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Unmaking/undoing colonial modernities 
Cian O'Donovan (UCL)
Saurabh Arora (University of Sussex)
Olivia Hegarty (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

In this paper panel + dialogue workshop we aim to locate, unmake and undo hegemonic forms of colonial modernity in relation to transformations. We’ll experiment with understandings and agendas of how conditions for other worlds can be realised by reinvigorating anticolonial resistance and hope.

Long Abstract:

This combined-format open-panel focuses on hegemonic formations of colonial modernity in relation to transformations. Going beyond Eurocentric concepts like capitalism and economic growth, we situate scientism and innovation, climate and migration crises, food insecurities and health inequities as well as techno-solutionism and co-optation of transforming alternatives, in colonial modernities made and done in diverse forms – since 16th century American genocides to Gaza today.

We invite papers on uncovering, unmaking or undoing diverse colonial modernities from Anchorage to Cape Town, Israel to India, Orkney to Rapa Nui, or other connected places. In postcolonial and decolonial studies, common to colonial relations are (violent) processes that:

1) Concentrate and accumulate cultural and economic privileges for colonisers past and present;

2) Damage and destroy worlds that conflict with colonisers’ beliefs about progress and civilisation, cultures and nature, the divine and sublime.

Underpinning these, multiple interwoven dimensions of colonial modernities can be recognised (Arora and Stirling 2023), including attempts to: a) universalise categorial ontologies for reducing radically different ways of living and knowing to a single nature – truly knowable only through modern science; b) assume comprehensive superiority – such as racism and Islamophobia – for legitimising violence against Othered peoples and worlds; c) assert military supremacies by promoting technosciences of war, suppressing nonviolent struggles for freedom and conviviality; d) enforce intersectional domination, marginalising gendered values and practices of care; e) expand toxic extraction from Othered lives and lands by objectifying relations as resources; f) enact controlling imaginations on Others at borders of all kinds and to discipline realities that do not appear machinic.

Complementing our paper session, a dialogue-and-doing workshop will unpick knotty colonial relations. Together we’ll experiment with understandings and agendas of how felicitous conditions for decolonial worlds can be realised by reinvigorating anticolonial resistance and hope – across movements and practices.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1
Session 2