The Contours of Eurocentrism
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The Contours of Eurocentrism : Race, History, and Political Texts

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Description

This book proposes an approach to Eurocentrism as a paradigm of knowledge production and interpretation rooted in the Western narrative of modernity and its racial governmentalities. Accordingly, it interrogates the relationship between knowledge, race, and power at the heart of debates on the making and circulation of history, opening up a tension, not so much with other histories, but with Eurocentrism's formulas of self-assurance, and attempts to accommodate other narratives. The book is an interdisciplinary endeavor that engages with diverse political and academic contexts and debates that reveal understandings of coloniality/modernity, specifically in education. Education, and in particular history teaching, is approached as a key arena in which to explore the (re)configuration of broader political and academic discourses and silences on power and race. Moving beyond discussions on national identity and the multicultural curriculum, it critically examines textbooks in Portugal and the discussions raised during empirical research with actors from a wide variety of fields, such as academia, policy and decision-making, schooling and the media. These are addressed in relation to the international context that saw the consolidation of global and regional organizations--such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe--which established scientific knowledge as a key solution to political conflicts (conventionally defined as exacerbated nationalism, ethnocentrism and cultural misunderstandings). Central to these discussions are the ideas of multiperspectivity and the inclusion of content about the 'other', which are addressed in detail through a case study on depictions of the African national liberation movements. This book aims to contribute to the critique of the contemporary workings of Eurocentrism and racism that have frustrated the struggles for the decolonization of knowledge and continue to shape our understandings of the world order in racially hierarchical terms, by re-centering the West/Europe.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 229 pages
  • 155 x 231 x 23mm | 522g
  • Lexington Books
  • United States
  • English
  • 3 Tables, unspecified; 6 Illustrations, black and white
  • 0739184490
  • 9780739184493

Review quote

What exactly is Eurocentrism, and why does it matter? Eschewing easy definitions, this book embarks on a wide-ranging examination of the practices of knowing and narrating, silencing and forgetting which have sustained and legitimized a colonial and racist world order over five centuries. Araujo and Maeso extend existing debates by carefully distinguishing between conventional notions of Eurocentrism as 'bias' and racism as 'prejudice', and the transformatory implications of an understanding of Eurocentrism as an enduring and ubiquitous practice of knowledge and power. Treating history textbooks, pedagogical discussions, curriculum reforms and public commemorations as political and racial texts, the authors elaborate a profound and very concrete interrogation of Eurocentrism as it is reproduced in institutionalized activities of knowledge production.--Branwen Gruffydd Jones, Goldsmiths University of Londonshow more

About Marta Araaujo

Marta Araujo is senior researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. Silvia Rodriguez Maeso is senior researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra.show more