Center for Global Studies and the Humanities

Duke University

Current Projects

Shifting the Geo-graphy and Bio-graphy of Knowledge

An ongoing series organized around workshops exploring a crucial issue of de-colonial thinking and de-colonial humanities.

Shifting the Geo-graphy and Bio-graphy of Knowledge” is a three-year project sponsored by the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities. The title of the project comes from two different sources. One is the concept of “Geo-politics of Knowledge” introduced as a key concept of Philosophy of Liberation in Latin America in the mid 70s, and the other, “Shifting the Geography of Reason,” was introduced as a key founding concept of the Caribbean Philosophical Association in 2002. This project, emerging from the Humanities, is not limited to this domain but attempts to engage in conversations with other areas of academic knowledge as well as with knowledge production in social movements and institutions (e.g., human rights), in the U.S. as well as across the globe.

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Worlds & Knowledges Otherwise (WKO)

WKO is a web dossier whose intent is to promote scholarly debate directly impinging on socio-economic, legal-political, and ethico-philosophical issues around the world. Implicit in this goal is the intention to link scholarly work and social transformation. A second goal, indicated by the title of the web dossier, is to promote dialogue between different geo-historical locations, with the conviction that the future can no longer be imagined from one single and overarching perspective and its internal diversity. Conflicts around the world today involve people and societies with languages and principles of knowledges embedded in those languages, other than the languages and knowledges of the Western world. Each dossier, according to these principles, will bring together arguments about interrelated topics made in different local histories and therefore inserted in different traditions.

If you are interested in submitting articles to be considered for WKO, check out the submission guidelines:
wko submission guidelines

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Previous Projects

Dialogical Ethics and Critical Cosmopolitanism

Cosmopolitan Thinking/Dialogical Ethics will be devoted to thinking in and from the cracks and the conflicts between the triumphal claims than the world is flat and the consequences of imperial actions taken to flattening the world; to explore the possibilities of thinking otherwise in the areas of political economy, political theory, epistemology, ethics, subjectivity, etc; and to explore the relations between technological innovations and the reproduction of exploitation and marginalization.

Romand Coles and Walter Mignolo initiated this three-year project as an outcome of the seminar, “Race, Religion, and Globalization.” The project involves a core group of Duke and UNC faculty and graduate students interested in exploring the links between knowledge, morality, and social transformation. Walter Mignolo (Duke) and Mark Driscoll (UNC) are the current co-convenors of this seminar.

The first year was devoted to discussion based on the current research of its own members plus three guest scholars: Irish Young, a political scientist from the University of Chicago; Paula Moya, a professor of English and Latino/as Studies at Stanford University; and Tariq Ali, an intellectual and activist who writes for the New Left Review in London.

The year 2002-2003 was devoted to “Human Rights, Ethics, and Critical Cosmopolitanism.” Visitors included: Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Coimbra, Portugal; Catherine Walsh, a professor and activist from the Universidad Andina, Quito, Ecuador; and Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, a Nigerian philosopher who teaches at De Paul University in Chicago.

At the end of the third year (2004), the group will launch a full-scale conference on the moral, political, and intellectual concerns they have raised in the workshop.

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An Overview of Projects