Relational versus integral epistemology of world-making Europe
Cicilie Fagerlid (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Paper short abstract:
As an approach to globally entangled Europe, this paper proposes an investigation into contrasting epistemologies of self, society and civilisation. Wolf’s and Ingold’s notions of relations and entanglement, and Holmes’ inquiries into the bounded, essentialist ‘integral Europe’ serve as inspiration
Paper long abstract:
The gold that you stole/The pillage and the plunder/Is it any wonder that we're here? [..] We're only here cause you were there/Consequence of your global pillage/Yeah, here in England/A global village ('Debris' from Facts and Fiction, Asian Dub Foundation1995) In 'Debris', Asian Dub Foundation epitomises a worldview I recognise from fieldwork among descendants of postcolonial immigrants in France and Britain (Fagerlid 2001; 2012). This worldview provides them with an explicit sense of European entitlement, although their lives are often marked by the "indelible smack of degraded personhoods, occupied spaces, and limited possibilities" of imperial formations and debris (reference to Fanon in Stoler 2008: 195). A political consciousness is but one expression entangled Europe takes among the 'second generation' and many of their contemporaries in convivial, cosmopolitan urban neighbourhoods (Cf. Gilroy 2004). The mixing of cultural expressions and traditions in music, poetry and ways of life is another. In certain parts of European cities, whole neighbourhoods incorporate relational Europe (Fagerlid 2012). This postcolonial Europe becomes thus clear expressions of the bundles of relationships Eric Wolf proposes as theoretical as well as empirical perspective on societies (1997 ). In diametrical contrast to this relational ontology of self and society exists an increasingly(?) 'integral' (Holmes 2000) epistemology (Bateson 1972) of identity, society and European history, which I think would have been interesting to explore as part of research programme on world-making Europe.