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Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge: Debates on History and Power in Europe and the Americas



This collection is an interdisciplinary effort drawing on the work of international scholars and political activists. It addresses key questions in the critique of Eurocentrism and racism regarding debates on the production and sedimentation of knowledge, historical narratives and memories in Europe and the Americas. By conceiving Eurocentrism as a paradigm of interpretation, and race as the key principle of the modern order, the authors bring the relation between knowledge and power to the centre of debate. The book invites to consider institutionalized violence as pervading the regulation of the heterogeneity of (post-)colonial territories and peoples, and to see the politics of knowledge production as a struggle for power seeking profound change. At the heart of this collective endeavour is the long history of international and domestic liberation politics and thought, as well as academic and political reaction through formulas of accommodation that re-centre the West.
Selection and editorial matter © Marta Araújo and Silvia Maeso 2015
Individual chapters © their respective authors 2015
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List of Maps and Tables vii
Acknowledgements viii
Notes on Contributors ix
1 Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and the Entrenched
Will-to-Ignorance: An Introduction 1
Silvia Rodríguez Maeso and Marta Araújo
2 Epistemic Racism/Sexism, Westernized Universities and the
Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long Sixteenth Century 23
Ramón Grosfoguel
3 Violence and Coloniality in Latin America: An Alternative
Reading of Subalternization, Racialization and Viscerality 47
Arturo Arias
4 Social Races and Decolonial Struggles in France 65
Sadri Khiari
5 Towards a Critique of Eurocentrism: Remarks on
Wittgenstein, Philosophy and Racism 80
S. Sayyid
6 How Post-colonial and Decolonial Theories are Received
in Europe and the Idea of Europe 93
Montserrat Galcerán Huguet
7 Africanist Scholarship, Eurocentrism and the Politics of
Knowledge 114
Branwen Gruffydd Jones
8 Scientific Colonialism: The Eurocentric Approach to
Colonialism 136
Sandew Hira
9 Secrets, Lies, Silences and Invisibilities: Unveiling the
Participation of Africans on the Mozambique Front
during World War I 154
Maria Paula Meneses and Margarida Gomes
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vi Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
10 Conceptual Clarity, Please! On the Uses and Abuses of the
Concepts of ‘Slave’ and ‘Trade’ in the Study of the
Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery 178
Kwame Nimako
11 Making the Teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History
and Culture Compulsory: Tensions and Contradictions for
Anti-racist Education in Brazil 192
Nilma Lino Gomes
12 Race and Racism in Mexican History Textbooks: A Silent
Presence 209
María Dolores Ballesteros Páez
13 Social Mobilization and the Public History of Slavery in
the United States 229
Stephen Small
Index 247
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles
and the Entrenched Will-to-
Ignorance: An Introduction
Silvia Rodríguez Maeso and Marta Araújo
This edited collection is an interdisciplinary production, bringing the
work of international scholars and political activists within a wide range
of approaches and disciplines, including History, Anthropology, Political
Sociology, Philosophy, International Relations, Political Economy and
the Sociology of Education. It addresses key contemporary issues in
the critique of Eurocentrism and racism, in relation to debates on the
production, sedimentation and circulation of (scientific) knowledge,
historical narratives and memories in Europe and the Americas. It takes
as its crucial starting point the concept of Eurocentrism as grounded in
the project of Modernity and, in particular, its specific configuration
of colonialism, history and Being which has led to the emergence of
race as a key organizing principle in the modern world order from the
geopolitical perspective of the creation of Europe/Europeanness, the
expression of its hegemony and its contestation.
We consider Eurocentrism as a paradigm for interpreting a (past,
present and future) reality that uncritically establishes the idea of
European and Western historical progress/achievement and its political and
ethical superiority, based on scientific rationality and the construction of
the rule of law. Accordingly, we propose that it is essential to debate
Eurocentrism within the formation of Western knowledge and its claims
for universal validity, since this provides a certain historical mapping of
the world that unambiguously establishes which events and processes
are scientifically relevant and how they are interpreted – simultaneously
discovering and covering them.
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2 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
In order to understand the consequences of Eurocentrism in terms
of the way in which certain patterns of interpretation are produced
and contested, it is vital to question the fundamental basis of the
centuries-old project of Modernity: coloniality/racism. More specifically,
following authors such as Enrique Dussel (2000, 2008), Sylvia Wynter
(1995, 2003) and Aníbal Quijano (2000, 2007), we consider that
Eurocentrism is rooted in the Eurocentred colonization of America in
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and in two interrelated processes:
the production of onto-colonial taxonomies based on the ‘Western Idea
of Man’ (Wynter, 2003; Maldonado-Torres, 2004) in the distribution
of (ir-)rationality/(sub-)humanity (that is, race), and the gradual
establishment of capitalist accumulation as a global standard for labour
and market control. Hence, Eurocentrism is not mere ethnocentrism,
that is, the perspective from which each people tells their history, nor is
racism simply the product of ‘exacerbated ethnocentrism’ (Cox, 1970
[1948]), pp. 477–9).
This conceptual framework calls for a critical analysis of modern
and contemporary configurations of race and racism. In other words,
‘modernity is racial’ (Hesse, 2007, p. 643), and the specific relationships
between power and knowledge that forge the contemporary contours of
Eurocentrism can tell us about the histories of race and racism and their
enduring legacies. This is paramount to unsettling a key epistemologi-
cal and political effect of the ways in which we interpret Modernity and
the idea of a European specificity (implicitly read as superiority), that
is, the drawing of an ‘abyssal line’ (Santos, 2007) in the production of
history. Boaventura de Sousa Santos has characterized modern thinking
as ‘abyssal thinking’, consisting of ‘a system of visible and invisible
distinctions, the invisible ones being the foundation of the visible ones’
(ibid., p. 45). He thus argues that whereas ‘Western modernity’ can be
defined ‘as a socio-political paradigm founded on the tension between
social regulation and social emancipation’, the visible distinction is
simultaneously founded on an invisible one that establishes a division
between metropolitan societies and colonial territories. While the
‘regulation/emancipation’ dichotomy is applied to the metropolitan
side of the line, the colonial territories are ruled by the ‘appropriation/
violence’ dichotomy. Following this analysis, Santos considers ‘modern
scientific knowledge and modern law’ as ‘the most accomplished and
clear manifestation of abyssal thinking’ (ibid., p. 46). Accordingly, the
spheres of science and law produce, and are sustained by, a ‘radical denial’
that ‘eliminates whatever realities are on the other side of the line’;
although the colonial side of the line is the condition of possibility for the
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 3
emergence of modern law and science, this is rendered invisible (ibid.,
p. 48). Erasing this history – what Maldonado-Torres (2004, p. 30) has
described as the ‘forgetfulness of coloniality in both Western Philosophy
and contemporary social theory’ – is, therefore, a key characteristic of
Eurocentrism. This allows for an interpretation of Modernity – of liberal
democracy, citizenship, the nation-state and human rights, among other
‘universal’ categories – as if race, racism and colonialism did not lie at
the core of this historical process, inside and outside the geographical
borders of ‘Europe’, Europeanized nation-states and/or the West. Most
importantly, race has been tenaciously produced and inscribed in the
world through ‘the idea of a neutral epistemic subject whose reflections
only respond to the structures of the spaceless realm of the universal’
(ibid., p. 29), an aspect crucial to the debates analyzed in this collection.
In conceiving of Eurocentrism as a paradigm for an interpretation of
reality, we insist on the need to bring the relationship between knowledge
and power to the centre of disputes on national identity, cultural
diversity and the validation of ‘other’ narratives. More specifically,
we insist on the need to interrogate and explain what Sylvia Wynter
(1992, 1995, 2003) refers to as the ‘organization/order of knowledge’
and its ‘descriptive/prescriptive statements’. We argue that what is at
stake is not that the history of Europe and the Americas is being written
without considering colonialism and racial enslavement, but rather that
the dominant approach often interprets these processes as a dark chapter
(UNESCO, 2002, p. 17) in the triumphant development of Modernity
(Wolf, 1997 [1982]), that is, an appendix to this history that is offset by
the eventual progress in rights, equality and democracy. Accordingly,
while colonialism and racism may be acknowledged in the debates on
history and memory, they are often approached, to paraphrase Aimé
Césaire (2000 [1955], p. 53), as that ‘annoying fly’ that interrupts the
state’s ‘forgetting machine’ (ibid., p. 52), driven by what needs to be
remembered, celebrated or commemorated (e.g. the multicultural
empire, mestizaje, intercultural encounters, liberal revolutions).
Moreover, the legacies of colonialism are to be conventionally
understood within the liberal framework of human rights. Following the
work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1995, p. 96) on the formulas of silence
pervading the production of history on the Haitian Revolution, we
argue that this framework erases and banalizes the histories of collective
struggles and questions of political responsibility (for instance, the
enduring anti-enslavement and anti-colonial/liberation struggles versus
the narratives of White humanist abolitionism and independences
granted in due time – drawing on the idea of the immaturity1 of the
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4 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
colonized for immediate emancipation/liberation). For instance, as
Angela Davis (1981, p. 59) showed in the case of White anti-slavery/
abolitionist and women’s rights movements in the United States, these
initiatives towards emancipation both perpetuated racism and failed to
promote a wider anti-racist consciousness – an example of the enduring
rule of White supremacy/privilege.
We thus consider it crucial to approach the history of the formation
of modern nation-states as inextricably bound to that of colonialism
and racial enslavement (Goldberg, 2002; Santos, 2007; Nimako and
Willemsen, 2011). This conceptual approach enables the discussion
to move beyond traditional analyses that view debates on history and
memory as merely a matter of the identity politics of groups demanding
representation (Wynter, 1992; Deloria, 1995), particularly evident
in the Northern American context, or as an issue emerging from the
so-called challenges of globalization and the increasing diversity
of national societies otherwise viewed as ethnically homogeneous
in Europe (Goldberg, 2002, 2009). Hence the collection of chapters
presented here takes as its starting point the critical enquiry of taken-
for-granted assumptions underlying interpretations of the boundaries
of the colonial, the national, and Europe/Europeanness (Hesse, 2007).
