Center for Global Studies and the Humanities

Duke University


The Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke University investigates the entanglement of the rhetoric of modernity and the logic of coloniality in imperial/colonial geo-historical configurations of power.

The analytic dimension of modernity/coloniality goes hand in hand with the projective one, de-coloniality. De-coloniality is a consequence but also a departure from the concept of “decolonization” that described the Third World struggles for liberation during the Cold War. After 1989, de-coloniality began to be conceived in the sphere of knowledge, epistemology and subjectivity: if coloniality is mainly defined as a logic of management and control of populations and resources, by controlling knowledges and subjectivities decoloniality, then, are processes of “decolonial liberation” from ideals of modernity that hide the logic and the consequences of coloniality (racism, for example, in its epistemic and ontological dimensions).

The activities of the Center are organized around four main areas: (a) workshops, lectures and seminars at Duke University; (b) workshops and seminars with partner institutions and (c) publications both in electronic and printed format (d) exhibitions.

Currently, the Center is engaged in a series of activities under the heading of “Shifting the geo-graphy and the bio-graphy of knoweldges” in collaboration with INPUTS (Center for Postcolonial and Transcultural Studies), the University of Bremen, Germany; NiNsee (Nationaal instituut Nederlands slavernijverleden en erfenis) in Amsterdam, Holland; and Birkbeck University of London.

Concerning publications, the Center has been running WKO (Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise), a web dossier now in its ninth year) and El desprendimiento: pensamiento crítico y opción descolonial, a monographic series co-published with Editorial del Signos (Buenos Aires, Argentina).