Imperialism and Colonization
Adam Burgos and Lidal Dror
For MANCEPT 2022 we are convening a workshop that focuses on the twin phenomena of imperialism and colonization, broadly construed, significant injustices that continue to shape our current world. First and foremost, the workshop as a whole will engage with the relationship between these two modes of domination, seeking papers that address their contours, logics, modes, and interests. Accordingly, the workshop is looking for papers that explore the myriad ways that imperialism and colonization are expressed, and the different types of domination that they engender.
One potential avenue of inquiry revolves around the relationship between ideology and imperialism and colonization. There has been much recent work within analytic philosophy on ideology’s epistemological dimensions and focusing on understanding both racism and sexism as systems of ideology (Shelby, Haslanger, Stanley). These analyses focus on the role of belief, social-historical scripts that instantiate meaning, and how our epistemic virtues malfunction when in the grip of systems of ideology. Despite imperialism and colonization being rich and important subjects of inquiry outside of the mainstream analytic tradition, they have not been seriously broached in the literature on ideology. What are the epistemic defects of imperialism and colonialism, and how do they function with regard to belief? What beliefs support, e.g., U.S. imperialism or French colonialism, and how are those beliefs held in place? How have they developed historically, and how do they function? Additionally, one might explore the relationship between ideology and imperialism and colonization from a more traditional, Marxist framework, that focuses on material interests and class structure. Imperialism and colonization generally seek to instantiate and/or reify certain hierarchical class relations, often based around a reshaping of local historical narrative. How can the concept of ideology help us understand how these relations and their material interests develop, are maintained, and are resisted?
Papers might explore Western “democratization” efforts, the role of economic sanctions, or of global capitalism more broadly in the functioning of contemporary imperialism and colonialism, and how such “soft” models of power produce certain sorts of beliefs. Papers may also explore topics such as how the supposedly ‘universal’ ideas of, for example, Liberal Feminism are related to imperialism and (neo)colonialism.
Another rich vein of investigation focuses on the specific illegitimacy of imperialism and colonialism, and the distinction between internal and external imperialism and colonization. For example, a prevalent idea within the Black Power movement (though the idea goes back to 19th Century Black writers such as Martin Delaney) was that of the “Black colony” within the United States. Granting this notion of internal colonies, what is their conceptual and practical relationship to external colonies? Are both forms of colonization illegitimate in the same way? What is the role of neo-colonialism within these relations? More specifically, if colonization by an external power justifies certain forms of political action, including armed revolution, do instances of internal colonization justify the same responses?
We welcome papers on these, or any other, topics related to colonization and imperialism, broadly construed. Please send abstracts of around 500 words by May 18th to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
+44 (0) 161 306 6000