SEAE Seminar Series: September 2021. Absurdity, Creativity, and Healing, with Professor Kakali Bhattacharya

Absurdity, Creativity, and Healing: The Necessary Accomplices of De/colonial Work - click here to view recording

Professor Kakali Bhattacharya, College of Education, University of Florida US.


While the Global North discussion of decoloniality focuses on land issues, in this session, I will discuss de/coloniality from a broader global perspective, including agendas from once-colonized nations. I will expand beyond the usual and privileged tools used in academia to discuss de/colonial work to include absurdity, creativity, and healing as necessary accomplices. Tracing back historical literature of those who fought their colonizers using a multi-prong approach, I will present absurdity, creativity, and healing as forms of inquiry, analysis, and representation. Grounded in such discussion are issues of interconnectivity, the entanglement of liberation, oppression, and resistance, and building memories of a utopian future through creative, contemplative, and imaginative practices. Using AnaLouise Keating’s theorization of post-oppositionality and Sukumar Ray’s work on absurdity and nonsense literature, I cultivate transnational liminality in de/colonial work that eventually translates into theorizing such work through a culturally situated focus.


Dr Kakali Bhattacharya is a professor at University of Florida housed in Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Program. Her work has made spaces in interdisciplinary de/colonizing work and qualitative research where creativity and contemplative approaches are legitimized and seen as gateways for cultivating depth, integrity, expansive inquiry, and discovering critical insights. Substantively, she explores transnational issues of race, class, gender in higher education.

She is the 2018 winner of AERA’s Mid-Career Scholar of Color Award and the 2018 winner of AERA’s Mentoring Award from Division G: Social Context of Education. Her co-authored text with Kent Gillen, Power, Race, and Higher Education: A Cross-Cultural Parallel Narrative has won a 2017 Outstanding Publication Award from AERA (SIG 168) and a 2018 Outstanding Book Award from International Congress of Qualitative Research. She is the 2020 winner of Mary Frances Early College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award for research from the University of Georgia.

The Sustainability, Environment, the Arts and Education (SEAE) Research Cluster is globally recognised for enacting profound change in/through transdisciplinary environmental and Arts education research that disrupts and generates new ways of being and becoming, which provokes dynamic responses to critical local-global calamities.

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Date and time

From: 10:00 AM Thursday, October 14, 2021 Thursday, October 14, 2021 9:00 AM - QLD time To: 11:00 AM Thursday, October 14, 2021 Thursday, October 14, 2021 10:00 AM - QLD time