Seminar: Foucault and Postcolonial Governmentalities in South Asia

This seminar hinges on South Asian governmentalities (Legg and Heath, 2018), as experienced in postcolonial South Asian nation states. They were erstwhile colonies, liberated through intense anti-colonial struggles against the British, a move that involved totalizing discourses of autonomy and nation-making. The newly born nations, supposed to be democratic guardian states, however, adopted the sovereign logic of governmentality and gradually most postcolonial nation states in South Asia, engulfed in internecine conflicts, diluted its nourishing roles to legitimize structural authoritarianism. They often demonstrate autocratic tendencies, evolving into absolutist state-machines, adopting culturalist disciplinary technologies to govern its citizens. There are occasional signs of carceral despotism, liquidating norm-deviant voices, adopting bio-political control in the name of national integration, identity and securitization. All these governmentality-oriented highhandedness demand a fresh Foucauldian analysis of normative categories such as power, civil society, territoriality, identity, state control, security, etc in the South Asian contexts. Postcolonial scholars, so far, have primarily looked into the perspectival reservoir of indigenous thinkers (quite understandably and legitimately so) but a larger Foucauldian critical hermeneutics can offer fresh analytical tools to understand the postcolonial biopolitical predicament. This proposed Kolkata chapter of the World Foucault Congress will look into the postcolonial governmentality question through the Foucauldian lens.

  • Host City, Country

    Kolkata, India

  • Dates

    24-25 May, 2024

  • Organizing university or institution

    Institution of Language Studies and Research (ILSR), Kolkata and Postcolonial Studies Association of the Global South (PSAGS)

  • Place where the event will be held

    Institute of Language Studies and Research (ILSR), Kolkata, West Bengal, India

  • Name(s) of organizer(s)

    Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, ILSR & Kazi Nazrul University (Convenor)
    Subhendra Bhowmick, Sidho Kanho Birsha University (Co-convenor)
    Mursed Alam, IASH, University of Edinburgh & Gour College (Co-convenor)

  • Call For Papers

    Coming soon

  • Link to streaming

    Coming soon

  • Program