Towards Cosmopolitanism in German Academia? Shedding Light on Colonial Underpinnings of Communication Research in a Globalized World


  • Camila Nobrega Rabello Alves Free University of Berlin
  • Débora Medeiros Free University of Berlin



cosmopolitanism, decolonial theories, communication studies, epistemic violence, universities, internationalization, knowledge production, Germany


Coloniality is a notion that has been key in many disciplines for addressing power relations and their embeddedness in continuous colonial hierarchies. This essay contributes to the reflections on the notion of cosmopolitanism in German academia, focusing on Communication Studies as a starting point. The possibility to develop research at a university in the Global North is usually presented by the hosting countries as a door to productive exchanges among colleagues from different backgrounds. Nevertheless, many hierarchies and pre-established concepts on knowledge production produce forms of epistemic silencing and other forms of violence and limits in these exchanges. The present essay proposes a process of dialogue with decolonial theories to trace roots on the meaning of cosmopolitanism, its borders and possibilities.

Author Biographies

Camila Nobrega Rabello Alves, Free University of Berlin

Camila Nobrega Rabello Alves is a PhD Candidate at the Otto-Suhr Institute of Political Sciences at Free University of Berlin. She writes her doctoral thesis on feminist and decolonial perspectives on power relations behind a megaproject of a hydropower dam in the State of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazon. Camila is also a journalist and has written for different media outlets. She is the founder of Beyond the Green project and a member of the MediaClimate network. She holds a PhD scholarship from Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Débora Medeiros, Free University of Berlin

Dr. Débora Medeiros is a postdoc researcher at the project “Journalism and the Order of Emotions” at the Collaborative Research Center Affective Societies at Freie Universität Berlin. She wrote her doctoral thesis, titled Engaged Journalism: Contesting Objectivity through Media Practices during the Alternative Coverage of Brazil’s June Journeys, at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at FU Berlin. She is also a member of the Institute for Social Movement Studies (ipb) and of the Affect and Colonialism Web Lab.




How to Cite

Nobrega, C., & Medeiros, D. (2021). Towards Cosmopolitanism in German Academia? Shedding Light on Colonial Underpinnings of Communication Research in a Globalized World. Global Media Journal - German Edition, 11(1).