International Connections

The Bologna-Duke Summer School on Global Studies and Critical Theory.  A summer program on the transformations of Politics in the Global Age that serves as an intellectual space for the production of collective knowledge and critical thought. Duke University & the Department of History, Cultures and Civilization of the University of Bologna sponsor their joint Summer School to be held in Bologna in June-July each summer. Students from all over the world, together with prestigious Professors from the two Universities, will  spend two weeks in one of Italy’s most beautiful cities and host of the oldest University in the Western World (since 1088). Lessons will take place in the amazing location of the Department of History, Culture and Civilization – Piazza San Giovanni in Monte 2, Bologna.

Borders, Borderthinking, Borderlands. A Summer school project run by Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Jacobs University Bremen and the Universität Bremen. The summer school will approach these concepts, beyond their immediate political and physical sense, as tropes of thinking. It aims to further the understanding of processes of inner and outer decolonization, as well as western modernity’s resistance to this decolonization. The summer school will consider the development and overcoming of physical, psychological, epistemological and spiritual borders and examine post- and decolonial constellations, e.g. Black Diaspora or transculturalism. The terms “Borders, Borderthinking, Borderlands” will be understood as cleavages and conflict lines for a radical revision of colonial modernity emanating from decentered locations. The summer school will reveal diachronic and synchronic connecting lines between decolonial and Black Diaspora epistemologies of modernity.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics is a collaborative, multilingual and interdisciplinary network of institutions, artists, scholars, and activists throughout the Americas. Working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression and politics, the organization explores embodied practice—performance—as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory and identity. Anchored in its geographical focus on the Americas (thus “hemispheric”) and in three working languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese), our goal is to promote vibrant interactions and collaborations at the level of scholarship, art practice and pedagogy among practitioners interested in the relationship between performance and politics in the hemisphere. 

Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism. Citizenship after Orientalism, focuses on the tension between two different institutions: citizenship, the process by which belonging is recognised and enacted; and orientalism, the process by which European political institutions are considered originary and primary. What connects citizenship to orientalism is that citizenship has been historically seen as a Judeo-Christian institution contrasted against Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and Hinduism. The project revisits questions of citizenship as political subjectivity in ‘orientalized worlds’ through genealogical investigations without orientalist assumptions. The aim is not only to uncover citizenship practices that remained either invisible or inaudible in other worlds but also to explore the possibilities of a renewed and expanded understanding of European citizenship.

Transnational Decolonial Institute.  The Transnational Decolonial Institute (TDI) is committed to explore and better understand the formation and transformation of the darker side of modernity: coloniality, in order to foster decolonial projects. The Institute has a deep engagement with global social justice. It starts from the assumption that Western Civilization and more generally modernity, has made a signal contribution (as many other previous civilizations) to the history of human kind but, at the same time, it has created the conditions for inequalities, imperial domination, racism, oppression and a permanent state of war. These are some of the signs revealing the work of coloniality, the hidden agenda of modernity.

Decoloniality is neither about denying the contributions of the West and modernity nor about submitting to its imperial bent. It means opening up the option of delinking from the logic of coloniality. TDI will encourage meetings, artistic projects, workshops and debates around the analysis of modernity/coloniality. TDI will promote decolonial projects in the entire spectrum of the social sciences and the humanities such as professional schools (law, business, environmental studies); as well as artistic practices related to decolonizing aesthetics in art and museums’ history. TDI will look for decolonial options in thinking, sensing and doing and will focus on education and dialog within and outside existing institutions.