Boaventura de Sousa Santos denounces the "unspeakable abyssal line" projected by theoretical thinking in the global North that reproduces a persistent distinction between metropolitan and colonial societies: it is a sort of invisible, hegemonic concept outlined along the last five centuries dividing the World into the two sides of the line. The "Northern universalisms" and the concepts descending from it (modernity, rights, democracy ) are based on the realities on this side of the line, leaving the other side of the line invisible. Such an exclusion - says Santos - is such that "what happens there does not compromise the universality of our ideas ( )": such a persistent Western-centric conception of humanity is consistent with its counter-concept of sub-humanity (a set of human groups that are not fully human, be they slaves, women, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, Muslims). Such a line is recalled in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular emphasis in South Africa, in the extremely interesting debate on the decolonisation of knowledge underway: this is a topic involving students, teachers and intellectuals, rooted in the protest "Rhodes must fall", and connected to the old discourse "Decolonising the mind" (1967) engaged by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o. This line is evident both in "developmentalist" attitudes of sub-Saharan African (SSA) leaders, and the shocking reactions towards the integration of African immigrants in European societies. So, such discourse only apparently can be limited to one Country in the extreme South of Africa. It should be framed in a wider discourse about "post-coloniality", its meaning and its transmission in the education programs on both sides of the line, instead: deeply affected, as it is, by the permanent equation modernity=colonialism. Challenging concepts - such as modernity, development and their sustainability - will be deepened via African sources/scholars, in historical key, to understand better the policies pursued by the African states, in the framework of international relations and "development aid". Passing through the interpretations of Cooper and of the Comaroffs, challenging concepts - such as modernity, development, post-working era and their sustainability - will be analyzed in their historical depth.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
The aim of the interview is to assess the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student. In particular, it will assess the students' ability to use literature and to reason on the debates in course and those developed during the classes.
Periodo: Terzo trimestre
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