The Center for Conflict Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and Conflict and Peace Collaborativeannounce the 2020 Decolonizing Knowledge Workshop.


Dates & Times: Friday, November 15 from 9 am to 5 pm
                            Saturday, November 16 from 9 am to 5 pm
                            Sunday, November 17 from 9 am to 2:30 pm

Location: The Point of View International Retreat and Research Center
                  7301 Old Spring Drive
                  Lorton, VA 22079

Point of View (POV)  is an international retreat and research center dedicated to peacebuilding practice, teaching and learning.  A part of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University, POV is located on 120 acres of pristine wooded lands with breathtaking views of Belmont Bay.  It provides a unique and tranquil space for transformative connections and collaboration, and is only about 20 miles from Washington National Airport and Washington, DC and about 30 miles from Dulles International Airport.

Workshop Details: In this hands-on workshop, we will explore both the theory and practice of decolonizing knowledge.

Western colonization gave rise to Eurocentric, patriarchal, capitalist, Christian, and heteronormative paradigms that lead us to believe, advocate for, and retain an epistemic hegemony. These centuries-old epistemic hegemonies, today, dictate our pedagogy, inquiry, and praxis when it comes to the acquisition, management, and dissemination of knowledge. Further, knowledge, more often than not, is generated by and within these systems of global inequalities and they, in turn, reinforce various forms of hierarchical, unequal and discriminatory structures built on race, gender, class, sexual, caste, ethnic, religious, linguistic and other identities. The implications of learning under hegemonic epistemologies (for example, in institutions of higher education) on various careers - such as development, peace and conflict, education, environment and related disciplines - is that we start with the belief that we have the answers to the world’s most pressing problems, leading us to re-colonize the colonized through our impositions.  

During the workshop, we will question our own epistemologies and then, we will use decolonial (understood as going beyond post-colonial) frameworks to understand how knowledge is acquired, legitimized, and disseminated. Further, we will explore how decolonized knowledge can challenge power structures, whether in the classroom or when working in the field. 

Workshop Facilitator: Dr. Pushpa Iyer

Pushpa Iyer is a conflict studies scholar and practitioner. She is Chief Diversity Officer, Director of the Center for Conflict Studies, and faculty member of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is also a Visiting Fellow for 2019-2021 at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Dr. Iyer leads practice and research projects related to racial equity and diversity with a focus on institutions of higher learning. For the last three years, she runs a project Allies at MIIS, a research-cum-practice project that works to build allies for racial equity on the Middlebury Institute campus. Dr. Iyer teaches classes on institutional racism using a decolonial framework. 

Who Should Participate? Current Faculty, Advanced Ph.D. Candidates (within one or two of graduation), and Practitioners in the field of Peace and Conflict and all related disciplines

Registration: Registration details below. To register, please click here

Early Bird Discount (register by October 1st):  

Faculty and practitioners:  $150
Discounted rate for MIIS/MIDD faculty:  $100
Discounted rate for S-CAR faculty and advanced PhD candidates:  $50

After October 1st:

Faculty and practitioners:  $175
Discounted rate for MIIS/MIDD and S-CAR faculty and advanced PhD candidates:  $125

Registration includes lunch, snacks and beverages for three days.  Registration is complete when payment is made.

Please note: space is very limited.  Register now!

Payment can be made by check (made out to George Mason University - S-CAR) and sent to the following address:

George Mason University - S-CAR
Attn: Dr. Sheherazade Jafari
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 4D3
Arlington, VA 22201

If you prefer to make a credit card payment, please request a credit card form at

Questions?  Contact us at  povevent@gmu.eduwith ‘Decolonizing Knowledge Workshop’ in the subject line. We are also happy to provide suggestions for accommodation or transportation, if needed.