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Lecture about 'Global South' set at Hendrix

Posted: February 14, 2014 - 8:12pm

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Dr. John Comaroff will present a lecture titled “Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America Is Evolving Toward Africa” on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in Mills B.

The lecture, sponsored by the Hendrix College Phi Beta Kappa chapter, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow in Mills Library from 8-9 p.m.

“The Global South” has become shorthand for the world of non-European, postcolonial peoples. Synonymous with uncertain development, unorthodox economies, failed states and nations fraught with corruption, poverty, incivility and strife, it is that half of the world about which the “Global North” spins theories. Rarely is it seen as a source of explanation for world historical events. Yet, as many nation-states of the northern hemisphere experience increasing fiscal meltdown, state privatization, corruption, creeping poverty, ethnic conflict, xenophobia, problems of law and order and other perceived crises, it seems as though they are evolving southward, so to speak, in both positive and problematic ways. Is this so? How? In what measure? This lecture takes on these questions. In particular, it asks how we might understand the world anew with theory developed in the south, giving an ironic twist to the evolutionary pathways long assumed by social scientists.

Dr. John Comaroff is the Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American studies and of anthropology and an Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2012, he was Swift Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, where he received a Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His current research in South Africa is on crime, policing and the workings of the state; on democracy and difference; and on postcolonial politics. Authored and edited books include, with Jean Comaroff, “Of Revelation and Revolution” (2 vols.), “Ethnography and the Historical Imagination,” “Modernity and Its Malcontents,” “Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa,” “Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism,” “Law and Disorder in the Postcolony, Ethnicity, Inc.,” “Zombies et frontières à l’ère néolibérale” and “Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America Is Evolving Toward Africa.”

For more information, contact Jamie Fotioo at 501-450-1373 or fotioo@hendrix.edu

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