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Current Five College Working Group (2021-2022) "Race, Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism in Global Perspective"

 

The 2021-2022 Five College Working Group:
“Race, Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism in Global Perspective”

 

In the academic year 2021-2022, the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (IHGMS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from the Five Colleges to explore the topic of “Race, Indigeneity, and Settler Colonialism in Global Perspective.” The project organizers are Iyko Day, Elizabeth C. Small Associate Professor in the Department of English and Chair of Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College, and Adam Dahl, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 

Participants:

Jennifer Bajorek
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Visual Studies, Hampshire College
Project Description: Artists and activists visualizing contemporary migration with a focus on the representation of African and Black sites and subjects.

Sony Coráñez Bolton
Assistant Professor of Spanish, Amherst College
Project Description: The queer of color and settler colonial politics of Filipinx American Fiction.

Robert B. Caldwell, Jr.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies, Hampshire College
Project Description: Thematic-historical maps of American Indian homelands, languages, and culture areas.

Alon Confino
Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Director, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Project Description: Palestine, 1948.

Laura Doyle
Professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Project Description: How long-historical analyses of culture and political economy (beginning before European hegemony) can move us past Eurocentric narratives and bridge decolonial and postcolonial perspectives.

Laura M. Furlan
Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Project Description: The archives of Native American literature.

Dana Leibsohn
Professor of Art and Latin American and Latino/a Studies, Smith College
Project Description: Mobility in light of Indigenous, Russian, and Spanish travel and settlement along the Pacific coasts of North America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Susana Loza
Associate Professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Media Studies, Hampshire College
Project Description: The settler colonial and gothic traces in contemporary horror television and film.

Christen Mucher
Associate Professor of American Studies, Smith College
Project Description: College Herbaria, seed collection, and science education as settler colonialism.

Kevin Surprise
Visiting Lecturer in Environmental Studies, Mount Holyoke College
Project Description: The political economy of climate change.

Dan Tsahor
Visiting scholar at the History Department and at Jewish and Near Eastern Studies,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Project Description: The Postwar Nakba: Exclusion and Resistance in the New State of Israel, 1949-1953.

 


 

The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
 
Call for Faculty Fellowship Applications for 2021-2022
 
“Race, Indigeneity, and Settler Colonialism in Global Perspective”
 
In the academic year 2021-2022, the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (IHGMS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from the Five Colleges. This group of IHGMS Fellows will explore the topic of “Race, Indigeneity, and Settler Colonialism in Global Perspective.” The project organizers are
Iyko Day, Elizabeth C. Small Associate Professor in the Department of English and Chair of Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College, and Adam Dahl, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 
Debates about land, possession, and the legacies of colonial occupation define our global present. In May 2021, the Tk’emlúpe te Secwépemc First Nation uncovered a mass grave on the grounds of a former residential school in British Columbia, which has underscored the ongoing, intergenerational trauma of the residential school system and the brutality of Canada’s settler colonial regime. From Idle No More to #NODAPL, opposition to colonial forms of power in settler societies has revealed the deeply embedded structure and significance of ongoing forms of dispossession. Ongoing conflict over land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem has reignited heated debate over whether Israel should be characterized as a settler colonial state. Latin America countries like Ecuador and Bolivia have witnessed the resurgence of Indigenous resistance against state-sponsored projects of natural resource extraction. And in the run up to the South African national elections in 2019, the African National Congress called for the redistribution of land to Indigenous farmers, prompting Donald Trump and settler farmers from Australia to Ottawa to protest the policy as a form of “white genocide.”
 
By putting local specificity into global contexts, this seminar seeks to explore both the continuities and discontinuities in settler regimes of power and modes of anticolonial resistance.  We invite scholars across disciplinary and interdisciplinary boundaries with interests in global, comparative, and transnational studies of race, indigeneity, and empire to explore a range of questions.  How do technologies and ideologies of colonial rule travel across boundaries of nation and empire?  What are the intellectual risks of relying on overly rigid distinctions between settler colonialism and other imperial forms such as franchise colonialism?  What is the role of colonial dispossession in shaping structural logics of capital accumulation?  How central is the binary of “native” and “settler” to the study of empire, and what forms of racialization do such binaries obscure?  In what ways do decolonial imaginaries and modes of social relation (to human and more than human others) offer alternatives to colonial logics of accumulation and property?
 

Possible topics for the seminar might include some of the following: 
•    Indigenous decolonization, resurgence, and revitalization
•    Racial capitalism and colonialism
•    Abolition and decolonization
•    Indigenous geographies and mappings of land
•    Oceanic spaces of empire
•    Anticolonial and postcolonial worldmaking
•    White nationalism and Anti-Semitism
•    Production of history and memory in colonial contexts
•    Militarism, war, and imperial violence
•    Literatures and cultures of colonization and decolonization
•    Indigenous resistance to climate change and extractivism
•    Race, property, and possession
•    Law as a technology of colonial rule
•    Queer critiques of empire
•    Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color Feminisms
•    Colonial borders and migration  
•    Disability studies and colonial disablement
•    Settler colonialism and slavery
•    Intersections between Black studies and Native and Indigenous Studies

The project is open to Five College faculty in all disciplines. Because the seminar aims to be global and interdisciplinary, the topics and questions mentioned above are examples, rather than a full list of possibilities. The aim is to create a closely-knit scholarly environment for critical inquiry, debate, and exchange of ideas. The group will meet four times each semester (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022) over dinner at the IHGMS to discuss our research as individuals and to pool our efforts to conceptualize the theme as a whole. IHGMS Fellows will collectively select and read key primary and secondary source documents, will have opportunities to present their works in progress, and will interact with outside scholars, who will be supported out of a small budget for invited guest speakers. Fellows will receive $1,250 as a research stipend, which will be disbursed at the conclusion of the seminar. Participation at all meetings, including the additional introductory meeting in September 2021, is mandatory.

Applications, including a 1-2 page statement of interest and a Curriculum Vitae, should be emailed to ihgms@umass.edu by Friday, August 27, 2021.