Kai Kresse – Cross-cutting research

Anthropology (in the North) and Theory (from the South)

Prof. Dr. Kai Kresse

This project seeks to re-assess the role(s) and work that a critical anthropology can fulfil and provide, vis-à-vis recent postcolonial critique and decolonial challenges to epistemologies and knowledge production. This is pursued with a view to being based in the global North, and the need to engage more centrally with knowledge, concepts, and intellectual traditions from the global South. In collaborative exchange with colleagues and partners in/from Germany, Africa, and beyond, a particular concern is how engagement with theory and thinkers from ZMO’s regions of research (taking East Africa and the Swahili region as a personal starting point) can re-orient our thinking for shaping more adequate – and less Eurocentric – ways of thinking and conceptualizing the world, and society. Central to this is an engagement in dialogical processes of interdisciplinary and inter-regional exchanges, to reflect upon the tasks of anthropology (and related disciplines), and the particular role that the individual can take on. Conscious of limitations and positionalities, and grounded in specific regional and theoretical expertise, this project seeks to learn from a wide-range of readings and discussions to think constructively for re-orientation.

This project is linked to the ZMO based Working Group ‘Thinkers and theorizing from the South’ and its counterpart, the collaborative network co2libri (Conceptual collaboration: living borderless research interaction), funded by the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) and the Swahili Baraza.