CEA Podcast Series: second season on Epistemologies of The South
After the first successful season of the Global Voices podcast, the podcast organization continues with the second season. This season will be dedicated to the topic “Epistemologies of the South,” inspired by the book of Boaventura de Sousa Santos. The format of this season's episodes will be slightly different, where students from CEA universities will work on unraveling the texts, carefully chosen for each episode. Thus, joint discussions will help to deal with difficult questions of overcoming differences and divisions that we find still relevant in society. One of the reasons why we chose this topic is because we are from different parts of the world, thus we have different points of view towards these kinds of questions. And with the specific text, we are trying to answer them, each one of us from a different point of view. Furthermore, all the texts that we chose are important to us, because they were the ones who changed our perspectives and thinking.
In the first episode of Season 2, we discuss the divide between Global North and Global South using Boaventura De Sousa Santos’ concepts of “abyssal thinking” and “epistemologies of the South.” Both ideas revolve around how cognitive biases, gaps, double-standards, and their legal and material manifestations (e.g., Guantanamo as a zone where human rights are suspended), serve to perpetuate the exploitation and oppression brought about in Western-centric modernity via patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism. We explore how these critical concepts provide us with a vocabulary and a framework to understand the complex layering of inequalities and social changes in the increasingly interconnected global web of human-made structures. Keeping these concepts in mind for future episodes throughout the season, we invite our listeners to consider these cognitive divisions as useful tools to understand otherwise perplexing forms of inequality as intrinsic to modernity itself.
Moderator: Alexander Husenbeth, BA Social psychology of everyday life & International studies
Guests: Shreya Urvashi, TISS, PhD student, Sociology & Education; Adrijana Turajlic, RUC, BA student, Communication & Cultural Encounters
Literature: BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS, Epistemologies of the South; Justice against Epistemicide, Routledge, New York, 2016
The second episode is dedicated to the text by Nanda Shrestha, “Becoming a Development Category.” Although this text was published over two decades ago and speaks about the personal journey of Shrestha and his experiences with the development, we found it relevant, considering that he tries to stay nonbiased when discussing development. Looking to development through his journey, where he unravels it layer by layer, helps us understand this notion’s depth and impact on people. In this episode, we will be discussing things such as social constructions and structural violence on the psyche.
Moderator: Adrijana Turajlic, RUC, BA student, Communication & Cultural Encounters
Guest: Carmen Irina-Bulac, RUC, BA student, International studies & Cultural Encounters
Literature: Nanda Shrestha, Becoming a Development Category, Routledge, 1995
The third episode deals with the question of environmentalism politics. Furthermore, about politicization and depoliticization of environmental politics and how does this affects environmentalism itself. Another important question that is raised in this episode is: is environmentalism failing and why. By discussing the different practices around the world this question will be unwrapped. Considering that environmentalism changed from its roots until now, the real issue is what is the future of environmentalism and what is its position in the modern world.
Moderator: K SRI SIVARAM - BA Social Science: Tata Institute of social sciences Tuljapur
Guest: Alexander Husenbeth, BA Social psychology of everyday life & International studies
Literature: Anneleen Kenis, Searching for ‘the political’ in environmental politics, Environmental Politics, 2014
CEA Podcast Series: first season on COVID-19
Inspired by the need for reliable information and cross-cultural collaboration and communication in the context of COVID-19, three CEA students - Shreya Urvashi from TISS, Juan Camilo Reyes from University of Los Andes, and Alexander Husenbeth from RUC - have created Global Voices, the Critical Knowledge Podcast. Global Voices is an ongoing and open CEA project to which students, academics, and activists can contribute together. Global Voices combines expertise and experience from different backgrounds to foster forward-thinking, cross-boundary and interdisciplinary conversations. The first season sheds light on important aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic as a historical, political, psychological, and scientific event. It aims to enable discussions that can help us free ourselves from the atomized realm of our rooms and consider the implications of the historical moment we are living.
