Peripheral Knowledges

“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 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.

All sessions of the seminar are held in English and French.

Sandeep Bakshi acts as the main convenor of the “Peripheral Knowledges” research seminar.

Meet the team:

Sandeep Bakshi (he/they) is Associate Professor of Decolonial, Postcolonial and Queer Studies, Etudes Anglophones/LARCA, Université Paris Cité. His main areas of research include transnational queer sexualities, decolonial approaches to knowledge formation and postcolonial cultures and literatures. After being awarded a PhD from the School of English, University of Leicester, UK in queer and postcolonial representations of South Asia, he has developed two connected strands outlining narratives of decolonisation, including curriculum and pedagogy, and queer of colour critique and its attendant concern of non-normativity as practice of resisting all forms of domination. Co-editor of Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions (Oxford: Counterpress, 2016), Decolonial Trajectories, special issue of Interventions (2020), and the French language publication, Qu’est-ce que l’intersectionnalitéDominations plurielles: Sexe, classe et race (2021),he has published on queer and race problematics and is one of the founding members and coordinators of the Decolonizing Sexualities Network (

Marie-Jeanne Rossignol is a Professor of American Studies at Université Paris Cité whose specializes in the history of the early American Republic (the United States between 1776 and 1830 roughly). She has just published Noirs et Blancs contre l’esclavage : une alliance antiesclagiste ambiguë aux Etats-Unis 1754-1830 (Karthala, 2022). Her next book (Anthologie de la pensée noire Etats-Unis et Haïti XVIIIè-XIXè siècles, in collab.) is forthcoming. With Claire Parfait, she is the editor of the “Récits d’esclaves/Slave Narratives” series at PURH since 2013.

Karim Morsi is currently a PhD student with a “contrat doctoral” at Université Paris Cité, LARCA UMR 8225. He is working on a thesis entitled « American Protestant Missionaries in Cuba 1898-1920: Between Humanitarian Mission, Religious Proselytizing and Diffusion of American Imperialism” under the supervision of Professors M.J. Rossignol and F. de Chantal. The thesis focuses on the role of missionaries, both men and women but also spouses of missionaries, as non-state actors in the expansion of U.S. imperialism at the turn of the 20th century in Cuba. The research focus is multidisciplinary as the study includes International Relations, religious history, women’s history in a postcolonial frame.


Ancienne élève de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, agrégée d’anglais, Mathilde Louette est doctorante au LARCA (CNRS-UMR 8225) à l’Université Paris Cité. Sa thèse, sous la direction de Cécile Roudeau, porte sur les pratiques littéraires d’une ethnologie inversée dans la littérature autochtone des États-Unis (XXe-XXIe siècles), et la relation de ces pratiques à une vision décoloniale du récit autochtone qui mènerait à une nouvelle façon de lire. Lauréate Fulbright 2021, elle a récemment travaillé sur les archives de l’historien osage John Joseph Mathews à Oklahoma State University, et de l’auteur blackfoot James Welch à la Beinecke Rare Books and Mansucript Library à Yale.

Paul Schor is Associate Professor of US History at Université Paris Cité, UMR LARCA 8225. He specializes in the social history of minorities in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He is the author of Counting Americans. How the US Census Classified the Nation (Oxford UP, 2017) and co-edited Disorder, Histoire sociale des mouvements punk et post punk (2019). He is currently working on a book project on consumer society, norms of everyday life and minority consumers in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. He is also a member of the editorial board of the journal Genèses: Sciences Sociales et Histoire.