Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Resistance, Autonomy, Liberation

The members of this research cluster are fully cognizant of the fact that enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism are global pathologies of power and exploitation that transformed the world as they traveled.  As such, this cluster seeks a broad and deep time accounting of histories of resistance, quests for autonomy and struggles for self-liberation by formerly (and still, in some cases) enslaved, colonized or otherwise oppressed peoples of the world.

We ask: 

  • What are the key philosophies of resistance, autonomy, decolonization and self-liberation?
  • What  are  some of  the  most  crucial  sites,  itineraries,  landscapes and  models  of  self-liberation?
  • What is the nature and location of the archive of self-liberation?
  • What is the unfinished business of self-liberation?
  • What are the legacies and lessons of self-liberation?
  • What  are  the  key  institutions  and  partnerships we need to engage with or build to effectively research and teach liberation studies?

Summary of Research Resources

  • Nyasha Mboti, “Closing the Loophole: Apartheid Studies”
    A special guest lecture by Dr. Nyashi Mboti as part of UCSB’s African Studies Series. Dr. Mboti discusses the new field he founded: Apartheid Studies. He introduces his forthcoming 4-volume treatise on the subject, Apartheid Studies: A Manifesto, which will change how we think about enslavement, colonialism, neocolonialism, impoverishment, and the exploitation and carnage of humans that has defined global history for at least half a millennium.  

  • Azaria Mbughuni, “Tanzania and the Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa”
    A special guest lecture by Dr. Azaria Mbughuni as part of UCSB’s African Studies Series. This lecture focuses on the role of Tanzania in Southern Africa’s liberation struggles and the transnational relationship of African self-liberation. Dr. Mbughuni’s guest lecture will build onto Professor Mhoze Chikowero‘s ongoing graduate seminar on African Self-Liberation.