Fourth Annual ACGS Conference
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.
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)