Theses on The Africana Diasporas: Topologies of Time, Consciousness, and Intelligence

When and Where

Thursday, March 07, 2024 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Jackman Humanities Building
170 St. George Street, 1st floor


Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui


Join us for "Theses on The Africana Diasporas: Topologies of Time, Consciousness, and Intelligence," a public talk with Professor Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui. This Public Talk is part of a 2023-2024 Andrew Mellon Sawyer Seminar titled “Evasion: Thinking the Underside of Surveillance.” A reception with light food and drink will follow this talk. 

The lecture will run from 3:00 - 5:00pm with a reception to follow from 5:00 - 6:00pm with light food and refreshments. 

About the Talk:

This last presentation is about the double evasion described above: 1) the evasion of the maroon from surveillance and 2) the evasion in liberal imaginary of the responsibility to truth by which to develop methods and modes of inquiry toward the incorporation of related human experiments of freedom under more capacious epistemes and ontologies. This last section concerns the tendency to imagine total rupture between political and constitutional experiments in the so-called “New World” and prior related developments in Africa. But ruptures and epistemic distancing within the African-descended diasporas have been exaggerated. Rather, I propose two theses. The first is that diasporic modes of attachments and detachments, which are affective modes of being, are born more of desire than they are inherently grounded in distance. The other thesis acknowledges that separation and distance generated their own topologies of imagination and creativity within the Africana diasporas. Yet, it asserts that the subsistence of sentiments and modes of cognition – metaphors, symbols, and ideas – provide the basis for a common moral, psychic, and cognitive ‘intelligence within the diaspora through which I will argue unified and unifying diasporic traditions of thought related to public freedoms.  

About Professor Grovogui:

Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui is originally from Guinea, where he attended Law School before serving as law clerk, judge, and legal counsel for the National Commission on Trade, Agreements, and Protocols. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1988. Prior to joining Cornell University's Africana Studies, Grovogui was professor of international relations theory and law at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Sovereigns, Quasi-Sovereigns, and Africans: Race and Self-determination in International Law (University of Minnesota Press, 1996) and Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories of International Institutions and Order (Palgrave, April 2006). Grovogui has recently completed and submitted a book manuscript titled The Gaze of Copernicus: Postcolonialism, Serendipity, and International Relations (University of Manchester Press). He is working to complete the companion book, tentatively titled ‘Quilombo’s Horizon: Moral Orders and the Law of the Commons.’ 

Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui has received a number of awards including but not limited to 2019 Distinguished Scholar from the THEORY Section of the International Studies Association and the 2018 Distinguished Scholar from the Global South Caucus of the International Studies Association. He has given distinguished and named lectures including the 2019 Imber Lecture of the University of St. Andrew (Scotland, UK), the Nelson Mandela Lecture (Rhodes University, 2021) and the 2023 Africa Day Lecture of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation. He has been awarded several research grants, including by the United States National Science Foundation for research on the rule of law.

He enjoys teaching and the company of the curious and inquiring.

He was recently elected President of the International Studies Association for 2025-26.

Contact Information: Katharine Bell,


  • The Evasion Lab
  • Mellon Foundation
  • Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
  • Black Research Network
  • African Studies Centre
  • VP International Office

Contact Information

Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies


Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies


170 St. George Street, 1st floor