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J. Audema, French Congo. Passage of Mr. Administrator E., 1905. Source: Smithsonian Institution

Berthold Leibinger Lecture

Colonialism and European Social Science

We regret that this event has been cancelled due to public health concerns with COVID-19. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

How did European sociologists engage with imperial regimes between 1930 and 1960? George Steinmetz confronts this question through a study of the last major Western powers to decolonize—France, Britain, Belgium—and during the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe (1938-1945). Considering the production and lasting effects of what he calls “imperial forms of sociology,” Steinmetz rejects calls to expunge forms of scientific knowledge produced under colonial or totalitarian conditions, and, conversely, to disregard the contexts in which this knowledge was produced. Instead, he argues that we should take seriously several of colonial sociology’s key traits: the heterogeneity of nondemocratic situations; variations in the autonomy of the production of knowledge; differing intellectual and political positions of individuals located in identical situations; and, lastly, the internal contradictions that arise in texts produced under non-democratic conditions.

05 May 20
Social Sciences
19:30 - 21:00
American Academy in Berlin
Am Sandwerder 17-19
14109 Berlin-Wannsee

This event is has been cancelled. Please check back for updates.

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