Meet our Moderator & Presenters

Shose Kessi is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Cape Town, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, and co-founder of the Hub for Decolonial Feminist Psychologies in Africa. Shose completed her PhD in 2010 in Organizational and Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and joined UCT in 2011. A key focus of her research is the development of Photovoice methodology as a participatory action research tool that can raise consciousness and mobilize community groups into social action. She has published on the psychology of racism in higher education and other decolonial and pan-African approaches to psychology. Recent key texts include co-editing a special issue for Critical African Studies, Kessi, S., Marks, Z., Ramugondo, E. (2020) Decolonizing African Studies. Critical African Studies, 12(3), 271-282; and a contribution on decolonial feminist psychology, Kessi, S., & Boonzaier, F. (2018) Centre/ing decolonial feminist psychology in Africa for the South African Journal of Psychology. Her recently completed co-authored book (with Boonzaier and Gekeler) entitled Pan-Africanism and Psychology in Decolonial times is currently in production.

Urmitapa Dutta is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her decolonial feminist praxis and activist scholarship focuses on understanding and disrupting everyday violence at the intersections of coloniality, heteropatriarchy, and racial capitalism. Working transnationally, she uses critical qualitative methodologies to interrogate the linkages between epistemic violence and myriad forms of domination codified by (settler) colonial modes of knowledge production. She is currently working in solidarity with Miya people in Northeast India to denaturalize oppressive conditions and to articulate experiences silenced by officially sanctioned narratives. Together, they strive to theorize “from below” and (co)create communities of resistance against coloniality and state violence.

Jesica Siham Fernández is an Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at Santa Clara University (CA, USA). Trained in social-community psychology, and Latin American & Latinx Studies, her scholarship is grounded in a decolonial feminist praxis. Jesica she engages critical PAR paradigms to support communities of color in their efforts to actualize equity and justice. Jesica’s research, teaching and practice strives toward community thriving, sociopolitical wellbeing, transformative justice and liberation. Jesica is also the author of the forthcoming book “Growing Up Laitnx: Coming of Age in a Time of Contested Citizenship” (New York University Press), which explores the lives of Latinx youth as they grapple with their social and political identities from an early age as they face an increasingly hostile United States political climate.

Dr Simone Peters is a Post Doctorate Fellow on the First Thousand Days of Life Project, who currently graduated with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include marginalised black masculinities and how they talk about their gendered identities. Her work also looks at how black men challenge dominant narratives and how race, class, gender and location intersect to produce experiences. She is interested in decolonial and critical methodologies namely Photovoice and narratives methods of inquiry.

Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo is an anthropologist and engaged scholar based at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s Institute for Asian and African Studies. She works on peace and conflict studies, with a particular focus on violence and subjectivity, othering, moral and ethical self-formation, affect and emotions, resistance, and solidarity in national and transnational contexts. She is also writes on the anthropology of Islam, state and religion, decoloniality, and critical research ethics. Dr Castillo obtained her PhD in Anthropology with a summa cum laude distinction in 2017 from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS), Freie Universität Berlin. In 2014, she founded the Philippine Studies Series Berlin, a platform for events regarding the Philippines, Filipina/o/x, and the diaspora.

Isla Emery-Whittington

Isla Emery-Whittington is an occupational therapist and PhD candidate with SHORE Whariki Research Centre, Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her research is a philosophical exploration of Indigenous Māori knowledge and practices of everyday occupations. The research examines links between colonisation and everyday occupations and utilises a Kaupapa Māori analysis of occupations to highlight the hidden everyday mechanisms that produce, maintain and disrupt colonialism.

Devin G. Atallah, PhD is an Assistant Professor with the Psychology Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Atallah aims to engage decolonizing, narrative, and community-based participatory approaches to critical inquiry, primarily within his long-term partnerships with communities in Palestine; communities of color in Boston; and with Mapuche Indigenous communities in Chile.

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