation with the past often find themselves isolated within their own discipline.

The aim of this forum is to change this situation by bringing together young researchers from different disciplines who work on the reflection on our relationship with the past, whether or not this relation is popular, literary or scientific or whether or not it comes from a historiographical, philosophical, post-colonial, anthropological or sociological agenda. This initiative is meant in the first place for young researchers (pre- and post-doc) working in Belgium and the Netherlands, but in principle it is open to all. The main aim of this project is to give young researchers the opportunity to share their views with their colleagues, to create a broad intellectual network, to get feedback about their own work, and to organize transdisciplinary reading groups and workshops on topics which are too uncommon in their own discipline.

TAPAS is a forum which means that there is no single goal, approach or method. The intention is to bring together different approaches and methods rather than propagate one of them.