1 hr 42 min

Colonialism & Modern Social Theory: Book Launch and Discussion The Connected Sociologies Podcast

    • Education

In this event, John Holmwood and Gurminder K Bhambra discuss their new book, Colonialism & Modern Social Theory.





About this event


Modern society emerged in the context of European colonialism and empire. So, too, did a distinctively modern social theory, laying the basis for most social theorising ever since. Yet colonialism and empire are absent from the conceptual understandings of modern society, which are organised instead around ideas of nation state and capitalist economy.
In Colonialism & Modern Social Theory, Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood address this absence by examining the role of colonialism in the development of modern society and the legacies it has bequeathed. Beginning with a consideration of the role of colonialism and empire in the formation of social theory from Hobbes to Hegel, the authors go on to focus on the work of Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Du Bois. As well as unpicking critical omissions and misrepresentations, the chapters discuss the places where colonialism is acknowledged and discussed – albeit inadequately – by these founding figures; and we come to see what this fresh rereading has to offer and why it matters. This inspiring and insightful book argues for a reconstruction of social theory that should lead to a better understanding of contemporary social thought, its limitations, and its wider possibilities.
In this event, Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood are in dialogue with Michaela Benson and Su-ming Khoo and respond to questions and comments relating to the book and to the canon of modern social theory itself.
Authors:
Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at the University of Sussex, a Trustee at the Sociological Review Foundation, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is co-editor of Discover Society, an online social research magazine, and editor of Global Social Theory. She is author of the prize-winning Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination and Connected Sociologies. She is also co-editor of Decolonising the University and the Project Director of the Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project.
John Holmwood is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. He was expert witness for the defence in misconduct cases brought against senior teachers falsely accused of a plot to Islamicise schools in Birmingham. Together with Therese O'Toole, he is author of Countering Extremism in Birmingham Schools? The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair (Policy Press, 2018).
Discussants
Professor Michaela Benson is a sociologist with expertise in migration, citizenship and identity. In particular, her research focuses on Britishness and belonging among Britain’s emigrants and overseas citizens at moments of major political transformation including Brexit and decolonisation. Her current position as Professor of Public Sociology at Lancaster University (from 1 June 2021), builds on nearly twenty years of teaching in universities around the UK and her service since 2016 as Editor-in-Chief of The Sociological Review. She has published several academic monographs including The British in Rural France (Manchester University Press, 2011), and Lifestyle Migration and Colonial Traces in Malaysia and Panama (co-authored with Karen O’Reilly; Palgrave, 2018) and numerous journal articles. In recent years, she has developed a profile as a public social science communicator, with a portfolio that includes freelance writing for major outlets, public speaking, and podcasting. Her current research for the project Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit (MIGZEN) is funded by the ESRC.
Dr Su-ming Khoo is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology, and leads the Environment, Development and Sustainability (Whitaker Institute) and Socio-Economic Impact (Ryan Institute) Research Clusters at NUI Galway. She researches and teaches on human rights, human development, publi

In this event, John Holmwood and Gurminder K Bhambra discuss their new book, Colonialism & Modern Social Theory.





About this event


Modern society emerged in the context of European colonialism and empire. So, too, did a distinctively modern social theory, laying the basis for most social theorising ever since. Yet colonialism and empire are absent from the conceptual understandings of modern society, which are organised instead around ideas of nation state and capitalist economy.
In Colonialism & Modern Social Theory, Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood address this absence by examining the role of colonialism in the development of modern society and the legacies it has bequeathed. Beginning with a consideration of the role of colonialism and empire in the formation of social theory from Hobbes to Hegel, the authors go on to focus on the work of Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Du Bois. As well as unpicking critical omissions and misrepresentations, the chapters discuss the places where colonialism is acknowledged and discussed – albeit inadequately – by these founding figures; and we come to see what this fresh rereading has to offer and why it matters. This inspiring and insightful book argues for a reconstruction of social theory that should lead to a better understanding of contemporary social thought, its limitations, and its wider possibilities.
In this event, Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood are in dialogue with Michaela Benson and Su-ming Khoo and respond to questions and comments relating to the book and to the canon of modern social theory itself.
Authors:
Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at the University of Sussex, a Trustee at the Sociological Review Foundation, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is co-editor of Discover Society, an online social research magazine, and editor of Global Social Theory. She is author of the prize-winning Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination and Connected Sociologies. She is also co-editor of Decolonising the University and the Project Director of the Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project.
John Holmwood is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. He was expert witness for the defence in misconduct cases brought against senior teachers falsely accused of a plot to Islamicise schools in Birmingham. Together with Therese O'Toole, he is author of Countering Extremism in Birmingham Schools? The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair (Policy Press, 2018).
Discussants
Professor Michaela Benson is a sociologist with expertise in migration, citizenship and identity. In particular, her research focuses on Britishness and belonging among Britain’s emigrants and overseas citizens at moments of major political transformation including Brexit and decolonisation. Her current position as Professor of Public Sociology at Lancaster University (from 1 June 2021), builds on nearly twenty years of teaching in universities around the UK and her service since 2016 as Editor-in-Chief of The Sociological Review. She has published several academic monographs including The British in Rural France (Manchester University Press, 2011), and Lifestyle Migration and Colonial Traces in Malaysia and Panama (co-authored with Karen O’Reilly; Palgrave, 2018) and numerous journal articles. In recent years, she has developed a profile as a public social science communicator, with a portfolio that includes freelance writing for major outlets, public speaking, and podcasting. Her current research for the project Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit (MIGZEN) is funded by the ESRC.
Dr Su-ming Khoo is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology, and leads the Environment, Development and Sustainability (Whitaker Institute) and Socio-Economic Impact (Ryan Institute) Research Clusters at NUI Galway. She researches and teaches on human rights, human development, publi

1 hr 42 min

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