Sasha Roseneil – The Vicissitudes of Postcolonial Citizenship and Belonging in Late Liberalism

Event Date: 10 May 2014
Room B36
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute of Social Research, Birkbeck, University of London presents:

Professor  Sasha Roseneil (Birkbeck) – The Vicissitudes of Postcolonial Citizenship and Belonging in Late Liberalism

What does it mean emotionally to live one’s life across continents, to have citizenship in one state by birth, whilst intimate others have allegiances to other places? How can one belong when migration is woven into the fabric of life, when mobility is expected by family, and expulsion enforced by the state? What forms of attachment and subjectivity are possible for the postcolonial gendered citizen in the post 9/11 world, and how might we try to understand them? In this talk I start from the proposition that if we are to think seriously about citizenship and belonging in the contemporary globalized world, we need to think psycho-socio-analytically about their affective politics, about the relationship between subjective experience, relational and intersubjective dynamics and socio-historical processes and power relations. My specific focus is on postcolonial citizenship and belonging in the spaces of late liberalism, that is, under the conditions that prevail in contemporary, post 9/11 liberal multicultural welfare states. I am particularly interested in how it might be possible to forge an agentic sense of citizenship and belonging – a good enough sense of membership and participation in the social world that provides the grounding for human flourishing – in socio-political contexts that too often impinge upon and violate an individual’s attachments and sense of self. This is, for me, both an empirical question and a vital matter of ethico-politics.

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