UniPID DocShop 2019: Staying with the Discipline?

January 7, 2019

UniPID DocNet organizes an annual UniPID DocShop for doctoral students and supervisors, but also other interested parties, to get together and discuss timely issues related to development research and the quality of PhD training.

Photo credit: Jorge Jaramillo, 2018, on Flickr.

UniPID DocShop 2019: Staying with the Discipline?

Time: 27 February 9:00-12:00
Place: Room 309, House of Science and Letters (Tieteidentalo)

The 2019 Docshop seeks to explore the pathways towards more transdiciplinarity in Development Studies. The meeting will reflect on the case for steering development studies towards better integration of feminist, transversal, intersectional and ecological perspectives; and towards the decoloniality of the field (inclusive of indigenous peoples epistemologies).

This year’s focus is particularly important because it would help to contemplate and potentially address some of the issues raised about the discipline among others, by advocates of ‘post development’. As is well-known, these issues include whether development studies provides compelling diagnosis of social problems, in what ways the discipline offers a sufficiently stimulating research, teaching, and advocacy pathways for students and, hence, whether to stay with the discipline. These questions demand urgent answers that are both diagnostic and prescriptive without being deterministic. Thus, the 2019 DocShop seeks to be both reflective and contemplative. As a field of study and praxis accustomed to looking out, this workshop breaks with tradition by emphasising looking in as a way to improving the capacity to look out.

Free to all – doctoral students, faculty, policy makers, and the general public, the workshop will last half a day. The introduction will set the tone for the day, paving the way for a second section of trouble shooting characterised by an active Q and A session. This leads to the third and final session on Decolonising methodologies, which highlights the case for ‘scientific’ methodologies, the critique of such elegant but irrelevant approaches, and the prospects for more holistic and transformational synthesis. The final session is based on reflections by all on the recent book by Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh on Decoloniality(Duke University Press, 2018). Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonising Methodologies (Zed Books, 1999) is an interesting additional reading. (Links to the readings provided below.)

The guest of honour at the workshop is Rosalba Icaza Garza, associate Professor in Global Politics, Gender and Diversity in the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. You can find her wider bio here: http://www.kehitystutkimus.fi/conference/keynote-speakers

The Workshop is organised by Professor Barry Gills and Associate Professor Franklin Obeng-Odoom, from the University of Helsinki, in collaboration with UniPID DocNet.

Workshop Registration by 20th February 2019 at: https://goo.gl/forms/DzeJIm0sgba4iyI33

If you are a doctoral candidate member of UniPID DocNet, travelling to the DocShop and Development Days from within Finland but outside of the metropolitan region, you can apply for a UniPID DocNet travel grant (max. 250 €) to cover your travel and accommodation costs during the conference. Deadline for applications is 13 February 2019. More details, criteria, and the application form here: https://goo.gl/forms/QsAjstyQQ2vbOwQg2

For general inquiries, contact: Franklin Obeng-Odoom, University of Helsinki, email:

For inquiries about travel grants, contact: Osku Haapasaari, UniPID, email:

Workshop Programme

  • 09:00 – 09:15 Opening Remarks by Professor Barry Gills and a UniPID representative
  • 09:15 – 10:15 Trouble Shooting - Chaired by Rosalba Icaza Garza
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Coffee break
  • 10:30 – 11:50 Decolonising Methodologies
  • 11:50 – 12:00 Closing Remarks