Cheri Johnson's Beyond Academia. 2. Concepts

Second Review for Cheri's Beyond Academia Sketch Annotation (adopting the PECE terminology is getting increasinly weird!)

The main concepts I think of reading the two questions is "cosmopolitics", generally a proposal for a new view of relating science (cosmos) and politics, c.q. power/knowledge, in a way that gives both proper room to operate in contact with the other. See Isabelle Stengers' The Cosmopolitical Proposal, a short afterword to her magnum opus Cosmopolitcs. Possible other entries are Bruno Latour's Whose Cosmos? Which Cosmopolitics? written with Ulrich Beck as interlocutor and with reference to the case of the first encounter of Castillians with Amerindians. Mario Blaser and Marisol de la Cadena have tried to further work out this approach in case of the Indigenous peoples in the America's.Their collaborative A World of Many World is their latest.

Cosmopolitics is not a model to be applied. It may bring up difficult questions rather than directly help map the issues investigated here. Still, I mention these names because "power structure" within Indigenous communities is mentioned in the artifact, which also has its obvious counterparts in Western institutions, and so a connection is evinced and then questioned between politics and knowledge. It might help one to look at power/knowledge on both sides with more symmetry and also to find a way out falling for two extremes of "automatic" respect and quick denunciation depending on signs of politcs in knowledge.

More specifically, I mention cosmopolitics because it could help clarify why "Indigenous knowledge is often characterized as if it is automatically positive." That is, they could be tolerated and respected as belief with sacred character, not to be insulted, but neither to be taken as real "knowledge", a case of politeness that is cosmopolitcally incorrect. It makes in the end for the expert's report to count over and above the knowledge of others and Others.

I also mention cosmopolitics because it has a way of relating to 'ends' mentioned in the second topical question in the artifact. Ends, that is, a cosmos that is always under construction, whose ends mutate as much as the rest. It might problematize taking 'knowledge' as means to ends, which arguably itself is a Western and economic imposition. It could open up the question of how occupants of different cultures ("worlds") take the nature of knowledge to be in the first place, so that it become possible to work out through the most fundamental incompatibilities and foregoing assumptions that most often advantage the Western interlocutors in these relations. I hope all this give sufficient reason for consulting this literature.


Analytic (Question)





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