Who is Postcolonial Networks and what is our mission?
Long before Postcolonial Networks became a nonprofit organization, our knowledge activism movement had begun without a name and without a clear vision. The early beginning of Postcolonial Networks was as the Postcolonial Theology Network, a small Facebook group that kept thirty scholars in conversation after a postcolonial scholarly meeting at the University of Manchester in England, when Dr. Duggan, the founder, was doing his PhD there.
That post-meeting Facebook group grew from 1,000 members in the first year to 2,000 members in two years, 5,000 members in five years, 7,000 in six years, and 10,000+ members in eight years. Now Postcolonial Networks also has a page of over 1,000 likes. At each of these stages, Postcolonial Networks went through major changes as a community and established itself as a knowledge activism leader.
At every stage of our growth, Postcolonial Networks has been recognized as a community that encourages civil discourse across radical differences. Over the last years we have enhanced this reputation with a commitment to engage and ally with authors in contexts around the world that have been systematically ignored by most academic publishers. At every stage, we were becoming the organization we are today, one leading a knowledge activism movement:
At 1,000 members — our focus was primarily on postcolonial theologians sharing news on newly published books, posts on movies, research questions and networking. The focus was primarily on the former British Empire.
At 2,000 members — with a growing network, the group began to function as an online journal, where members were able to write book reviews and publish short essays.
At 5,000 members — the online networking of the group grew across an international, multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-ethnic community as an increasing number of scholars and activists found a way to network with one another. During this level of membership, Postcolonial Networks initiated postcolonial meetings throughout the Majority World and initiated a relationship with Palgrave Macmillan for a new series, Postcolonialism and Religions, with a dozen volumes since 2012, featuring over 80 percent Majority World authors.
At 7,000 members — at this level of growth Postcolonial Networks began to lose its course, as every global justice concern of members became a postcolonial-named conversation, often without the engagement of postcolonial methodologies or commitment to decolonial praxis with an impact on colonized communities. Our online community became increasingly focused on issues in North America, leaving the Majority World once again as invisible, silent and largely ignored.
8,000-10,0000+ members — during this period of growth, Postcolonial Networks built on its eight-year record of individual and institutional networks around the world, especially in the Majority World, and placed its sole focus on knowledge activism. With a clear vision, mission and program oriented towards knowledge activism, Postcolonial Networks plays an influential role in offering Majority World scholars the resources to publish scholarship to audiences around the world. Likewise it is challenging the way readers encounter Majority World scholarship.
Postcolonial Networks began eight years ago talking about postcolonial theologies and theories. Today Postcolonial Networks’ knowledge activism is less about talk and more about working with Majority World scholars. Our work has gathered all of its social and intellectual capital to reorient the fragmented, colonial knowledge system, a system that still has a strong bias for North American and European scholars and an under-representation of Majority World scholars in published books with major academic presses, posts in major journals and visible leadership in the academy.