Monday, September 12, 2016

Call for Applications: Fourth Annual ACGS Conference

Postcolonial Mediations: Globalisation and Displacement
Amsterdam, 26-27 October 2017
Keynote speakers
  • Victoria Bernal (Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine, US) 
  • Paula Chakravartty (Associate Professor Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, New York, US)
  • Iain Chambers (Professor of Cultural and Postcolonial Studies, Oriental University, Naples, Italy)
Postcolonial thinking has challenged the stability of discourses on culture, globalisation, economics, human rights and politics. Postcolonial thinking, as a form of mediation and displacement of worldviews, triggered a re-evaluation of the complex connections between culture, class, economy, gender and sexuality. This conference aims to engage with such postcolonial displacements. 
Displacement can be seen under the rubric of mobility and its many forms today, most tellingly discernible in the forced movements of peoples in the wake of wars, and the concomitant crises this provokes around issues of “culture and civilization”, and its gendered, religious and raced dimensions. The refugee crisis in Europe is an important case in point. Cultural productions from the non-West continue to displace received understandings of other cultures and societies (Chow, 2002, Narayan, 1997) while contemporary political movements draw inspiration from postcolonial struggles as they deploy new media forms, as Howard Caygill (2013) has recently shown in his analyses of the Gandhian non-violence movement, the continuing Maoist rebellions and their relation to the Zapatistas and the Indignados. The shifting contours of gender and sexual politics, and the critique of stable identities provoked by queer politics and theory, are also producing displacements, in the discourse and practice of the politics of rights. Local, regional and national politics often challenge universal rights claims. e.g. the controversies around the relevance of “Global Queer” (Altman, 1996). 
The postcolonial is understood here simultaneously as a mediating and a displacing series of interventions, which demands engagement with contemporary understandings of globalisation.
We invite papers that explore the complexity of postcolonial mediations in their interaction with the displacements of globalisation through theoretical and empirical analyses. 

Possible topics
  1. How can a postcolonial perspective inform newer understandings of contemporary forms of cultural, political and economic globalisation? For example, what does the “neo-colonial” turn (Mignolo) imply for thinking globalisation’s many dimensions today? What purchase might postcolonial perspectives (including postcolonial self-critique) have in the context of “planetary” (Spivak) developments, discussions of “Empire” and “Multitude” (Hardt/Negri) and articulations of “singular” (Jameson) and alternative modernities?
  2. Migration in its many forms has centralized displacement as a crucial feature of globalisation. How might a postcolonial perspective further a contemporary engagement with the displacements of peoples in the wake of economic globalisation, political crises, human rights crises, and the ongoing militarization of the globe? How can the figures of the “migrant”, the “refugee” and the “asylum-seeker”, for example, be rethought given their contemporary reformulations by nation-states and transnational entities such as the EU and other multilateral deportation/resettling schemes in Asia?
  3. Queer theory has long argued that gender and sexuality are not external dimensions to be “added” onto considerations of subjectivity but intrinsic to how “human” subjectivities are lived, transformed and theorized. How do contemporary forms of displacement register at the level of gender and sexual politics? And how might queer forms of thinking intervene, mediate, displace or consolidate racist, sexist, transphobic, and hetero-normative discourses in the wake of globalisation, often under the rubric of culture and civilization?
  4. Contemporary forms of globalisation are not only represented but also actively constructed through forms of media engagement, from political mobilization through social media to filmic and televisual cultural practices. These mediated forms of global politics demand different forms of analysis while also provoking transformations in how we theorize media themselves. How can “mediation” be confronted and theorized given the postcolonial dimensions of contemporary globalisation?
  5. The contours of globalisation in terms of borders, the nation-states and transnational communities are being displaced and redrawn in the content of contemporary economic, political and military crises. How might postcolonial perspectives furnish cognitive and affective mappings of the overlaps and disjunctions of political and cultural cartographies?
  6. Given that a “postcolonial perspective” unites competing perspectives (e.g. the literary, the politico-economic, the Marxist, the postmodernist) rather than a unified and homogenous body of arguments, what are the contemporary forms of internal displacement within the field?
Contributions from fields from across the social sciences or humanities are invited.
Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) and short bio (max. 100 words) by 1 February 2017 to Notice of acceptance will be given by 1 May 2017. Conference fee: 50 Euros (25 Euros for PhD students). Conference dinner: 25 Euros.

  • Sudeep Dasgupta (University of Amsterdam)
  • John Nguyet Erni (Hong Kong Baptist University)
  • Aniko Imre (University of Southern California)
  • Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam)
  • Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University)
  • Raka Shome (National University of Singapore)
More information
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