Colonialism, Modernity and Their Afterlives: Perspectives From the Central Core & Peripheral Fringe

New School for Social Research: Sociology

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Spring 2024
Taught By: Carlos Forment
Section: A

CRN: 13478

Credits: 3

This seminar introduces students to some of the most influential interpretations of colonialism (broadly understood) that have been advanced by thinkers in different intellectual-political traditions from across the central core and peripheral fringe. Studying the writings of Anglo-European authors (i.e.: uneven and combined development, imperialism, southern question, global color line, boomerang effect) alongside those of their Latin American, Indian and Pan-African counterparts (i.e.: nationalism, dependency, subaltern, post-colonial, de-colonial feminism) provides an opportunity to explore their many shared and divergent concerns as well as some of the subterranean continuities and discontinuities that have defined the boundaries of the age-old dispute on colonialism. In examining their writings, we focus on how each thinker analyzed the material and symbolic links between colonialism and modernity (i.e.: capitalism, liberal democracy, rational and universal principles), and the way their interpretation of them conditioned their depiction of and the differential hierarchies they established among and between countries, peoples, institutions and practices of the Global North and South. The purpose of this exercise, however, is not to ‘provincialize,’ ‘universalize’ or ‘particularize’ any one aspect or either region, as is commonly done by scholars today. Instead, it is to encourage us to reflect critically on the following two questions (and others closely related to them): A) does the anti-colonial perspective provide a convincing counter-narrative of the emergence and development of modernity (capitalism, liberal democracy, rational and universal principles), and is it capable of challenging the image it has of itself? and B) what are the consequences of relying on a ‘concept-interpretation’ that has been developed to analyze a specific issue or problem that surfaced in a given ‘place-time’ to make sense of a similar but somewhat different socio-political-cultural formation?

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Sociology (SOC)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:48am EDT 7/12/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 909
Date Range: 1/24/2024 - 5/8/2024