In particular, this book engages with the construction of the ‘Euro-
Immigrant nation’ (Wynter, 1992) in several American contexts and the
presumed homogeneity of the nation in Europe – achieved and enforced
through violence and the purging of difference (Goldberg, 2002,
2009). Both these notions consecrate the privilege of White Europeans
and their descendants, albeit unwritten in historical accounts due to
a depoliticizing approach (Brown, 2006). If, on the contrary, we take
heterogeneity as constitutive of (post-)colonial nation-states and race
as the key governing principle behind the subjugation of populations/
nature and the distribution of moral values, the privilege of unmarked
whiteness (inscribed in institutions, laws and practices) becomes a terrain
for academic enquiry and political struggle. This is all the more relevant
with regard to historical narratives, since they constitute a crucial
site for the naturalization of privilege, as is evident in contemporary
discussions on colonialism, slavery and (anti-)racism. Accordingly,
several chapters in this collection interrogate the ways in which different
patterns of silencing articulate with, and accommodate, recognition and
representation through formulas of knowledge production, consolidation
and consumption that trivialize existing power arrangements and
enduring political struggles. As a whole, they point to the consequences
of unveiling local and regional interconnected histories opening up a
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 5
tension not only with ‘other’ histories, but also with specific attempts
within Eurocentric thought to continually reshape the world in racially
hierarchical terms and to recentre the West/Europe.
Organization of the book
Chapters 2–8 focus on the notion of Eurocentrism as a paradigm for
interpreting reality grounded in the project of Modernity, that is, in
colonialism, capitalism and race. In particular, these contributions
engage with the geopolitics of knowledge production in order to
understand and challenge the ways in which academic narratives and
methodologies are embedded in the naturalization and reproduction
of racism.
Chapter 2 by Ramón Grosfoguel interrogates the historical roots of
the contemporary order of knowledge (re)produced by the Westernized
university, which renders other Western and non-Western knowledges
inferior and outside the acceptable canon of thought. The author regards
the contemporary hegemonic Human Sciences as founded on epistemic
racism/sexism and locates their roots in the four genocides/epistemicides
of the long sixteenth century: against Jewish and Muslim populations
during the conquest of Al-Andalus and its aftermath; against Indigenous
peoples in the conquest of the Americas; against Africans kidnapped
and enslaved in the Americas; against women accused of witchcraft and
burned alive in Europe. The chapter unfolds in dialogue with Enrique
Dussel’s insightful critique of the ontological and epistemological
assumptions of Cartesian philosophy. The author analyzes how these
four genocides/epistemicides made it possible for ‘I conquer, therefore I
am’ to be transformed into the epistemic racism/sexism of the Cartesian
rationale ‘I think, therefore I am’. Grosfoguel’s approach reveals the
interrelation between these four processes of violence as constitutive of
the modern/colonial world’s epistemic structures and of Western man’s
epistemic privilege. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the need
to move beyond Eurocentred Modernity and discusses the implications
and possibilities for the decolonization of the Westernized university.
In Chapter 3, Arturo Arias focuses more closely on the nature
of violence in the modern colonial world. Proposing a decolonial
perspective, Arias explores the nature of violence exercized by hegemonic
elites over subalternized and racialized civil societies in Latin America
vis-à-vis the ‘visceral’ reaction of colonized subjects. This is illustrated
by two cases: the nineteenth-century Yucatan Caste War and the late
twentieth-century Guatemalan Civil War. Arias discusses the ways in
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6 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
which the justification for violence has been anchored in the ontological
naturalization of racism at the centre of the everyday governance of all
kinds of domestic events or, in other words, the ways in which colonialism
has enabled Indigenous peoples and African ‘slaves’ to be conceived of
as inferior to the conquering European subjects. Regarding the Yucatan
Caste War, the author argues that the actual violence unleashed by
Indigenous subjects is a solid example of a situation in which originary
violence, enacted by Western elites convinced of their racial superiority,
significantly contributed towards forestalling any possibility of peaceful
behaviour on the part of the Indigenous population. Arias suggests
that a similar case could be argued for the 37-year-long civil war in
Guatemala, referring in particular to the brutal military counter-
offensive against the insurrection in the Maya highlands that began
in the summer of 1982. The author therefore argues that it is necessary
to read and locate the Maya population’s visceral response outside the
disciplinary political mythologies of Western-centred revolutionary
progress and the national ideal of mestizaje. More specifically, Arias sees
the Guatemalan Maya movement’s construction of a transnational field
of political struggle as extending beyond the repressive epistemological
frontiers of nationhood that have characterized the Marxist-oriented
Ladino left. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the challenges
posed by a decolonial logic: what happens when we view violence not
only as inevitable, but as ‘just’?
In Chapter 4, Sadri Khiari offers an appraisal of the context in which a
decolonial strategy emerged in anti-racist struggles in France. His starting
point is that racism can only be successfully approached by considering
the political arena as the site of a power struggle between races, thus
moving beyond the legacy of the colonial progressive/conservative or
left/right cleavage which structures politics and has implied rendering
the racial invisible. The consequence of the universal linear Eurocentric
history that unfolded with the advent of Modernity and progress
has been the relegation of other spaces, experiences and accounts
to non-history or to earlier stages of history. Khiari thus interrogates
the French conversion of a worldwide system of racial domination
established since the sixteenth century and embodied in the formation
and consolidation of the (White) Republic, which preserves the
privilege of the unmarked whiteness constitutive of the racial system.
In analyzing the challenges faced by decolonial politics in France,
he points to the need to construct a border strategy that recognizes
the dislocated sites and disjointed temporalities of emancipation and
liberation struggles beyond the White Eurocentric political imaginary.
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 7
Khiari argues that while liberation struggles developed an international-
ist character (for example, the resistance of Africans deported to America
and the Caribbean, the anti-colonial wars and the converging struggles
of the ‘Third World’ following independence or the anti-apartheid
struggles in South Africa), they should be interpreted as racial struggles
against White power. Within this approach, struggles for emancipation
and liberation within the French Hexagon ought to be understood as
resistance to the racial order challenging the continuing renewal of
the coloniality of power relations. The author illustrates this with the
articulation of class and race struggles, integrationist anti-racism and
contemporary academic explanations of racism, which have established
race as external to any historical power relationship, thus looking to
the state for the possibility of its regeneration – in harmony with the
republican ideal – whilst preventing anti-racism from being regarded as
a political strategy outside particularism.
In Chapter 5, S. Sayyid casts a critical gaze upon certain readings
of the post-colonial and calls for an engagement not simply with the
critique of media representations and cultural prejudice, but also with
the profound ways in which Eurocentrism is constitutive of Western
knowledge. In his view, this is a necessary endeavour to grasp the ways
in which cultural, philosophical and geopolitical forces and processes
were organized in the service of the Eurocentred (colonial and racial)
world order. Accordingly, he proposes to move beyond essentialism in
the critique of Eurocentrism, laying down the horizons of a decolonial
Philosophy. Sayyid calls for a non-essentialist reading of Wittgenstein’s
work and proposes that his contribution, particularly his later work,
implies a critique of Eurocentrism that is relevant for an understanding
of its relationship with epistemology, culture and racism. Following
Wittgenstein’s performative view of language and the relevance of the
context in which language games are played, Eurocentrism is hence
understood as a learned epistemology and ontology, rather than just
in geopolitical terms. The chapter closes with the author distinguishing
the difference between being European and the project of Eurocentrism,
emphasizing that neither Eurocentrism nor its critique is exclusive
to Europeans. Considering the logic of Eurocentrism a relationship
of domination, Sayyid argues that the search for epistemological
alternatives towards decolonial ends, including the decolonizaton of
post-colonial studies, cannot reproduce the hierarchy of the West over
the non-West.
In Chapter 6, Montserrat Galcerán Huguet poses crucial questions
about the interrelationship between contemporary European politics
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8 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
and established scholarship, which points towards the enduring
centrality of an idea of Europe that continues to claim universal
validity whilst remaining blind to the colonial difference that sustains
the Enlightenment concept of reason. Galcerán Huguet starts by
considering the effects of post-colonial and decolonial theories on the
idea of Europe and by raising the fundamental epistemological question
that these conceptual approaches imply: how to think beyond the colonial
framework? Her analysis interrogates the resistance among European
academics and intellectuals to post-colonial and decolonial theories,
taking as an example the French context and the work by Africanist
scholar Jean-François Bayart, namely his critical position regarding the
theoretical, historical and political claims of the Party of the Indigenous
of the Republic. Galcerán Huguet focuses on the ways in which
post-colonial theories developed within Anglo-American academia
have merged with the European trend known as post-structuralism,
most notably the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, and
how post-colonial writers place themselves in a highly contentious area
in which worldwide Westernization is taken as a given. She stresses
that this literature locates the discussion of ‘European identity’ in the
recognition that the European project of Modernity was founded on the
enslavement of other peoples and cultures, whose lives and experiences
have been marked by these processes. Yet, as she argues, there is also a
reluctance to acknowledge coloniality except in a sanitized way that
reflects the supposed European self-critical tradition, as illustrated by
the 2003 European Manifesto signed by Jürgen Habermas and Jacques
Derrida. Finally, the author discusses the specific place of Latin America
and Spain within this constellation of political and academic debates,
theories and interventions, pointing to the differences between
post-colonial and decolonial studies in the use of critical categories for
dominant thought. The chapter concludes by questioning the epistemic
privilege of dominant European culture in worldwide academia.
In Chapter 7, Branwen Gruffydd Jones focuses on the power/
knowledge relationship, exposing the pervasiveness of Eurocentrism at
the heart of the rise and consolidation of Africanist scholarship. Her
analysis centres on nineteenth-century British and European colonial
enterprises and the post-war establishment of ‘area studies’ in the US.
Jones sees knowledge production as a crucial element of European
colonial rule and as becoming institutionalized in research programmes
via funding from large American philanthropic foundations since
World War II (for instance, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford), particularly
in the face of growing anti-colonial protest and organization. Her
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 9
analysis thus helps to unravel how hegemonic Africanist scholarship
has conformed to this geopolitics and to the epistemological context
of modernization theory, behaviouralism and positivist comparative
politics. Jones questions the predominant academic debates within this
framework, which range from issues concerning political transition
and instability, nationalism, political parties, leadership and the role of
elites, to the more specific analysis of neo-patrimonialism. Accordingly,
she considers it paramount to draw attention to the Philosophy of
History within which these vocabularies and theoretical frameworks
have been constructed as one which positions African societies in a time
separate from, and prior to, that of Europe or the West – also prevalent
in other studies in areas which analyze politics in so-called ‘new’ and
‘developing’ states. Jones concludes by warning of the pervasiveness
of a historicist consciousness in the conventional vocabularies of ‘state
failure’, which echoes a lament for the passing of colonial rule.
