Resistant Knowledges: Unmasking Coloniality through the Re-Search of Local to Global Communities

Resistant Knowledges: Unmasking Coloniality through the Re-Search of Local to Global Communities

Critical Race Theory collective (CRTc)
United States
Takes place
From - Until
15.12.2023 -
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

The Critical Race Theory collective (CRTc) calls for contributions to a special issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Education for Information (IOS Press Interdisciplinary Journal of Information Studies). Responding authors are being called to respond to the theme of engaging with and generating resistant knowledges with a fully articulated intention of unmasking coloniality.

Resistant Knowledges: Unmasking Coloniality through the Re-Search of Local to Global Communities


The Critical Race Theory collective (CRTc) calls for contributions to a special issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Education for Information (IOS Press Interdisciplinary Journal of Information Studies). Responding authors are being called to respond to the theme of engaging with and generating resistant knowledges with a fully articulated intention of unmasking coloniality. This call welcomes works with discipline specific, interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary approaches within (or focused on) “communities” related to library, information and/or education praxes.


In these divisive times of social, cultural, political, informational, and economic retrenchment and crises, those who understand, seek, and participate in racial justice and decolonial work can draw inspiration from a question posed by bell hooks: “What are the actions I will concretely do today in order to bring myself into greater community? With that which is not here?” (2003, p. 163) Being in community (or building community) in both intimate and collective settings offers the opportunity to create space for a local to global range of resistant knowledges. We define resistant knowledges as processes of thinking and acting against the grain of coloniality in order to build collective consciousness and calls to action for racial justice and social change.

Resistant knowledges often occur within community formations and can emerge as “knowing as collective rhythm” (Gago, 2020, p. 164) and modes of epistemic disobedience for the global majority research (narrative) ecosystem (Fuh 2022). These collective rhythms reverberate knowledge along a continuum of communities from those who intimately syncopate their rhythms at the (micro) local level to those communities that aspire to or are already vigorously beating their (praxes) drums to amplify their resistant knowledges with global intentions. Authors are encouraged to explore and ultimately explain their framing of community in their submissions.

Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community. bell hooks – from: Teaching community: a pedagogy of hope (197)

Valentin-Yevies Mudimbe (1990, p. 14) reminds us that the term ‘colonial’ derives from the latin root colére, meaning to cultivate, design or arrange, and that imperial colonists did this through the violent re-organisation of non-European territories into Europe an constructs of land and knowledge. Coloniality is both an epistemic frame and a lived reality that subsumes language and bodies of knowledge, land, and action; arranging and structuring our societies and institutions into hierarchical research or divisions of knowledge and power. In the words of Frantz Fanon, “the business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much bigger business of plunder”(1963, p.189).

Decoloniality, Avtar Brah argues, “enables us to prioritise and foreground regimes of knowledge that have been sidelined, ignored, forgotten, repressed, even discredited by the forces of modernity, colonialism, imperialism, and racial capitalism.” (2022, p. 15) As such, this call is interested in re-search (Smith, 2021) which counters colonial narratives in all their forms: theoretical, empirical,or as praxes and manifest on micro (intimate/personal), mezzo, macro (structural/systemic) levels.

Hyphenating “research” into “re-search” is very useful because it reveals what is involved, what it really means, and goes beyond the naive view of “research” as an innocent pursuit of knowledge.

It underscores the fact that “re-searching” involves the activity of undressing other people so as to see them naked. It is also a process of reducing some people to the level of micro-organism: putting them under a magnifying glass to peep into their private lives, secrets, taboos, thinking, and their sacred worlds.(Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2017)

We frame (counter) storytelling within the bigger picture of storywork; an interdisciplinary methodology drawn from decolonial, indigenous and black feminist re-search methods, as well as the core CRT tenet/method. (Adebisi, 2023; Degado, 1989; Lee & Evans, 2021; Miller,,2020; Natarajan, 2021; Smith, 1999; Solórzano & Yosso, 2002)

Foluke Adebisi invokes the story of the British slave ship Zong, which in 1781 threw approximately 130 African captives overboard, to highlight that the telling of such colonial stories from the past are too often temporally or spatially limited and hence reproduce harms rather than repairing them. We must, she argues, “craft better futures for us all and the earth on which we are precariously surviving. To survive at all, we need new ways of thinking, being and doing in the world.” (2023),and, in turn, limit (or optimistically reverse) the effects of colonial epistemicide has on resistant knowledges. (Youngman, 2022; Yeon, 2023)

