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April 25, 2024

Countering Global Intellectual Inequality

Event Series: Ways Forward in a Divided World

Showing the Countering Global Intellectual Inequality Video

The global challenges we face—from climate change and pandemics to rampant nationalism, security competition, and war—demand the full intellectual resources of global humanity. But the structures of knowledge production and dissemination remain heavily weighted against the Global South. While the relative decline of the United States and Europe has shifted the economic and political balance of power on a global scale, the West continues to generate the dominant narratives that shape the incipient global public sphere. Nesrine Malik has argued persuasively that we need new, more inclusive stories to inform a new, emerging global reality.

How does global intellectual inequality today differ from that of an earlier, colonial era? What obstacles stand in the way of a less unequal global public sphere—one in which voices from the Global South are heard more loudly and clearly around the common challenges facing humanity? What are creative ways to overcome those obstacles in practice? Ranjit Hoskote, Nesrine Malik, and K. Anthony Appiah explored these questions in a conversation moderated by Negar Azimi.

This event was part of the Georgetown Global Dialogues, which featured leading intellectuals from the Global South in forward-looking conversations with U.S.-based thinkers across a range of topics. It was co-sponsored by the African Studies Program, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Department of English, Georgetown Humanities Initiative, and Georgetown University Library at Georgetown University.


Headshot of Ranjit Hoskote.

Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote is an Indian poet, theorist, and curator whose influential work centers on the complex history and presence of cultural pluralism from the local to the global. He has authored eight books of poetry—including Icelight (2022), Jonahwhale (2018), and a translation of a fourteenth-century Kashmiri mystic-poet, I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Dĕd (2011)—and the acclaimed book Confluences: Forgotten Histories between East and West (2012, with Ilija Trojanow). Hoskote has curated more than 50 showcases of Indian and global art over the past three decades, including India’s first national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Headshot of Nesrine Malik.

Nesrine Malik

Nesrine Malik is an acclaimed British Sudanese author and journalist known for her wide-ranging commentary on issues of race, identity, politics, and international affairs. She is the author of We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent (2019) and has columns in leading outlets including The GuardianThe New York Times, and The Washington Post that address topics ranging from Islamophobia and feminism to African politics, with deep insights into the ways colonial and postcolonial legacies shape our contemporary world. Malik received the 2021 Robert B. Silvers Prize for Journalism.

Headshot of K. Anthony Appiah.

K. Anthony Appiah

K. Anthony Appiah, professor of law and philosophy at the New York University School of Law, is a leading scholar of literary and cultural studies with a focus on African and African-American culture. Appiah has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, and Princeton universities before joining NYU in 2014. Among his many acclaimed books are In My Father’s House (1992), Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006), The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (2010) and The Ties That Bind (2014). He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and was inducted in 2008 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Headshot of Negar Azimi.

Negar Azimi

Negar Azimi is a writer, curator, and the editor-in-chief of Bidoun, a publishing and curatorial platform with a focus on the Middle East and its diasporas. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Bookforum, Frieze, Harper's, The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker, among other places. She has recently organized exhibitions around the artists Reza Abdoh (MoMA PS1, KW Institute), Nicolas Moufarrege (CCA Berlin), Fereydoun Ave (Carnegie International), and Van Leo (Hammer Museum). With Pati Hertling she runs the epistolary series Deadlines and Divine Distractions and is at work on a book set in and around Iran, to be published by Penguin Press.