In Chapter 8, Sandew Hira proposes that mainstream academic and
popular approaches to colonialism and slavery in the Netherlands are
ideologically grounded in the legacies of European White Enlightenment
thinking. He argues that colonialism had a deep impact on the
development of science, defining the way in which the relationship
between European and non-European societies was addressed and
studied and codifying racism within the rise and consolidation of
Western social thought. Scientific colonialism does not consider the view
from the (codified as) ‘other’ and fails to situate its own narrative as
enunciated within the logic of the oppressor and exploiter. Moreover,
as illustrated by Hira’s analysis, this Eurocentric approach also fails to
meet the test of its claims for factuality and logical rationality. This is
often overlooked in academic endeavours due to unchecked implicit
assumptions and propositions, the production of knowledge of a
descriptive nature, the deployment of statistical data to confer scientific
authority on a particular ideological positioning, and partial accounts
of colonialism and slavery. Hira thus engages with a Decolonizing the
Mind approach which aims to make such assumptions and concepts
explicit, in addition to checking their factual and logical basis.
Chapters 9–13 critically engage with dominant contemporary
conceptual frameworks and official narratives on the (post-)colonial
nation, race and history. In particular, the authors engage with accounts
of colonialism, slavery and the colonized in terms of their relation to
customary national histories and enduring struggles against racism.
The marginalization of critical narratives by/on the colonized and
their relegation to scientific, political and pedagogical irrelevance in
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10 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
Europe and the Westernized world are some of the ideas discussed. One
implication of these Eurocentric academic and political approaches is
that they reflect on the dissemination and sedimentation of knowledge,
namely in museums, state-sanctioned curricula and textbooks, which
are analyzed in several chapters in this collection.
In Chapter 9, Maria Paula Meneses and Margarida Gomes interrogate
the exclusion of the view codified as ‘other’, exploring the silences on
African involvement in World War I by looking at the case of the theatres
of war in territories colonized by Portugal (which maintained a state
of ‘neutrality’). The chapter illustrates the interrelationship between
the methods applied to compel Africans to serve on the Mozambique
front in World War I to prevent a German invasion – with a focus on
the role of the Niassa Company and the carriers – and the legal system
that imposed forced labour and extended the existing structure of racial
hierarchy. The authors thus unravel the ways in which World War I and
its aftermath were crucial to the enforcement of modern Portuguese
colonial policies. Following Boaventura de Sousa Santos’ sociology of
absences and his critical theory on ‘modern abyssal thinking’, Meneses
and Gomes highlight the ways in which the dominant Western
narrative on World War I has failed to consider ‘other’ involvements
(their reasons, trajectories and implications) precisely because it favours
a Eurocentric and linear approach to the history of this conflict,
primarily recognizing the (mostly White) expeditionary forces that
fought on the European front as lawful combatants. Thus, the silence
surrounding the African troops in Mozambique during World War I
is exemplary of the re-enactment of an abyssal line that tenaciously
splits the metropolitan from the colonial side of the line. The chapter
shows that an approach to the conflict as restricted to the geographical
limits of Europe is closely related to the long-standing tendency to
treat African social phenomena as atypical, local processes outside
global rational explanations, assuming linear temporality as the neutral
medium within which history unfolds.
The scholarly production of knowledge is also a central question
in Chapter 10 by Kwame Nimako. This author calls for conceptual
clarity within academic and political approaches and discourses on
the transatlantic slave trade and slavery (including ‘modern slavery’),
in the light of the weak empirical grounding for these concepts and
their nineteenth- and twentieth-century reinventions (after the legal
abolition of slavery and the end of the Cold War). Nimako questions the
current conceptual inflation, academic institutionalization and univer-
salization of these notions among career historians. He thus challenges
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 11
the practice of calling on archival material to validate certain scientific
claims – which broadly overlooks the fact that such evidence was
obtained and preserved for specific purposes, including maintaining
the racial hierarchy. In considering that this material can be used to
study social formation and the production of knowledge, Nimako thus
suggests we engage with, rather than ignore, the historical fraud that
allows for the perpetual naturalization of slavery and shifts the burden of
responsibility for slavery away from Europe and European descendants.
This conceptual shift is crucial to discussing the legacies of European
slavery, specifically with regard to the formation of the nation-state,
national identities and cultural traditions, and the continuing (though
changing) racisms that shape international and domestic relations. The
chapter concludes with the suggestion that the abuse of the concept of
slavery is partly a consequence of parallel lives and intertwined belonging:
people sharing the same spaces but having different experiences and
memories, giving rise to different understandings and notions of
freedom and emancipation, with consequences for the production of
In Chapter 11, Nilma Lino Gomes addresses the historical demands
of the Black movement during the last century in Brazil, particularly
in terms of education. In 2003, under the Lula da Silva government,
these demands culminated in the legal requirement for the mandatory
teaching of the history of African-Brazilian and African history and
culture in compulsory education. By linking this official initiative to
other related debates – such as anti-racist teaching and affirmative
action – Gomes explores the challenges, tensions and contradictions
that have emerged with the implementation of this law. Although the
background context to its approval is the emerging consensus on the
lack of representation and misrepresentation of ethno-racial diversity in
Brazil, resulting from enduring grassroots struggles, the implementation
of the law has revealed the difficulties in achieving anti-racist teaching
throughout the Brazilian educational system. Despite the alliances
that have been formed between the state, international organizations
and grassroots movements, the broader context of political ambiguity
in the commitment to fight racism and the legacies of a Eurocentric
knowledge system have hampered meaningful change. Ten years
after its implementation, this legislation has not been sufficiently
consolidated in public policies, thus curtailing the efforts made by
grassroots movements to achieve structural change in education.
Nonetheless, such collective demands have been crucial to launching a
broader political debate across the country on institutionalized racism.
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12 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
Chapter 12 explores the limited changes to history teaching in
Mexico brought about by state reforms to education which were, at
least partially, a reaction to the grassroots struggles of the Zapatista
movement. Dolores Ballesteros Páez focuses on discourses on race and
racism in secondary education history teaching following the 1993
and 2006 educational reforms in Mexico, which were meant to contest
the assimilationist approach that pervaded the education system
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since the uprising of
the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in 1994 and the adoption
of international recommendations on the multicultural curriculum,
the defence of a pluricultural identity has emerged in schoolbooks.
However, as Ballesteros Páez suggests, despite the increasing
representation of certain populations (especially Indigenous and
African enslaved populations), these remain a silent presence: although
the 2006 education reform introduced a multi/intercultural approach
(mostly adding new content to textbooks), by continuing to silence
the racist and nationalist ideas behind the political construction of the
Mexican nation, these populations remain on the margins of the main
narrative. Mexican national identity, drawing on ideas such as mestizaje
and, more recently, multiculturalism and interculturality, is nowadays
constructed as homogeneous (supposedly a blend of Indigenous,
African and Spanish elements), whilst erasing certain populations
from national history, restricting their presence to small sections or
viewing them as limiting the modernization of the country. Through
the illusion of inclusion, the privileged position of the descendants of
Spanish colonial settlers is both consecrated and rendered invisible,
whilst a systematic and historically informed reflection on racism and
its changing dynamics in Mexican society is evaded. This can be seen
in the erasure of the idea of race as a crucial factor in contemporary
inequalities and as a key mobilizing force within grassroots struggles.
This chapter thus illustrates the limited horizons of policy reform in
challenging Eurocentrism in education.
In Chapter 13, the final chapter, Stephen Small analyzes the
processes of knowledge production and dissemination that have made
‘other’ experiences and narrations visible, although still consigned to
marginality in public history. Specifically, he focuses on the public
memory of slavery and on representations of the struggles of African-
Americans in museums and on plantation sites. Small argues that while
there is an impressive amount of research and knowledge about slavery
and its legacies in the US and extensive information is available in a wide
range of museums, mainstream accounts continue to provide narrow
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 13
coverage and a particular discursive orientation – presenting a grand
narrative of American history that emphasizes freedom, equality and
fairness. Despite improvements, these accounts do not fully escape the
US nationalist ideology of progress and the legacy of Southern gentility,
disavowing public discussion of race and slavery. Plantation museums
incorporate or marginalize slavery in relative terms, or simply annihilate
it from their narratives. Specialist museums managed by African-
Americans, on the other hand, tend to offer a more complete account
of the extent and depth of slavery and its legacies, which is crucial
to challenging dominant views and assumptions and to highlighting
their contributions to labour, technology, medicine, knowledge and
culture in the US. Small thus argues that the contemporary museum
infrastructure continues to constitute a ‘separation of knowledge’ that
is the outcome of the ‘segregation of knowledge’ – itself a legacy of
slavery and legal segregation. His chapter reminds us that knowledge
production is inseparable from racialized ideologies, and that these
ideologies continue to be shaped by a combination of factors, including
economic profit, political gain, nostalgia and the evasion of guilt, as
well as hostility to Black people. Small concludes that only continued
social mobilization will prevent the marginalization of knowledge of
the Black experience in US history.
* * *
Dominant debates on colonialism and racial enslavement exemplify the
workings of Eurocentrism as a paradigm of knowledge production and
interpretation. Despite occupying a marginal position within modern
historiography (Trouillot, 1995; Vergès, 2008), in recent decades there
has been a re-emergence of political and academic interest in the
history and in memorialization of slavery on both sides of the Atlantic.
International efforts have been crucial in fostering public debate,
namely: (a) the International UNESCO Slave Route programme focusing
on disseminating knowledge on slavery, which was launched in Benin
in 1994 following a proposal by Haiti and several African countries; (b)
the 2001 United Nations-sponsored Durban World Conference against
Racism and the declaration that the transatlantic slave trade and slavery
were inextricably associated with racism; (c) the UNESCO initiatives
launched during the International Year for the Commemoration of the
Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (2004) to encourage research
into the links between the slave trade, slavery and contemporary racism.
Despite their relevance in launching a debate that in many contexts
had been dormant, three questions are particularly problematic
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14 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
within the approach and initiatives proposed. Rooted in Eurocentric
thinking, such endeavours depoliticize Atlantic slavery and regenerate
the historical cover-up of its close links with colonialism and racism
(Goldberg, 1993; Hesse, 2002). First, through the persistence of the
approach to the ‘transatlantic slave trade’ as a ‘tragedy’ (for example,
UNESCO, 2001, p. 14; 2002, p. 6), an exceptional process, or an appendix
to the history of Europe. The 2001 Durban Declaration (UNESCO,
2002), whilst acknowledging the negative impact of slavery on Africa,
broadly omits its benefits to Europe: Atlantic slavery is approached as a
process happening over there – in the colonies – with little relevance to
European history. Consigning slavery to a dark chapter (ibid., p. 17) of
this history paves the way for the centrality of contemporary narratives
that depoliticize colonialism and enslavement – and, consequently,
racism – within the semantics of mestizaje, multiculturalism and inter-
culturality (Araújo and Maeso, 2012a; see also Ballesteros Páez, Chapter
12 in this volume).
