On 30-31 March 2019, MISR hosted a symposium to plan for a five-year research collaboration entitled: “Decolonisation, the Disciplines and the University”. This initiative is based on a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation and includes the University of Ghana; the American University of Beirut, Centre for the Study of Social Silences, Kolkata; the Ifriqiyya Colloquium at Columbia University, and MISR. The meeting was attended by researchers drawn from the five institutions. Its object was both to discuss the research agenda and to plan training workshops and institutes for doctoral and post-doctoral students for the next five years.
The team from the University of Ghana was led by Prof. Dzodzi Tsikata; the delegation from the American University of Beirut was led by Prof. Samer Frangie; the Centre for the Study of Social Silences was headed by Prof. Prachie Deshpande. Prof. Manan Ahmed from Columbia University took the lead in the planning of workshops and institutes. The MISR team was led by Professor Mahmood Mamdani, who is also the Principal Investigator for the supra-national research collaboration.
Based on ongoing reflections on MPhil/PhD program in Social Studies at MISR, the project intends to understand the mission of the university and how that mission is reflected in its curriculum. This next step in the development of the project is designed to incorporate four other institutions with a view to bringing their diverse experiences and scholarship to throw a comparative light on the subject. The first set of workshops will focus on The Historical Method and will be held in May 2020 in Accra.