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72274-01 - Seminar: From the Global to the Planetary Turn in the Humanities 3 KP

Semester Herbstsemester 2024
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Dipesh Chakrabarty (dipesh.chakrabarty@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Inhalt This course, primarily focused on the discipline of history, will, over the course of the week,
try and develop a distinction between “global” and “planetary” approaches to the histories of colonial knowledge and rule, modernity and modernization, and the various current planetary environmental crises that humanity faces through such phenomena as global warming, sea-level rise, biodiversity loss, etc. The course will begin by considering the work of the South Asian “Subaltern Studies” historians whose publications from the 1980s became an important part of what came to be regarded as postcolonial criticism and theory, the connection between the work of this group and postcolonial criticism being represented by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s classic 1986 essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” The work of the Subaltern Studies collective represented an urge to democratize history as a form of knowledge, an effort that gave rise to postcolonial forms of engagement with European thought, an issue we will discuss in the first half of the course. This engagement was itself was part of attempts by many theorists to find a place for historical and cultural differences – without essentializing them – in a world that was increasingly becoming global through the liberalization of economies, media, and migration.

If globalization was the main concern of humanists in the last few decades of the twentieth century, a new engagement was visible in the first decade on the present century –engagement with the phenomenon of global warming or climate change that scientists had in fact been speaking of since the 1980s, about the same time as when postcolonial criticism began its career though there was no intellectual traffic between the two streams of thought. This changed in the 2000s when earth system scientists began to use the expression “The Anthropocene” to suggest that the human impact on their planetary environment had been so deleterious as to move the planet into a new geological epoch, the age of humans. The present instructor happened to be one of the first among humanists to engage the problem of climate change from a humanistic perspective through some propositions he put forward in a 2009 an essay called “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” That essay generated much debate in the human sciences around the very idea of “the Anthropocene”, with many social scientists claiming that the moniker should be changed to “Capitalocene” (or some such category) to underline the role of capitalism and human inequalities in causing this impact. While the idea of the Anthropocene has not won universal assent among scientists, the debate around the term gave rise to a new series of categories in humanistic thought, the category “planet” being one of them. It has now been picked up for use in various social science disciplines.

The second half of the course – focusing, once again, on certain debates about history, modernity and capitalism – tracks the emergence of “the planet” as a humanist category and seeks to determine its relationship to postcolonial and (today’s) decolonial criticism.

Lernziele 1. A clear grasp of the ideas and debates that influenced postcolonial history-writing in the case of Subaltern Studies.
2. An understanding of the project of “provincializing Europe”.
3. A capacity to make a distinction between global and planetary approaches to the history of human institutions and practices.
Literatur Key texts to be discussed will include Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Ranajit Guha eds., Selected Subaltern Studies (1989); Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (1986); Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe (2000;2008), The Climate of History in a Planetary Age (2021); and
One Planet, Many Worlds (2023).
Bemerkungen This seminar is capped at 50 students maximum, with a priority for CU students.


Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall Wochentag Zeit Raum
täglich Siehe Einzeltermine


Datum Zeit Raum
Montag 02.09.2024 10.15-17.00 Uhr Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101
Dienstag 03.09.2024 10.15-17.00 Uhr Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101
Mittwoch 04.09.2024 10.15-17.00 Uhr Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101
Donnerstag 05.09.2024 10.15-12.00 Uhr Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101
Donnerstag 05.09.2024 14.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101
Freitag 06.09.2024 10.15-17.00 Uhr Alte Universität, Hörsaal -101
Module Modul: Areas: Europa Global (Master Studiengang: Europäische Geschichte in globaler Perspektive )
Modul: Europäisierung und Globalisierung (Masterstudium: European Global Studies)
Modul: Migration, Mobility and Transnationalism (Master Studiengang: Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources )
Modul: The Urban across Disciplines (Master Studiengang: Critical Urbanisms)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung No seminar papers accepted in this seminar.
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Fachbereich Urban Studies