POLI 276 - Political Theory from Below
This course in comparative political theorizing seeks to destabilize the traditional canon of Western thought by stretching our approach to understanding politics in three ways. First, it provides a hemispheric approach to political theory, drawing on political thinkers from across the Americas. Second, it thinks from a specific perspective—what has been called “the underside of history”—engaging specifically the voices of the colonized and enslaved. And third, by engaging not only professional philosophers but also organic intellectuals and radical activists, it seeks to stretch our understanding of who is capable of engaging in political theory. We begin with Argentinian philosopher of liberation Enrique Dussel, who formulates a positive notion of political power based on the struggles of the oppressed, before turning to the US context, where W.E.B. Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction lays the groundwork for approaching Black radicalism in the 20th-century. We then chart a parallel course from colonization to national liberation in Latin America before concluding with Gloria Anzaldúa’s prescient account of the open wound that is the southern border of the United States.
Two 75-minute periods.
Not offered in 2021/22.
Course Format: CLS
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