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De-Coloniality Now: Trajectories and Contestations

A collaborative research initiative at the University of Freiburg

This multidisciplinary initiative aims to engage with coloniality and decoloniality as global phenomena of the contemporary period. We examine transregional processes of contact, interaction, domination, appropriation, contestation, and resistance, as well as asymmetries, hierarchies, relationalities, and entanglements in today’s world.

We understand coloniality as a form of social domination that pertains to the extraction of resources just as it does to regimes of knowledge. While it continues to characterize global asymmetries and epistemologies today, we can also observe counter-currents, resistances, appropriations, and the emergence of new hegemonies. The phenomenon of decoloniality and the discourses that convey it will be focal points of interest.

We look at coloniality as a phenomenon that started with the European colonial expansion into the Americas in 1492 and continues until this day. In analyzing it, our approach is global, transregional, and comparative. We take into consideration the post-Soviet context, as well as emerging contemporary forms of coloniality and their connections and overlaps with forms of imperial rule, for example in relation to Chinese and Indian efforts at regional and transregional expansion.

Moreover, we aim to reverse the gaze by assessing the legacy of colonialism throughout Europe from the perspective of coloniality and decoloniality. This means broadening our view beyond regional categories such as “Latin America”, “Eastern Europe”, or “the Middle East” and looking at migration and diaspora communities from the perspective of migrants, refugees, and displaced people. It also entails a critical scrutiny of the colonial heritage as it is embodied in many European, and particularly German, academic institutions, museums, collections, disciplines, and epistemologies.

As a project situated at a university in Western Europe, it will be imperative to integrate perspectives from the Global South and East. We are committed to consistently collaborating with partners from these regions through fellowships and joint publications.

Disciplines

  • Arabic Philosophy
  • Byzantine Archeology
  • Catholic Theology
  • Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology
  • English Linguistics
  • English Literature
  • Epistemology and Theory of Science
  • Forest and Environmental Policy
  • Gender Studies in STEM
  • Human Geography
  • Islamic Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Modern History
  • Political Science
  • Romance Linguistics
  • Romance Literature
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Slavic Linguistics
  • Slavic Literature
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Sociology

Coordinators

Previous and current projects and achievements

Enabling Structures