Webinar Series- "The Hetero-Temporality of the Global South" with Prathama Banerjee

SEPHIS organizes the second session of its Webinar Series "Emerging Critiques from the South"


The Hetero-Temporality of the Global South

Prathama Banerjee, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), India.

The global South has been imagined in multiple ways – as a geopolitical region, a political economic formation, as a social movement cartography and as a network of distribution of subaltern subjects across nations and borders. In this presentation, I ask if we can imbue the concept of the global South with a temporal valence. Analogous to the conceptions of utopia and heterotopia but without the overwhelming spatial connotation of these terms, I propose that we think of the South as an encounter of multiple, heterogenous times which offer us resources in thinking aside of the hegemonic temporality of colonial modern history. I also suggest that the global South can be so reconvened after the global academy has passed through the moments of postcolonial and decolonial critique. We are now able to undertake the more positive and affirmative task of producing new perspectives and theories from out of multiple historical experiences in conversation with each other, an activity which must necessarily supplement the ongoing task of collective criticism. In that sense, I describe our temporal inhabitation of the global South as a mode of ‘thinking across traditions’ which can avoid false universalisms as well as puritanical claims of national authenticity.

About the Speaker:

Prathama Banerjee is a historian at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). She works at the cusp of intellectual history, political philosophy, and literary studies. Her books include Politics of Time: ‘primitives’ and history-writing in a colonial society (OUP: 2006) and Elementary Aspects of the Political: histories from the global south (Duke University Press: 2020).


About the SEPHIS Webinar Series – Emerging Critiques from the South
This series of webinars titled Emerging critiques from the South invite scholars from the South and/or engaged with a Southern Attitude (Ferreira & Pinheiro, 2020) to share ideas that are not conformed to what has now become canonical, hollow versions of the decolonial critique. One the one hand, we acknowledge the fundamental importance of the decolonial critique, given its history and contributions to the recognition of Southern academias; on the other hand, we believe that emerging perspectives are beginning to take form in order to overcome the current predicament in which scholars critique of coloniality of power and knowledge find themselves. With this webinar series, SEPHIS wants to carry out its historical role of being a platform for bringing together people investing in emerging and innovative ideas aimed at the promotion of real equality through science. The webinar format seeks to privilege conversation between one or more invited scholars with SEPHIS fellows and friends.