CfP: Processes of Subjectivation: Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives (Event: Ph.D. course and conference, Copenhagen, 08/2010); DL: 01.03.2010

Place: Copenhagen
Time: 16-18 August 2010
Deadline: 01.03.2010

This joint Ph.D. course and conference sets out to investigate the nexus between processes of subjectivation and various forms of colonial and postcolonial governance. Subjectivation refers to processes whereby new moral subjects are coming into being via practices of the self. Within dissimilar colonial and postcolonial projects, however, subjectivation took many different forms, happened on different levels, and can be examined and understood in multiple ways. In colonies and metropoles, for example, states, educational and scientific institutions, missionary societies, philanthropists and many other agents used various educational techniques to mould the bodies and minds of children, men and women so as to fit the roles considered appropriate to their particular gender, race, or class.

Questions of childrearing, childhood, and education in colonies, metropoles, and postcolonial societies figured centrally in these processes of subjectivation. Likewise, processes of subjectivation are often linked with the introduction of technologies, which create new lifestyles and types of subjects who are better suited to inhabit a colonial or postcolonial world structured according to certain technologies. Recently, however, the idea that colonial rule depended on making certain types of subjectivity has also been questioned. Rather, it is argued, colonial rule depended on a  more traditionalkind of authority. Doubt has also been raised about the extent to which processes of subjectivation can adequately grasp the interactions between colonial power systems and indigenous people.

To further explore such questions of subjectivation, the Ph.D. course and conference invites contributions, which explore what kinds of subjectivities were considered necessary to the functioning of colonial and postcolonial orders and how they were fostered. We also invite contributions that explore the extent to which processes of subjectivation were played out in logical and structured modes and the way in which such processes were contested and challenged.

The joint Ph.D. course and conference will consist of four sessions with presentations from leading experts in the field and separate sessions with Ph.D. presentations.


  • Colonial Governmentality: Security, Territory, Population
  • Colonial Childrearing
  • Technologies and Subjectivation
  • Biological Determinism and Subjectivation

Speakers and discussants

  • David Arnold, Professor of Asian and Global History, Department of History, University of Warwick
  • Gurminder K Bhambra, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick
  • Michelle Brattain, Associate Professor, Department of History, Georgia State University
  • Niels Brimnes, Associate Professor, Department of History and Area Studies, Aarhus University
  • Poul Duedahl, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Aalborg University
  • Aigul Kulnazarova, Professor at the School of Global Studies, Tama University
  • Nara Milanich, Assistant Professor in History, Columbia University
  • Gyan Prakash, Professor of History, Princeton University
  • Satadru Sen, Assistant Professor, History Department, Queens College


Applications must be sent 1 March 2010 and must include the following:

  • A short outline of the paper to be presented (max. one page)
  • CV
  • A short description of your Ph.D.-project of no more than one page

Applications should be sent by email to:

All applicants will be informed by 15th of March 2010 if they have been admitted or not. The final paper should be submitted no later than 1st July 2010 in the form of a *.doc or *.pdf file attached to an email message directed to: The paper should not exceed 10.000 words.

Ph.D. students participating with a paper are credited with 4.5 ECTS-diploma (3 ECTS for participation without paper).

Participation fee

  • A basic fee of DKK 1.000 will cover tuition, lunch, coffee/tea during lectures and Ph.D. sessions as well as dinners.

Travel grants

  • A limited number of grants are available to cover some of the expenses for travel and accommodation for non-Scandinavian participants. Please indicate in your application if you would like to apply for such a grant.

Further Information

  • Please contact Søren Ivarsson:


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