Forager Philosophy
: A posthuman reimagining of the politics of difference

  • Priya Rajasekar

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis proposes a new imaginary of the politics of difference through the theoretical and methodological framework of what I call Forager Philosophy. Challenging dominant Eurocentric notions of border-defined space and linear time, the critical lens of Forager Philosophy assembles seemingly dispersed epistemologies of the Global South spanning millennia to a contemporaneous plane. Through an assemblage informed by an egalitarian and non-coercive politics of resistance, the thesis argues for a deepening of democracy through epistemic justice in the agonistic space of the political and in politics as a counter-narrative to dominant Eurocentrism. In the context of anthropogenic climate change, rising incidence of racism and widening socioeconomic inequalities, there is growing recognition that we need to foreground alternate ways of knowing and being to challenge Eurocentrism predicated on a geopolitics of knowledge that marginalises other epistemologies from the geopolitical Global South.

The co-creation of knowledge underpinned by a philosophy of egalitarianism, cooperation and feminist methodologies, such as situated knowledges, informs the construction of the theoretical and methodological framework of Forager Philosophy. Drawing from human and non-human agents, including nature and technology to create this assemblage, this thesis is posthuman in conceptualisation. Inspired by ethnographic evidence of hunter-gatherer lifestyles spanning millennia, the Forager is a metaphor for egalitarianism, nomadism, cooperation and a disinclination towards ideological sedentariness through affiliation and accumulation, favouring instead an epistemic pluralism.

The theoretical and methodological framework of Forager Philosophy draws from epistemologies of the geopolitical Global South spanning millennia through a reimagining of the notions of space, time and historicity. The ethnographic field site for this research includes protests (on and offline) in 2017 against the Indian Supreme Court ban on the traditional bull-taming sport of Jallikattu. Ethnographic field work into the catastrophic floods that hit Chennai in 2015 and the state of Kerala in 2018 are also included in this research. The egalitarian dimension of resistance politics emerges here as a suspension of alienation in the political. The everyday politics in the institution of the news media as researched through ethnographic interviews with journalists and their collaborators facilitates an exploration into the practice of Forager philosophy in the news media. Here the egalitarian, non-coercive politics of difference emerges as a refusal of alienation.

Through a posthuman reimagining of the politics of difference that through an egalitarian, non-coercive politics challenges epistemic subordination while recognising distinctiveness from the constitutive ‘other’, Forager Philosophy offers a new imaginary of a pluriversal politics.
Date of AwardOct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorShaun Hides (Supervisor) & Fred Mudhai (Supervisor)

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