As Nuu-Chah-nulth Hereditary Chief E. Richard Atelo puts it, “as more communities work toward protecting and revitalizing Indigenous knowledges, they have also chosen to reframe and reposition these incredible sources of knowledge as stories. They do so in order to move away from any misunderstandings about the power and truths that are embedded in the stories.” (2011, p.2) Stories, then, should not be considered merely metaphoric or representational. Whilst it is important to heed Tuck and Yang’s (2012) critique that decolonization is not a metaphor, that does not mean that the topics of coloniality and decoloniality cannot be engaged in ways that counter-narrate the dominant epistemological and institutional frameworks in ways that transcend empirical and abstract binaries (even those that metaphoric).

What local and global stories and counter stories of resistant knowledges and (de)coloniality can you tell from your community sites (the gathering of two or more represents the possibility of community) of knowledge, information and learning?


This is more than a ‘call for papers’; it is call and response, inspired by indigenous storywork practices and counter-storytelling methodologies. We are a community of practice, and we are calling for contributions that are rooted in communities, in order to respond to current contexts of crises and manufactured culture wars that are rooted in the dehumanization and domination of coloniality. Hence the question framing this call: can we unmask coloniality through the re-search of local to global communities? An unmasking that emphasizes authentic self representation of identities; an unmasking that has evolved from Fanon’s original articulation that reflected his time (Fanon,1952). An unmasking which empowers re-search of local to global communities by removing the mask of coloniality (that obscure language) masquerading to provide distraction from the much bigger business of plunder. (Fanon,1965)

We seek contributions within Education for Information’s full editorial scope: thus inviting a broad continuum of theoretical, empirical, and/or praxes based counter storytelling submissions related to but not limited to information and education fields and/or interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary work within the following areas:

- archival science
- critical information literacy;
- data science;
- digital humanities;
- documentation theory and practice;
- education studies;
- ethnic studies;
- gender studies;
- queer studies (queer-crit)
- re-search papers (various forms) including empirical quantitative or qualitative studies as well as reflexive, hermeneutical, historical, and other conceptual approaches;
- technology studies or the philosophy of technology commentaries
- topics of interest to education, pedagogy and learning; and indigenous or Pan-African epistemologies;
- information and health equity;
- information and media;
- information policy and ethics;
- information retrieval;
- information seeking and use;
- professional practices or theoretical approaches within
- galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM)
- as well as conservations and debates from scholars and practitioners connected interdisciplinarily/ transdisciplinarily to GLAM;
- critical race theory contexts connected to any of the previous options
counterstory as re-search method
interest convergence discussions
intersectional analysis
prácticas de liberación
racial battle fatigue (RBF)
racial realism
whiteness as property discussions
white supremacy perspectives
works discussing microaggressions


