Inter-Disciplinary Conference

Thursday 19th – Friday 20th September 2019

Hosted by the
Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL)
University of Aberdeen


Postcolonial and decolonial thinkers and activists have spent the last decades unravelling the intellectual, political and structural legacies of colonialism and ongoing coloniality in our contemporary world. Political concepts are part of these legacies. The way academics define and use them is generally mediated by traditions of political thought marked by and even framed by coloniality. However, and despite the increasing and far-reaching work of postcolonial and decolonial research, this aspect of political concepts is still too often silenced or ignored in some academic settings. Throughout this conference, we aimed to engage with the coloniality of political concepts, and with how ontological, epistemological and political closures and exclusions are reproduced through their use.

Besides, we opened up collective and collaborative reflections on how to expose, challenge and overcome the colonialities still permeating ideas and research by questioning the tools that political concepts are. We engaged with non-Western and indigenous political thought and experiences, exploring alternative uses and what decolonised political concepts might look like. We see such dialogues as necessary in order to find ways of living together that acknowledge and respect plurality and allow for genuinely “postcolonial” academic and political contexts.


Book of Abstracts
Conference Schedule



Day 1

09.00 – 09.25
Coffee and Registration
(Fraser Noble, Room 185)

09.25 – 09.40
Welcome and Opening

09.40 – 11.10
Session 1
Decolonial Horizons – Revealing the Coloniality of Knowledge and Power
Chair and discussant: Marie Wuth
“History and Universal Politics”
Karim Barakat (American University of Beirut)
“Achieving Global Justice through Decolonising Human Dignity”
Chika Mba (University of Ghana)
“Selected knowing and the privileged ignorance”
Minoo Alinia (Södertörn University)

11.10 – 11.30
Coffee Break

11.30 – 13.00
Session 2
Feeling Coloniality – Bodies, Sexuality and Agency
Chair and discussant: Marie Wuth
“Decolonizing sexuality, disrupting epistemologies, shattering the subject”
Rachel Spronk (University of Amsterdam)
“Enfleshed Political Violences. Rethinking Sexual Violence from a Postcolonial Critique”
Cecilia Cienfuegos (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
“Decolonising Agency”
Henrike Kohpeiß (Free University of Berlin)

13.00 – 14.00

14.00 – 15.20
“The Universal Subject of Precarity: A Decolonial Reading” by Ritu Vij
Chair and discussant: Trevor Stack

15.20 – 16.20
Session 3
Religion and Politics – A Colonial Dualism?
(University Office, Committee room 2)
Chair and discussant: Joel Pierce
“Coloniality of “Politics”: The US-Japan Relations since 1853”
Mitsutoshi Horii (Shumei University & Chaucer College)
“The Religiosity of Secularism and the Political form of Faith”
Anthony Zirpoli (University of Aberdeen)

16.20 – 16.40
Coffee Break

16.40 – 18.00
“Funk Manifesto for a Decolonised Image (With a Plea for a Decolonial International)” by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
Chair and discussant: Ritu Vij

Conference Dinner

Day 2

09.30 – 10.30
Session 4
Subverting Coloniality – Decolonising the Language of Resistance
(University Office, Court room)
Chair and discussant: Andreas Zaunseder
“Decolonizing Anarchism: Experiences from the South of the Mediterranean”
Laura Galian Hernandez (Universidad de Granada)
“Fascism, Communalism and Resistance: Speaking Muslim in India”
Sheheen Kattiparambil (University of Leeds)

10.30 – 11.30
Session 5
Indigenous Conceptualisations – Articulations, Deployments and Negotiations
Chair and discussant: Anthony Zirpoli
“Tino Rangatiratanga: A Decolonial Māori Politics of Sovereignty”
Valentin Clavé-Mercier (University of Aberdeen)
“The Political Discourse and Diverse Dimensions of Native American Citizenship”
Paul Rosier (Villanova University)

11.50 – 13.20
Session 6
Beyond Borders – Migration and Re-thinking Citizenship
Chair and discussant: Nadia Kiwan
“The Coloniality of Citizenship: Recovering Claudia Jones, Anticolonial Imaginations and Lost Thinking beyond the Nation State”
Ricarda Hammer (Brown University)
“The Idealised Subject of Freedom and the Refugee”
Shahin Nasiri (University of Amsterdam)
“(In)hospitality in Modernist Thought: Rethinking Hospitality through Decolonial
Political Theology”

Jasmine Gani (University of St Andrews)

13.20 – 14.20 Lunch

14.20 – 15.50
Workshop: “Decolonising the Westernised University”
Led by Julie Cupples

16.10 – 17.00
Closing Discussion

Academic coordinators

Marie Wuth ( and
Valentin Clavé-Mercier (

Conference administrator

Michael Tuckwell (

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754326.