Foucault and Postcolonial Governmentalities in South Asia

deadline for submissions: 
March 10, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Postcolonial Studies Association of the Global South (PSAGS) & Institute of Language Studies and Research (ILSR) Kolkata

Call for Papers
Seminar: Foucault and Postcolonial Governmentalities in South Asia
24-25 May, 2024
Organised by
Postcolonial Studies Association of the Global South (PSAGS)
Institute of Language Studies and Research (ILSR) Kolkata
Venue: Institute of Language Studies and Research (ILSR) Kolkata, New Town Campus
This seminar hinges on South Asian governmentalities (Legg and Heath, 2018), as experienced in postcolonial
South Asian nation states. They were erstwhile colonies, liberated through intense anti-colonial struggles
against the British, a move that involved totalizing discourses of autonomy and nation-making. The newly
born nations, supposed to be democratic guardian states, however, adopted the sovereign logic of
governmentality and gradually most postcolonial nation states in South Asia, engulfed in internecine
conflicts, diluted its nourishing roles to legitimize structural authoritarianism. They often demonstrate
autocratic tendencies, evolving into absolutist state-machines, adopting culturalist disciplinary technologies
to govern its citizens. There are occasional signs of carceral despotism, liquidating norm-deviant voices,
adopting bio-political control in the name of national integration, identity and securitization. All these
governmentality-oriented highhandedness demand a fresh Foucauldian analysis of normative categories
such as power, civil society, territoriality, identity, state control, security, etc in the South Asian contexts.
Postcolonial scholars, so far, have primarily looked into the perspectival reservoir of indigenous thinkers
(quite understandably and legitimately so) but a larger Foucauldian critical hermeneutics can offer fresh
analytical tools to understand the postcolonial biopolitical predicament. This proposed Kolkata chapter of
the World Foucault Congress will look into the postcolonial governmentality question through the
Foucauldian lens.
Original scientific paper proposals are invited, focusing on but not limited to the following areas of
Foucault, Postcolonial State and Governmentality
Foucault, South Asian biopolitics and bio-sociality
Gender and Sexuality in the Global South and FoucaultF

oucault and Postcolonial Literary, cultural Agenda

Prison Reform, Incarceration in South Asia and Foucault

Foucault and Postcolonial Nationalist Discourses
Foucault and Postcolonial Human Rights
Violence and Postcolonial Discourse of Power
Foucault and the Question of Identity
Foucault and the Question of Caste, Race and Religion in South Asia, etc
Foucault, Neoliberalism and Subalternity
Foucault, Anthropocene and Critical Animal Studies
Foucault and Psychoanalysis
Method of submission of proposal:
Submit an abstract (300 words maximum) with a short bio-note (150 words) within March 10, 2024 to
Selection results will be communicated within 25 March, 2024
Selected abstracts will be asked to submit a full paper of 3000-4000 words (for a presentation of 15-
20 minutes) within 15 May 2024
Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Deana Heath, University of Liverpool
Srila Roy, University of the Witwatersrand
Anup Dhar, Ruhr University Bochum
Sreenanti Banerjee, University of Bristol
Jonathan Saha, Durham University
Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, ILSR, Kolkata
Subhendra Bhowmick, Sidho Kanho Birsha University
Mursed Alam, Gour College, University of Gour Banga
Selected candidates will be informed about the registration process in due course of time. For any
queries reach us at