What happens to twentieth-century race science when we relocate it to the Global South? North Atlantic debates have dominated the conceptual history of race. Yet there is suggestive evidence of a “southern” or antipodean racial distinctiveness. We can find across the Southern Hemisphere greater interest in racial plasticity, environmental adaptation, mixing or miscegenation, and blurring of racial boundaries; endorsement of biological absorption of indigenous populations; and consent to the formation of new or blended races. Once we recognize the Global South as a site of knowledge making, and not just data extraction, the picture of race science in the twentieth century changes. Once situated, or displaced, the conventional North Atlantic history of race science in the twentieth century comes to seem exceptional—and no longer normative.
Other Knowledges: Reflections on Recent Archaeology in South America
3 November 2011 7:30pm Institute of Postcolonial studies
David Turnbull considers recent research into the ancient civilisation of Caral in Peru, which questions the privileging of sedentary forms as necessary for complex social organisation. Turnbull reflects on the nature of heterarchy as framework for emergent knowledges and spaces. He relates this to the work of Enrique Dussel, which advocates ‘a space for transmodernity in which modernity and its negated alterity could co-realise themselves in a process of mutual creative fertilization.’
Dr David Turnbull is a philosopher of science who has published extensively on the history of space and time, with recent emphasis on concept specific to southern knowledges. His books include Masons, Tricksters and Cartographers: Comparative Studies in the Sociology of Scientific and Indigenous Knowledge (2000)