[Hum_Calendar_Events] Lorenzo Veracini: Towards an Understanding of Colonialism and Settler Colonialism as Distinct Formations, Friday, April 27, 4-6pm, Humanities 193

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Friday, April 27, 4-6pm, Humanities 193

"Towards an Understanding of Colonialism and Settler Colonialism as Distinct Formations"
Prof. Lorenzo Veracini, Visiting Scholar, UCLA History
Respondent: Prof. Mishuana Goeman, Women's Studies

Lorenzo Veracini is Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research in Melbourne, Australia. His research focuses on the comparative history of colonial systems and settler colonialism. He has authored Israel and Settler Society (2006) and Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (2010). Lorenzo is managing editor of settler colonial studies.
ABSTRACT: A growing body of literature has characterised settler colonial phenomena as 'distinct', and called for the establishment of dedicated interpretative tools. 'Distinct,' however, begs the question: distinct relative to what? This paper reflects in a necessarily provisional way on this distinctiveness. It heuristically suggests that reference to the diverse operation of viral and bacterial phenomena can help understanding the distinct functioning of colonial and settler colonial systems. While both viruses and bacteria are exogenous elements that often dominate their destination locales, viruses need living cells to operate, while bacteria attach to surfaces and may or may not rely on the organisms they encounter. Similarly, while both colonisers and settler colonisers are exogenous elements that assert their dominance over their destination locales, a colonial system of relationships, unlike a settler colonial one, is premised on the presence and subjugation of exploitable 'Others'. This paper also suggests that this metaphorical conceptualisation can facilitate reflection on the decolonisation of settler colonial forms.
Co-Sponsored by the UCLA Postcolonial Literature and Theory Colloquium and the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Program in the Humanities: "Cultures in Transnational Perspective"

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