Entangled Modernities: New Directions in Settler Colonial and Critical Indigenous Studies
25th-26th May 2020, University of Kent
‘There was never a single beginning point to for the history of this place. It wasn’t Cook on a beach, it wasn’t the confiscation of land and storming of Parihaka, it wasn’t Gallipoli, it wasn’t the pushing apart of primordial parents, it wasn’t goldfields, it wasn’t the arrival of waka, it wasn’t a lovers’ tiff between mountains, it wasn’t a boat full of influenza docking in Samoa, it wasn’t the Treaty, it wasn’t (certain) women getting the vote, it wasn’t a fished-up fish. It was all of these. It was all of these and more besides.’
Alice Te Punga Somerville, ‘Two Hundred and Fifty Ways to Start an Essay About Captain Cook’.
‘Our colonial experience traps us in the project of modernity. There can be no ‘postmodern’ for us until we have settled some business of the modern.’
Linda Tuihiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies.
Keynote Speaker: Alice Te Punga Somerville (University of Waikato)
In the last two decades, new methodologies have emerged for analysing the entanglements between European and non-European histories in sites of colonisation. Settler Colonial Studies has emerged as an interdisciplinary project that seeks to move beyond frameworks dominated by questions of race and identity, and towards a transnational analysis of settler colonialism as a structure with its own particular and distinct logics and practices. However, despite the critical stance towards imperial and colonial ideologies and practices, many scholars in Critical Indigenous Studies have argued persuasively that Settler Colonial Studies undermines the Indigenous activist standpoint and replicates colonial power. In this reading, the structural approach of Settler Colonial Studies ‘posits a structural inevitability to settler colonial relations that leaves no space for individual agency for both Indigenous people and settler colonists alike’.
In literary studies, the ‘transnational turn’ in American, Victorian and Romantic Studies has led to a critical reassessment of nationalist literary historiographies that efface the influence of colonisation on Anglophone literary culture during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In recent years, frameworks from Critical Race and Indigenous Studies, as well as those from new imperial history, globalisation theory and Settler Colonial Studies, have led to a critical re-examination of the role that colonisation and colonial practices of knowledge gathering had on British and American literary culture, and a renewed focus on the literary cultures and institutions of the settler colonies.
This symposium, a collaboration between the Centre for Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies at the University of Kent and the ERC Southem project at University College Dublin, aims to bring scholars and activists working in Critical Indigenous Studies and Settler Colonial Studies into closer dialogue with those working in the fields of transnational American Studies and Global Victorian and Romantic Studies. It aims to produce new research collaborations and methodologies for critically examining the complex cultural entanglements between the various European and non-European cultures operating under the conditions of colonisation during the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries.
We invite proposals for panels, papers and other forms of presentation that speak to one or more of the following topics:
300 word abstracts, along with short bios, to be submitted to Dr. Lara Atkin L.E.Atkin@kent.ac.uk by Friday February 28th 2020.
A limited number of travel bursaries to cover UK travel are available for PGRs and precariously employed ECRs. If you wish to be considered for one of these please also include a brief description of your research interests and reasons for wanting to attend, and a CV.
 Corey Snelgrove, Rita Kaur Dhamoon and Jeff Corntassel, ‘Unsettling Settler Colonialism: The Dis- course and Politics of Settlers, and Solidarity with Indigenous Nations’, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 3, no. 2 (2014).
This post has been re-published by permission from the BAVS Postgraduates Blog. Please see the original post at https://victorianist.wordpress.com/2020/01/16/cfp-entangled-modernities-new-directions-in-settler-colonial-and-critical-indigenous-studies/