[Foucault-L] South Asian Governmentalities Workshop: London, March 30th

Dear all

Please find below details of a forthcoming workshop that will discuss governmentality inspired work in and on South Asia with Foucault collaborator and interpreter, Colin Gordon.

This is part of a series of workshops organised through the BASAS South Asian Governmentalities Research Group. For a review of a workshop already held in New Delhi, and a PDF of this advertisement, please see out website: https://sites.google.com/site/southasiangovernmentalities/home

Attendance is free but limited to those who pre-register. Send me an email if you'd like to join us.



Based upon the work of Michel Foucault, governmental rationality ('governmentality') has become central to understanding power not simply as repression but as an epistemological phenomenon that normatively produces subjects. Operating through a variety of institutions, discourses, procedures and analyses, this form of power employs 'rational' principles to regulate the bodies of those subjected to it in order to produce a well-managed and productive population. At its most powerful it generates an identification of interests between the domination of others and of the self in order to ensure that subjects transform themselves in an 'improving' direction. In the process it serves to construct the normative regularities of civil society.

The concept of governmentality has exerted an ever growing influence in South Asian studies, for scholars working on both colonial and post-colonial contexts. It has inspired South Asian work on "deep democracy" and urban governmentality (Appadurai, 2002), the politics of the governed (Chatterjee, 2004, 2011), the Indian public sphere and economy (Kalpagam, 2000, 2002), agrarian capital (Gidwani, 2008), cinema and the end of empire (Jaikumar, 2006), knowledge transfer and urban politics (McFarlane, 2011), colonial urbanism (Legg, 2007), health and hygiene (Heath, 2010), aesthetics and slum politics (Ghertner, 2010), gender and imperial social formations (Sinha, 2006), the colonial economy (Birla, 2009, Goswami, 2004), and race and violence (Kolsky, 2010). Such works have raised governmentality to the status of near-orthodoxy for much South Asian research. This has increased the scope and depth of research materials being brought to light, and has in turn provided substantial reflection on the core methodological and analytical questions at the heart of postcolonial governmentality studies, particularly the applicability of Foucault's musings outside Europe or in the present, and the compatibility of Foucault's work with that inspired by Marx, the Subaltern Studies group, or development studies. Some of the questions we hope to consider at this workshop include:

How to consider violence and sovereign powers within the power geometries of governmentality? How to consider the affectual-, aesthetic- and neuro-politics of the governmental? How to think beyond neo-liberalism? How to re-engage with subaltern concepts of silencing, memory, methodology and fragments in postcolonial governmentality studies? How to consider the mobility of imperial or international governmentalities?

* 09.30-09.45: Stephen Legg: welcome and introduction
o 09.45-10.30 Colin Gordon (Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust) Anderson and Chatterjee on governmentality, nation and political culture
* 10.30-11.00: Refreshments
o 11.00-11.45: Shruti Kapila (University of Cambridge) The political subject: Foucault and Indian formations
o 11.45-12.30: Srila Roy (University of Nottingham) Changing the subject: feminist politics in neoliberal India
* 12.30-13.30: Lunch (not provided)
o 13.30-14.15: Markus Daechsel (Royal Holloway, University of London) Governmentality and/of development: Foucault and post-colonial Pakistan
o 14.15-15.00: Alex Tickell (Open University) Organised crime, devolved sovereignty and the city in contemporary Indian fiction
* 15.00-15.30: Refreshments
o 15.30-16.15: Sarah Hodges (University of Warwick): Garbage as a marker of what? Genealogies of garbage in modern India
* 16.15-17.00: Discussion, chair Stephen Legg (University of Nottingham)

Location: Lecture Hall, The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH. (http://www.britac.ac.uk/contact/map.cfm)

The workshop has been generously funded by the British Association of South Asian Studies and the British Academy. Attendance is free but limited. To attend please register by emailing stephen.legg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:stephen.legg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Dr Markus Daechsel is a Lecturer in Modern Islamic History at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests include middle class culture in colonial Punjab, and urban culture and design in Pakistan. He has published on these topics in Modern Asian Studies and in his 2006 The Politics of Self-Expression: The Urdu middleclass milieu in mid-20th century India and Pakistan (Routledge).

Colin Gordon currently works at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and has been a long term interpreter of Foucault's works. He edited Power/knowledge: selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977 by Michel Foucault (Harvester, 1980) co-edited The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991) and is currently editing a volume reflecting on 20 years of governmentality studies under the "Foucault Effect".

Sarah Hodges is currently Associate Professor of History at the University of Warwick. Her publications include Contraception, Colonialism and Commerce: Birth Control in South India, 1920-1940 (Ashgate, 2008), and the edited Reproductive Health in India: History, Politics, Controversies (Orient Black Swan, 2006). She is currently working on a book about medical garbage in Chennai, India, provisionally titled Biotrash: The Urban Metabolism of Medical Tourism in India.

Shruti Kapila lectures at the University of Cambridge. She recently co-edited and contributed to the special issue "Bhagavad Gita and Modern Thought," Modern Intellectual History (August 2010), and is the editor of An Intellectual History for India (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Her forthcoming publications include Governments of the Mind: Remaking the Self in Colonial India.

Stephen Legg is Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Spaces of Colonialism: Delhi's Urban Governmentalities (Blackwell, 2007) and editor or Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt: Geographies of the Nomos (Routledge, 2011). He is currently revising a manuscript entitled Scales of Prostitution: International Governmentalities and Interwar India.

Srila Roy is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Nottingham. She is author of Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence and Subjectivity in India's Naxalbari Movement (OUP, 2012) and editor of New South Asian Feminisms (Zed, 2012).

Alex Tickell is a lecturer in English at the Open University. He is the author of Terrorism, Insurgency and Indian-English Literature, 1830-1947 (Routledge, 2011) and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things (Routledge, 2007), and co-edited Alternative Indias: Writing, Nation and Communalism (Rodopi 2005).

Dr Stephen Legg
Associate Professor
School of Geography
University of Nottingham
University Park

Tel. +44 (0) 115 8468402
Fax. +44 (0) 115 95 15249
Personal webpage: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~lgzwww/contacts/staffPages/stephenlegg/profile.htm
Spaces of Colonialism: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref=9781405156325&site=1
Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415600675/<http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415600675/%20>

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