Critical Race Theory, Decoloniality, and Universalism – Ali Meghji (University of Cambridge) and Nadia Yala Kisukidi (Université Paris VIII) – Peripheral Knowledges Seminar 22 April 2022 @UnivParis8 @Univ_Paris @Cambridge_Uni

Posted on April 19, 2022

Peripheral Knowledges (LARCA, Université Paris Cité) invites you to Session 3 (2021-2022) titled Critical Race Theory, Decoloniality, and Universalism.

The session in hybrid format will be held from 12.00 to 2.00 pm.



Ali Meghji (University of Cambridge – in-person) : “Critical race theory, decolonial sociology, and the benefits of theoretical synergy” (Talk in English)

Nadia Yala Kisukidi (Université Paris VIII – via zoom) : “Un universalisme noir” (Talk in French)


Dr Ali Meghji is an Assistant Professor in Social Inequalities in the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, and an affiliate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Centre. He is the director for the MPhil in marginality and exclusion, the course organiser for SOC12 Empire, colonialism, imperialism, and the chair of ‘Decolonising sociology’. Currently, Ali’s predominant research interests lie in bridging the epistemological, methodological, and empirical divergences between critical race theory and decolonial thought. Through this research, Ali intends to balance the study of national racialized social systems with the global process of coloniality.

Abstract : Critical race theory, decolonial sociology, and the benefits of theoretical synergy

There is a burgeoning interest in the differences between the sociology of race and decolonial thought. This paper develops such discussions by focusing on decolonial thought and a seemingly incongruous paradigm within the sociology of race – critical race theory (CRT). While decolonial thought stresses the continuity of colonial power relations, is committed to transnational and temporally connected analysis, and tends to use historical methods, CRT is based around the premise that contemporary racism must be analysed outside of colonial legacies, tends to analyse nation states outside of their global interlinkages, and methodologically commits to a ‘presentism’ by focusing on the contemporary day. Nevertheless, despite these differences, I argue that CRT and decolonial thought can synergize to provide prescient analysis of contemporary crises. Neither CRT nor decolonial thought can analyse social phenomena sufficiently on their own, but together they can address each other’s blindspots. Through drawing on empirical illustrations from across the world, this talk will show how synergizing decolonial thought and CRT will open new avenues in the social sciences for globally oriented analysis that pays attention to national particularities. 

You can read the Introduction to Ali Meghji’s forthcoming publication here:


Dr Nadia Yala Kisukidi is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Université Paris VIII. She  explores the work of Henri Bergson and  African philosophers. Since 2013, she has been a program director at the Collège international de philosophie, which she also presided between 2014 and 2016. Following her doctoral thesis, she published a book entitled Bergson ou l’humanité créatrice (2013) as well as many articles. Nadia Yala Kisukidi also contributed to miscellaneous collaborative publication projects and prefaced the latest edition of the French translation of Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic (2017) and Achille Mbembe’s recent De la postcolonie: essai sur l’imagination politique dans l’Afrique contemporaine (2020). In addition, she co-curated the Yango II Kinshasa Biennale of contemporary art.