Call for papers, fall 2020: Proposals for «Cosmopolis» – special issue on «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 by February 1st, 2020.

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

(PHOTO CAPTION: The statue of Cecil Rhodes is removed from the campus of Cape Town University on April 9, 2015. The #RhodesMustFall campaign started on March 9, 2015. Photo: Schalk Van Zuydam/Associated Press/main pic on this link)

Total word count for complete text: 2000-10.000 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.

(Call for papers released in the European Observatory for Plurilingualism (EOP), in various Languages: Spanish, French, German, and Italian.)

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 problematize the terms colonial, decolonial, postcolonial, white privilege etc.

* Texts that describe 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 Feb 1, 2020) 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. Herbjørnsrud is the founder of Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas (SGOKI): Latest journal article: “Beyond decolonizing: global intellectual history and reconstruction of a comparative method” (Global Intellectual History, May 2019). Latest Aeon article: «First women of philsopsophy» (reg. the Global South, Dec. 2018). E-mail:

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

12 texts regarding “decolonizing” etc:

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

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

Kimberle Crenshaw: «Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of

Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics» (1989)

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

Kimberle Brown:Writing the Black Revolutionary Diva: Women’s Subjectivity and the Decolonizing Text (2010)

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

Eva Tuck and K. Wayne Yang: «Decolonization is not a metaphor» (2012)

Achille Mbembe: «Decolonising the university: New directions» (2016)

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni and Siphamandla Zondi (eds): Decolonizing the University, Knowledge Systems

and Disciplines in Africa (2016)

Sarah Ahmed: Living a Feminist Life (2017)

Boaventura de Sousa Santos: Decolonising the University: The Challenge of Deep Cognitive Justice (2017)

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:

Postal address:

Square des Latins 32, boîte 4
B-1050 Bruxelles