Second, with the increasingly widespread idea of the universality of
slavery – at the heart of the Slave Route project (for example, Diène, 1998;
UNESCO, 2013). This is the revival of a colonial narrative that prevented
racial enslavement from being considered a European ‘discovery’,
generally blaming it on Arabs and Muslims and calling for European
moral outrage alongside continuing colonial exploitation (Hochschild,
2006 [1988]; Gopal, 2006; Nimako, Chapter 10 in this volume). The idea
of the ubiquity of enslavement is also being reformulated within the
currently expanding study of ‘modern slavery’, assuming ‘that research
work on the Atlantic “slave” trade and slavery is exhausted’ (Nimako
and Willemsen, 2011, p. 190). This again turns race into a coincidental
factor in the history of Atlantic slavery, a non-constitutive element of
this system of exploitation. As such, the relationship between slavery
and race becomes relevant – an obsession? – for the scholars and activists
of (anti-)racism but optional or, at most, a parenthesis in academic and
pedagogical accounts of colonialism and slavery.
Third, via an approach to education and scientific knowledge as
antidotes to racism (Henriques, 1984), consolidated in the post-war
context in which UNESCO emerged and eventually becoming
hegemonic. In contemporary times, international debates on slavery
and history teaching continue to enshrine the role of scientific
knowledge in combating racism via the production of accounts that
‘give [this phenomenon] a rigorous scientific character’ (UNESCO, 2001,
p. 15) and thus eradicate ‘ignorance and prejudice’ (ibid., p. 6; see also
pp. 5–12). The relative insignificance of the ‘transatlantic slave trade’
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 15
in European/Western history and historiography (and its contemporary
containment within accommodating narratives) cannot be reduced to a
matter of academic ignorance. Such an approach derives, as Trouillot
(1995, p. 6) suggests, from a positivist view of science that masks the
configurations of power through a naive epistemology. We therefore
need to consider the ‘strange’ silence (UNESCO, 2001, p. 14) on racial
enslavement as the consequence of crucial intellectual choices and
engagements that foster the absence of knowledge but are not reducible
to it (Trouillot, 1995).
These global debates have acquired specific relevance and contours in
different contexts – with race being variously considered as if it could
be temporarily hidden from view, or added in as an extra explanatory
element. Throughout the last century, initiatives to reconsider national
imaginaries of colonialism, race and slavery have emerged in Europe
and in the Americas,2 with education becoming a battleground for
important struggles for knowledge/power. For instance, since the 1960s
in the US,3 the Civil Rights movement has pushed for a reorganization of
the system of knowledge, albeit accompanied by institutional reaction
(Wynter, 1992, p. 11; see also Davis, 1981; Deloria, 1995). As Frank
Füredi (1998) argued, UNESCO’s rejection of race as a scientifically and
politically consensual concept since the 1950s led to the rise of ideas of
cultural difference and pluralism – rather than equality – in international
political and academic debate, which would have an impact on debates in
education. The Cold War and national liberation struggles in Africa and
Asia – endangering the privilege of the West in the world order – further
created a context in which mobilization around racial consciousness
was politically and diplomatically deflected (ibid.). Accordingly, most
debates on history teaching and textbooks have been narrowly framed
by the need to represent the (colonized/enslaved) ‘other’ in multicultural
societies. Official initiatives to broaden the curriculum, as well as much
scholarly work, have failed to move beyond an understanding of racism
as ‘ignorance and prejudice’ and of Eurocentrism as misrepresenting
or lacking the ‘other’ side of history, which is dominant in UNESCO
interventions. They have favoured a rectification and/or compensatory
approach that reduces ‘aggressive nationalism’ (UNESCO, 2001, p. 11)
and adds in limited amounts of the ‘version of the losers’, whilst failing
to challenge existing descriptive and prescriptive rules that determine
Multiculturalism can seem to be an attractive answer to the
particularism of the Euro-Immigrant perspective from which the
present textbooks are written … Rather than seeking to reinvent our
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16 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
present cultural native model, the multi-culturalism alternative seeks
to ‘save’ the nation model by multiculturalizing it. It does not move
outside the conceptual field of our present EuroAmerican cultural
model. (Wynter, 1992, p. 16)
Thus, on both sides of the Atlantic, the master script on slavery
(Swartz, 1992), colonialism, race and the nation has broadly remained
unchanged – by design and by implementation. Debates on the
multicultural curriculum and multiperspectivity have failed to unsettle
Eurocentrism and to produce a profound critique of the construction
of the core idea of the national/European/Western ‘we’ in which the
‘other’ is to be included. Cornel West’s assertion remains relevant:
We need to tell a story about ways in which ‘Eurocentrism’ as
a category for the debate is hiding and obscuring something,
obfuscating a debate, prepackaging a debate that thereby never really
takes place and becomes, instead, this battle between bureaucrats
over slots and curriculum … the only way we get beyond a paralyzing
either/or perspective is to take a look at this idea of Europe, the very
idea of Europe as an ideological construct. (West, 1993, pp. 120–1)
What is therefore required is an approach that considers not merely
the (mis)representation of the ‘other’ but shows the theoretical and
analytical relevance of the notion of Eurocentrism to understanding
the ways in which race and racism are rendered (in)visible in the debate
on nationhood, citizenship, democracy and human rights (Araújo and
Maeso, 2012b). Whilst education is a crucial site for the analysis of the
naturalization both of Eurocentric thinking and of related political
and cultural contestation, these struggles have never been about mere
symbolic representation, but about access to resources (Wynter, 1992;
Deloria, 1995). This is particularly evident in Nilma Gomes’ Chapter
11 in this volume: demands for inclusion in the canon of knowledge
have been linked to a wider struggle against the institutionalization of
racism. Affirmative action in higher education and the debate this has
unleashed in Brazilian universities bears witness to this.
Beyond academic historiography and formal education systems,
the increasing relevance of multisited productions of history should
also be noted, particularly with regard to their role in shaping
collective memories of colonialism, enslavement and racism. Public
commemorations, museums and exhibitions, media productions
and pedagogical materials are crucial sites for the construction and
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 17
sedimentation of historical narratives. They usually reveal the ‘institu-
tionalized practice of social forgetting’ (Nimako and Small, 2012) and
are particularly relevant to understanding the problematic status of
any political discussion on (anti-)racism (Eichstedt and Small, 2003).
While the state has had an advantage in ensuring its citizens acquire
official history through compulsory schooling, museums, public
events and commemorative commissions (Wertsch, 2002), significant
ruptures with official knowledge have often been the result of the
enduring struggles of grassroots movements, political activists and
intellectuals. Local initiatives have been crucial to the development of
collective memories, frequently building on national and international
partnerships. Many of these initiatives and cultural productions aim to
promote alternative, critical forms of memorializing colonialism and
enslavement through intellectual collaboration and communitarian
knowledge production and dissemination (for example, community-
based libraries, digital resources, guided tours). In Europe, for instance,
in cities such as London or Amsterdam, Black History/Heritage tours
have emerged to challenge official discourses that consign colonialism
and enslavement to a distant and thus irrelevant (irreparable) past. In
the US, as Stephen Small argues in Chapter 13 of this volume, despite
the impressive amount of knowledge produced on slavery, most
initiatives designed to memorialize it – in museums and plantation sites
– continue to disseminate a hegemonic narrative on the relationship
between colonialism and nation-state formation; those that do not are
mostly the result of Black mobilization.
This goes to show that the relationship between anti-racist and
political liberation struggles and scientific discourse has always
been, at least, uneasy. Universities have historically been sites for the
reproduction of White privilege, through the canonization of certain
scientific theories and explanations. More importantly, they also provide
the arsenal of categories to be deployed concerning the ‘political’,
the ‘religious’, ‘violence’, and so on, all of which revolve around the
question of Being Human. As Vine Deloria ironically remarks:
The constant drumbeat of scientific personalities who manipulate
the public’s image of Indians by describing archaeological horizons
instead of societies, speaking of hunter-gatherers instead of
communities, and attacking Indian knowledge of the past as fictional
mythology, has created a situation in which the average citizen is
greatly surprised to learn that Indians are offended by racial slurs and
insults. (Deloria, 1995, p. 21)
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18 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
This modern/racist question has compelled colonized peoples ‘to define
what it means to be human because there is a deep understanding
of what it has meant to be considered not fully human, to be savage
(Tuhiwai Smith, 2012 [1999], p. 28; original emphasis). This process
has been somehow translated by scholars into the more fashionable
question of (political) agency, although usually accompanied by the
policing of knowledge production by the colonized and minoritized.
For instance, the pervasiveness of Eurocentrism and racism lays at the
centre of the heated controversy surrounding Rigoberta Menchú Tum
and her biographical testimony on the massacres by the Guatemalan
army in 1981–82. Entitled I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian woman in
Guatemala,4 the testimony follows the publication of a book, by
American anthropologist David Stoll in 1999, questioning the veracity
and representativeness of her narrative (Arias, 2001). To these critiques,
she responded:
It is not a question of you believing in my own truth or someone
else’s; I’m simply saying that I have the right to my memory, as do my
people. (Rigoberta Menchú Tum, interviewed by Juan Jesús Aznárez,
1999, in Aznárez, 2001, p. 116)
This polemic is illustrative of the ways in which certain knowledge is
read as too subjective and suspicious – an ad hoc narrative serving more a
specific (and dubious) political agenda than an objective interpretation
of ‘events’ – as well as the common construction of Indigenous
peoples as easily ‘manipulated’ by external political forces. Although
the relationship between knowledge and power may have been
acknowledged and incorporated in scholarly reflections, Westernized
academia and its internal rules of reproduction remain – as Khiari argues
in Chapter 4 of this volume – anchored in a Eurocentric paradigm that
disregards race as a power struggle. Grosfoguel’s interconnected analysis
in Chapter 2 of this volume provides an understanding of the historical
roots of this epistemological order and the main challenges this poses
to the Westernized university.
More often than not, the depoliticization of race and racism prevents
established academics from thinking outside the colonial framework,
rapidly condemning some knowledge as ‘ideological’ and therefore
irrelevant, as Galcerán Huguet points out in Chapter 6 of this volume.
At the core of this issue is the ‘self’–‘other’ dichotomy, which has been
mainly interrogated by critical scholarship. Fernando Coronil (1989), in
his review of Tzvetan Todorov’s The Conquest of America, noted that the
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Eurocentrism, Political Struggles and Will-to-Ignorance 19
‘fascination with the construction of “otherness”’ leaves the colonial
self unmarked and perpetuates the imperial ‘politics of selfhood’ (p.
