Colonial and Post-colonial History: enhancing knowledge, capacity and networks in the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Clare Anderson, Emma Battell Lowman, Shane Doyle, Deborah Sutton


Unequal global structures profoundly influence inequalities in academic knowledge production. This is manifested in the under-representation of Majority World (Global South) publication in international peer-reviewed journals based in the Minority World (Global North). Whilst graduate education is available in the Majority World, the terms of appointment and promotion within institutions may depend upon networks that mirror wider social inequalities. This is partly because in some countries (e.g., India) candidates are required to publish an article before they can submit their PhD, and this can lead to significant confusion about the difference between journals published by university and other academic presses, and by private companies. Early career scholars are especially vulnerable to predatory (pay-to-publish) publishing (Collyer 2018, Raju et al. 2018). There are, of course, distinguished journals based in the Majority World, and a wealth of experience in publishing among mid-career and senior academics. Nonetheless, early career scholars who wish to publish in international journals may have English as an additional language and are far less likely to have access to informal networks of support. There are also significant knowledge gaps that constitute barriers to access (Collyer 2018).

The authors of this paper attempted to address this issue by securing funding from the British Academy Writing Workshops 2021 programme to work with 30 Early Career Researchers (ECRs), researching colonial and post-colonial history and associated disciplines, from the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Anderson is editor of the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Battell Lowman (now, former) co-editor of Settler Colonial Studies, Doyle editor of the Journal of African History, and Sutton of South Asian Studies. Anderson, Doyle, and Sutton acted as expert editor contributors and mentors, Battell Lowman served as Project Manager including designing and facilitating the workshop sessions. The programme was supported by three senior academics connected to the regions of interest - Mellissa Ifill (University of Guyana), Ali Usman Qasmi (LUMS, Pakistan), and Godfrey B. Asiimwe (Makerere University, Uganda) – and incorporated scholars from Jamaica (Sonjah N. Stanley Niaah), Mauritius (Satyendra Peerthun), Botswana (John Makgala), South Africa (Rebecca Swartz), Kenya (Peter Wafula Wekesa), India (Aparna Balachandran) and Bangladesh (Momin Chowdhury). Together, the group undertook a year-long virtual workshop programme that aimed to build new transnational collaborative networks to create a new skills and knowledge base.

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Collyer, Fran M. “Global Patterns in the Publishing of Academic Knowledge: Global North, Global South.” Current Sociology 66, no. 1 (January 2018): 56–73.

Raju, Reggie, Lena Nyahodza, and Jill Claassen. "Predatory publishing from the Global South perspective." 2018, London. Radical Open Access Conference.



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