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Introduction: From University To Pluriversity: A Decolonial Approach To The Present Crisis Of Western Universities, Capucine Boidin, James Cohen, Ramón Grosfoguel Jan 2012

Introduction: From University To Pluriversity: A Decolonial Approach To The Present Crisis Of Western Universities, Capucine Boidin, James Cohen, Ramón Grosfoguel

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

This is a co-editors’ introduction to the 2011 special issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, entitled “Decolonizing the University, Practicing Pluriversity,” including papers that were presented at the conference entitled Quelles universités et quels universalismes demain en Europe? un dialogue avec les Amériques (Which University and Universalism for Europe Tomorrow? A Dialogue with the Americas) organized by the Institute des Hautes d’Etudes de l’Amerique Latine (IHEAL) with the support of the Université de Cergy-Pontoise and the Maison des Science de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris on June 10-11, 2010. The aim of the conference ...


The University At A Crossroads, Boaventura De Sousa Santos Jan 2012

The University At A Crossroads, Boaventura De Sousa Santos

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Finding the university as a whole at a significant historical and global crossroads, the author formulates a series of twelve “strong questions” about the contemporary university in the context of the European Bologna Process—named after the Bologna Declaration organized by the European Union education ministers in 1999 aimed at reforming higher education in Europe and creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The questions addressed “go to the roots of the historical identity and vocation of the university in order to question… whether the university, as we know it, indeed has a future” (author). The questions aim to determine ...


Catching Up With The (New) West: The German “Excellence Initiative,” Area Studies, And The Re-Production Of Inequality, Manuela Boatcã Jan 2012

Catching Up With The (New) West: The German “Excellence Initiative,” Area Studies, And The Re-Production Of Inequality, Manuela Boatcã

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

In the context of the Bologna Process of neoliberal European university reform, the German authorities have recently promoted an “Excellence Initiative” which has defined as one key objective the promotion of area studies. To the extent that such initiatives constitute a more modestly funded imitation of existing U.S. programs and share their affinity with evolutionist modernization theories and their instrumental function in orienting elite strategy, they operate as a vector of “re-Westernization” of the German university. However, these initiatives may also in some cases open up new spaces for the development of critical approaches to migration studies and ethnic ...


‘Epistemic Coyotismo’ And Transnational Collaboration: Decolonizing The Danish University, Julia Suárez-Krabbe Jan 2012

‘Epistemic Coyotismo’ And Transnational Collaboration: Decolonizing The Danish University, Julia Suárez-Krabbe

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

In the Danish university, outlooks on the countries of the South and issues of development are strongly conditioned by hegemonic perspectives marked by coloniality. Although, in an era of neoliberal university reform, decolonial critique of dominant forms and institutions of knowledge is a marginal pursuit, the author draws on the experience of the collective Andar Descolonizando, based at Roskilde University, to suggest some ways in which decolonizing critique can be trained on the university institution itself and its “position within global articulations of power.” Such critical work, aiming in particular at epistemic racism, can be accomplished through what the author ...


About Them, But Without Them: Race And Ethnic Relations Studies In Dutch Universities, Kwame Nimako Jan 2012

About Them, But Without Them: Race And Ethnic Relations Studies In Dutch Universities, Kwame Nimako

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

On the basis of direct experience in the Dutch university system, the author analyses the ways in which knowledge about ethnic minorities—so-called “minority research”—has been hegemonized by dominant elites who view minorities as problem populations and seek to manage minority problems in such a way as to minimize them and never question their own domination nor the historical heritage of colonialism and slavery. He describes several initiatives undertaken—mainly outside the university—by minority groups to re-examine race and ethnic relations and the history of slavery and abolition, including the National Platform on the Legacy of Slavery, the ...


Decolonizing The Mind: The Case Of The Netherlands, Sandew Hira Jan 2012

Decolonizing The Mind: The Case Of The Netherlands, Sandew Hira

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

In a militant context, the author examines certain dominant historical narratives regarding slavery and abolition produced and disseminated in the Dutch university and Dutch governmental institutions. He denounces their ideological and non-scientific approaches and in particular their strong tendency to understate or deny the oppressive character of slavery and the responsibility of Dutch ruling classes in its promotion and in mystifying the historical factors that explain abolition.


