Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Mumbai | Tuljapur | Guwahati | Hyderabad

Series of Dialogue on Dialoguing between Postcolonial and Postsocialist


Sept. 24, 2018 - Oct. 5, 2018

Venue: Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad, Patna, Kolkata and Guwahati

Dialoguing between the Posts

TISS Patna has taken an initiative to start a series of dialogue on conjunctures of postcolonial and postsocialist conditions. As part of the process that started with a workshop by the same name in Belgrade in 2017 (https://dialoguingposts.wordpress.com/), this series intends to set an interdisciplinary research agenda in social science with methodological innovations at the core of which is the conjuncture of the two conditions. The goal is to demonstrate that political economy, social movements, and governance in these two conditions are actually are constitutive of contemporary global capitalism. The idea of this dialogue is to create a research collective of academics, early researchers, doctoral students, public intellectuals, practitioners and others that can collaborate and contribute in a systematic exploration, research, and radical postcolonial-postsocialist knowledge production.

The first seminar of Dialoguing between the Posts was organized at TISS Patna Centre on February 5, 2018 with Dr. Kasia Narkowicz, University of York, UK. For the second seminar, it was decided by TISS Patna that it will make a concerted effort to take this dialogue to as many campuses of TISS around India so that the possibility of creating a research collective can be given an impetus. This travelling seminar by Prof. Madina Tlostanova will be organized in TISS Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad, Patna, and Guwahati. It will also be organized, in collaboration with TISS Patna Centre, at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai; Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta, Kolkata; and Department of History, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.

Madina Tlostanova is Professor of Postcolonial Feminisms at Linköping University, Sweden, and the author of several books, most recently, Postcolonialism and Postsocialism in Fiction and Art: Resistance and Re-existence. Her other works include Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas (co-authored with Walter Mignolo, University of Ohio Press, 2012). She was earlier a professor of philosophy at the Russian Presidential Academy of national Economy and Public Administration. She is a cultural theorist of wide repute and has been extensively teaching and doing research, focusing on decolonial option, alterglobalism, postsocialist imaginary, fiction and contemporary art, non-Western feminism and gender studies, and the critical rethinking of Eurasian imperial/colonial histories.




1. Centre for Study of Developing Societies, School of Development Studies, TISS Mumbai

    September 24, 2018, Time: 4-6 pm

    Venue: Room 208, Academic Building II, Naoroji Campus

Are we Sisters After All? Postcolonial and Postsocialist Feminisms

The postcolonial and postsocialist feminisms have more in common than one might think. We share the experience of the global coloniality of knowledge, of being, of gender, of sensing, and a complex interplay of imperial and colonial differences and dependencies, irreducible to ideological and political clashes. Why has the long awaited dialogue of the postsocialist and postcolonial feminisms never properly started? Why in case it started it remained asymmetrical. How can the long established and much discussed feminist tools such as border thinking and intersectionality get a fresh impetus when imbued with the multiple postsocialist (and at times simultaneously postcolonial) feminist experience, the geopolitics and body-politics of knowledge and of being? Can a “deep coalition” of the postcolonial and postsocialist feminists help us get rid of the unhealthy victimhood rivalry and work for a decolonial emancipating re-existence?  

2. St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, September 25, 2018, Time: 3 pm

Venue: Lecture Room 61, Second Floor, Hostel Building, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai- 400001. Contact: Awanish Kumar- +91-9167482238.

The Postcolonial Condition, the Decolonial Option and the Postsocialist Mediation

The end of the Cold War and the coming of the neoliberal globalization as an eternal and  universal human condition, was marked not only by the vanishing of the socialist modernity and the erasing of its agents, but also by the shift from the discourses of decolonization to the conception of Decoloniality. However critical theories of globalization created in the Global South and in the vanished second world,  in the last three decades, have not been able to communicate and find a common ground in their resistance to the western modernity/coloniality and  building of the positive re-existent models of another world. The reasons for this lack of understanding and the possible ways of building “deep coalitions” of those who found themselves in the conditions of post-dependence and eternal catching up will be addressed in the lecture.

3. TISS Tuljapur, September 26, 2018, time: 4.30 pm

Venue- Conference Hall, Administrative Building

Postcolonialiality-Decoloniality-Postsocialism: Dialogues and Opacities

For the last several decades postcolonial studies and decolonial thought have been competing for the dominance in the interpretation of imperial-colonial relations. Rather than  listing one more time the differences in their approaches and arguing for or against their methods, the lecture will regard postcoloniality not only as a set of academic discourses but ultimately as a human condition, an existential situation, whereas decoloniality will be seen as an option, consciously chosen as a political, ethical and epistemic positionality. Such an unconventional understanding of the terms postcolonial and decolonial would allow us to transcend the long-going rivalry and geopolitical divisions between the postcolonial studies and the decolonial option, using the medium of the postsocialist and postdependence optics and discourses.

4. TISS Hyderabad, September 28, 2018, Time: 4 pm

Venue: School Of Gender Studies

From Victimhood Rivalry to Decolonial Coalitions: Postcolonial and Postsocialist feminisms

The postsocialist condition in contrast with the postcolonial situation has not yet managed to shape a separate discourse and/or build coalitions with the postcolonial populations. Feminism has remained one of the least developed areas of postcolonial and postsocialist intersections.  With the end of the Cold War the postcolonial feminism of the Global South was subsumed and replaced with the new American trendy term of transnational feminism which under all its external inclusivity, still excluded the postsocialist feminism. Its ideological difference vanished whereas other intersections of discrimination such as race were already taken by other feminisms. The necessity of building into the global completion for the production of knowledge, for resources, for the right of representation, has often led to an unhealthy victimhood rivalry particularly sore in the case of feminists.  The lecture will address various reasons for this unfortunate situation as well as the possible ways to launch postcolonial and postsocialist gender alliances in the future.

