Publics, Cultures, and Practices of Difference

Corey Capers, African American Studies and History
Ainsworth Clarke, African American Studies and English
Rama Mantena, History


Monday, April 28, 2014, 03:00 PM

Partha Chatterjee
Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Professor of Political Science, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta

Three Roads to Radical Democracy in India

Friday, April 19, 2013, 03:00 PM

Dipesh Chakrabarty
Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor, History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the Law School University of Chicago

“Climate Change and the Historical Imagination”

Wednesday October 26, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
Public Lecture: Richard Iton, Northwestern University

“Ghost, Text and Play:  Living Within and Without Black Politics”

Recent developments in American politics have raised a number of questions about the future of black politics as well as the political salience of black communities. Working with materials drawn from formal politics and popular culture, this talk will attempt to illustrate some of the problems inherent in the conventional understandings of black politics and the potential benefits of thinking differently about the relationship between the political and blackness itself.

Professor Iton is author of In Search of the Black Fantastic: Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Thursday, November 17, 2011 from 3-5 p.m.
Book Discussion: Achille Mbembe’s On the Postcolony (University of California Press, 2001)

Book is available in the UIC Bookstore first floor

From the publisher —
This thought-provoking and ground breaking collection of essays develops and extends debates first ignited by his well-known 1992 article “Provisional Notes on the Postcolony,” in which Mbembe developed his notion of the “banality of power” in contemporary Africa. He reinterprets the meanings of death, utopia, and the divine libido as part of the new theoretical perspectives he offers on the constitution of power. MBembe works with the complex registers of bodily subjectivity ­ violence, wonder, and laughter ­ to profoundly contest categories of oppression and resistance, autonomy and subjection, and state and civil society that marked the social theory of the late twentieth century.

All interested faculty and students are welcome. Advance registration is encouraged, at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. 
Book Discussion: 
Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes by Arturo Escobar (Duke University Press, 2008)
Book will be available in the UIC Bookstore.


In Territories of Difference, Arturo Escobar, author of the widely debated book Encountering Development, analyzes the politics of difference enacted by specific place-based ethnic and environmental movements in the context of neoliberal globalization. His analysis is based on his many years of engagement with a group of Afro-Colombian activists of Colombia’s Pacific rainforest region, the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN). Escobar offers a detailed ethnographic account of PCN’s visions, strategies, and practices, and he chronicles and analyzes the movement’s struggles for autonomy, territory, justice, and cultural recognition. Yet he also does much more. Consistently emphasizing the value of local activist knowledge for both understanding and social action and drawing on multiple strands of critical scholarship, Escobar proposes new ways for scholars and activists to examine and apprehend the momentous, complex processes engulfing regions such as the Colombian Pacific today.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. 
Mónica Alexandra Jiménez, Ph.D. candidate University of Texas;
Lecturer UIC History Department
Work in Progress:  “The State of Exception and Colonial Resistance in Puerto Rico”
Paper to be distributed in advance