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Indigenous Knowledge: Perspectives on Ways of Knowing
Expected in Spring 2018, the fourth volume in the Hutton Lectures Series draws from papers presented at a two-day symposium held at the Kohima Institute in December 2016, jointly coordinated between the Institute, the University of Trømsø, and Ambedkar University. Central to the theme were debates on discourses of indigeneity and indigenous (or indeed ‘local’ or ‘traditional’) knowledge and skills. Chapters recognise both the fraught historical, ideological, and discursive genealogies of ‘indigenous’ and its epistemological status in relation to Western science, as well as important contemporary uses of the term (particularly by activists) in political debates, and in relation to developmental aid, and environmental conservation. Discussions in the volume cover the cross-fertilisation of indigenous knowledge and new forms of transmission, encouraging different perspectives on ways of knowing and of disseminating knowledge, including experiential knowledge. Chapters vary methodologically, in form and in style, but generally critique the hegemonic nature of scientificity and universalism in western academic discourse, striving to give equal voice and validity to local beliefs and practices, meaning structures, aesthetic values, and points of view. The volume thus seeks to contribute to understanding transformations and contemporary challenges in creating coeval, and grounded ‘ways of knowing’.