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Research Colloquium | Zoran Milutinović (London) Area Studies in the 21st century: A Sum of Areal Knowledges, or a Field of Theoretical Innovation and Experimentation?

The speaker will argue that Area Studies should generate questions which no single discipline can ask. Their proper object will keep appearing as a result, not as a starting point. In order to do this, Area Studies should become metaphorical rather than metonymical. The former abandons the pretence of offering total, integrated knowledge and full comprehension, and substitute it with intensity of insight. Area Studies should not become a sum total of areal knowledges, but a meta-discipline which inspires disciplinary efforts, a field of theoretical innovation and experimentation in which new questions are asked, conceptual vocabularies proposed, and new perspectives tested. This would mean being in a permanent crisis, constantly seeking subversion of themselves, always looking for a proper object and being in a perpetual state of methodological uncertainty.