The South of South workshop examines and builds upon concepts emerging in “the South of the South”, the hinterlands of the “Global South” that have traditionally remained outside of humanistic inquiry. Eduardo Viveiros de Castro has written on Amazonian metaphysics as a full-fledged philosophical intervention, and we take this move as paradigmatic. For us, other forms of knowing, such as Yoruba conceptions of personhood, Andean earth-kinship, and fractal subjectivity in rural Papua-New Guinea are examples of powerful ideas that can (and should) shape the Humanities as a whole. That they have tended to remain isolated within the social sciences as objects of study rather than frameworks for advanced humanistic thought is something we hope to address.
What happens to the idea of “literature,” for example, when seen through the lens of Amazonian multinaturalism, according to which one’s body does not condition one’s perspective on the world but rather determines the very world in which one lives? What happens to notions of ontology when we take seriously Melanesian and Oceanic ideas of holographic dualism?
Through careful consideration of concepts from the hinterlands of the Global South, we hope to advance and develop research that is amply comparative. Rather than looking at primary texts and seeking to “understand” them under the comforting light of Western theories or aesthetic categories, our hope is to build theoretical frameworks that place concepts from the hinterlands into conversation with Western thought, art and literature.
In practical terms, the workshop will revolve around: 1) an open discussion of relevant materials, including, but not limited to, texts; 2) invited speakers presenting their current research; and 3) a “carbon-zero” conference held each Spring term with participants (via video and text) from across the world.
For further information on South of South, please contact the graduate coordinator, Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo (email@example.com).