The Global South on the Move

Date: 
Mittwoch, Juni 7, 2017 bis Freitag, Juni 9, 2017

Though long considered distant and ‘other’, the so-called ‘Global South’ now seems to be closer to the ‘North’ than ever. Redirected capital flows, labour migration, refugees, new forms of knowledge and theory-building seeking to leave old Eurocentric perspectives behind – all these developments suggest a profound global re-mapping of territorial, political, socio-economic, cultural, and epistemic relations. This conference seeks to investigate the major transformations occurring within and as a consequence of actors of the Global South, and aims to stimulate cross-area and interdisciplinary research. We will focus on ongoing transformations in three key areas: capitalism, knowledge, and ecologies.

Transforming Capitalism

This key area explores how actors around the globe are transforming, contesting, and adapting capitalism. At the same time, political and socio-economic power structures are re-affirmed. The key area covers topics ranging from (un)fair labour relations, to investments from key players from the Global South such as China in Africa, or Angola in Portugal. It also addresses the global connections between local producers on one hand and global consumers on the other. What, for example, are the consequences of palm oil consumption in Europe with regard to reproduction processes and gender relations in South East Asia? What role do skilled and unskilled labour migrants play in capitalist systems? The panels aim to enhance our knowledge of labor migration, standardization of labour, and linkages between South-South, North-South, and South-North actors and economies.

Transforming Knowledge

This area seeks to address how current and past movements of people, ideas and things influence the global production of knowledge and its unequal power relations. To what extent are actors from the Global South excluded from processes of knowledge production and knowledge circulation? To what extent do academic systems and cultural representations structurally reify a simplistic divide between the so-called “North” and “South”? What is the role of engaged intellectuals in problematizing such categories? The panel seeks to investigate forms and mechanisms of epistemic exclusion and silencing. How do emerging powers like the BRICS states renegotiate global knowledge, as in the case of industrial standardization? It will also examine the role of artistic practices in reproducing and countering such knowledge-creations either about or from the “Global South”.

Transforming Ecologies

The third key area investigates human–non-human relations within a transforming social and physical world. The notion of ecologies thereby refers to delicate balances, complex interactions, and the (natural) environments in which they take place. We focus on the entanglements of changing socio-spatial, human-environmental and socio-technological realms and assemblages. How do people adapt to environmental transformations, and how do they appropriate new techniques and practices? By disentangling translocal ecologies we aim to challenge rigid binaries (such as human/nature) and illuminate processes of de- and re-territorialization in the Global South.

Conference venue

Seminargebäude
Universitätsstraße 37
50931 Köln

Map University Campus

Conference Program

Conference Panels

Mittwoch (2017-06-07)
16:00 bis 16:15
Welcome Address
16:15 bis 18:15
Conference Opening Round Table 1: De-Centering Europe
18:15 bis 18:30
Exhibition Opening "Normaliminalities"
Donnerstag (2017-06-08)
09:00 bis 10:00
Keynote 1: Capitalist Transformations on Indonesia's Indigenous Frontiers
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 1: Translocal Forms of Belonging
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 2: Capitalist Relations in Southeast Asia: Revisiting Migration, Labour and Gender
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 3: Transforming Peri-Urban Ecologies
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 4: Literatures and Arts
14:30 bis 17:00
Panel 5: Investors and Value Chains from the Global South
14:30 bis 17:00
Panel 6: Environmental Change and Migration
14:30 bis 17:00
Panel 7: Anti-Capitalist Movements in the Global South
14:30 bis 17:00
Panel 8: Distributed Learning. New Communities of Practice in the Global South
14:30 bis 17:00
Panel 9: Continuities and Long-Term Tendencies Delimiting the Global South (Roundtable)
Freitag (2017-06-09)
09:00 bis 10:00
Keynote 2: The Wall: A Constructivist Repositioning from the South (Vallejo, Torres García, J.M. Arguedas)
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 10: Integrating Epistemologies
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 11: The New Ecologies of Conservation: A Comparative Account of the Social-Ecological Dynamics of Community Based Conservation in the Global South
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 12: People and Categories on the Move: Values, Social Ties and Livelihood Projects of ‘Diasporas’ and Transnational Migrants
10:30 bis 13:00
Panel 13: Room for Improvement? Addressing the (Un)Fairness of Labour and Small Producers in Global Capitalism
14:00 bis 14:30
Book Launch
14:30 bis 16:30
Conference Closure Round Table 2: Epistemologies from the Global South and our Role as Engaged Intellectuals