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‘Decolonising and Mobility’: A Seminar with Nandita Sharma

Monday 4 July at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Professor Nandita Sharma gives a SPAIS departmental seminar about decentring the ‘foreign’ and liberating movement.

This seminar for UoB staff and students will explore how class relations are sidelined when anti-colonial struggles come to be seen as largely about the achievement of national territorial sovereignty. By making ‘home rule’ the accepted vehicle for decolonisation, the problem of colonisation is presented as a problem of foreign rule. Consequently, people’s ongoing struggle against expropriation of land, exploitation of labour, and oppression of their ways of life, are separated from the struggle against colonialism.

In demanding liberation for the ‘nation’ from rulers and profiteers who are not ‘one’s own’, the power of nation-states or those portrayed as ‘national capitalists’ is normalised as a sort of nonpower, notwithstanding nationalist bromides about the ‘People’s power’. Instead, foregrounding the social relationships of colonialism rather than the nationality of either rulers or those they rule over, strengthens the possibility of decolonisation.

Nandita Sharma is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and author of Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants (2020). She is being hosted by SPAIS and MMB in June and July as a Bristol Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor. Visit the MMB/Meaker webpage to read more about Nandita’s work and the events she is taking part in while in Bristol, including her public lecture on 29th June.


Monday 4 July
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm