Global Challenges: Borders, Populism and the Postcolonial Condition

Global Challenges: Borders, Populism and the Postcolonial Condition - An international conference on critical theory, postcoloniality, migration and populism. Linnaeus University, Växjö Sweden, 14-16 June 2018.

The international conference Global Challenges: Borders, Populism and the Postcolonial Condition addresses current global challenges with a focus on the present resurrection of geographical and intellectual borders, the rise of populism in the West and beyond, and the realisation that current geopolitical relations are still deeply informed by the long history of colonialism. To facilitate a productive and interdisciplinary meeting, the conference will include keynotes and scholars from a wide interdisciplinary spectrum, including postcolonial studies, migration studies, animal studies, trauma studies, and ecocriticism.

The conference is selective and primarily brings together mid-career and senior scholars that are either alumni of the 2008 School of Criticism and Theory, conducted at Cornell University, or researchers connected to the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. The keynotes will be open to a wider audience and given by scholars central to the international conversation on global and human relations: Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Dominick LaCapra, Carolyn J Dean, and Gurminder K Bhambra.

Keynote Speakers

The conference is honoured to have four of the most important voices in Critical Theory and Postcolonial Studies as invited keynote speakers. These are, in alphabetical order:

Gurminder Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at University of Sussex. Her work has focussed on making the non-European "Other" visible to the discipline of sociology and has also put forward the concept of "connected histories". Her publications include the award-winning Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (2007), Silencing Human Rights (2009), Connected Sociologies (2014), and European Cosmopolitanisms (2017).

Carolyn J Dean is Charles J. Stille Professor of History and French at Yale University. Her work has benn on the cultural and intellectual history of modern Europe with a focus on the twentieth century. She has authored several books, including Aversion and Erasure: The Fate of the Victim after the Holocaust (Cornell, 2010) and The Fragility of Empathy after the Holocaust (Cornell, 2004) and is currently working on a research project on the evolution of the concept of "bearing witness" to suffering since the Second World War. Dean was part of the faculty of the 2008 SCT.

Dominick LaCapra is Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and an influential intellectual historian who has shaped the global scholarly understanding of trauma, critical theory, animal studies and the field of intellectual history. His most recent works include: History in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory (Cornell University Press, 2004); History and Its Limits: Human, Animal, Violence (Cornell University Press, 2009); History, Literature, Critical Theory (Cornell University Press, 2013); and the forthcoming Understanding Others? People, Animals, Pasts (2018). He served as the director of the SCT 2000-2008.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos is Professor of Sociology, University of Coimbra in Portugal, and Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He directs the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra and has published widely, in several languages, on globalization, postcolonial studies, and the Global South in Europe. He has been awarded several international prizes for his work and his most recent publications include Epistemologies of the South. Justice against Epistemicide (2014), As bifurcações da ordem. Revolução, cidade, campo e indignação (2016), and If God Were a Human Rights Activist (2015).

Abstract and Panel Submission

Abstract and panel submission will open September 30.

Submit Your abstract here!

LNUC Concurrences

The Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies is one of six principal research centres at Linnaeus University and the biggest postcolonial centre in Scandinavia.


Registration will be possible after the selection of panels and papers for the conference has been completed.


Send all questions to

Travel and Accomodation

It is expected that for most of the participants outside Sweden, the most convenient way to reach Växjö is to take a flight to Copenhagen airport (Kastrup) in Denmark, and then continue with a direct train from the airport to Växjö. It takes around two and half hours to travel from the airport to Växjö.

To reach campus in Växjö

Linnaeus University is located about 2,5 kilometers outside of the city centre.

Bus to campus
The best way to reach campus is to take the bus no. 3 direction "Universitetet". Our recommendation is to buy "Visitors ticket". Then you can travel all over Växjö city and you can choose between a ticket valid during 24 or 72 hours. The ticket can be purchased on board at bus or at Customer centre at Växjö railway station. If you want to pay on the bus we suggest you use your credit card. If you pay with cash there is an extra fee. The price varies between 67 SEK-144 SEK depending if you choose 24 hours or 72 or hours and your age. This information and more you will find at Länstrafiken Kronoberg

To campus by bike
Many hotels have a bicycle if you would prefer that. It takes about 20 minutes by bike from the city centre to Linnaeus University.

Map of campus in Växjö: Here you find a map over campus in Växjö (page 2 in English)


The Conference venue, Teleborg Castle, has 30 rooms at our disposal and they will be allocated on a first serve basis. Other hotels include:

Best Western Hotel Royal Corner
Liedbergsgatan 11
SE-352 32 VÄXJÖ

Elite Stadshotellet Växjö
Kungsgatan 6, Box 198
SE-352 33 VÄXJÖ

Elite Park Hotel
Västra Esplanaden 10-14, Box 434
SE-351 06 VÄXJÖ

Hotell Esplanad
Norra Esplanaden 21 A
SE-352 31, VÄXJÖ