Program Structure

Registered participants in the seminar will receive, at least a month in advance, the reading material for the seminar. Upon arrival, participants will be invited to participate in an orientation session followed by a reception.

Classes will be conducted five days a week, morning and afternoon, as described below. Guest lecturers and field trips will be also part of the program.

We will explore these issues and address the questions such as:

  1. The formation and transformation of Western principles of knowledge (epistemology) and understanding (hermeneutics). The role of the invention of America for the creation of Christian-European identity and the relevance of Indians, Blacks, Moors and Jews in the invention of the modern/colonial racial matrix. The place of Muslims from the sixteenth century until today. From Christian Theology to Secular Philosophy and Sciences--from the idea of Man in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the idea of Man and Human in biotechnology and human rights, racism and patriarchy have controlled the material apparatus of enunciation and, therefore, knowledge.
  2. The parallel history, and its gnoseological and political implications in relation to the formation and transformation of Western imperial dominance in all domains. From the Russian Tsardom (sixteenth – eighteenth centuries) to its transformation to the Russian Empire (eighteenth- nineteenth centuries) with Peter the Great, to the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, these histories, parallel to the West are the histories of the second-rate or subaltern empire which explain, in part, the role of Russian Federation today in the economic, political and racial order.

Both units, a) and b) will be connected by reflecting on the place of South America, on the one hand, and Central Asia and the Caucasus, on the other, in the global order. Both units will be further explored in the second week focusing on Islam and the Middle East and on Africa and the Caribbean.

There will be three workshops, in addition to the regular class hours, on related issues:

  1. Screening of and open discussion (by faculty and registered participants) of the film Bamako (2007) by Mali writer and director, Abderrahmane Sissako. Bamako follows a mock trial pitting African civil society against its debtors at the World Bank and the IMF, playing out against the backdrop of a typical village home in the African nation of Mali. It’s a highly innovative and politically charged concept, but it loses its way in execution.
  2. Screening of and open discussion (by faculty and registered participants), of the film White Sun of the Desert (1973), by a Soviet director Vladimir Motyl. White Sun of the Desert has been described as an “Eastern” (as opposed to a western) or Ostern. The setting is the east shore of the Caspian Sea (today's Turkmenistan) where the Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov has been fighting the Civil War in the Russian colony of Central Asia for a number of years. After being hospitalized and then demoted, he sets off home to see his wife, only to be caught up in a fight in the desert between a Red Army cavalry unit and Basmachi rebels. Sukhov ends up having to guard and protect the harem of the Basmachi guerilla leader Abdullah, as his army comrades pursue him. The interaction between a Russian soldier and Muslim women, in Central Asia, is the gist of this film.
  3. A workshop with activists and artists from Eastern Europe gathered around the journal (printed and web-journal), Reartikulacija produced in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Reartijulacija is artistic-political-theoretical and discursive platform with the nameReartikulacija (Rearticulation) established in 2007 is a platform for interventions in the Slovenian space of art, culture, the social and the political, in the EU and worldwide. The journal brings in Slovenian and English a dense theoretical and political set of texts that focus around the analysis of the arts and the cultural, social and political matrix of neo-liberal-global capitalism.The artistic-political-theoretical and discursive platform with the name Reartikulacija (Rearticulation) established in 2007 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a platform for interventions in the Slovenian space of art, culture, the social and the political, in the EU and worldwide. Website.

Total number of hours: 59 astronomical hours; 75 academic hours.