Bringing capital back in: a materialist turn in postcolonial studies?
I would like to start my talk by thanking the organizers of the 8th Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference (and particularly among them Meaghan Morris and Grace Yee) for inviting me as a speaker in such a stimulating and exciting framework. I do not come from the field of cultural studies, but rather from political theory and philosophy. Nevertheless in the last decade I have become more and more engaged in discussions with scholars working in cultural and postcolonial studies, and I can say that these trans-disciplinary fields have become part of my anxious locations both as a scholar and as an activist. This is the reason why I feel particularly honored of having the chance to address the plenary session of the ACS Crossroads Conference. Being in Hong Kong is a further reason of intellectual excitement for me, since conversations with ‘Asian’ scholars – above all Indian and Chinese – have been key to my engagement with cultural and postcolonial studies, and particularly to my attempt to reframe the temporal and spatial coordinates of ‘modernity’. I will return to this point later.
Sandro Mezzadra works as an Associate Professor of Political theory in the Department of Politics, Institutions, History at the University of Bologna. He has been research fellow at the Humboldt Universität, Berlin, in the Centre for Cultural Research of the University of Western Sydney, at the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris, and at Duke University. His research work has focused on the classical modern European political philosophy as well as on the history of political, social, and legal sciences in Germany between the Nineteenth and the Twentieth centuries. In the last decade his work has particularly centered on the relations between globalization, migration and citizenship as well as on postcolonial theory and criticism.