The 2022 Gaston Sigur Memorial Lecture with Prasenjit Duara

Rebecca Russell's picture
April 4, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, East Asian History / Studies, Political Science, South Asian History / Studies

On April 4th at 5 PM EDT, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies welcomes Prasenjit Duara for the 2022 Gaston Sigur Memorial Lecture. This year's topic is "Worldviews and Planetary Politics: Gardens, Jungles, and Oceans." The event will take place in Room 602 of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. The Elliott School is located at 1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.

Contemporary world politics is structured around the world order of nation-states in turn founded largely upon a Newtonian cosmology and an associated worldview. I develop a conceptual framework around the ‘epistemic engine’ which organizes and circulates the cosmological and institutional structures of Enlightenment modernity. 

Subsequently, I explore how the imperial Chinese world order-- functional until at least the late 19th century--reveals a different cosmology shaping a different world order and politics. I also explore the contemporary PRC view of the world order probing the extent to which its historical experiences can be seen to re-shape the hegemonic epistemic engine. In the final section, I draw from a paradigm of ‘oceanic temporality’ to grasp counter-finalities generated by the epistemic engine on the earth and the ocean itself. Can the counter-flows of social movements allow us to imagine what Katzenstein calls a post-Enlightenment, hyper-humanist cosmology?

NOTE: All non-GW affiliated attendees must comply with GW's COVID-19 policy in order to attend this event, including full vaccination and masking indoors.

Contact Info: 

Richard Haddock

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