The Komagata Maru, Anticoloniality, and the Itinerant Politics of Indigeneity
A public lecture by Renisa Mawani
Thursday, February 19 • 4-530pm • Donovan Lounge, 2nd Floor, Greenlaw Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
The ship Komagata Maru – which carried 376 Punjabi migrants from Hong Kong to Vancouver – was the first vessel to be deported from North American waters in 1914. Thus, its journey has come to signal a high mark in immigration prohibitions and racial exclusion in Canada. While this historical narrative is significant in illuminating Canada’s long history of legalized racism and its ongoing politics of settler colonialism, the ship’s journey must also be viewed as a global transoceanic voyage, one that made visible the political, juridical, and racial unevenness of the British Empire. As the ship crisscrossed the Pacific and Indian Oceans it facilitated connections between India, the Dominions, and other British colonies and outposts (including Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore). Importantly, its voyage also galvanized support from British Indians across the empire, most notably in India and South Africa.
Drawing from her book, Across Oceans of Law, Professor Mawani's lecture will foreground one effect of the Komagata Maru’s journey: the emergence of a transoceanic anticolonialism that engendered a global and itinerant indigenous politics.
TO BE FOLLOWED BY A SEMINAR OPEN TO ALL GRADUATE STUDENTS AND FACULTY:
The Atmospherics of Race
A discussion with Renisa Mawani
Friday, February 20 • 4-6pm • Donovan Lounge, 2nd floor, Greenlaw Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
This seminar will explore the relationship of postcolonial and critical race theories to recent scholarship on affect, species, and new materialisms. In preparation for the seminar, please read the two articles available at https://planetarities.web.unc.edu/events-2/
Renisa Mawani is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, where her research focuses on colonial legal history, critical race studies, oceanic studies, and colonial India and its diaspora. She is the author of Colonial Proximities: Crossracial Encounters and Juridical Truths in British Columbia, 1871-1921.
For more information on these events, please contact Neel Ahuja at firstname.lastname@example.org. Professor Mawani's visit to UNC is sponsored by the South Asia Faculty Working Group, with the support of the Center for Global Initiatives and the Carolina Asia Center. Co-sponsored by the Institute for Arts and Humanities and the Department of English and Comparative Literature.