Knowledges Born in the Struggle
Constructing the Epistemologies of the Global South
Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Maria Paula Meneses
New York and London: Routledge

In a world overwhelmingly unjust and seemingly deprived of alternatives, this book claims that the alternatives can be found among us. These alternatives are, however, discredited or made invisible by the dominant ways of knowing. Rather than alternatives, therefore, we need an alternative way of thinking of alternatives. Such an alternative way of thinking lies in the knowledges born in the struggles against capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy, the three main forms of modern domination. In their immense diversity, such ways of knowing constitute the Global South as an epistemic subject. The epistemologies of the South are guided by the idea that another world is possible and urgently needed; they emerge both in the geographical north and in the geographical south whenever collectives of people fight against modern domination. Learning from and with the epistemic South suggests that the alternative to a general theory is the promotion of an ecology of knowledges based on intercultural and interpolitical translation.


Eds.: Boaventura de Sousa Santos and Maria Paula Meneses

Series Epistemologies of the South

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Table of Contents


PART I: Unveiling the Eurocentric Roots of Modern Knowledge.

  • 1. Global Social Thought via the Haitian Revolution, Gurminder K. Bhambra.
  • 2. Making the Nation Habitable, Shahid Amin.

PART II: Other Territories, Other Epistemologies: Amplifying the Knowledges of the South.

  • 3. Thinking-Feeling with the Earth: Territorial Struggles and the Ontological Dimension of the Epistemologies of the South, Arturo Escobar.
  • 4. On Finding the Cinerarium for Uncremated Ubuntu: On the Street Wisdom of Philosophy, Mogobe Ramose.
  • 5. Problematic People and Epistemic Decolonization: Toward the Postcolonial in Africana Political Thought, Lewis R. Gordon.
  • 6. Chacha-warmi: Another Form of Gender Equality, from the Perspective of Aymara Culture, Yanett Medrano Valdez.

PART III: The Arts and the Senses in the Epistemologies of the South.

  • 7. Toward an Aesthetics of the Epistemologies of the South: Manifesto in Twenty-Two Theses, Boaventura de Sousa Santos.
  • 8. What’s in a Name? Utopia—Sociology—Poetry, Maria Irene Ramalho.
  • 9. Food as a Metaphor for Cultural Hierarchies, Gopal Guru.
  • 10. Tastes, Aromas, and Knowledges: Challenges to a Dominant Epistemology, Maria Paula Meneses.

PART IV: Decolonizing Knowledge: The Multiple Challenges.

  • 11. The Recolonization of the Indian Mind, Peter Ronald deSouza.
  • 12. Epistemic Extractivism: A Dialogue with Alberto Acosta, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Ramón Grosfoguel.
  • 13. Decolonizing the University, Boaventura de Sousa Santos.