Wednesday, June 5, 2019
With financial support from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Aid for Interdisciplinary Sessions Fund.
Unmooring the Komagata Maru: Charting Colonial Trajectories (UBC Press) is an edited collection that challenges conventional Canadian historical accounts of the incident by considering the colonial dimensions within the context of political resistance, migration, cultural memory, and nation-building. Drawing from various disciplines, the collection situates the history of South Asians in Canada within a larger global-imperial history, emphasizing the ways in which the Komagata Maru incident is related to issues of colonialism. First, it seeks to expose and challenge how Canada’s colonial history is jettisoned by the national historiography of remembering the ship’s voyage and its meaning; in decentring national histories in favour of a colonial analytic, it becomes more evident that, contrary to being postcolonial and postracial, Western nations today operate and extend ruling logics of white supremacy and hierarchies of racism. Second, the volume traces how different forms, times, and places of the Komagata Maru’s journey can help to map the movement and network of global colonialism in ways that challenge modern universal claims of subject-hood, foreground relations of power that shape transnational movement, and punctuate how historical systems of rule remain relevant in contemporary relations between and among hegemonic and subjugated actors. By colonialism, we are referring specifically to how Europeans implanted settlements on distant territories (Said 1978), claimed political control over the world (Kohn 2012, para 4), and settled people on land to engage in labour for their own improvement and to create wealth (Arneil 2013)
The co-hosts for this event are: 26 - Canadian Historical Association (CHA) / Société historique du Canada (SHC), 59 - Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) / Société canadienne de sociologie (SCS), and 58 - Society for Socialists Studies (SSS) / Société d'études socialistes (SÉS)
- Elaine Coburn, Professor of International Studies, Glendon College, York University
- Barbara Arneil, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
- Laura Madokoro, Professor of History, McGill University