Language Culture and Heritage

Author: Rajnath Bhat (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India)
Speaker: Rajnath Bhat
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
CALA 2020 General Session


The Colonial period witnessed an emergence of diverse scholars and authors globally. Scholarship during the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries which was predominantly Euro-centric showcased comparisons among people, cultures, and languages, and attempted to justify colonial rule and exploitation. Here, historiographies were written, and employing political mechanisms such as the concept of ‘race’ to subjugate and alter social systems in colonized regions. This concept of ‘race’ led to the twentieth century political and social conflict throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Subsequently, historiographies produced during the twentieth century have mediated linguistic and geographical divisions. In light of the predominance of these historiographies, which have now begun to witness postmodern revision, and to further expose truths regarding colonialism.

The present study presents the need to reclaim history and heritage in post-colonial contexts, so to inform these colonial / post-colonial contexts and their scholarly debates, not least of which is the position they hold in achieving agency for internal peace and reclaiming heritage, and economic stability. Here, the study and essay aim to discuss the effectiveness of decolonizing thought, and to suggest that revitalizing indigenous narratives will motivate younger generations, globally, to engage in postcolonial scholarly and sociocultural debate.

Keywords: Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Euro-centric