• Fri 27 10 2017 / 6 pm •
From Capital to Concepts – Imperialism and Modernity in Postcolonial Theory Vivek Chibber


Postcolonial theory dominates the academic field, and this was part of the general “culturalization” of the political sphere and the demise of Marxism, claims provocative sociologist and theorist Vivek Chibber. In his talk, he interrogates current critical thinking on the postcolonial condition, focusing on one of the main innovations in postcolonial theory, namely to urge a reconsideration of the role of discourse in modern imperialism. In postcolonial narrative, the imposition of the colonizer’s language and the silencing of protest has stood center stage as the ultimate tool of domination. But is discourse really as important as postcolonial theory has claimed since the so-called “cultural turn”? And what is its relation to race? Starting with Edward Said’s seminal work Orientalism, racial ideology has played a dual role in postcolonial theory – both a consequence of imperial rule and its cause. This talk explores this duality and argues that the field has vastly exaggerated the role of discourse in explaining the rise and dominance of the West.

Venue: Alte Feuerwache, Melchiorstraße 3, 50670 Cologne
Free admission
In English

Further events on 27 10: Perverse Decolonization (panel discussion) and Last Man in Dhaka Central (film screening)