Misunderstanding Modernity: The Social Scientific Neglect of Colonialism

Thursday 26 October 2017 17:00 to 18:30
Fulton A, University of Sussex

Modernity is a central concept within the social sciences. It demarcates the world in terms of time and space, separating out the modern from the non-modern, and points to associated disciplinary orderings.

Usually, sociology, politics, and economics address the modern, while anthropology addresses the non-modern. What is missed in such an understanding of the world and the disciplinary ways of knowing the world, is that the processes of colonialism bind the world together even as our ways of knowing it seek to disaggregate it. In this Sussex Development Lecture, Professor Gurminder K Bhambra will address our commonly held misunderstandings of modernity and discuss how an adequate address of colonialism would require us to rethink our standard assumptions of the modern world and disciplinary responses to it.

Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the Department of Geography, School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. Previously, she was Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick and has been Guest Professor of Sociology and History at the Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at Linnaeus University, Sweden. She is author of Connected Sociologies (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (Palgrave, 2007), which won the 2008 Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for best first book in sociology. 

This lecture will be streamed live on Facebook and will be available to watch afterwards on this page.


Fulton A University of Sussex