The Elusive Problematic of Transition
Ranabir Samaddar, Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group in Kolkata, India
Auditorium Ivan Pictet B
Maison de la paix, Geneva
A discussion of transition is not a quibble over a modernist idea of history versus a post-modern espousal of ambiguity, or for that matter an idea of history received from the West and what happened in the rest of the world in the past. At one level the postcolonial is a specific story of transition, or two transitions. Also, the postcolonial problematic of transition is not simply a matter of how we think of time. Perhaps, only by rigorously analysing the mutation in forms of labour we can make sense of the notion of transition. Postcolonial labour is best described as “transit labour”, and is not transit labour the best indicator of the paradoxes of what we call transition?
Ranabir Samaddar is currently the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies of the Calcutta Research Group in Kolkata, India. He belongs to the critical school of thinking and is considered as one of the foremost theorists in the field of migration and forced migration studies. His writings on the nation state, migration, labour, and urbanisation have signaled a new turn in critical post-colonial thinking. Among his influential works are: Memory, Identity, Power: Politics in the Junglemahals, 1890-1950 (1998), The Marginal Nation: Transborder Migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal (1999), and (co-authored) Beyond Kolkata: Rajarhat and the Dystopia of Urban Imagination (2014). His latest work is Karl Marx and the Postcolonial Age (2017).
This conference will open the international conference, “Is the Transition Over?” organised under the scientific responsibility of Professor Andre Liebich as part of the Institute’s cooperation programme with the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.
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