Global Theory Club:
Critical Book Club on Postcolonial Theory, Global Economy, and Development Aid
In the 21st century, the era of the great colonial empires is over and most former colonies have achieved formal sovereignty. Yet, the Global North´s economic, political, and cultural hegemony over the Global South has not been broken. Instead, it has been reshaped in the terms of capitalistic exploitation and paternalizing development aid.
The Global Theory Club is a reading circle with the goal of sharpening our understanding of these global power disbalances. It is especially suited for every political activist willing to do some theoretical groundwork, as well as any academic lacking the critical-political dimension in their education. But of course, everybody is welcome.
No prior knowledge is required, and the sessions will be guided. The pensum will be in English and should not exceed 20 – 30 pages for each meeting. The topics will be chosen democratically, but I would like to suggest the following layout:
We can follow a ‘Marxist’ line of analysis, starting with Marx´ ‘Manifest of the Communistic Party’ as well as a crash course on Marx´ economics (e. g. based on his speech ‘Value, Price, and Profit’). From here on, we can discuss Immanuel Wallerstein´s ‘World System Analysis’: This theory ascribes the Global North the position of the world´s economic ‘centre’, defining the flow of capital and the demands, whereby the Global South in the economical ‘periphery’ is mainly characterized as a provider of resources and as a production site. We can also discover the ‘intersectional’ approaches of feministic Marxists such as the US-American activist Angela Davis or the Indian poststructuralist Gayatri Spivak, discussing power in the triple-category of race, class, and gender.
Another main line of investigation will lie on postcolonial theory and its various strategies for overcoming the long-lasting remains of economic, political, and cultural imperialism: We can follow the traces of the French-Martinique philosopher and psychoanalyst Frantz Fanon in his multifaceted analysis of the neurotic dimension of racism. We can discuss how the Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire responds to authoritarianism and corruption in Global South democracies with a revolutionary, anti-hierarchical conception of pedagogy. We can read how the West´s ‘exotic’ conception of the Orient, according to the Palestinian literature theoretician Edward Said, is defined not by cultural interest or observation, but by the West´s desire for distinction and self-affirmation. Or we can discuss how relations of development aid can often stabilize the dependency of the Global South to the Global North (James Ferguson).
START: 22. FEBRUARY 2023, 17:30
WHEN: EVERY 2ND WEDNESDAY, SAME TIME
WHERE: WESSELSGADE 2, 2200 COPENHAGEN
WHO: OPEN FOR ALL, FREE OF CHARGE
FOOD: WILL BE PROVIDED
BEER/ SODA: 15 KR. (OR BRING YOUR OWN)
- Davis, Angela: Woman, Race and Class (1981)
- Fanon, Frantz: Black Skin, White Masks (1952)
- Fanon, Frantz: The Wretched of the Earth (1961)
- Ferguson, James: The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (1994)
- Freire, Paulo: Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968)
- Marx, Karl: Manifesto of the Communistic Party (1848)
- Marx, Karl: Value, Price and Profit (1865)
- Said, Edward: Orientalism (1978)
- Spivak, Gayatri: Can the Subaltern Speak? (1988)
- Wallerstein, Immanuel: The Capitalist World-Economy (1979)