Performing Colonial Modernity - 18 & 19 May 2010

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University of Edinburgh


Bringing together the University of Edinburgh's world-leading Centre for African Studies, Centre of South Asian Studies, and Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, this conference seeks to create an intellectual forum in which to explore the entanglement of colonial encounters with attempts to realise recognisably modern regimes of state power and social control.

The organisers wish to encourage re-appraisals of both colonialism and modernity from POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS and EARLY-CAREER RESEARCHERS.

We leave it to the imaginations of prospective contributors—and the historical actors appearing in them—to conceptualise the two phenomena and their relationship.

We draw attention to performativity to evoke the capacity for modern projects of power to be staged in different ways, before diverse audiences, and to be subjected to critical assessment in the context of colonialism.

To encourage comparative perspectives on colonial pasts and to expand trans-disciplinary research networks, we invite postgraduate and early-career researchers from across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to submit abstracts for twenty-minute presentations. Special consideration will be given to proposals addressing the following themes:

• Performative economies of power (individual, collective & state)
• Subversions, appropriations and re-negotiations of dominion
• Identity politics, subjecthood and colonial knowledge
• Sovereignty, violence and social control
• Colonial modernity: a contradiction in terms?

Please submit proposals to: OR

By Friday 18 December 2009.