The decolonization of knowledge entails various forms of transdisciplinarity, but not all forms of transdisciplinarity are decolonial. This article offers an analysis of decolonial transdisciplinarity in relation to the European sciences, its disciplines, and its methods. It identifies a “secular line,” which combines with a “color line” to define the context and horizon of the European sciences. I propose that Ethnic Studies establishes a different attitude from that underlying the European sciences and represents an example of decolonial transdisciplinary thinking.
Ethnic Studies as Decolonial Transdisciplinarity*
Dr. Nelson Maldonado-Torres is a Professor at the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Comparative Literature Program at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is also Director of the Rutgers Advanced Institute for Critical Caribbean Studies, and member of the Executive Board of the Frantz Fanon Foundation. He is the author of Against War: Views from the Underside of Modernity (2008) and La descolonización y el giro de(s)colonial [Decolonization and the Decolonial Turn] (2011). He is also coeditor of Latin@s in the World-System: Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire, and guest editor of two special issues entitled “Thinking through the Decolonial Turn: Post-continental Interventions in Theory, Philosophy, and Critique” in the journal Transmodernity. He is currently working on a book-length project entitled “Fanonian Meditations,” which aims to spell out the epistemological basis of Ethnic Studies and related areas, as well as examine the relevance of decolonization at the epistemological, ethical, and political levels.
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Nelson Maldonado-Torres; Ethnic Studies as Decolonial Transdisciplinarity*. Ethnic Studies Review 1 October 2019; 42 (2): 232–244. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/esr.2019.42.2.232
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