[csaa-forum] Book Biopolitics and Memory (Postcolonial)

Michael Griffiths mickg at uow.edu.au
Thu Mar 3 05:55:06 ACST 2016

Dear CSAA Members,

Please consider ordering this book for your university library.

Comparative work in postcolonial studies often turns on the mode by which subaltern peoples were governed in the high colonial past. Framed in this way, ground for comparison has tended to concern the way the colonized suffered governmental classification, subjection, and regulation by the colonial state. David Scott’s seminal essay on this topic, grounded in colonial Ceylon, opened the way to much investigation. Similarly, Ann Laura Stoler’s work has incisively examined the relation between apparatuses of colonial governmentality in the former Dutch East Indies and French Indochina. There is much to be gained from this approach and, as the work of scholars like Patrick Wolfe and Geoffrey Grey has shown, analysis of colonial governmentality reveals how epistemologies of anthropology and colonial administration moved across colonial spaces. This collection aims to connect such analysis with the present, exploring the way revenants (in Derrida’s sense, particularly in Spectres of Marx) of such governmentality return and remain in apparently (post)colonial times. How, for instance, do projects of national reconciliation account for, critique, and (at times) cover over the colonial traumas they seek to memorialize? How do postcolonies produce public spheres that challenge the memory of such colonial trauma? What are the lacunas and blindspots? How do postcolonial literatures challenge existing models of cultural memory? How are such challenges similarly refracted in festivals, public events, and other such performances?

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