329). This present collection therefore considers it imperative to unravel
how the unmarked self – inscribed in legal frameworks, institutional
practices and historical archives – is reproduced through the use and
reinvention of certain vocabularies, concepts, and arguments, as
analyzed by Jones, Hira and Nimako in Chapters 7, 8 and 10 of this
volume. The politics of knowledge are also closely related to the
geopolitical borders of scholarly inquiry and their production and
organization of our ‘objects’ of analysis and interpretations. In this
sense, as already stated, it is essential to question the divide between the
colonial and the metropolitan. In Chapter 9 of this volume, Meneses
and Gomes’ interrogation of the dominant narratives of World War I,
which foreground the imaginary of a ‘European war’, represents a step
in this direction. They also highlight the problematic construction of
national cases that continues to frame the understanding of historical
processes and political struggles on the frontiers of nationhood.
What, then, are the challenges? The articles compiled in the issue of
Human Architecture edited by Boidin and colleagues point towards the
‘potential for the renewal of American and European universities’ (2012,
p. 2) brought by the different experiences and historical trajectories
of academic and grassroots movement critiques of the production of
knowledge. They also examine the multiple layers of ‘re-Westerniza-
tion’ and the containment of ‘critical inquiry’ in several topics (such
as slavery and racism) through the reproduction of hegemonic research
fields and frameworks of inquiry (for example, ‘immigration/minority
studies’). This serves as a critical warning on the shortcomings of many
critiques of Eurocentrism emerging from academia (see also Sayyid,
Chapter 5 in this volume). As Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui stresses in her
critique of the establishment of ‘post-colonial’ and ‘cultural studies’
research in US universities, these institutionalized fields assemble a
‘conceptual apparatus, and forms of reference and counterreference
that have isolated academic treatises from any obligation to or dialogue
with insurgent social forces’ (2012, p. 98).
This calls for an approach to the decolonization project as a practice
that it is always engaged with profound political and cultural change
(ibid., pp. 100–1). However, it is a collective political endeavour that
the hegemonic Eurocentric paradigm is not only unwilling, but also
ill-prepared, to embrace, entrenched as it is, to paraphrase Maldonado-
Torres, in its will-to-ignorance ‘with good conscience’ (2004, p. 36).
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20 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
1. The thesis of ‘immaturity for self-determination’ was contested by intellectuals
within national liberation movements, such as Amílcar Cabral in his Political
Texts (1974, p. 47).
2. In the last decade, in Europe, debates on slavery and history teaching were
most visible in Britain, France and the Netherlands. In the Americas, Brazil,
Colombia and the US (particularly the textbooks discussion prompted by the
Texas State Board of Education) are illustrative of this.
3. Carter G. Woodson’s (1933) The Mis-Education of the Negro is a powerful
example of an earlier challenge to the dominant canons of knowledge in
education in the US.
4. Published originally in French in 1983 and a year later in English, Menchú
Tum, a member of the Peasant Unity Committee (CUC), narrates in her
testimony the massacres by the Guatemalan army in 1981–82 in hundreds of
Mayan villages, as part of its counter-insurgency strategy in El Quiché region.
She became a spokesperson for Indigenous rights, particularly for the Mayan
peoples. Rigoberta Menchú Tum received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 and
was a candidate in the 2011 presidential elections in Guatemala.
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UNESCO (2002) Declaration of the World Conference against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, adopted on 8 September 2001
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dialogue/the-slave-route, accessed 12 November 2013.
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Page numbers followed by n refer to notes
Aborigines Protection Society 186
acculturation 76, 111
activism 81–2, 102, 103, 198
Afonso I (Nzingo Mbemba ruler of
Congo) 182–3
colonial legacy 126–9
decolonization 114, 130, 187
and nationalism 124, 187
state failure 9, 129, 130–1
African Slave Trade 181, 183
African Studies Association (ASA) 119,
African Survey 117, 118, 121
Africanist scholarship 114–31
in Britain 120–1
and Cold War 114, 119, 123–4
in context of colonial rule 114,
in Europe 115–17
method 122–9
in US 117–20
and Western national interests
121–2, 123, 130
abduction and captivity of 25, 36,
168, 179, 180–1, 183–4, 189, 229
genocide/epistemicide 28
as people without a soul 36, 137,
aggression, and male sexuality 53
Al-Andalus, conquest of 23, 28, 29–30
Alpujarras trial 37, 44n
American Civil War, commemoration
of 230, 232, 235, 239
conquest of 23, 30–8, 109, 180
and Eurocentrism 2, 110
Indigenous view of 142
in relation to conquest of
Al-Andalus 30–8
Anderson, J. (former slave) 145
Angola 122, 154, 155, 162–3, 165
Angoulvant, G.L. 127
Anthropology 85, 116, 122, 123, 129,
anti-Semitism 30, 37, 44n, 82, 83, 106
Anti-Slavery Conference (Belgium
1889) 186–7
appropriation/violence dichotomy 2,
Arbenz Guzmán, Jacobo 56
Area Studies 8, 115, 118, 119, 120,
Arendt, H. 82, 84
Ashanti, King of 83
assimilation 76, 99, 170
Mexico 12, 209, 210, 222, 225,
Association for Asian Studies 119
Association of Concerned African
Scholars (ACAS) 122
Balandier, G. 95
Basic Education National Conference
(CONEB) (Brazil) 203
Bayart, J.-F. 8, 95, 96–7, 111, 112n,
behaviouralism 9, 122, 124
Belgium, colonization of Congo
Benna, Ziad 95
Berardi Bifo, F. 105
Berlin Conference (1884–85) 158,
163, 173n, 186
Bernasconi, R. 83
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Bhabha, H. 98
Black Power 77, 240
Boston University, African Studies
programme 121
Bouteldja, H. 95–6
Braidotti, R. 105–6
Bratton, M. 126
Braudel, F. 43n
anti-racist education 192–207
ethno-racial quotas in
universities/colleges 194, 199
in-service teacher training
initiatives 195, 200, 201, 202–3
Law 10.639/03 187, 192, 193–5,
198, 199, 200, 201
implementation 194, 199,
203–5, 206–7
Law 9394/96 (LDB) 193, 194,
195, 197, 200, 206, 207
National Curricular Directives
194, 199, 200, 205–6, 207n
National Plan 193–4, 203, 204,
regional dialogues 205–6
research about diversity in
schools 203–5
since 2003 199–206
Statute of Racial Equality 194
Black movement 11, 193, 194, 196,
197–8, 205
Black struggles for education 195–8
Brazilian Black Front 195
Buell, R.L. 118
bureaucratic-legal rule 125, 127–8
Cadena, M. de la 59
Callaghy, T. 126, 128
capitalist accumulation 2, 35, 36,
38–9, 44n, 123
Caracoles 41
Cardoso, Fernando Henrique 198, 199
Caribbean and Americas, and
enslaved labour 180, 183–4
Carnegie Foundation 8, 117, 118, 119
Cartesian philosophy 25–8
Carver, George Washington 233
Castellanos Guerrero, A. 210
Castro-Gomez, S. 27, 98
Catholic Action (AC) 57, 63n
Césaire, A. 3, 96–7, 110
Ceto, Pablo 57
Chabal, P. 126
Chakrabarty, D. 108, 128–9
Chan Santa Cruz 55
charisma 125
Charles V, King of Spain 136–7
child labour 187–8
Christianity 32
and Christendom 43–4n
conversion to 29–30, 34, 35–6, 173n
Cipaios 162
Cisneros, Cardinal 31
citizenship 68, 76, 78, 160
exclusion from 75, 76, 161, 173n
Clapham, C. 126
Clichy-sous-Bois, mosque incident
(2005) 95
clientelism 124, 125–6
Code of Rules of Indigenous Labour
(1899) (Portuguese colonial
policy) 160–1, 173n
códices 31
Cold War 15, 187
and Africanist scholarship 114, 119,
post-Cold War era 188–9
Coleman, J.S. 124
Colonial Development and Welfare
Acts (1940 and 1945) 117
Colonial Social Science Research
Council 117
colonialism 1, 3–4
five dimensions of 145–7
modern 155, 156, 157, 158–9
occupation of space and time 73,
public commemoration of 16–17
and slavery 13–14
and violence 50–1
see also Dutch colonialism;
Scientific Colonialism
coloniality 2, 80
of being 39
forgetfulness of 3
of knowledge 40, 42
of power 7, 65, 66, 97
and violence 5–6, 47–62
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colonization 94, 145–6, 160, 184, 215
destruction of history of oppressed
peoples 155–6, 158
justifications for 50, 157, 158
and labour as resource 158–60
modern 158–9, 173n
principle of effective occupation
and visceral reactions 49, 50, 51–3,
60, 62
see also Al-Andalus, conquest of;
Americas, conquest of
‘The Colour of Culture’ (Roberto
Marinho Foundation) 200
Columbus, Christopher 30–1, 32, 136,
Committee of Concerned Asian
Scholars 122
Comparative Politics 9, 123, 124, 128
Conference against Racism (2001) 198
Congo, Belgian colonization 185–7
Coordination of Ethno-Racial
Relations in Education (Brazil)
Cordoba library, burning of 31
Cortés, Hernan 31
Costa, E.A.F. 160
Côte d’Ivoire, nationalism 124
Craft, Ellen 233
Cruz, M.S. 195
Cruzoob (followers of the Cross) 55
cultural studies 19, 80, 94, 97–9
cultural syncretism 218–19
damnés 51–2
Davis, A. 4
de Man, Paul 83
decolonial ‘deconstruction’ 87–8
decolonial liberation 65
decolonial struggles in France
decolonial studies 8, 108–9
decoloniality, and violence 48–9, 61–2
