“Neither Settler Nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities”
Date and Time: 23rd March 2023, 7:30 P.M.
Zoom Link: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 970 1426 5059
Brief Abstract: This lecture will offer a genealogy of political modernity: the nation-state and the colonial state were constructed at the same time through the politicization of a religious or ethnic majority at the expense of an equally manufactured minority. The lecture will provide a historical analysis, starting with the colonization of North America and concluding with the anti-apartheid struggle, an unfinished pursuit of a state without a nation. What lessons does the anti-apartheid struggle offer for the contemporary world?
Speaker Bionote: Prof. Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology, Political Science and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1974 and specializes in the study of colonial and post-colonial violence. His works explore the intersection between politics and culture, a comparative study of colonialism since 1452, the history of civil war and genocide in Africa, the Cold War and the War on Terror, the history and theory of human rights, and the politics of knowledge production. Professor Mamdani was the Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala (2010-2022) where he inaugurated a multi-disciplinary doctorate in Social Studies. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Prof. Mamdani was a professor at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania (1973–1979), Makerere University in Uganda (1980–1993), and the University of Cape Town (1996–1999). Some of Prof. Mamdani’s books include his most recent “Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities” (2020), which was among the four finalists for the British Academy award which “recognises work that searches for truth and reason in difficult places and shines a light on connections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide.” His earlier book, “Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism” (1996), was awarded the Herskovits Prize by the African Studies Association. Prof. Mamdani is also the author of “Saviours and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror” (2009); “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror” (2004) and “When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda” (2001). He has received numerous awards and recognitions, the most recent of which is being listed in 2021 by Prospect Magazine (UK) as 4th among the “top 50 thinkers globally.”