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South of South

Inactive Research Group

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 "our" 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.

For further information on South of South, please contact the graduate coordinator, Evan Alterman (evanalt [at] (evanalt[at]stanford[dot]edu)).



Winter 2022

Session 1: Reading discussion of Terence McKenna's Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge - A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution.


Winter 2020

Session 1: Ethnogenesis, History and Indigenous Identity: Myriam Jimeno, Juan Gregorio Palechor: Story of My Life (reading discussion)

Session 2: Power Objects in the Kongo: Dunja Hersak, There Are Many Kongo Worlds: Particularities of Magico-Religious Beliefs among the Viliand Yombe of Congo-Brazzaville (reading discussion)

Session 3: Perspectivism 101: Amazonian Cosmology & Corporealities. A conversation with Prof. Aparecida Vilaça (Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) [event co-sponsored by Materia and the Latin American and the Caribbean workshop]

Session 4: Darvish Khan Esfandiarpur, Imagination and Freedom (film screening and discussion)


Autumn 2019

Session 1: Perspectivism: Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Cannibal Metaphysics (reading discussion)

Session 2: Amerindian Perspectivism and the Humanities: A conversation with Prof. Marília Librandi-Rocha (Princeton)

Session 3: Comparative Cosmologies: Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert, The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman (reading discussion)



Graduate Coordinators

Past Events

Friday, February 21, 2020, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, January 31, 2020, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Friday, January 17, 2020, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Friday, November 22, 2019, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Friday, November 1, 2019, 2:15pm - 4:00pm
Friday, October 18, 2019, 2:00pm - 4:00pm