«Cosmopolis» – call for articles: Decolonizing the Academy

The journal Cosmopolis a journal of cosmopolitics (Brussels, Belgium) – which is published twice a year, is planning a special issue on the topic “Decolonizing the Academy” in late 2020.

We are looking for articles, papers, and texts that can illuminate the topic. Please send you proposal (a short sketch is enough) to dag@sgoki.org by December 15th, 2019 (or sooner).

Final deadline for finished texts: October 15th, 2020.

Total word count for complete text: 5.000–10.000 words (special agreements can be made).

Language: English (US or UK standards) or French.

Formatting: Chicago Style. See info on submissions – “author guidelines”.

Description: On April 9, 2015 the students of Cape Town University were successful in their demand to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes, “the architect of apartheid”, from campus.  Since then, the #RhodesMustFall campaign has spread from South Africa and around the world. Several students and academic staff have been asking for more global and less Eurocentric perspectives – demanding narratives that are not based upon Orientalism or colonial ideologies. In several countries, the demands to “decolonize the academy” have been hotly debated.

In a special issue of Cosmopolis (fall 2020), we will collect a wide range of texts that discuss “decolonizing the Academy”, the Canon at the universities, and their challengers. The issue will be interdisciplinary, and we are seeking texts from within the humanities, social sciences, and/or the natural sciences.

Women, self-defined minorities, subaltern voices, and/or contributors from the Global South (outside US/Western Europe) are especially encouraged to contribute.

We are looking for texts that can fit, but are not limited to, one of these three categories:

1) Essays/articles

* Texts that describe how one could decolonize the reading lists and the curricula (or the

academic teaching in general). These texts can be either specific regarding one

discipline (or part of it), or interdisciplinary.

* Texts that challenge calls to “decolonize the Academy” or argue against the decolonial

arguments. And/or texts that problematizes the terms colonial, decolonial,

postcolonial, white privilege etc.

* Texts that describes the challenges with the Canon and the reading lists of today (either at

one institution, or in several).

2) Case studies

* Texts from, or on, the Global South. Texts that describe new research, or that present facts

or histories that needs to be better known in a global context

* Texts that challenge the general stories of the Global North – texts that bring forward new

perspectives and new voices on Europe and/or the US.

3) Classical texts

* Selections from previously printed texts that have been important for the decolonial debates.

Please feel free to suggest texts and/or to write an introduction.

Mail your proposals or abstracts (by Dec. 15, 2019) and your submissions (by Oct 2020) to:


The editor of the Cosmopolis issue on “Decolonizing the Academy” is Dag Herbjørnsrud: A global historian of ideas. He is the founder of Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas (SGOKI): sgoki.org/no/english/ Latest journal article, in Global Intellectual History: “Beyond decolonizing: global intellectual history and reconstruction of a comparative method.”

E-mail: dag@sgoki.org

The editor-in-chief of Cosmopolis is Paul Ghils: Former editor, Transnational associations/Associations transnationales, UAI, Brussels.

E-mail: cosmopolis.rev@gmail.com

5 books as a background for the term “decolonizing”

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: Decolonising the mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986)

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Can the subaltern speak? (1988)

Linda Tuhiwai Smith: Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (1999)

Mignolo, Walter: The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (2011)

Gurminder K. Bhambra et al. (eds): Decolonising the University (2018).

About the journal Cosmopolis

Published every six months, Cosmopolis provides a high-profile outlet for interdisciplinary scholarship and public debate on the complex interactions among the various categories of actors in international relations. Its aim is to critically address the action and views of global and local actors involved with the range of universal aspirations and local diversity. It revisits the cosmopolitan idea, among resilient states and interstate organizations confronted with the expansion of transnational networks and a reversion to tradition and communal identities.

Link to webpage: cosmopolis-rev.org/en/

Postal address:

Square des Latins 32, boîte 4
B-1050 Bruxelles