Alf Nilsen (University of Agder)
Political Modernity in the Postcolony: A Perspective from India’s Bhil Heartland
4.00-5.30 Thursday 6th September, Merewether 498
How do we conceptualise political modernity in the contemporary postcolony? This talk engages this question through an analysis of the roles played by law, civil society, and citizenship among Bhil adivasis in western India. Engaging critically with Partha Chatterjee’s recent work, I suggest that the meanings and practices that we associate with universalising democratic vocabularies have always been shaped and reshaped – and, crucially, expanded in more progressive and encompassing directions – by the mobilisations of subaltern groups in the postcolony.
The talk is based on my book Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in the Bhil Heartland‘, which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.