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Mahmood Mamdani: Neither Settler Nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities
Join us for a keynote address by Mahmood Mamdani, the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University, who will speak about his book, Neither Settler Nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities (Harvard University Press, 2020).

Part of the virtual conference Religion and Democracy on the African Continent: Colonial Legacies and Postcolonial Possibilities, co-sponsored by the University of Virginia Democracy Initiative's Religion, Race & Democracy Lab, the Page-Barbour Funds, the Institute of the Humanities & Global Culture, the Carter G. Woodson Institute, and the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion.

About the Book:
In this genealogy of political modernity, Mahmood Mamdani argues that the nation-state and the colonial state created each other. In case after case around the globe—from the New World to South Africa, Israel to Germany to Sudan—the colonial state and the nation-state have been mutually constructed through the politicization of a religious or ethnic majority at the expense of an equally manufactured minority.

Neither Settler nor Native offers a vision for arresting this historical process. Mamdani rejects the ‘criminal’ solution attempted at Nuremberg, which held individual perpetrators responsible without questioning Nazism as a political project and thus the violence of the nation-state itself. Instead, political violence demands political solutions: not criminal justice for perpetrators but a rethinking of the political community for all survivors—victims, perpetrators, bystanders, beneficiaries—based on common residence and the commitment to build a common future without the permanent political identities of settler and native. Mamdani points to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa as an unfinished project, seeking a state without a nation.

May 7, 2022 09:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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