This article presents two sets of questions and a provisional hypothesis, which attempt to frame the present and possible futures of what we now call “Global South studies.” First, a broad, conceptual set of questions about the act of setting out as a setting-to-work, informed by Edward Said's meditations in Beginnings (1975) about the play between intention and method that sets epistemological parameters for an object of study, which in turn narrows the range of possible methods of knowing that object. Second, bringing this frame of “beginnings” (in Said's formula, intention + method) to bear upon a range of disciplinary methods that have shown varying degrees of efficacy as tools [techne] for scholarship of the Global South, while also revealing the possibilities and pitfalls we face as a self-described “interdisciplinary” field. I do not write in terms of a “methodology,” but rather a plurality of overlapping methods that share a common object. Third, provisional benchmarks for a more intersubjective and Southern interdisciplinarity for Global South studies, one that will not necessarily transcend the strengths and limitations of particular methods but may enable a more mindful relationship with the populations about and alongside which we would speak.

You do not currently have access to this content.