Migration, coloniality and racism
In a relational imperial landscape, the positions of imperial agents and subjects—or colonizers and the colonized—are unstable. People living on imperial fault lines, such as the boundary between Russia and the European Union, can simultaneously claim victimhood in relation to one imperial formation—Russia, while exhibiting complicity with another—Europe. One can also shift positions while moving within an imperial formation.
Thus, for example, as state-bearing people claiming European heritage at home, Latvians must grapple with their complicity with Europe’s colonial history—a project currently overshadowed by mobilizing decolonizing energies in the direction of Russia. However, as Eastern Europe labour migrants, they can become subject to Europe’s legacy of racialization. In this talk, prof. Dace Dzenovska will question the decolonizing project from the perspective of the Russo-EU imperial fault line and argue that the lens of empire—rather than decoloniality—might have more analytical and political traction in the current historical moment.
Dr. Dace Dzenovska is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Migration at the University of Oxford and the Principal Investigator of the EMPTINESS project. She is interested in the changing relationships between people, places, the state and capital in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. She holds doctoral and master's degrees in social cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an interdisciplinary master's degree in humanities and social thought from New York University.
The lectures series is part of Ghent University Doctoral School programme aimed to advance postcolonial and decolonial critiques from a Central and Eastern European (CEE) standpoint to overcome the epistemic dichotomy of West versus East, North vs. South prevailing in the Western academic canon. The lectures are open to students and academics of all levels and disciplines interested in the theme and theory building. The lecture series is organised by the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy in close collaboration with inter-university partners CESSMIR and EurEast Platform and outside-university partners ULB, Euroglot, and UNU-CRIS.