Dr. Ranabir Samaddar 'Karl Marx and the Postcolonial Age' 2101 Vari Hall - Department of Sociology


November 21, 2017 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Marcello Musto
2101 Vari Hall - Department of Sociology
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Professor Samaddar’s research focuses on the areas of migration and refugee studies, nationalism and post-colonial statehood in South Asia, new regimes of technological restructuring and labour control, and Marxism. His many works include A Biography of the Indian Nation, 1947-1997 (Sage, 2001); The Politics of Dialogue (Ashgate, 2004); The Materiality of Politics (Anthem Press, 2007), The Emergence of the Political Subject (Sage, 2009); and Karl Marx and the Postcolonial Age (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

This talk seeks to explicitly engage Marxist and post-colonial theory to place Marxism in the context of the post-colonial age. Those who study Marx, particularly in the West, often lack an understanding of post-colonial realities; conversely, however, those who fashion post-colonial theory often have an inadequate understanding of Marx. Many think that Marx is not relevant to critique postcolonial realities and the legacy of Marx seldom reaches the post-colonial countries directly. This talk will read Marx in the contemporary post-colonial condition and elaborate the current dynamics of post-colonial capitalism. It does this by analysing contemporary post-colonial history and politics in the framework of interrelations between the three categories of class, people, and postcolonial transformation. Examining the structure of power in post-colonial countries and revisiting the revolutionary theory of dual power in that context, it appreciates and explains the transformative potentialities of Marx in relation to post-colonial condition.