Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation

Colloquium | February 6 | 4:30-6 p.m. | 2538 Channing (Inst. for the Study of Societal Issues), Wildavsky Conference Room

 Gary Okihiro, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

 Center for Research on Social Change, Center for Race and Gender, Department of African American Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies

A conversation with author about his book, Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation. In 1968 the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State College demanded the creation of a Third World studies program to counter the existing curricula that ignored issues of power—notably, imperialism and oppression. The administration responded by institutionalizing an ethnic studies program; Third World studies was over before it began. Detailing the field's genesis and premature death, Gary Y. Okihiro presents an intellectual history of ethnic studies and Third World studies and shows where they converged and departed by identifying some of their core ideas, concepts, methods, and theories. In so doing, he establishes the contours of a unified field of study—Third World studies—that pursues a decolonial politics by examining the human condition broadly, especially in regard to oppression, and critically analyzing the locations and articulations of power as manifested in the social formation. Okihiro's framing of Third World studies moves away from ethnic studies' liberalism and its U.S.-centrism to emphasize the need for complex thinking and political action in the drive for self-determination.

 crsc@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0813