This seminar looks at practices of science in the contact zone in order to think through the historical beginnings, and contemporary repercussions, of imperial practices of exploring, collecting, surveying, categorising and similar activities. It draws on extensive work done in postcolonial studies and STS (science and technology studies), as well as fields such as museum studies, material cultural studies and ethnogeography or -biology, to think about the historical and contemporary consequences of ideas of knowledge.
Our work in this seminar will be organised around a set of 5-6 case studies, which look at research into specific contact zones and their implications for categories of interest to cultural studies (gender, race, nation, class…). This will entail careful reading and lively discussion/exchange of ideas.
Normally, a Reader with a selection of thematically organised texts and a list of topics for term papers would be provided at the beginning of the course to be bought at Printzentrum, Neuer Markt 3. As this seminar will probably be offered online, the necessary materials will be provided in digital form.