Paola Rebughini

Geographies of Enlightenment. Emancipation and post-coloniality

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Enlightenment and emancipation are key elements of modernity as well as fundamental analytical tools of postcolonial studies that have criticized these concepts as Eurocentric. However, most parts of the critical analytical tools applied by postcolonial studies are themselves drawn from the western philosophical tradition, first of all from Marxian or postmodern and poststructuralist thought. Moreover, the effort of separating the abstract references to the rights of man or to social justice from the concrete historical background in which such concepts have been elaborated tends to be reduced to the analytical criteria of «difference» and «margin» as emancipative perspectives. The aim of the article is to analyze the potential and constraints of this debate.


  • Enlightenment
  • Emancipation
  • Critique
  • Post-Colonial
  • Multiple Modernities


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