ACOR Proudly Presents:
“The Landscape of Research in Jordan and in the Arab Region: Challenges, Transformations, Prospects
An ACOR online lecture by
Dr. Seteney Shami (Arab Council for the Social Sciences)
Delivered via Zoom on May 17, 2021
Simultaneous translation into Arabic was provided by Ala Abusharif/Pegasus Events and Conference Preparation.
About the Lecture:
What are the patterns and trends, constraints and potentials in current research contexts and practices in Jordan and across the Arab region? This presentation will address these questions from three angles:
- The changing themes and priorities in research in Jordan and on Jordan;
- The present and future of research in the region in the light of unfolding crises;
- The response by research communities and institutions to the heightened demands for new knowledge for new audiences.
Overall, the landscape of research across the region appears bleak, with deteriorating infrastructures, decreasing resources, shrinking public spheres and restricted mobility. Despite all of this, research continues to take place, and there are lively online discussions and burgeoning portals for the production and dissemination of analysis and commentary on the politics, economics, and social transformations of the region. This outflow does not simply represent a technological leap or a quantitative increase. It also presents a challenge to longstanding academic institutions and practices and blurs the boundaries between academia and media, between academia and activism, and between the institutional and the interstitial.
In this way, current challenges to the social sciences and humanities, and to knowledge production in general, are not only practical or logistical but also epistemological and methodological. The presentation will discuss the implications for: higher education and research institutions; the possibilities emerging from new actors, interstitial collectivities, and thought communities; the emergence of new audiences for new types of knowledge; and the changing connections between academia, activism and policy. The groundwork for the needed shifts has already been laid through critical, feminist, and decolonial approaches in the social sciences and humanities. I argue that academia needs to take up the challenge of the times—build on solid foundations of the past but look toward a future which will necessarily present a reconfigured institutional landscape of knowledge production.
We hope to see you again soon for future ACOR lectures!