There is no doubt that the decolonial agenda has muddled the waters of so-called global anthropology and science at large. Inconveniences of the political economy of social and global inequalities are drained out of the very idea of coloniality of power and knowledge in a way which identities are commodified as a new merchandise of an economic system – neoliberalism – based on abstraction as the ultimate form of capital. The very fundamental idea of coloniality of power itself is, therefore, appropriated in an extractive way.
In this context, the notion of Global South reemerges as a widespread watchword used to designate asymmetries between former metropolises and colonies. As opposed to critical and complex cartographies of inequality, such uses of the term frame it as a simplistic epistemological geography that fixates Southern scholars in their own Southern countries. In other words, it reiterates the taken-for-granted idea that scholars from the South represent something that “is” Southern and should valued as such as long as it can be capitalized on as critical thinking under Northern terms and in a manner that is not critical of the political economy of neoliberal academia.
In a manner that is consistent with its history and mission, SEPHIS engages again with critical and difficult debates that can contribute to shape dynamics of knowledge production beyond the divide North/South. What is more, SEPHIS has always played a key role in the promotion of scholars and ideas from the South by challenging domestication of ideas and giving room to really transformative and groundbreaking intellectual praxis.
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.