Postcolonial Spatialities: Spatial Concepts
Colonialism is conventionally defined as the control of external territories by European nations. However, another definition is that it entails the management of heterogenous populations under the elusive rubric of the nation. Under this second definition China’s treatment of their Moslem Uighur population is as colonial as Britain’s long history in India and Jamaica. Both definitions of colonialism carry spatial implications. The objective of this workshop is to focus on the spatial concepts that might be rigorously applied to studies of colonial and postcolonial societies. Spatial concepts such as chronotope, cartography, spatial fix, centre/periphery, and globalization will be augmented with newer ones such as spatial traversal, means of locomotion, and geocriticism to generate a comprehensive and flexible set of terms for application to different contexts. The workshop will be designed to bring disciplines from the humanities and social sciences from Stanford and beyond into dialogue on different epochs and spaces. The central contribution of this workshop will be to bring conceptual rigor to a highly energetic and diverse field. Also, the interdisciplinary perspective that will be adopted will serve to animate both methodological and conceptual domains to deliver clearer analytical procedures than have hitherto been available. Finally, the workshop will also take a comparative and historically nuanced Global South/Global North perspective on the central spatial concepts and problems, thus ensuring that a wide range of disciplinary, historical, and geographical interests are covered.
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