CRASSH Research network on Subaltern and Decolonial Citizenships

Together with Professor Sarah Radcliffe, I am co-convening a seminar series at CRASSH, on Subaltern and Decolonial Citizenships. So far, we’ve had talks by Engin Isin, Andrew Canessa and Sofia Ugarte. See the network site for more information.

Citizenship is currently an arena for vibrant and contentious debate across disciplines and domains. Theoretically, much work has been done over recent years to recalibrate our understanding of how citizenship is enacted, performed, regulated, lived and endowed with power and affect, beyond what is written in statute. Ongoing debates examine the nature of power and domination that reflects the legislative and policing power of the state and multilevel institutions, yet also reveals the working of agency and resistance among diverse groups. Important initial work on postcolonial citizenship highlights how colonial categories, hierarchies and exclusions mutate into today’s substantive and formal citizenship, articulating with dilemmas emerging with greater mobility, infrastructures of regulation, and dynamic identities. In postcolonial citizenship, historic and contemporary, the figures of the decolonial (who seeks to overturn coloniality’s exclusions) and of the subaltern (a dominated social position whose voice is foreclosed) mark out a vast area for further substantive work and theorising to parse the dynamics of power, exclusion, being and structure that infuse citizenship in practice for millions across the globe.

The Subaltern and Decolonial Citizenships research network aims to provide a forum for scholars from different disciplines, research areas, and theoretical frameworks to examine these dynamics. The goal is to provide a constructive space for presenting preliminary research findings and gain feedback from scholars from various disciplines, and to discuss emergent research themes. The CRASSH exchanges would range widely across disciplines including, but not limited to, English, South Asia Studies, African Studies, Political science, Social Anthropology, the Centre of Latin American Studies, and History.

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