WSIP is pleased to share several exciting announcements!

Now Open—Call for Applications for the Mellon Liaison PhD Fellowship in Collaboration with the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)

Deadline June 15, 2023. For description and application portal, click Here.

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Fall 2023 WSIP course: “Decolonial Reconstellations: Reframing the Present”

Decolonial Reconstellations is the pilot course organized by the World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP) for the proposed Graduate certificate in Decolonial Global Studies, with support from the Mellon Foundation: see Mellon DGS Award.

For description of the DGS Certificate and the course, see below on this page.


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WSIP Welcomes Professor Asha Nadkarni

In Summer 2023, Professor Asha Nadkarni will officially join Professors Laura Doyle and Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji as a third Co-Director of WSIP. Asha has been part of WSIP since its inception so we’re very excited that she has agreed to join us as a WSIP Co-Director. See her profile here.

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See below for descriptions of the Fall course & proposed Certificate

Decolonial Reconstellations: Reframing the Present Offered Fall 2023

Tuesdays 4-6:30, Renaissance Center [Ren Ctr location]

Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji (Economics) and Laura Doyle (English)


This interdisciplinary seminar serves as a core course of the proposed Decolonial Global Studies Certificate (DGS). Students from all disciplines are welcome, whether or not you plan to pursue the Certificate.

Focusing on non-eurocentric, non-androcentric analyses of world political economy and culture, this course will engage with diverse emancipatory and critical approaches, including decolonial, postcolonial, Indigenous, environmental, intersectional, queer, Marxist, speculative, transnational, and inter-imperial. We will particularly tackle the Eurocentric paradigm of “modernity,” which has severely distorted historical legacies and narrowed conceptions of past, present, and future. Several readings will address long-historical data, deep-time perspectives, and pluriversal epistemologies.  

As we will explore, decolonization is not simply a removal of European colonial forms and a return to prior practices or to a golden period, as was sometimes envisioned in the process of political decolonization. While many hierarchies of gender, race, class, nationality, and religion were formed by European colonization, some versions of them predate the rise of European hegemony and have later co-evolved or interacted conjuncturally with European formations. In this context, we will highlight long-historical practices of ethical relationality as we also critique power configurations in whatever era or form they appear. Close study of these dynamic processes allows for a deeper overturning of the Eurocentric, androcentric points of view that pervade much of our understanding of the contemporary world. Some class projects will therefore invite students to situate their more contemporary research projects or interests within a longer history.  

The course will also emphasize decolonial and relational practices.  Co-taught by a Humanities and a Social Science professor, the seminar aims to model decolonial interdisciplinary methods while widening the horizons within which students conceive their research and their aspirations.  The course will encourage collaborative thinking and invite experimental or creative projects, including some in teaching, research, activism, art, or other engagements. We anticipate that the interdisciplinary mix of students in the class will also enable students to widen their campus community and enhance their understanding of decolonial practices.

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Graduate Certificate in Decolonial Global Studies (DGS)

Certificate Description: Aims and Vision

The DGS Graduate Certificate provides an opportunity to learn interdisciplinary methods for analysis of culture, society, and geopolitical economy outside the prison-house of Eurocentric, capitalist, colonialist, and androcentric framings. It focuses on both the embedded narratives that have enabled material-epistemological violence and the legacies of care and creative world-making that have sustained human communities over generations. In this light, courses will highlight the historical-political dynamics that underlie both the crises and the new solidarities of the present. In other words, the Certificate will foster your ability to reconceive what has been called Global Studies by restructuring the field around decolonial, intersectional approaches. We anticipate approval of the DGS Certificate in Fall 2023.

Equally essential, in its interdisciplinary, co-teaching pedagogies, the Certificate aims to support extra-disciplinary projects, creative forms of theorization, new networks of relation, and unorthodox angles of vision.  As part of this process we will cultivate forms of intellectual and social-political community that support your journey and foster positive change more broadly. Some courses will bring visitors from activist, artist, policy-making, and other such spheres; and our Liaison Fellows Program will aim to support short-term internships in these spheres for DGS Certificate graduate students. 

At the same time, we also recognize that our collaborative decolonizing of diverse yet linked systems of power has distinctive stakes, risks, and potentialities for each of us, arising from our particular positions. We remain aware that our relations are hemmed in by language hegemonies and other entanglements in colonial, capitalist, sexist-racist histories.  Therefore, the courses in this Certificate will cultivate the practices of slow listening and trust-building alongside experimental thinking, expansive reflection, and attentiveness to languages.  We understand the classroom as a key arena of practice and as part of our field of relations.

Finally, a note on terms. In recent years some scholars have distinguished between decolonial, anti-colonial, and postcolonial studies. In order to build alliances among the scholars and projects focused on this work, we prefer to recognize the generative practices and diverse genealogies of all these terms, while also honoring the distinctions among them.  We take the same approach to the concept of intersectionality, which has recently been debated for its applicability across different regions and colonial formations. While critical methods must involve what Samir Amin has aptly called de-linking from colonial norms, we propose that the building of a decolonized future also entails what Julia Suárez-Krabbe calls re-linking of decolonial imaginaries and practices. 

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Graduate Certificate in Decolonial Global Studies (DGS)

Expected Certificate Requirements, pending Faculty Senate approval

  • Four courses, a reflective capstone project, and evidence of multi-lingual awareness, as described below. All courses must be completed with a Grade of B or better.
  • Coursework includes two core courses and two electives. All core courses are co-taught and interdisciplinary, as part of the Certificate’s dialogical and decolonial practice. 
  • Required Courses: Any two of the core DGS courses.  We expect that at least one core course will be taught in each semester.
  • Electives: Students may choose from the following: any courses on the approved electives list; any of the core courses not taken for required courses; courses approved through consultation and submission of short petition form.  In addition, students may use up to one independent study that has been approved by the DGS coordinating committee as an elective; and some Liaison Fellowships (see below) may be counted toward coursework. All courses must be completed with a Grade of B or better.

Reflective Capstone Project: 

The spirit of the Capstone is to foster students’ self-understanding as engaged, evolving thinkers and listeners within communities of learning and alliance – rather than being a hurdle that proves competency. The project can be written, multi-media, or otherwise creative; in any case, the work entailed might be comparable to a 5-6 page reflective essay. The point is for students for to reflect on their discipline and their interdisciplinary learning as they look ahead, integrating their knowledge and their larger aspirations. To lay ground for the final Capstone project, core courses will also include one or more short reflective exercises.  

The final Capstone project will need advance approval by a Certificate advisor. Students who have completed the Certificate courses will present their projects and share their reflections at a Certificate gathering.

Evidence of Multi-lingual Awareness:

Given the importance of languages to both liberatory/decolonial and hegemonic/colonial projects, this Certificate also requires either a lived experience of multi-lingualism or evidence of significant engagement with the politics of language in coursework. Languages can include creole, indigenous, and ancient languages; oral-only and written-only languages; or any of the other thousands of languages in the world.

Certificate students will need to have either of the following: knowledge of a language other than English (spoken or written); or coursework treating the political-epistemological implications of different language worlds and hierarchies, involving attention to more than one language.  For the former, students will be asked to provide a short written account of their multiple language knowledge; and for the latter, students will be asked to provide course syllabi and sample coursework showing evidence of their engagement with the politics of languages as described here.