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Tag Archives: Decolonial Thought



Rethinking the Modern: Colonialism, Empire, and Slavery
11-12 July, 2011, Birmingham Midland Institute

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 25th February 2011.
See website for abstract submission details.

For more information on the conference, details on the streams, and contact details for stream co-ordinators see:

For general queries, email Gurminder K Bhambra ( or Lucy Mayblin (

In recent times, a number of academics and commentators have sought to offer a revisionist history of colonialism. This history presents colonialism as either something that was not as bad as some others make out, something that actually made the modern world and so was essentially a good thing from which the current search for a new global order should have much to learn; or as something to be understood simply in terms of networks of circulation and distribution. The sense of colonialism as a wretched episode of human history that continues to distort the life chances of those unfortunate enough to live under its legacies is slowly being eroded. Similar attempted revisions seek to alter public understandings of modern transatlantic slavery and its continuing legacies. We believe that the historical processes of imperialism, colonialism and slavery shaped, and continue to shape, our common world in ways which have been and continue to be problematic. This conference seeks to confront head-on these new revisionist histories and provide the space for a more adequate understanding of these processes and their legacies as they continue into today. The key questions and topic that this conference seeks to address include the following:

*   In what ways do the standard forms of knowledge production in the academy undermine the lived thought and experience of the colonized and their descendents and, by extension, impoverish our understandings of the human condition?
*   Can there be a ‘global history’ outside of a history of colonialism, imperialism, and slavery?
*   How are minorities identified, constructed, and governed within modernity and colonialism?
*   How do we address the current fashion for regarding colonialism as simply a network of practices?
*   To what extent is the rehabilitation of (old) empire associated with the legitimisation of new forms of imperialism?
There will be 12 key streams in the conference and abstracts should be submitted under these

  • Imperial Enlightenment and Critical Thought
  • Coloniality / Modernity
  • The Place of Minorities in Modernity and Coloniality
  • Recovering Forgotten Histories
  • Decolonial Thought and Other Philosophies
  • Slavery and its Legacies
  • Migration and Empire: Voluntary and Forced
  • Colonial Desires and Eastern Empires
  • Is Global History / Sociology Possible?
  • From Empire to Neo-Imperialism
  • Reassessing Anti-Colonial and Liberation Movements
  • The Colonial Context of the European Integration Project, Past and Present


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