CFP: Colonial Subjectivities, Postcolonial Governmentalities Workshop

Freedom and Constraint:

Colonial Subjectivities, Postcolonial Governmentalities Workshop


Location: Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University
Time/Date: 31st March 2016 – 1st April 2016, 10:00 – 16:00

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Mustapha Kamal Pasha, Chair in International Politics, Aberystwyth University and
Dr.  Marjaana Jauhola, Academy of Finland Research Fellow, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki

Abstract deadline 8th February 2016

Please send paper titles and 200 word abstracts to  by 8th February 2016

Call for papers – Freedom and Constraint

Racialised and gendered modes of governance are inherent to colonial practices and produce hierarchies and particular forms of personhood.  These enduring modes of subjectivisation are experienced as embodied daily life, but they also shape and are shaped by practices of governance on a national and international scale.  Thus, the production of particular kinds of subjects plays out at national and international levels in practices of inclusion and exclusion that influence and inform governance and legal frameworks.  The outcomes of these processes can be seen dramatically, and horrifically, in the drownings in the Mediterranean Sea and the corralling of people into refugee camps across the liberal democratic world.  The targeting of Muslim citizens and residents of supposedly liberal societies remains a feature of post-2001 life.  Surveillance of individual’s opinions and beliefs to combat ‘extremism’ has been mandated in British universities and across the public sector. Of course, these processes of subjectivisation have always been resisted and the politics of inclusion and exclusion remains contested. Recent examples of this resistance include the current use of ‘black lives matter’ as a platform to discuss race and violence, and the struggle over university fees and access in South Africa.

Foucault has shown how processes of subjectivisation work through both freedom and constraint.  Foucault declares that his objective “has been to create a history of the different modes by which, in our culture, human beings are made subjects.”   Foucault is clear about the cultural narrowness of his own project, and that the production of personhood across different cultural milieus deserves attention.  How is this formation shaped by the global reach of colonialism?  How do forms of government and governmentalities produce particular subjectivities?  This workshop seeks to explore this terrain.

We invite papers that deal with processes of subjectivisation and its intersections with colonialism in a variety of sites and at a variety of scales.  Papers that dismiss as well as embrace Foucault’s approach are welcome as are papers which deal with the subject of personhood from traditions outside of formal academia.  This workshop continues the conversations begun at previous events in Cardiff and Bristol and it is hoped that it will continue to build a community of scholars working on postcolonial issues and addressing themselves to freedom and/or constraint.

Assistance with travel

Funding has been sought from BISA Africa Working Group and BISA Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial Working Group, for some limited assistance with travel costs for scholars from Africa and for PhD students based in the UK.  If you would like to know more about this please indicate this when submitting an abstract as we will know more about what funds will be available in February.


Generous funding for the workshop has already been received from: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle Postcolonial Research Group and  BISA Poststructural Politics Working Group

Funding is also being sought from
BISA Africa Working Group  and BISA Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial Working Group