The hegemony of Euro-American canonical approaches and theories in the study of Media and Communications has been epistemically criticised from both the Global North and Global South locations. In the last two decades there has been a Media Studies de-Westernisation movement comprising of a self-critique by scholars based in the West, that have moved towards exogenous calls to decolonise theory. The decolonial turn has epistemically begun in many Global South countries such as South Africa where it was ushered in by the “fallist” student protests in 2015 that highlighted the need for decolonising education and knowledge. The vantage point of this paper is that in order for the decolonial project to be meaningful, decolonisation is a process (Le Grange 2020) that must continuously develop after the fact of symbolic movements and events. This paper makes the case that in order for the Global North and Global South global imbalances of knowledge production to be addressed in Media Studies, central to the decolonisation process is re-theorisation with indigenous knowledge (Chilisa 2012; Smith 1999). In this regard, I propose a new theory for South Africa Media Decolonial Theory and highlight colonial legacies still present in the post-apartheid media.
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Speaker: Dr Prinola Govenden; JIAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Chair: Prof Mandla Radebe; University of Johannesburg (UJ) Strategic Communications Department; Author of ‘Constructing Hegemony: The South African Commercial Media and the (Mis)Representation of Nationalisation’/