Inaugural UCL Collaborative Social Science Domain Lecture Looks Across Disciplines at Decolonization

Vineeta Sinha, a sociologist whose research interests range from religiosity in the Hindu Diaspora and  religion-state encounters to critiques of the social sciences’ infrastructure and rethinking classical sociological theory, will deliver the Inaugural UCL Collaborative Social Science Domain’s Annual Lecture 2022.

Sinha’s lecture, “Cross-disciplinary Conversations: Sites for Decolonising Conceptual Frames and Methodologies,” takes place live and virtually on June 16. The free lecture is presented by University College London’s Collaborative Social Science Domain and sponsored by SAGE Publishing, the parent of Social Science Space.

The live event starts at 6 p.m. at UCL’s Darwin Lecture Theatre (B40), in the basement of the Darwin Building on Darwin Walk, just off Malet Street in London. The livestream will appear on UCL’s YouTube channel.

According to the lecture organizers, an eclectic mix of disciplines and research methodologies is crucial for theorizing socio-economic, political, cultural, and religious domains. However, in a refreshed take on an old problematic, in a commitment to ‘post-colonial’ and ‘de-colonial’ frames, this lecture proposes these border crossings create opportunities for focusing a critical lens on existing disciplinary conceptual frameworks and methodologies.

Neither the idea of dialogue, nor interactions across disciplinary boundaries, are new or recent. Anthropology and sociology have long been approached as associated disciplines, even though their historical trajectories are distinct. While they share similarities, they also embody distinct disciplinary logics and practices. Attempts have also been made to see points of convergence between history and anthropology. Fields denoted as ‘anthro-history’ and ‘ethno-history’ were already curated in the 1960s. These approaches foresaw value in the ethnographer’s method of immersive fieldwork, and the historian’s concern with time-frames.

With a view to identifying blind spots within disciplines, rooted in deep-seated Eurocentric and androcentric assumptions, and drawing on research on Diaspora Hinduism and Trans-Asian mobilities, Sinha will suggest concrete strategies for pushing conceptual and methodological boundaries, to reconfigure and decolonize disciplines in the process.

Sinha will be introduced by Carey Jewitt, chair of the Collaborative Social Science Domain, and her speech will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Sinha, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at National University of Singapore, was vice-president (publications) of the International Sociological Association from 2014-2018) and is co-editor of the Asian Journal of Social Science, the monograph series Social Sciences in Asia, and the Routledge International Library of Sociology.

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SAGE Publishing, the parent of Social Science Space, is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Melbourne and Washington DC.

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