5. Special Lecture: Centre for Development Practice and Research, TISS Patna

September 30, 2018, Time-10:30 AM

Venue-TISS Takshila Campus, Delhi Public School, Senior Wing, Chandmari, Danapur Cantonment, Patna-801502

The Postcolonial and the Postsocialist: Dialogues, Opacities, and “Deep Coalitions”

The postcolonial and postsocialist human conditions share a lot at many levels.  These intersections include the common experience of dependency and its overcoming, the necessity of building into the global modernity/coloniality in the capacity of forever catching up others who are still treated within the discourses of orientalism and progressivism and thus subjected to annihilation or appropriation. The former orientation towards the capitalist or socialist modernity as well as the difficult non-alignment balancing have triggered certain differences in the trajectories imposed onto the postcolonial and postsocialist worlds in the last three decades. With the end of the Cold War first presented as the end of history and the emergence of the eternal present of the homogenous consumer paradise, with the failure and closing of the last global utopia of universal happiness, many leftist discourses found themselves in crisis. At that point emerged different ideas that were sensitive to this new political design of the world, in which more and more people become dispensable lives, marked by “defuturing” (Fry). Whole regions become problem regions in the post-Duboisean sense of people whose belonging to humanity is problematized. The shrining resources, the global ecological challenges and the repeated crises of global capitalism as signs from the underside of globalization, increase the unhealthy rivalry for a better place on the human scale of modernity/coloniality, for meager charity of the minority in power. One of such ideas is the idea of Decoloniality which replaced the previous discourse of decolonization. Decolonial thought allows  to understand the main reasons for the lacking or insufficient dialogues and alliances among the postcolonial and postsocialist people, and suggest possible ways for our future transversal coalitions beyond modernity/coloniality and for a more fair and pluriversal world in which no one would be an other anymore.

6. Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta,  October 3, 2018, Time: 3.30 pm

Venue- University of Calcutta Alipore Campus, 1, Reformatory Street, Kolkata- 700027

The Logic of Coloniality and the limits of Postcoloniality Revisited through a Postsocialist Perspective

The postcolonial discontent often stems from its too close link with modernity as a set of particular epistemic assumptions. In decolonial view this leads to the failure of postcolonial critique attempting to use the methodological tools of the master in order to dismantle his house (Audre Lorde). Yet in spite of the failures of institutionalized academic postcolonial theory, the post- and neocolonial existential condition itself shared by millions of people in the world, is capable of generating quite viable and powerful decolonial drives indicating a specific political, ethical, existential and cognitive condition.  The lecture will focus on the main elements of decolonial sensibility, its intersections with postcolonial discourse and their mediation through a postsocialist perspective.

7. Department of History, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata

    October 4, 2018, Time: 3 pm

    Venue: Department of History, Rabindra Bharati University, 6/4, Dwarakanath Tagore Lane,

    Raja Katra, Singhi Bagan, Jorasanko, Kolkata-700007

From Resistance to Re-existence or “Decoloniality for” & Postcolonial and Postsocialist “Others” with a Reflection on Postcolonial and Postsocialist feminisms

At the same time when F. Fukuyama was celebrating the defeat of the Socialist modernity and the coming of uncontested neoliberal globalization, A. Quijano introduced the concept of coloniality as a response from the underside to the enforced homogeneity of neoliberal modernity and to the realization that the state cannot be democratized or decolonized. At that moment, according to W. Mignolo, the cold war term “decolonization” started to shift to Decoloniality. It is crucial that Decoloniality is a life-asserting pluriversal option which is grounded not only in resistance but more importantly, in re-existence as a creation of the multiple world anew. The lecture will argue that this “for” rather than “against” principle may be useful in building alliances among the old and new others of modernity such as the postcolonial and the postsocialist populations. The lecture will also argue for thinking about feminism at postcolonial and postsocialist intersections, which has remained one of the least developed areas.

8. TISS Guwahati, October 5, 2018

Decolonizing the Postcolonial and the Postsocialist: From Deferred Coalitions to Mutual Potentiation

The postcolonial and postsocialist conditions intersect in their common experience of dependency and its overcoming, the persistent catching-up and developmentalist rhetoric, the stereotypical treatment within the discourses of orientalism and progressivism. Yet the postcolonial belonging to the Western capitalist modernity though on its colonial side, and a difficult non-alignment option, has triggered a different trajectory from the one imposed on the postsocialist others. The triumph of the neoliberal globalization as a universal human condition was marked by the vanishing of the socialist modernity and the erasing of its agents, but also by the shift from the discourses of decolonization that corresponded to the Cold War logic, to the conception of Decoloniality. The postcolonial and postsocialist critical positions in relation to neoliberal globalization shared many agendas but formulated them at different historical points and in discordant political climates which did not allow them to hear each other and see each other as potential allies. The lecture will dwell on various reasons for the deferred dialogue of the postcolonial and postsocialist others and possible ways of our mutual potentiation.


For any queries contact: Dr. Mithilesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, TISS Patna Centre. Mobile: +91-9931237754. Email: mithilesh.kumar@tiss.edu; patnacentre@tiss.edu 

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