Slavery, Colonialism And Their Legacy In The Eurocentric University: The Case Of Britain And The Netherlands, Stephen Small Jan 2012

Slavery, Colonialism And Their Legacy In The Eurocentric University: The Case Of Britain And The Netherlands, Stephen Small

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Drawing inspiration from the critique by Patricia Hill Collins of the “Eurocentric, masculinist knowledge-validation process,” the author examines various ways in which universities, both in Britain and the U.S., have long suppressed critical inquiry into the history of empire, slavery and the slave trade. Parallel to this critique, he examines museums and other memorial sites devoted to slavery in Britain and the U.S., including a small number of initiatives that challenge hegemonic accounts and draw attention to the agency and the resistance of the enslaved. He further draws attention to initiatives within academic institutions in the U.S ...


The Dilemmas Of Ethnic Studies In The United States: Between Liberal Multiculturalism, Identity Politics, Disciplinary Colonization, And Decolonial Epistemologies, Ramón Grosfoguel Jan 2012

The Dilemmas Of Ethnic Studies In The United States: Between Liberal Multiculturalism, Identity Politics, Disciplinary Colonization, And Decolonial Epistemologies, Ramón Grosfoguel

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

This paper is an analysis of the Westernized university and its Eurocentric fundamentalism in relation to the subaltern struggles of racialized groups in America and its impact on the formation of ethnic studies in the university's epistemic structure. The paper goes on to discuss questions of epistemic racism/sexism and the dilemmas that ethnic studies programs confront today in particular forms of disciplinary colonization, liberal multiculturalism and identity politics.


The Crisis Of The University In The Context Of Neoapartheid: A View From Ethnic Studies, Nelson Maldonado-Torres Jan 2012

The Crisis Of The University In The Context Of Neoapartheid: A View From Ethnic Studies, Nelson Maldonado-Torres

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

This paper is a decolonial intervention in the crisis of the Humanities today. It shows the colonial limits of its scope and the challenges posed by subaltern subjects and knowledges to its future. The essay is rich in examples of how the Westernized University works to reduce or neutralize the impact of Ethnic Studies and other forms of subaltern knowledge production that represent a challenge to the eurocentric/westerncentric Humanities as they exist today.


Editor’S Note: To Be Of But Not In The University, Mohammad H. Tamdgidi Jan 2012

Editor’S Note: To Be Of But Not In The University, Mohammad H. Tamdgidi

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

This is the journal editor’s note to the winter 2012 issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, entitled “Decolonizing the University, Practicing Pluriversity,” including papers that were presented at the conference entitled "Quelles universités et quels universalismes demain en Europe? un dialogue avec les Amériques" ("Which University and Universalism for Europe Tomorrow? A Dialogue with the Americas") organized by the Institute des Hautes d’Etudes de l’Amerique Latine (IHEAL) with the support of the Université de Cergy-Pontoise and the Maison des Science de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris on June 10-11, 2010. Addressing the significant ...


Places To Think With, Books To Think About: Words, Experience And The Decolonization Of Knowledge In The Bolivian Andes, Anders Burman Jan 2012

Places To Think With, Books To Think About: Words, Experience And The Decolonization Of Knowledge In The Bolivian Andes, Anders Burman

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Drawing on his anthropological field work in Bolivia in the midst of profound social and political change, the author examines the attitudes of various interlocutors toward knowledge, and in particular the important differences between “hegemonic theories of knowledge and indigenous epistemologies, between propositional and non-propositional knowledge, between knowledge of the world and knowledge from within the world, or between representationalist and relational ways of knowing.” He stresses that there is “no absolute dividing line,” no “clear-cut dichotomies after almost 500 years of asymmetric and colonial intermingling of epistemologies and knowledge systems from different traditions.” Relational ways of knowing and indigenous ...