Decolonizing The Mind (DTM) 9, 143
analytical nature of studies 143
dimensions of colonialism 145–7
and moral values 150–1
and reparations 149–50
use of statistics 144, 147
democracy 3, 41, 106
imposing 47–8
myth of racial democracy 197, 207
Derrida, J. 8, 98, 101–4, 108
Descartes, R. 25–6, 39, 45n, 51, 138
development 63n, 123–4, 128, 130,
developmentalism, and Mayan
communities 56–7
Dias, L.R. 196
discrimination 75, 95, 96, 97, 138,
combating and challenging 69, 76,
204, 241
gender 224
in Mexico 216, 218, 223, 224, 225
racial 44n, 75, 155, 192, 216
religious 30, 36–7
see also racism
diversity 4, 70, 172, 213, 223
cultural 3, 102, 198, 202, 210, 211,
epistemic 41–3
ethno-racial 11, 192, 194, 195, 201,
203, 205
in Europe 101
Diversity in College Programme
(Brazil) 199–201, 203, 206
Diversity Programme Evaluation
Report (2008) (Brazil) 200
‘Diversity in Schools National
Research’ 204
Douglass, Frederick 230, 233
Drescher, S. 148
Du Bois, W.E.B. 233
Dussel, E. 2, 23, 27–8, 40–3, 45n, 48
Dutch colonialism 9, 142–50
descriptive versus analytical
approaches 143
implicit and explicit questions 144
and statistics 144–5
two schools 142–3
see also Decolonizing The Mind
(DTM); Scientific Colonialism
East African Campaign (WWI) 157
Eden, Anthony 120
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Edinburgh University, Centre for
African Studies 121
education, and racism, see also Brazil,
anti-racist education; Mexico
Education for All (SECAD/UNESCO)
Education and Ethno-Racial Diversity
Forums (Brazil) 200–1
ego cogito (I think, therefore I am) 5,
25–8, 39, 50, 51, 138
ego conquiro (I conquer, therefore I
am) 5, 27–8, 50, 51, 53
Eisenhower, D.D. 119
Eisenstadt, S. 126
Emmer, P.C. 145, 150
encomienda 36, 180
Engerman, S.L. 145
Eniymba, M. 138
Enlightenment 110, 137–8, 139, 140
Ennes, A. 158–9
epistemicide 23
see also genocide/epistemicide
claim for 69, 76–7
and European values 97, 101
and pluralism 15, 225
Erickson, P. 139
Escobar, A. 61
ethnic cleansing 29, 62
Eurocentred Modernity 40–1, 42, 128
Eurocentrism 1–5, 7, 13, 15–16, 103,
104, 157
and Africanist scholarship 114
in education 12
Wittgenstein’s implied critique of
82, 83–90
and reception of post-colonial and
decolonial ideas 93–111
and slavery and slave trade 180–1,
European Constitution 100–1, 102,
European identity 97, 99–106
formation of 99–100
and imperial-colonial past 103–4
post-nationalist 105–6
Experimental Black Theatre (TEN)
(Brazil) 197
Fabian, J. 129
Fanon, F. 51, 52, 53, 94, 155
Fassin, E. 73
Federici, S. 38–9, 44–5n
Felipe Carrillo Puerto 31
feminization, and domination 51, 53
First African Baptist church
(Savannah) 230
foco-theory 58
Fogel, R.W. 145
Ford Foundation 8, 117, 119, 120
Fort Mose (Florida), reconstruction of
Foucault, M. 8, 37, 44n, 98, 108
2005 uprisings 70, 95–6
abolition of slavery 104
anti-racist struggles 65–78, 95–6
impact of post-colonial
immigration 69
and Iraq War 104
power relations and coloniality
racial segregation 74
sociologists 71–3
state control of Muslims 69
as White republic 68–71
Frazer, J. 85
French Republic 95–6
French revolution 35, 105
Gamio, Manuel 222
Gascoyne, General Isaac 183
genocide 23, 62, 63n
genocide/epistemicide 28
against Africans in the Americas 36
against Indigenous peoples of
Americas 31
against Indo-European women 28,
38–9, 44–5n
against Muslims and Jews 28,
29–30, 31
consequences of 39–43
and African troops in WWI 164,
166, 170
guerrilla strategy 165–6, 174n
and Iraq War 104
threat to Mozambique 164, 165
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globalization 4, 222, 223
Gobineau, A. de 140
Goldstein, J. 53
Gomes, N.L. 206–7
Goméz Izquierdo, J. 210
Gonçalves,L.A.O. and Gonçalves e
Silva, P.B. 196
Gramsci, A. 98, 106
Granada library, burning of books 31
Grosfoguel, R. 108, 137, 139, 141, 180
Guatemalan civil war (1960–96) 49,
Guatemalan National Revolutionary
Unity’s (URNG) 58
Guerrero, Vincente 215, 220
Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP)
(Guatemala) 57–8
Guevara, Che 58, 63n
Guha, R. 106, 107–8
Guidotti-Hernández, N. 49, 52
Guillaumin, C. 71
Habermas, J. 101–4
Hailey, W.M.H.B. 117, 118, 121
Haitian Revolution 3, 104
Hale, C.H. 58–9
Hall, S. 94, 98, 99
Hatuey (Taino chief-Hispaniola) 141–2
Hayter, Sir William 120–1
Hazard, P. 99–100, 110
Hegel, J.W.F. 83
Heidegger, M. 82–3
Heijer, H. den 144
Hernández de la Cruz, F. 54
Historia de México (Treviño Villarreal-
2003) 212, 214, 215, 216, 217
Historia del Hombre en Mexico (Jiménez
Alarcón-1995) 212, 214, 215, 216
historicism 9, 128–9, 131
Eurocentric conception of 73, 171–2
and legacy of colonialism 3–4
Hochschild, A. 182–3, 186–7
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic
Site (Georgia) 236–7
human rights 3, 97, 105
humanity 2, 29–30, 39, 44n, 52
and soul 34–6, 37, 138
see also people with religion; people
without a soul
Humboltian university 40
Hyden, G. 131
Ibo landing (Georgia) 230
ideal type (Weber) 126–8
Indigenism 222, 225, 226n
Indigenous people of the Americas
genocide/epistemicide 31
and a soul 134–7
see also Americas, conquest of;
Brazil; Mexico
Indigenous of the Republic (France)
5–96, 78n, 111–12n
indio permitido 58–9
individualism 102, 103, 118
Indonesia, forced labour 185
Institutes of Social Research (Uganda
and Nigeria) 117
integrationism 7, 75–7
Inter-American Development Bank
(IADB) 199–200, 206
Inter-Ministerial Working-Group for
the Valorization of Black
Population (Brazil) 198
interculturality 12, 14, 61, 209, 210,
212, 217, 222–3, 225
see also multiculturalism
Interdepartmental Commission of
Enquiry on Oriental Slavonic,
East European and African
Studies 120
internally colonized 65, 74–5, 78
International African Association 186
International Association of the
Congo 186
International Institute of African
Languages and Cultures (IIALC)
116, 118
International Labour Organization
(ILO) 187
International Relations 63n, 122, 126,
Iraq War 101, 104
Islam 29, 37, 141
and feminism 41
Islamophobia 30, 34, 36, 68, 69–70
Jackson, Andrew 233
Jackson, R.H. 124, 126, 130–1
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James, C.L.R. 94
Jefferson, Thomas 233
genocide/epistemicide 28, 29–30,
see also Judeophobia
Jiménez Alarcón, C. 212, 214, 215,
João III, King of Portugal 182–3
Johnston, Harry 115, 116, 117, 130
Judeophobia 30, 34, 36
see also anti-Semitism
Kant, I. 40, 82, 140
katunic prophecies 54, 62–3n
King, Martin Luther 233
Kionga 165
Knight, A. 210, 213
decolonization of 23, 25, 42
see also Decolonizing the Mind
destruction of 23
see also genocide/epistemicide
founded on racism and sexism 25–8
scientific 1, 2, 14, 115, 116, 118,
situated and unsituated 26–7
knowledge production 23–5, 115–19,
122–3, 130, 136–8
based on theology 35, 136–9
and historicism 128–9
Kukulkán (Quetzalcóatl) 54
Ladinos 57–60
Laney, Lucy 233
Las Casas, Bartolomé de 35–6, 136–7,
142, 180–1
Latapí de Kuhlmann, P. 213, 218,
Latin America 106–11
violence and coloniality 5–6, 47–62
see also Guatemalan civil war;
Yucatán Caste War
see also Brazil; Mexico
Latin American Subaltern Studies
Group 106, 108
Le Vine, V. 126
Lee, Robert 233
Leibniz, G.W. von 100, 111
Lemarchand, R. 125–6
Leopold II, King of Belgium 185–6
Lettow-Vorbeck, P. von 165, 166, 170
liberation struggles 4, 6–7, 15, 17,
161, 197
and border strategy 77–8
see also France, anti-racist struggles;
libraries, burning of 31
López Fontes, J. 214
‘lost cause’ ideology 238, 239, 243,
low-intensity warfare 47, 52
Lugard, F.J.D. 116, 121, 127, 130
Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio 193, 198,
Machuca Ramírez, J.A. 210
Malcolm X 66–7
Maldonado-Torres, N. 3, 20
coloniality and violence 48, 50, 51,
social classification 32–3, 44n, 138
Mamdani, M. 127
Marranos 29, 31, 36–7
1847 revolt 54–5
see also Yucatán Caste War
cosmovision 54
impact of Guatemalan civil war
women combatants 60–1
Médard, J, -F. 126
Menchú Tum, Rigoberta 18, 20n, 58
Mendieta, E. 98
Mérida, siege of 54
mestizaje 12, 14, 16, 60, 210, 213,
217–19, 223, 225
Mestizos 57, 209
assimilation 12, 209, 210, 222, 225,
education reforms 211–12, 220
national identity 12, 209, 211, 217,
race and racism in history
textbooks 209–26
1993 reform textbooks 212,
213–18, 224
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2006 reform textbooks 213,
African and Asian populations
213–14, 217, 219, 224
African slavery 214, 219–20
discourse analysis methodology
Indigenous people 214–17,
220–3, 224–6
multiculturalism and
interculturality 209, 210–11,
212, 217–19, 223–4, 225
México en el Tiempo (Plá and
Sosenski-2010) 213, 218, 220–3
Middle East Research and Information
Project (MERIP) 122
Mielants, E. 137, 180
Mignolo, W. 109
Modernity 1–6, 8, 73, 109–10, 123,
and colonialism 48, 66, 73, 105
Eurocentred 40–1, 42, 128
see also Transmodernity
modernization 12, 56, 103, 225
theory 9, 122–9
Monk, R. 83
Montt, General Ríos 63n
Morales, Evo 58
Morelos, José Maria 215
Moriscos 29, 31, 36–8, 44n
Moura, C. 196
Mouzinho de Albuquerque, J. 163
modern colonialism 155, 156, 157,
and labour laws 159–62
transport infrastructure problem
police forces 164
prazos da coroa 162–3, 174n
and WWI 154, 155-6, 162–9
actors on Mozambique front
forces involved 166–9
war theatre in 165–9
multiculturalism 12, 14, 15–16, 76–7
in Mexican history textbooks 209,
210–11, 212, 217–19, 223–4, 225
see also interculturality
Multitudes (French journal) 104, 105–6
Munanga, K. 192
genocide/epistemicide 28
see also Islam
