Centering the Global Periphery

Globe with people and flying paper planes circling. In text below Centering the Global Periphery Kickoff

Centering the Global Periphery

Theodora Dragostinova (History)
Eric Schoon (Sociology)

This thematic area prioritizes perspectives from allegedly peripheral state and non-state actors to foreground marginalized voices on the global security order. The initial focus of the cluster engages two topics: 1) populism, polarization, and democratic challenges; and 2) legacies of empire. Exploring political crises, violence against states and individuals, environmental challenges, migration dynamics, and polarized responses to current social issues and historical legacies, we center peripheral perspectives and their cutting-edge research interpretations.

Activities include working group meetings, a speaker series, graduate student opportunities, and a culminating symposium during 2023–2024. 

Spring 2023

February 9, 2023 at 3:45pm (Derby 1039)
Zero Waste as White Space: The Racial Politics of Environmental Sustainability in an Expanding Europe

Environmental sustainability initiatives implemented across Europe have reproduced and generated new practices of racialization. Although framed as progressive in the name of “greening” Europe, these initiatives often rely on unrecognized and racialized labor. In Bulgaria, where waste labor is performed predominantly by Romani women, waste management is critical to meeting European Union environmental targets. This talk offers a historical and ethnographic account of recycling in Sofia, Bulgaria, to explore how people engage with European sustainability regimes as well as the broader political landscapes of which they are a part. Sustainability in an expanding European Union, I argue, ends up sustaining an environment structured on white supremacy and racial capitalism.

Elana Resnick is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also leads the Infrastructural Inequalities Research Group. She writes about waste, race, environmentalism, labor, and humor. Her work has been published in American Anthropologist, Collaborative Anthropologies, Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Anthropology of East Europe Review, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures and is forthcoming in Public Culture. Her research has been funded by the School for Advanced Research, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Council for European Studies, the Fulbright-Hays Program, and the Wilson Center.

March 2, 2023 at 3:45pm (Thompson Library 165)
Against the World: Anti-Globalism and Mass Politics Between the World Wars

Tara Zahra is Homer J. Livingston Professor of East European History and Roman Family Faculty Director of the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago. She is also a 2014 MacArthur Genius Award Fellow and an American Academy of Arts & Sciences member. The author of three monographs, her most recent book, Against the World: Anti-Globalism and Mass Politics Between the World Wars, will be published by W.W. Norton this January.


Autumn 2022 

Thursday, October 20 at 3:45pm (Derby 1039)
Zophia Edwards, Johns Hopkins University | Professor Edwards’ research examines the impacts of colonialism and multiracial labor movements on state institutions and ideas of development in resource-rich countries in the Global South, focusing on Trinidad and Tobago.

Co-Sponsored with the Center for Latin American Studies

Thursday, November 3, at 3:45pm (Derby 1039)
Serhun Al, Izmir University of Economics | “The International Origins of Turkish Authoritarianism."
Discussant: Yigit Akin, Ohio State

Co-sponsored with the Middle East Studies Center.

Monday, November 7, at 2pm (Derby 1039)
Roundtable discussion “What is the Global Periphery?” featuring Ohio State faculty Madhumita Dutta (Geography), Jennifer Eaglin (History), Ben McKean (Political Science), and Ila Nagar (NESA)

Monday, November 14, at 2pm - 3:30pm (Derby 1039)
Manuela Boatca, Freiburg University, Germany | “Unequal Europes: Coloniality, Interimperiality and Otherness”.
Discussant: Sunnie Rucker-Chang, Ohio State

Tuesday, November 15, at 12:30pm - 2pm (Derby 1039)
Graduate Student Luncheon with Manuela Boatca, Freiburg University, Germany | The project of creolization involves the rethinking, reframing, and creative recomposition of the received categories structuring our disciplines—from Europe to the Americas, from the modern to the global. The invention of Latin America as “New Romania” (Nouvelle Romania, a linguistic and cultural sphere of influence) was an ideological move. Through it, France, which had lost its most prized colonial possession in the Caribbean after the Haitian revolution of 1791–1804 and had been forced to sell Louisiana to the United States as a result, tried to maintain political control in the American colonies and thus partake of coloniality. In the process, Latinity was gradually displaced from the center of Christianity and increasingly equated with Catholicism. Yet modern nations in the European East claimed allegiance with classical empires - an attempt at trans-imperial negotiation in a world-system increasingly dominated by West European colonial powers. Creolizing knowledge is discussed here as a way of retrieving the claims of peripheral regions in both colonial and imperial situations to shaping the categories we employ - "Eastern" Europe, "Latin" America - and the legacies they bespeak .”

Book: Creolizing the Modern by Anca Parvulescu and Manuela Boatca
Co-sponsored with the Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Monday, November 28, at 12pm
Working group meeting