Peripheries research theme in Education and Social Work

‌Peripheries ruptures dominant western approaches to research in its turn to the periphery (sometimes but not exclusively, referred to as the majority world, global South, marginal, disabled, incarcerated, banished, subaltern or displaced persons)

On this page

The core idea behind Peripheries is to preference peripheral thinking by exploring, in active integration with peripheral groups, ideas, critiques, and projects that can contribute to the recognition of the power and potency of peripheries and peripheral groups as well as recognition of the legacies and impacts of injurious practices. In this way choice of epistemology and methodology is fundamental to our projects in accordance with the belief that there can be no justice without epistemic justice. 

Peripheries will catalyse emergent and divergent thinking that can challenge hegemonic, dominant and established paradigms that currently drive most of research, policy and practice nationally and internationally. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching notes the imperative for universities to undertake a scholarship of engagement to revitalise their proper mission as institutions of civic leadership and social engagement. 

Peripheries understands that the provision of emancipatory education is the staple not only of freedom of thought but life determining capacity building.

Our aims are to:

  • undertake counter-flow knowledge to challenge hegemonic models of knowledge production that are, in many ways, embedded in the ideas of ‘world-leading’ or ‘world-class’ research and 'best teaching' practice
  • promote active intellectual interlocution with peripheral groups to appraise non-hegemonic knowledge and socio-cultural practices as well as problematize key concepts within our respective disciplines
  • focus on the potency of peripheries to expand collective autonomy and subjective plenitude
  • promote emergent and divergent thinking that can challenge the existing paradigms, concepts and references sustaining the modern state, policy, and practice
  • attract subaltern and peripheral groups with the potential to be a standing voice and bridge with marginal groups

Formal partnerships


We welcome researchers, independent scholars, students at the University of Dundee, and beyond, who are committed to engagements, debate and dialogue within an interdisciplinary space. Peripheries offers a nurturing home for research activity, inclusive of a teaching-research nexus, whether you are starting out on your research journey, you are an early career researcher, or are a well-seasoned researcher with international recognition. In addition, Peripheries is a forum to develop and enhance teaching through engagement with new ideas.

In order to ensure the ongoing integrity of the Peripheries research theme related to epistemological and methodological synergies, membership of the theme will be by way of application which will be reviewed by the group.

How we work

Peripheries is aligned with the research and teaching scholarship structures and accountability processes within the School of Education & Social Work and hence adopts Co-Lead roles for the theme. However, at an operational level, decision making is based on collective discernment and dialogue so that all members can shape decision-making, the planning and directions of our research group.  As members are located in different time zones we will organise full caucus meetings via video conferencing on a two – monthly basis so that as many people can attend. These meetings will be recorded.

Work programme structures

There are four Work Streams meeting monthly. Workstream areas are likely to overlap in terms of activities and membership:

  • Peripheral geographies

    Territorial dynamics (des-re-territorialisation; territorial identity; Socio-spatial inequalities); Spaces of confinement (prisons, psychiatric institutions, detention/refugees); Place, symbolic violence, coexistence and potency.
  • Peripheral epistemologies and decolonisations 

    Ableism, Critical disability studies, Minority religious studies, academic dependencies, Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory; Decolonised knowledges, Buddhist studies, indigenous Theory, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality
  • Peripheral variabilities (human and non-human)

    Health systems/nosologies; religious ethics/philosophy; ‘race’; social care; LGTBIQ+; disability; indigenous; caste; animal lives
  • Peripheral pedagogies 

    Approaches; content; showcasing; advocacy; global classroom; open access; curriculum development


Without wishing to confine our activities, Peripheries works together through:

  • Sponsoring a variety of seminars (on campus and webinar based);
  • Reading groups;
  • Publication Syndicate meetings (working together to further mutual scholarship and publication by assisting with moving drafts of manuscripts one step closer to publication through providing feedback);
  • Research Collaboration meetings (theory, applications, methodology);
  • Forming links with external bodies (making connections with local and international peripheral cultural, artistic and community groups; social activists and advocacy groups);
  • Research mentoring;
  • Developing teaching modules that give expression to Peripheries vision;
  • Hosting Periferias Magazine/Journal

Current projects

Academic leads

Fiona Kumari Campbell and Fernando Fernandes

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @PeripheriesT

Research supervisors