Wednesday 26 September from 10-12 pm at Metsätalo, room 27
Encountering Europe Otherwise: On the road with postcolonial travellers
Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Vice-Chancellors Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne
With adventure, exploration and travel primarily conceived of as a Euro-American privilege, travellers in the past were identified as those who embarked on voyages motivated by imperial, educational and recreational imperatives. Empire tourism, a specific form of travel that emerged to enable western tourists to experience the landscapes and people written about by earlier travellers, subsequently fueled the production of colonial imaginaries about other people and places. These travel stories, along with academic accounts, have entrenched highly Eurocentric theories about tourism and travel. Drawing on an extended road trip from England to India undertaken by two non-European, Indian travellers in the 1950s this paper challenges this privileging of western tourists and dominant narratives of travel. It highlights the entangled relationships and connections that generated the encounters, experiences and understandings that emerged during their journey. The swirl of larger events and processes that conditioned their travel routes testify to a different era of globalisation in which distinctive connections were being sought and wrought while others were diminishing. As such, their trip, which took place in a specific geo-political and decolonising context, illuminates shifting colonial imaginaries and the forging of new postcolonial networks and their story foregrounds the neglect of non-western forms of mobility.
Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies in the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. She is the co-founder of the Manchester Migration Lab and is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is the principal investigator on an ESRC funded project on Environmental Violence and Everyday Lives and her current work includes research on Visual Solidarity and Everyday Humanitarianism and A Cultural History of the Mission to Seafarers. She has published numerous articles and her books include Participation: the new tyranny?, Development Theory and Practice: critical perspectives, and A Radical History of Development Studies. She is co-editor of the Frontiers of Development book series published by Oxford University Press and is the Vice President of the European Association of Development. She is on the advisory board of In Place of War, a support system for community artistic, creative and cultural organisations in places of conflict and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She was conferred the Royal Geographical Society’s Busk Medal for her contributions to research on global development.
Contact: Paola Minoia (firstname.lastname@example.org)