Part 2 | Session 12 | 11 Jul 2024 | Beyond Eurocentrism

Reflecting Postcolonial Perspectives Then and Now

Register here

The aim of this event is to engage with and learn from past efforts in critical self-reflection into the discipline’s colonial entanglement and attempts to re-envisage epistemological and methodological approaches to anthropology that tackle eurocentric biases and colonial continuities. An early attempt was the publication of the volume ‘Jenseits des Eurozentrismus. Postkoloniale Perspektiven in den Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften’, co-edited by Sebastian Conrad and Shalini Randeria. The book – first published in 2002 and revised in 2013 – was extremely influential in bringing the postcolonial debate to a broad German-speaking readership across many disciplines.

In conversation with Shalini Randeria (CEU), this event aims at revisiting the key intentions and challenges of introducing these perspectives to the debate in Germany. We will ask what it actually means to think beyond eurocentrism and engaging in an anthropology that is cognizant of entangled histories of modernity, and what key conceptual and methodological challenges these entail for ‘decolonizing’ anthropology. Furthermore, we will discuss the current state of postcolonial critique admidst the rise of the far-right and authoritarian “anti-intellectualism” (Fassin 2024).


Conrad, Sebastian; Randeria, Shalini; Römhild, Regina (Hg). 2013. Jenseits des Eurozentrismus. Postkoloniale Perspektiven in den Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften. 2., erw. Auflage, Frankfurt: Campus, S. 9-31; 32-70.

Randeria, Shalini et al. 2019. Das Verborgene entdecken: Zur Geschichte und Methodologie des Verflechtungsansatzes. Shalini Randeria im Gespräch mit Jens Adam und Regina Römhild, in: Jens Adam et al. (Hg). Europa dezentrieren: Globale Verflechtungen neu denken, Frankfurt: Campus, S. 35-65.

Shalini Randeria is Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology and President and Rector of Central European University (CEU). Trained at the Universities of Delhi, Heidelberg and Oxford, she received her PhD and her Habilitation from the Free University of Berlin. She is among the most important voices on postcolonial perspectives in the cultural and social sciences in German-speaking countries. She has published numerous co-edited volumes and articles in the fields of legal and political anthropology, post-colonial studies, on anthropology of globalization and the state, population policies and reproductive rights, common property resources, displacement and development, as well as on civil society and social movements. Her ethnographic research focuses on these themes from a postcolonial perspective of entangled modernities in the context of India. She has held faculty positions at the Free University, Berlin, the University of Munich and University of Zurich. She was Founding Chair of CEU’s Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology in Budapest and Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna and Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, where she was also Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy. She also holds the Excellence Chair at the University of Bremen, where she leads a research group on “soft authoritarianisms”.