Nation of Islam 66, 234, 240
imperial 68
origin and formation of 4, 11, 30,
66, 189
National Black Awareness Day (Brazil)
National Conference of Education
(CONAE) (Brazil) 203
National Curricular Directives for the
Maroon School Education 194
National Curricular Parameters (PCN)
(Brazil) 198
National Defence Education Act
(US-1958) 119
national identity 3
Mexican 12, 209, 211, 217, 225
National Network of Continuing
Education for Basic Education
Teachers (RENAFOR) (Brazil) 201
National Technical Commission of
Diversity for Subjects Related to
Education of Afro-Brazilians
(CADARA) 201
nationalism 124, 187
European 106
and violence 15, 49
Nazism 82, 102, 151
Nebaj 57
Netherlands 9, 137, 178, 185, 188
colonialism see Dutch colonialism
new anti-slavery movement 187–8,
new states 124, 125
Ngungunhane (Ngune ruler-Mozam-
bique) 163
Niassa Company 10, 162, 163, 166
Nimako, K. 146
inferiority of 37, 39, 50, 110,
139, 140–1, 160
non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) 187, 200
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North American Congress on Latin
America (NACLA), Report on the
Americas 122
Oostindie, G. 149, 151
Ornellas, Ayres de 162–3
absence of view from 9, 141–2
based on race 138–9
and collaboration 146
concept of 18, 33, 137, 138–41
and inferiority 139, 140–1
misrepresentation of 15, 16
see also non-Christians/non-Whites
pariah 84
Party of the Indigenous of the
Republic (PIR) 8, 65, 95
parvenu 84, 86
patrimonialism and neo-
patrimonialism 9, 124–7, 128,
Pélissier, R. 162
people without religion 32–4, 180
people without a soul 33–4, 35, 36–7,
137, 138, 180
philanthropic foundations (US) 8,
117–19, 130
and biography 83
and racism 82–4, 86
Pineda, F 210
Plá, S. 213, 218, 220–3
plantation museum sites (US) 230–1,
234–7, 240–1
Political Science 122, 126, 130
Portugal 48
and African troops 156, 157, 163–9
and anti-Portuguese feelings 166
carriers 154, 167–9
forced recruitment 168–9, 171
and modern colonialism 155, 156,
157, 158–9, 163
labour laws 159–62, 174n
and WWI 155, 156–7, 164–9
see also Berlin Conference
post-colonial studies 93–4
and cultural studies 97–9
and decolonial studies 8, 108–9
Latin America and Spain 106–11
post-colonialism and post-
coloniality 80–1
and post-Westernism 109
resistance to in Europe 93, 94–7
post-modernism 80, 93, 108
post-slavery 185, 186, 189
post-structuralism 8, 83, 98, 105
Postma, J.M. 181, 182
and coloniality 7, 65–7
and knowledge 2, 3, 8, 62
see also knowledge
Prosser, Gabriel 234
purity of blood 28, 29, 30, 33, 37
Quijano, A. 2
racial state 68–9, 88
racial struggles 65–7
and humanistic universalism 72–3
as struggle for power 67, 71–3, 74
White and Indigenous political
fields 73–5
see also France, anti-racist struggles
racism 2–4, 238
biological 35, 138–9, 141
colour 33, 36
cultural 35, 141
institutionalized 11, 36, 37, 142
in Mexican history textbooks
naturalization of 5, 6, 50–1
and preservation of racial privileges
4, 6, 17, 68–9, 75
religious 33–4, 36, 37, 44n
see also Marranos; Moriscos
scientific 37, 44n, 139, 140
White working class and 68–9
racism/sexism, epistemic 5, 25–8,
39–40, 43
rape 51, 52
regulation/emancipation dichotomy
2, 61
reparations 149–50
Republican pact (social-national-racial
pact) 68–9, 70
Rivera Cusicanqui, S. 58–9
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Rockefeller Foundation 8, 117, 118,
Rodney, W. 179
Rodrigues, T.C. 197
Romilly, Sir Samuel 183
Rorty, R. 82–3, 90n
Rosberg, C.G. 124, 126
Roth, G. 125
Rovuma river (Mozambique) 165,
Royal African Society 115
Said, E. 94, 102
Sanford, Henry 186
Sanjinés, J. 50, 53
Santos, S.A. 197
São Paulo, Black press 196
Sarkozy, Nicolas 70
Sartre, J.-P. 82
Sati ritual 112n
School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS) 118
Schutztruppe 166
Scientific Colonialism (SC) 9, 143, 145
contrasting slavery with
colonialism 145
descriptive nature of studies 143
emotion versus logic 147–50
and idea of reparations 150
as ideology 151
and moral values 143, 150–1
and use of statistics 144, 147
scientific knowledge see knowledge,
Scramble for Africa 173n, 187
Secretariat of College Education
(SESU) (Brazil) 201
Secretariat of Continuing Education,
Literacy, Diversity and Inclusion
(SECADI) (Brazil) 198, 199, 201,
Secretariat of Continuing Education,
Literacy and Diversity (SECAD)
(Brazil) 198, 199, 201, 202
Secretariat of Racial Equality
Promotion Policies (SEPPIR)
(Brazil) 198
Secretary of Indigenous Affairs
(Mozambique) 160
Sectorial Programme of Education
(Mexico) 210
secularization 25, 35, 44n, 102, 104
Sepúlveda, Juan Ginés de 35, 136–7,
Ser en la Historia (Latapí de
Kuhlmann-2008) 213, 218,
Sklar, R. 128
slave cabins 230, 231, 235, 236, 237,
slavery and slave trade 48, 129,
139–40, 178–90, 229
abolition 3–4, 104, 146–9, 150–1,
183, 229
and reinvention 185–8
addressing legacies of 189
case for 137
chattel slavery 185, 189
comparison with Jewish Holocaust
concepts of ‘slave’ and ‘trade’
179–80, 184, 188, 189–90
earlier forms of servitude 185
eligibility for enslavement 184
importance of knowledge about
past 241–4
and involvement of African rulers
modern slavery 179, 187–8
new anti-slavery movement 187
as partial aspect of colonialism
statistics 144–5, 147
US public history of 229–44
and violence 183, 185
Small, S. 142–3
Smock, D.R. 120, 121
social classification 30, 32–3, 44n, 138
Social Science Research Council
(SSRC) 119, 122
sociocryonics 127
solipsism 26
Sosenski, S. 213, 218, 220–3
Sousa Santos, B. de 2–3, 156
South Africa 62n, 66, 122
South Asian Subaltern Studies Group
Souza, A.X. 206–7
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256 Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge
Spain 48, 106–11, 136–7
Spinelli, A. 105–6
Spivak, G.C. 48, 49, 98, 108, 112n
Stanley, Henry 186
statistics, and lying 144–5
Stephens, Alexander 233
structuralism 98
subaltern, use of term 106, 107
subaltern studies 106–8
Sutton, F.X. 120, 121
Táíwò, O. 127
‘Talking Cross’ 55
Taracena, A. 55
Taylor, Zachary 233
Technical Cooperation Term
(UNESCO) 199
Tedlock, D. 61
Téllez, M. 214
theology, and knowledge production
35, 136–9
Title VI Africa National Resource
Centres 122
Transmodernity 25, 40–3
Traoré, Bouna 95
Treviño Villarreal, H.J. 212, 214, 215,
216, 217
Trexler, R. 51
Trouillot, M.-R. 3
Tsib, Ysidro 54
Tubman, Harriet 233
Turner, Nat 234
Tutino, J. 215
txitzi’n (deep pain) 60–1
Uniafro (programmes for college
students) 201–2
United Nations Children’s Fund
(UNICEF) 187
United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) 187
United Nations Truth Commission 56
United States (US)
interstate slave trade 229
public history of slavery 17,
African American museums
232–4, 238
Black voices 239–40, 241
on ‘great men and women’ of
slave era 233, 235, 236
lives of Black women 233–4, 237,
markers of Black resistance 234,
monuments and museums 230,
National Slavery Museum project
plantation sites 230–1, 234–7,
remaining physical infrastructure
229–31, 234–7
representations of Civil War 230
separation and segregation of
knowledge 238–40, 242
slave auctions 234
slave quarters 231, 235, 236–7,
slave rebellions 234
and symbolic annihilation 236
Underground Railroad 230, 234
strategic interests in former
European colonies 123
and violent interventions 47–8, 49
University Grants Committee, report
(1959) 120–1
Valladolid Junta of the School of
Salamanca 35, 36, 136–7, 141,
Van der Walle, N. 126
Van Dijk, T.A. 215
Velázquez, M.E. 214
Vessey, Denmark 234
and coloniality 5–6, 47–62
and decoloniality 48–9, 61–2
and desire 49
as exercized by hegemonic elites
49–51, 52, 53
naturalization of 50–1, 52
as visceral reaction of colonialized
subjects 49, 50, 51–3, 60, 62
see also Guatemalan civil war;
Yucatán Caste War
viscerality 50, 51–3, 54, 60, 62
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Index 257
Wallerstein, I. 43n, 110
Washington, Booker T. 233
Washington, George 233
Weber, M. 125, 126–8, 141
Welfare State 68, 69, 102
Western superiority 1, 2, 24–5, 39,
108, 110–11, 140, 147
Westernized university 5, 18, 23–5,
27, 39–40, 42–3
White, L. 156
Wilder, Douglas 234
Williams, E. 105, 147–8, 185
Williams, R. 106
Wittgenstein, L. 81–90
burnt as witches 23, 28, 38–9
and indigenous knowledge 38–9
rights movements 4
Woodson, Carter G. 233
World Social Forum 59
World War I
African participation 154–7,
see also Mozambique, and WWI;
Portugal, and WWI
Wynter, S. 2, 3, 214, 215, 217, 219,
224, 225
Yucatán Caste War 49, 53, 54–6
Zambesi valley military campaigns
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
(EZLN) (Zapatistas) 41, 42, 209,
210, 216, 222–3
Zolberg, A.R. 124
Zumbi dos Palmares March against
Racism 198
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... Apesar das iniciativas e propostas críticas que têm sido desenvolvidas em vários contextos, há um enorme caminho a percorrer. Embora haja um aumento da visibilidade do conhecimento produzido por inte-Raça, História e Educação no Brasil e em Portugal lectuais dos movimentos de base, continua existindo uma segregação/ separação do conhecimento produzido: a maioria das iniciativas que contestam as narrativas hegemônicas sobre a relação entre raça e os processos de formação, identidade e pertença nacional são, sobretudo, o resultado da mobilização coletiva -tal como analisado por Stephen Small (2015) em relação ao conhecimento histórico sobre a escravatura nos Estados Unidos. A luta pelo conhecimento é, portanto, política. ...