The first episode, The Historical Significance of COVID-19, is available on Spotify, Soundcloud and Hubhopper and contextualizes COVID-19 historically. We were joined by two experts on epidemiology: Catalina Gonzalez Uribe, Master in Anthropology, MSc in Social Epidemiology, as well as Doctorate in Epidemiology and Public Health from University of Los Andes, Colombia; and Maarten van Wijhe from Roskilde University, Denmark, postdoctoral researcher on epidemiology, who works with the historical and statistical aspects of infectious diseases.
In our second episode, The Future of Democracy and Civic Intelligence in Light of COVID-19, we reflected on the significance of technology and discuss democracy, emancipation, activism, and civic engagement with our two guests: Doug Schuler, Professor Emeritus at the Evergreen College in USA; and Siddesh Sarma, an alumnus of education and psychology of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in India. The episode is available on Spotify, Hubhopper, and Soundcloud.
Episode 3 of Global Voices is called The Socioeconomic Implications of the Lockdown and features R. Ramakumar, Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and J. Mohan Rao, Professor Emeritus at University of Massachusetts, COVID-19 is causing severe economic problems around the world. It becomes clear that many of the goods that we take for granted are in fact dependent on many factors that are vulnerable to the impacts of a state of unexpected crisis. Departing from the issue of food security, and with a special focus on India and the US, we talked about the economic-epidemiological dilemmas for policymakers, and their disproportionate global impacts.
Episode 4 is called Environmental Impact of COVID-19: Crisis and Opportunity in the Anthropocene. Global carbon emissions have fallen substantially - giving us an insight into, as some say, what the world would look like without fossil fuels. The unprecedented restrictions on travel, work and industry due to the coronavirus have ensured good air quality in many otherwise choked cities. Wildlife has returned to habitats. Pollution is considerably down across continents, in comparison to the pre-pandemic normality. Is this just a fleeting event, or could it lead to longer-lasting changes? Our guests were Prof. Tamara Steger, researches on environmental and social justice and currently teaches in Budapest, Hungary, at CEU (Central European University). She holds a Bachelor of Science (cum laude) from State University of New York, a Master of Marine Studies from University of Washington, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) from Syracuse University. T Jayaraman is a Senior Fellow of Climate Change at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai in India. He used to work as a Professor at School of Habitat Studies in Tata Inst. of Social Sciences, Mumbai. TJ is trained as a theoretical physicist, and his current interests revolve around climate change. He also looks at science policy, and the history and philosophy of science.
Episode 5 explores the theme: Education and Mental Health in Isolation: New Challenges for Motivation and Innovation. We spoke with two psychologists about the challenges for motivation and reaching out during the lockdown, with a special focus on education. Bhasker Malu is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at CHRIST in Bangalore, India. He has developed a website, Onestoppsychology.com, and co-developed an android app called Summarizing Psychology. He has researched student motivation and contributed his insights into the role of isolation and technology on the psychology of human beings. Jesper Jørgensen is a cognitive psychologist with a specialization in spaceflight research. His knowledge about the psychology of astronauts and sailors who spend long periods of time in varying states of isolation, and about the role of space and time in how humans make sense of these states, complements this podcast. Together, we explored questions like: can demands on students be kept stable during these times? How should parents, educators, or other people in positions of responsibility react? As mental health has reached the status of a public health concern, the interconnected and intersectional nature of health and the role of social interaction in our wellbeing is a topic that deserves in-depth discussion.
Juan Camilo is from Colombia and studies Geoscience at University of Los Andes. Alexander studies Social Psychology and International Studies at Roskilde University, and Shreya is a PhD student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences researching Higher Education and student culture. We have recently added Adrijana Turajlic, Global Humanities student at Roskilde University, and K. SriSivaram, who studies Social Science at TISS, to our team, and have received help from Critical Edges, CEAs international student magazine, drawing on their experience and network for support. Stay tuned for more episodes in the following weeks. To students, activists, and academics interested in collaborating and contributing to the podcast, please do not hesitate to contact Shreya, Juan, Sascha, or CEA directly.