“Peripheral Knowledges”, an interdisciplinary seminar, aims to combine insights from contemporary debates in critical race theory and decolonial studies on knowledge production. This research seminar replaces the “Écrire l’Histoire Depuis Les Marges” (EHDLM) – Paris Diderot seminar, an extension of the EHDLM project https://hdlm.hypotheses.org/ (2013-2016) funded by the IDEX USPC, which had focused on African-American history and thought. In the period 2019-2023, the “Peripheral Knowledges” seminar will extend its purview to address questions pertaining to decolonising knowledge in global norths and souths.
Decentring Euro-American paradigms of knowledge production, “Peripheral Knowledges” engages with the critique of the Eurocentric dichotomous relation between the west and the rest, knowledge and non-knowledge, and the knowing subject and the performing object. Rooted in disparate geographical locations and academic terrains, it makes the case for reading diverse forms of postcolonial, people of colour, diasporic and minority-discourse knowledges that traditionally occupy the peripheries in university curriculum in global norths. Engaging with the diversity of genealogies of thinking, remembering, performing and producing knowledges is one of the primary objectives of the seminar.
Through a series of presentations, readings, lectures and workshops, this research seminar responds to the long-pending but urgent global demand for the establishment of a non-Eurocentric academy. Conventional academic taxonomies of history, literature, culture, aesthetics, and politics appear porous when criss-crossing lines of knowledges begin to dismantle norms and monoliths of disciplinary boundaries. “Peripheral Knowledges” signals such a move away from Eurocentric enunciation and repetition of knowledge and intellectual practices with a view to engaging with pluriversal ways of being in our world(s), thereby revisiting the question of a new universalism based on these conversations.