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Este artigo propõe um diálogo entre os debates políticos e acadêmicos sobre raça, identidade e história nos contextos brasileiro e português. Para tal, examina a relação entre o mito da democracia racial (como ficou conhecido no Brasil) e a ideia de uma vocação nacional para a interculturalidade em Portugal e o debate contemporâneo sobre racismo e eurocentrismo, assim como a sua evasão, focando na educação-tomada como palco de importantes lutas políticas. Abordando momentos cruciais destes debates, o artigo procura aprofundar a discussão sobre raça e po-der no ensino da História e contestar a despolitização das narrativas con-temporâneas que continuam a escudar-se nas especificidades históricas de cada um dos contextos nacionais. Palavras-chave: Racismo e Eurocentrismo. Ensino da História. Políticas Públicas. Brasil. Portugal. ABSTRACT-Race, History, and Education in Brazil and in Portugal: challenges and perspectives. This article proposes a dialogue between the political and academic debates on race, identity, and history in the Brazilian and Portuguese contexts. In order to do so, it examines the myth of racial democracy (as it was known in Brazil) and the idea of a national vocation for interculturality in Portugal to explore how they shape the contemporary debate on racism and Eurocentrism, as well its evasion, focusing on education which is understood as an arena for important political struggles. By addressing crucial moments in these debates, this article seeks to contribute to wider discussions on race and power in the teaching of history, and to challenge the depoliticization of contemporary narratives that continue to take refuge in the tropes of the historical specificities of each of the national contexts.
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Although using different strategies, Portuguese artists Mónica de Miranda and Filipa César make us think about and reflect on the ruins of the Portuguese ‘empire’ but also on the ruins—and the remains—of European colonialism and its patriarchal backbone. Their work opens the possibility of discussing aesthetics from feminist and decolonial perspectives, departing from the category of ‘ruins’ and considering the many ways through which these ruins and their multiple inflections contribute to the creation of potential affective geographies and memories.
Epistemic social oppressions such as ‘epistemic partiality’, ‘epistemic injustice’, ‘epistemic harms and wrongs’, ‘epistemic oppression’, ‘epistemic exploitation’, ‘epistemic violence’, or ‘epistemicide’ are terms with increasing theoretical importance and empirical applications. However, less literature is devoted to social strategies to overcome such oppressions. Here the Sorelian and Gramscian concept of social myth is considered in that sense. The empirical case is the myth of ‘The last Indigenous peoples of Europe’ present in the Basque Country, divided between France and Spain and with a historical national culture under their statist powers. The myth has a renewal in a recent social movement, the Biltzarre platform and its Basque Cultural Instinct Team, currently followed through a Participatory Action Research. The results show how such social myth gives coherence and empowers the Basque identity against the loss of identity caused by the French and Spanish powers. Finally, progress is being made on how epistemic oppressons can end, ironically, because of the success of an epistemicide. Presumably, social myths counteract epistemic oppression, strengthening the social identity and self-esteem of the subject, as a form of empowerment in social and political issues.
The ‘international’, the ‘global’, the ‘world’ have become different ways of characterising what it is IR as a field studies. The semantic change signals two dynamics. Firstly, the assumption being that the international has to be replaced or ‘superseded’ with another concept since either the ‘international’ never did or at present does not reflect the ‘reality’ of what exists out there, which presupposes an exact relationship between the signifier and the signified. The second point following from that is the prescription of a development into the ‘change’ in the words whereby a ‘better’ descriptor has to be assigned that is presented as being not only larger in scale but also more progressive. The article argues that the anxieties with respect to the object of study of the field of IR stem from contradictions inherent in the concept of the international, which are not specific to it but are rooted in the way disciplinary knowledge was established and as such cannot be addressed solely through a replacement/superseding. The first section of the article will discuss how disciplinary knowledge was constructed and organised through Wallerstein’s concept of TimeSpace which explains the formation of disciplinary knowledge along three axes: past/present, West/non-West and autonomous domains. The second section will discuss how the three axes of past/present, West/non-West and autonomous domains worked in creating the contradictions of the international. The third section then focuses specifically on what it means to bring in the ‘global’ to overcome contradictions of the international and how the global continues to reproduce the contradictions of the international.
Music programs in higher education systems have historically operated from a Eurocentric point of view, and many programs still endorse an outdated hierarchy that places classical music above all other genres. Despite the inherent cultural and artistic value of American popular music, the United States lags behind other countries in granting popular music study a meaningful place in higher educational models. While significant structural changes to ensure that all genres of music receive equal attention and resources within university music programs develop, the authors have compiled a list of tools voice teachers can use to practice increased equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) within our singing voice studios. These include (1) embracing intentional pedagogical practices; (2) avoiding cultural appropriation or cultural approximation; (3) continuing to seek education; (4) acknowledging our areas of excellence, knowing what is beyond the scope of our expertise, and having the courage to ask for help; (5) naming courses and programs accurately; and (6) developing an equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging statement for the voice studio. As a form of combating systemic exclusion, voice teachers can take meaningful steps to foster a racially, ethnically, culturally, and musically inclusive singing voice studio.
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Homing in on the segregated culture of Early Modern English domestic criticism as its primary example, this article explores how white voices and “white logic” have dominated reading practices in Early Modern English studies, and academia in general, for some time—often without critique. In different ways, those voices and viewpoints have left little to no room at the metaphorical scholarly table for influencers of a different hue, thus rendering visible in the field and profession the existence of the “color line,” as W. E. B. Du Bois called it. With an antiracist agenda that embraces the goals of Black feminism, Brown thinks through the continued disconnect between domestic criticism and premodern critical race studies, a disconnect that denotes a representative pattern. Specifically, Brown highlights how whiteness goes unexamined critically, a fact that is surprising since the domestic sphere is, and was, a formative space where processes of racialization occur, processes informing the centuries‐old racism that persists in the post‐Obama era, or the post‐postracial era: a time where anti‐blackness and related violence (physical, verbal/rhetorical, psychological, emotional) is hypervisible. Encouraging readers to be (come) “accomplice feminists,” Brown calls for the decentering of whiteness and the desegregation of scholarly discourse and citational practices.
How to write non-Eurocentric histories has long been a concern in the humanities and the social sciences. Attempts at writing non-Eurocentric histories of the international have been trapped in an absence/presence dichotomy and made making present what was absented from the story of the international their main focal point. The article aims to contribute to these discussions through pointing to the limitations of existing approaches that focus on revealing entanglements and offering an alternative framework for writing “connected histories of the international.” The article will proceed in four sections. The first section will provide a definition of Eurocentrism and elaborate on the way in which writing “connected histories” was offered as a solution. The second section will discuss how Eurocentric narratives have been critiqued within history and International Relations through “entangled narratives.” The third section will introduce the notion of “abyssal lines” and underline how the focus on entanglements has impoverished our understanding of Eurocentrism and the solutions on offer. The final section will illustrate the alternative framework being proposed for writing connected histories of the international (co-present and coeval narratives) that underlines the locations and times of progress and change through a discussion of the Haitian Revolution.
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To observers of contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina, the years 2013–2016 have been marked by heightened public discontent and the emergence of civil prrotests. While early protests surrounded sites unmistakably pertaining to the country's socialist legacy, such as privatized factories, more recent dissatisfaction is being articulated around sites that point to Bosnia's past as a colony of the Hapsburg Empire. This essay argues it is not accidental that these colonial markers have become instigators of protest and dissent articulated through the memory of the recent Socialist past. Under the claim of cultural heritage protection, former colonial sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina and throughout the Balkans are unearthed tangibly to mark new realities of postcoloniality. The resurrection of Hapsburg heritage in Bosnia is instructive as it helps illuminate the wide range of tensions and contradictions inherent in the move from colonial Europe to a (post)colonial European Union. Far from wiping the slate clean and offering a fresh start, as EU actors often claim, this process is paradoxically reinstalling institutions that were once the embodiment of colonial expansion. In arguing for the expansion of postcolonial critique to include the Balkans, this essay examines the political, economic, and symbolic ways in which Hapsburg colonial sites and institutions are restored into public visibility as registers of Sarajevo's European futures.
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This article focuses on the way in which Eurocentric conceptualisations of the ‘international’ are reproduced in different geopolitical contexts. Even though the Eurocentrism of International Relations has received growing attention, it has predominantly been concerned with unearthing the Eurocentrism of the ‘centre’, overlooking its varied manifestations in other geopolitical contexts. The article seeks to contribute to discussions about Eurocentrism by examining how different conceptualisations of the international are at work at a particular moment, and how these conceptualisations continue to reproduce Eurocentrism. It will focus on the way in which Eurocentric designations of spatial and temporal hierarchies were reproduced in the context of Turkey through a reading of how the ‘Gezi Park protests’ of 2013 and ‘Turkey’ itself were written into the story of the international.
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History teaching is a particularly interesting sphere for the analysis of national and European imaginaries on identity, the nation and 'race'. As Carolyn Boyd argued, 'history teaching and textbooks legitimate existing political arrangements and provide clues to national identity and destiny'. Moreover, textbooks are especially appropriate objects for analysis in the Portuguese context, as they are the most-used pedagogic resource in classrooms and are required to follow the official syllabus; they can thus be seen as the 'curriculum de facto'. Our aim is to show how exploring the teaching of slavery and colonialism in Portugal reflections on Eurocentrism and racism, and engages with the specific contexts in which history is produced and consumed and, in particular, textbooks.
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N° spécial de la revue "Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge", Vol. X, Issue 1, Winter 2012. Proceedings of the International Conference on "Quelles universités et quels universalismes demain en Europe? un dialogue avec les Amériques" ("Which University and Universalism for Europe Tomorrow? A Dialogue with the Americas"), organized by the Institut des Hautes d'Etudes de l'Amerique Latine (IHEAL) with the support of the Université de Cergy-Pontoise and the Maison des Science de l'Homme (MSH), Paris, June 10-11, 2010
The troubled white consensus early warnings - presentiment of racial conflict the new racial pragmatism reversing the problem of racism crossing the boundary - the marginal man the Second World War as race war as an international issue the silent fifties - redefining the issue of racism.
Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui explores the possibilities for decolonization through an analysis of the "multicultural" state as an ongoing practice of coloniality that recognizes and incorporates indigenous people but only as static, archaic figures defined by a continuous relationship to an idealized past. As Cusicanqui demonstrates, this truncated recognition subordinates indigenous people, depriving them of their contemporaneity, complexity, and dynamism and, therefore, of their potential to challenge the given order. Coloniality and its relations of domination, she claims, are also reproduced in the knowledge production of academic scholars of decoloniality, primarily from the global North. These academics, she argues, appropriate the language and ideas of indigenous scholars without grappling with the relations of force that define their relationships to them, thus decontextualizing and depoliticizing these concepts and marginalizing indigenous scholars from their own debates. Counterposing the Aymara concept of ch'ixi - a parallel coexistence of difference - to multiculturalism and hybridity, which incorporates and flattens or distorts difference, Cusicanqui shows that decolonization must be not only a discourse but also an affirmative practice.