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Malay studies, autonomous knowledge and decolonial thought

ANU Malaysia Institute Seminar


Prof Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore


Virtual event


Thursday, 21 October, 2021 - 16:00 to 17:10
Syed Hussein Alatas' call for an autonomous social science tradition has influenced scholars for two generations.
Scholars and writers of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore such as Chandra Muzaffar, Shaharuddin Maaruf, Wan Zawawi Ibrahim, Noor Aisha Abdul Rahman, Syed Farid Alatas, Norshahril Saat, Azhar Ibrahim, Teo Lee Ken, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, Pradana Boy Zulian and Okky Puspa Madasari are all part of this autonomous social science tradition.
Young scholars of the next generation in the Malay world are incorporating this critical tradition in their scholarship as they embark on dissertations and other projects. This presentation looks at the problems of the coloniality of knowledge and the response to it in the form of the idea of autonomous knowledge.
Professor Alatas has also published an article on New Mandala on this topic - Alatas and autonomous knowledge
Syed Farid Alatas is Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. He also headed the Department of Malay Studies at NUS from 2007 till 2013. He lectured at the University of Malaya in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies prior to joining NUS. In the early 1990s, he was a Research Associate at the Women and Human Resource Studies Unit, Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Professor Alatas has authored numerous books and articles, including Ibn Khaldun (Oxford University Press, 2013); Applying Ibn Khaldun: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in Sociology (Routledge, 2014), and (with Vineeta Sinha) Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon (Palgrave, 2017) and "The State of Feminist Theory in Malaysia" in Maznah Mohamad & Wong Soak Koon, eds., Feminism: Malaysian Reflections and Experience (special issue of Kajian Malaysia: Journal of Malaysian Studies), 12, 1-2 (1994): 25-46. His areas of interest are the sociology of Islam, social theory, religion and reform, intra- and inter-religious dialogue, and the study of Eurocentrism.


We look forward to seeing you there.

Thurs 21 Oct,
1 - 2.10pm MYT (UTC +8)
4 - 5.10pm AEDT (UTC+11)

This seminar will be recorded.


More details on the ANU Malaysia Institute Seminar Series 2021

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