VC’s Open Lecture presented by Vivek Chibber

07 August 2017
Campus announcement
7 August 2017

Dear colleagues and students

I am writing to invite you to hear Vivek Chibber, professor of sociology at New York University, speak on “Eurocentrism, the academy and social emancipation” at the Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture. The event will take place on Monday, 14 August 2017, at 18:00 in the New Lecture Theatre in University Avenue South, Upper Campus at the University of Cape Town.

Prof Chibber is the author of Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India (Princeton University Press, 2003), which won several awards, including the Barrington Moore Jr. Prize from the American Sociological Association; and Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital (Verso, 2013). The debate that this book touched off is collected in Prof Chibber’s The Debate on Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital (Verso, 2017).

Prof Chibber says of his upcoming lecture: “In all postcolonial nations, the struggle to build a just and democratic order has had to contend with the parochialism of the colonial power’s intellectual frameworks. This has led to a decades-long critique of Eurocentrism in the social sciences and humanities, and more recently a call to ‘decolonise’ the academy. While the commitment to wrest free of Eurocentric biases and even to decolonise higher education is entirely laudable, it leaves open the question of what the content of new knowledge ought to be, and also the structure of new institutions. In this lecture I suggest that the only way to press forward with these goals, while still upholding democratic principles, is by embedding the critique of Eurocentrism in an egalitarian and humanistic framework. This means rejecting parochialism of any kind, including the nativism that is often presented as a counter to Eurocentrism. Indeed, nativist critiques often recreate the Eurocentrism they seek to displace.”

Prof Chibber’s lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

I look forward to seeing you at this event.



Monday, 14 August 2017


New Lecture Theatre, University Avenue South, Upper Campus
University of Cape Town


17:45 for 18:00


Please RSVP online, or via email or phone 021 650 3730 by Sunday, 13 August 2017.

Please note:

Due to limited space, seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Dr Max Price


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