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Between promise and desire: what postcolonial and postsocialist lenses tell us about the realities of future-making II 
Alina Apostu (SOAS University of London)
Mukta Das (SOAS University of London)
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26 University Square (UQ), 01/005
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Transforming under global forces, everyday future-making within postcolonial and postsocialist settings needs renewed theoretical and ethnographical approaches. How can we understand processes, affects, and materiality of future-making by bringing the posts into dialogue?

Long Abstract:

Much debate exists about how postcolonial studies, focused on discourses, practices, identities, and postsocialist studies, focused on the political economy of the former socialist states, are in fact co-constitutive (Badescu 2016; Chari and Verdery 2009). Postcolonial and postsocialist conditions both involve ruptures, often violent, with former states of conformity and nonconformity, dependence and independence from a shared vision of past, present and future. At a time when geopolitical manoeuvrings and political transformations make 'transition' a permanent phenomenon, there is a desperate need to understand how people construct the futures that they are transitioning to (Appadurai 2013). This panel invites ethnographers of the two posts (either or both) to enter a dialogue about how the promises of the past are shaped or eclipsed by desires for the future and consider:

How can we transform the theoretical lenses of these 'posts' to get insight into the transitions towards the future that former colonised and socialist countries are undergoing?

What sort of future-making processes and affects are at work in postcolonial and postsocialist settings following the ruptures in their histories?

What affective and material dimensions emerge, are mobilised, reoriented, repurposed, in postcolonial and postsocialist settings and to what effect? How do these shape future-making?

What are the promised, (un)desired futures that shape the imaginaries of people living in postcolonial and postsocialist conditions?

The aim of the panel is to compare and, crucially, to debate and contour a future for theoretical and ethnographic approaches to everyday future-making in postcolonial and postsocialist settings.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -