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April's "Conversations on South Asia" event will feature Jessica Namakkal and "Unsettling Utopia: The Making and Unmaking of French India" (Columbia University Press, 2021).
From the publisher's website:
"Unsettling Utopia presents a new account of the history of twentieth-century French India to show how colonial projects persisted beyond formal decolonization. Through the experience of the French territories, Jessica Namakkal recasts the relationships among colonization, settlement, postcolonial sovereignty, utopianism, and liberation, considering questions of borders, exile, violence, and citizenship from the margins. She demonstrates how state-sponsored decolonization—the bureaucratic process of transferring governance from an imperial state to a postcolonial state—rarely aligned with local desires. Namakkal examines the colonial histories of the Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville, arguing that their continued success shows how decolonization paradoxically opened new spaces of settlement, perpetuating imperial power. Challenging conventional markers of the boundaries of the colonial era as well as nationalist narratives, Unsettling Utopia sheds new light on the legacies of colonialism and offers bold thinking on what decolonization might yet mean."
Additional details forthcoming.
The "Conversations on South Asia" series is sponsored by the Bodas Family Academic Programming Fund, the Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages Program, and the Department of History at Dartmouth College.
All are welcome.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.