Due to COVID the course starts online via video-conference. To register please send an email to Prof. Matteo Pasquinelli: mpasquinelli [∂]


German museums, including those in Baden-Württemberg, have been recently addressed by debates on the colonial legacy of their heritage. Some authors argue that traces of colonialism can also be found deeply rooted into the abstract ideas of German philosophy. Susan Buck-Morrs thinks, for instance, that Hegel’s master and slave dialectics was influenced by the news of the successful Haitian revolution that the philosopher from Stuttgart received during his years in Jena.

Inspired by the feminist and anti-colonial critique of the Western canon, the course invites students to question who the knowers are, how they know and where they know rather than simply what they say to know. This methodological question is not valid only for philosophy but can be extended also to art, science, technology and AI.

The course is not an exercise of identity politics but an investigation on the position of knower. Students will be introduced to different models of the knower and to basic concepts of anti-colonial epistemology (such as: master and slave dialectics, native informant, subaltern and hegemony, abyssal thinking, epistemic delinking, epistemicide, standpoint theory, situated knowledge, cyborg science, modest witness, abstract and concrete labour, among others).

The course does not criticise the hegemony of European thought in the abstract but invite students to grasp the techniques, methods and formats of knowledge production from their own particular and personal point of view. Concretely, it will do this looking at alternative epistemologies and methodologies that recently made a major contribution to decolonise critical theory. The course engages with feminist epistemologies and subaltern epistemologies, epistemologies of nature and epistemologies of labour.

It will read, among others, authors such as: Susan Buck-Morrs, Silvia Federici, Donna Haraway, Alison Adam, Sandra Harding, Frantz Fanon, Achille Mbembe, Antonio Gramsci, Chantal Mouffe, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Boaventura de Sousa Santos.

The course will host also  a book presentation in collaboration with BAK (a base for art, theory, and social action in Utrecht), a presentation of the publishing house Archive Books with Paolo Caffoni (PhD student HfG Karlsruhe), and a seminar on Hegel with Dr. Sami Khatib (Leuphana University).

A certificate (Schein) is possible with credit in Media Philosophy. Students can a) make a project or a presentation in class and write a short essay of ca. 10 pages, or b) write an extensive essay of ca. 20 pages. All materials will be shared via Dropbox.

Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli
mpasquinelli [∂]

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:00 – 13:00 / online
Fortnightly. First class: 27 October  2020.