Resident fellow lecture: Rana Dasgupta: AFTER NATIONS, lecture four
RANA DASGUPTA: AFTER NATIONS
LECTURE FOUR: MIGRATION, AND THE HUMAN CHALLENGE TO THE NEOLIBERAL WORLD MAP
The Versailles Treaty of 1919 marks the moment when a particular future of the world was decided. After that point, it was clear: the world would be a mosaic of independent nation-states, conceived according to European ideas of territoriality and sovereignty. Empires would be broken up along broadly ethnic lines; medieval principalities would merge into modern republics.
A century later, this resolution does not appear as "final" as once it did. Russia and China seem to be gripped by expansionist ambitions of a very pre-1919 sort. ISIS is intent on tearing down the First-World-War borders in the Middle East, which anyway are fully in question as state systems explode in the wake of the Arab Spring. Meanwhile, the increasing prevalence of authoritarianism, ethnic conflict and corruption in the nation-state system suggests that even in places where it appears to be "working", it is not anything like what was hoped.
Given the fact that far more people have been killed since 1945 by their own governments and compatriots than by foreign aggressors, it is time to think deeply about the global political "solution" of 1919. What is the future of the nation-state? What rival political formations are emerging, and how seriously should we take them?
This lecture series will consider the current crisis of the international nation-state system through the lens of culture. In literature, art, film and architecture we can see the exhaustion of the old categories of nation and citizenship, and the emergence of new speculations about territory and belonging. Very often these new formations take the form of break-down and apocalypse - but are there also hopeful visions on which new futures can be built?
The four lectures will be entitled as follows:
7.4.2016 LECTURE ONE: THE EUROPEAN THEOLOGY OF THE NATION-STATE
12.4.2016 LECTURE TWO: THE END OF GREAT POWERS, AND THE DISSOLVING OF THE WORLD MAP
14.4.2016 LECTURE THREE: THE NEW REGIME OF FINANCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS
19.4.2016 LECTURE FOUR: MIGRATION, AND THE HUMAN CHALLENGE TO THE NEOLIBERAL WORLD MAP
All at 6 pm in Exhibition Laboratoray. Free entrance.
Born in 1971, Rana Dasgupta is a British novelist and essayist based in New Delhi. Through his varied body of work he has consistently explored themes of globalization, migration and the twenty-first-century city.
Dasgupta was born in Canterbury, England and studied at Balliol College, Oxford and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In 2001, he moved to Delhi to write. His first novel, Tokyo Cancelled, appeared in 2005 and was shortlisted for the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize. Solo (2009) won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. In 2014 he published Capital, a non-fiction account of the stupendous changes engulfing his adopted city as a result of globalization.
In Helsinki he will be working on his current novel, set in Finland, which considers the possibility of a profound transformation of the global nation-state system.
Dasgupta is a columnist for Al Jazeera and a visiting professor at Brown University.
Rana Dasgupta has been invited by the Residency Fellow Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts funded by the Saastamoinen Foundation.