A Conference on Race, Indigeneity, and Settler Colonialism: In honor of the work of the late Patrick Wolfe


Thursday, March 09, 2017 to Friday, March 10, 2017

At a time of heightened awareness of the enduring challenges of race in America, this conference will highlight transnational insights on the historiography of race that have emerged from the study of settler colonialism. The similarities that connect the histories and displacements of indigenous populations from Hawaii and Australia to North America, South Africa and Brazil, are rarely connected to broader questions of race. Yet interdisciplinary study of indigenous peoples in the context of settler colonialism has given rise to important new scholarship on the operation of race as a conceptual category and as a structure of subordination.

Seminal insights in this area were developed by the Australian anthropologist Patrick Wolfe (1949-2016), to whose memory the conference is dedicated. His work centered on indigenous histories in Australia and the United States to develop grounded insights into the present crises faced by African-Americans, Afro-Brazilians, and Palestinians. The conference will gather scholars from around the world to explore new approaches to race and indigeneity inspired by Wolfe’s recent research, which explored settler colonialism to offer a compelling new analysis of race. Drawing the distinction between colonialism and settler colonialism, Wolfe launched a rich field of inquiry, enabling researchers to develop new paradigms for the study of race that contribute to political theory, constitutional theory, historical understanding and new ethnographies and sociologies of indigeneity. His untimely passing has created a moment to bring these many strands of inquiry into conversation.


Conference Program

DAY 1: Thursday, March 9

1 PM
Welcome and Opening Remarks: Asli Bali (UCLA)

1:15 PM
PANEL 1: Remembering Patrick Wolfe
Moderator/discussant: Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia)
Pamela Grieman (UCLA)
Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne)
Saree Makdisi (UCLA)
Aziz Rana (Cornell Law School)

2:45 PM

3:00 PM
PANEL 2: Patrick Wolfe’s Elementary Structures of Race
Moderator: Asli Bali (UCLA)
Cheryl Harris (UCLA)
Jemima Pierre (UCLA)
Aziz Rana (Cornell Law School)
Shannon Speed (UCLA)


DAY 2: Friday, March 10

9:30 AM
PANEL 3: Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective 1: Palestine and North America
Moderator: Cheryl Harris (UCLA)
Jessica Cattelino (UCLA)
Sherene Razack (UCLA)
Sherene Seikaly (UCSB)
Gershon Shafir (UCSD)

11:15 AM

11:30 AM
Keynote: Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia)

12:45 PM
Lunch Break

2:00 PM
PANEL 4: Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective 2: Australia, South Africa, Algeria, Ireland
Moderator: Susan Slyomovics (UCLA)
Sung Choi (Bentley University)
David Goldberg (UC Irvine)
Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne)
Muriam Haleh Davis (UCSC)
David Lloyd (UC Riverside)

4:00 PM

4:15 PM
ROUNTABLE: Bringing the Threads Into Conversation
Moderator: Saree Makdisi (UCLA)
Pamela Grieman (UCLA)
David Lloyd (UC Riverside)
Aziz Rana (Cornell Law School)
Shannon Speed (UCLA)
Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia)

Johanna Romero

Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Department of History

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