Catarina Gomes | Freeing Utopia: Why a Humanities Lab in Angola?

Date: February 17, 2016
Time: 12:00pm Location: Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall (FHI Garage) - C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

In this Humanities Futures "Academic Futurology" event, cultural anthropologist Catarina Gomes describes her planning for a humanities lab in Angola in relation to humanitarian aid structures. After a first visit to the Franklin Humanities Institute’s humanities labs last year to observe their structures, she has spearheaded the CIESO research center’s humanities lab project at the University of Agostinho Neto. How do active learning and teaching processes, knowledge production and dissemination, critical thinking, creativity and citizenship, as well as an overall assessment of Angolan higher education system, figure in global development? The idea and the role of the university and the humanities will be especially addressed in this context. Finally, the talk will focus on a few considerations regarding what could be envisaged as the theory, the practice and the economics of a Humanities Lab in Angola.

The Centre of Sociological Research and Studies (CIESO) is a scientific unit of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University Agostinho Neto, in Luanda, Angola. Approved recently by the Faculty’s Scientific Council (March 2015), CIESO aims to develop and promote interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in social sciences and humanities domains while, simultaneously, contributing to the growing recognition of knowledge produced in the Continent. Its research domains include: (i) Epistemology and knowledge production in contemporaneity: representation, knowledge and power; (ii) Globalization and contemporary social challenges; (iii) Africa in the world; (iv) Sustainability and ethics and (v) Societal projects and the meanings of development.

Catarina Antunes Gomes holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Comibra (Portugal) and is professor in the Social Sciences Faculty at Agostinho Neto University (Luanda, Angola). She is also the coordinator of the Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (Centre for Sociological Studies and Research) at the same institution and a researcher at Centro de Estudos Sociais at the University of Coimbra. She has participated in several national and international projects including: TERRA – Réseau de Recherche et Publication; ALICE – Strange Mirrors, Unsuspected Lessons (Coimbra – European Research Council, 2013); Reconciliation and Social Conflict in the Aftermath of large –scale Violence in Southern Africa: the cases of Angola and Namibia (funded by the Volkswagen Foundation); FEDERES – Formation et Dévelopement de l’Expertise des Ressources en Europe du Sud, (European Union, INTERREG III B, SUDOE, 2003 – 2007).