Adebisi, F. (2023, May 30). How do we find the right language and tools for decolonisation? Transforming Society.
Atleo, E. R. (2005). Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview. University of British Columbia Press. ucp/books/book/distributed/T/bo70076632.html
Bell, D. A. (1992a). Racial Realism. Connecticut Law Review, 24(2), 363–380.
Bell, D. A. (1992b). Faces at the bottom of the well: The permanence of racism. BasicBooks.
Blaisdell, B. (2021). Counternarrative as strategy: Embedding critical race theory to develop an antiracist school identity. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.
Brah, A. (2022). Decolonial imaginings: Intersectional conversations and contestations. Goldsmith Press.
Delgado, R. (1989). Storytelling for oppositionists and others: A plea for narrative. Michigan Law
Review, 87(8), 32. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2017). Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (3rd ed.). NYU Press.
Fanon, Franz. (1952). Black Skin, White Masks. First. France: Editions de Seuil. white-masks/.
Fanon, F. (1963). The wretched of the earth (C. Farrington, Trans.). Grove Press, Inc.
Fuh, D. (2022, September 5). Disobedient knowledge and respect for our African humanity. University
of Cape Town News.
Gago, V., & Mason-Deese, L. (2020). Feminist international: How to change everything. Verso. hooks, bell. (2003). Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. Routledge.
Lee, E., & Evans, J. (Eds.). (2021). Indigenous Women’s Voices: 20 Years on from Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies. Bloomsbury Academic.
Miller, R., Liu, K., & Ball, A. F. (2020). Critical Counter-Narrative as Transformative Methodology for Educational Equity. Review of Research in Education, 44(1), 269–300.
Mudimbe, V. Y. (1990). The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy and the Order of Knowledge. James Currey.
Natarajan, V. (2021). Counterstoried spaces and unknowns: A queer South Asian librarian dreaming. In S. Y. Leung & J. R. López-McKnight (Eds.), Knowledge Justice: Disrupting Library and Information Studies through Critical Race Theory (pp. 141–157). MIT Press.
Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. (2017, September 26). Decolonising research methodology must include undoing
its dirty history. The Conversation.
Puwar, N. (2021). Carrying as Method: Listening to Bodies as Archives. Body & Society, 27(1), 3–26. 10.1177/1357034X20946810
Smith, L. T. (2021). Decolonizing methodologies : research and indigenous peoples (Third Edition.). Zed Books. Solórzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical Race Methodology: Counter-Storytelling as an Analytical Framework for Education Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 23–44.
Toliver, S. R. (2022). Recovering black storytelling in qualitative research: Endarkened storywork. Routledge.
Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), Article 1.
Windchief, S., & San Pedro, T. (Eds.). (2019). Applying indigenous research methods: Storying with peoples and communities. Routledge.
Yeon, J., Smith, M., Youngman, T.,, & Patin, B. (2023). Epistemicide Beyond Borders. The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, 7(1/2).
Youngman, T., Modrow, S., Smith, M., & Patin, B. (2022). Epistemicide on the Record: Theorizing Commemorative Injustice and Reimagining Interdisciplinary Discourses in Cultural Information Studies. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 59(1), 358–367.


- from 10/15/2023 through 12/15/2023 (prospective) authors can submit an abstract of no more that 750 words (on one occasion) for baseline feedback about their re-search counter narrative applicable to this call. Abstracts can be sent to
- author’s first drafts due Monday March 4, 2024 by 11:59 EST
- CRTc review of submissions March 5 through May 20
- author’s resubmission (response to CRTc reviews): May 21 through June 30
- CRTc Review of resubmissions July 1- 21
- CRTc delivery of submissions to EFI managing editor: July 22
- managing editor review: July 23 – August 30
- target publishing issue 4, 2024


This Special Issue will follow Education for Information’s Author Guidelines.

Most Notably:

- Full-length articles and literature reviews should be between 5000-8000 words of text excluding the references. Commentaries, funded innovative re-search protocols, short communications and book reviews should be between 1000-1500 words of text excluding references.
- Manuscripts must be written in English. Authors whose native language is not English are advised to consult a professional English language editing service or a native English speaker prior to submission.
- Manuscripts should be prepared with wide margins and double spacing throughout, including the abstract, footnotes and references. Every page of the manuscript, including the title page,references, tables, etc., should be numbered. However, in the text no reference should be made to page numbers; if necessary, one may refer to sections. Try to avoid the excessive use of italics and bold face.
- Authors are requested to use the APA (American Psychological Association) citation style and references must be listed alphabetically in APA style.

Authors should submit their contributions for review through the CRTc Call for Papers Submission Form


Beyond the naming of our international community as the CRTc, we also strive to exist and persist in praxis as a CRT collective. Thus, we approach this endeavor towards addressing two CRT lenses developed by one of its founding scholars, Derrick Bell:

1) Through our awareness of the current divisive discourse as a global reality as well as our effort to discuss, deliver, and disseminate, resistant knowledges to what Bell positions as racial realism (Bell 1992a): noting racial progress is [being aggressively attacked to limit recent gains as] sporadic and that people of color [those most at the effect of all forms of colonialism] are [limited] to experience only infrequent peaks [of success] followed by regressions; as such;

2) This special issue is our intentional effort to counterstory what Bell suggests as the permanence of racism, and, in turn, coloniality (Bell, 1992b), which aligns with the CRT founding tenet that racism and [coloniality] are ordinary, pervasive, systemic and deeply ingrained and embedded in society, thus, not aberrational (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017, p. 8, 16, and 91).


Author’s are invited to reachout to the CRTc with general or specific inquiries for the special issuethrough email:

For those seeking to contact a specific CRTc community member, please visit the collective’s Contact Us page, including Dr. Tony Dunbar, for more information.

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