Photo/copyright: Paul Erickson

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. Confirmed keynotes are Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Dominick LaCapra, Carolyn J Dean, and Gurminder K Bhambra. To facilitate a productive and interdisciplinary meeting, the conference will include scholars from a wide interdisciplinary spectrum, including postcolonial studies, migration studies, animal studies, trauma studies, and ecocriticism.


Registration is now open - please use this link!

Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Global Challenges: Borders, Populism and the Postcolonial Condition

LNUC Concurrences, Linnaeus University, June 14-16, 2018.

Global Challenges: Borders, Populism and the Postcolonial Condition is an interdisciplinary conference that brings together scholars in Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, History and Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies. Confirmed keynote speakers are Dominick LaCapra, Carolyn Dean, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, and Gurminder Bhambra. The conference considers current global challenges in the light of the international development of the past 10 years. 2008 was the time when the invasion of Iraq ground to a definitive halt, the global financial crisis unfolded, triggering a tactic of austerity in many western nations. At the same time, 2008 was the year of Obama's first presidential campaign and, shared among transnational activist groups, a critique of what was understood as a general moral and economic failure of the West.

From the vantage point of the present moment, some crucial questions arise: What happened to the liberal hopes of a moral horizon that were expressed in 2008? In view of the Trump presidency, the rise of populism and facism, massive refugee and labour migration, what has happened to the European project, and to globalisation. What does the construction of new intellectual and physical borders mean for humanities and social sciences scholarship? What new ways of thinking about society, sovereignty, and the human and non-human animal, have emerged and what new critical venues do they offer humanities and social sciences research? How does the long history of colonialism still inform present society?

In order to address these and similar questions, LNUC Concurrences and alumni of the 2008 School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell, are organizing a 3-day conference at Linnaeus University, Sweden June 14-16, 2018. In an effort to closely involve all participants in the conversations that emerge, the size of the meeting will be limited. The conference will be comprised of a number of thematic sessions that include, but are not limited to:

  • Contemporary cultural discourses on torture, dignity, and victimization
  • Sovereignty, violence, and citizenship
  • Migration, mobility, and borders
  • Postcoloniality, nationalism and human rights
  • Non-human animals, suffering and resistance
  • Austerity, populism and the demise of the left
  • The continuing impact of the long history of colonialism

Our aim is to traverse varied intellectual and geographical spaces and to approach the themes from multiple disciplines including literature, history, visual studies, sociology, geography, political science, philosophy, anthropology, and other relevant fields. The venue for the conference will be Teleborg Castle situated on the Växjö campus of Linnaeus University.

We welcome both suggestions for panels and for individual papers. Please send either a panel proposal of 600-900 words or a 300-word abstract for an individual presentation by January 15, 2018. Panel proposals should contain both a short description of the focus of the panel and the 3-4 abstracts that make up the content. Individual abstracts will be allocated a panel after review. Please include basic contact and affiliation details. Submit your abstract or panel by using the submission function that you find at the conference website:

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

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.


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Travel and Accomodation

Reaching Sweden and Växjö by air

You can reach Växjö either by flying directly to the city or by flying to Copenhagen airport Kastrup and taking a train to Växjö.

If you want to fly straight to Växjö, the airline KLM does so from the large airport hub Schiphol. There is only one flight per day, so you need to book this quickly to get a seat. It is also easy to reach Växjö via Copenhagen airport (Kastrup) in Denmark, and then continue via train from the airport to Växjö. It takes around two and half hours to travel from the airport to Växjö. The railway station is located inside Kastrup airport and there is a train every hour to Växjö, most direct. You can book tickets on line to this here:

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)


We have pre-booked rooms at the hotels listed below. Please, call or email the hotel directly and mention the booking code "GC2018" when you book to get our special price. Note: The pre-booked rooms can not be reserved on-line on the hotels own website or through an on-line third party wholesaler.

Elite Stadshotellet Växjö
(single room from 936 SEK/night)
Kungsgatan 6, Box 198
SE-352 33 VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email:
or telephone +46 470 – 134 00

Elite Park Hotel
(single room from 913 SEK/night)
Västra Esplanaden 10-14
Box 434
SE-351 06 VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email:
or telephone +46 470 – 70 22 00.

Quality Hotel Royal Corner
(Single room from 845 SEK/night)
Liedbergsgatan 11
SE-352 32 VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email:
or telephone +46 470 – 70 10 00

PM & Vänner Hotel
(Single room from 1350:-/night)
Västergatan 10
SE-352 31 VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email
Or telephone +46 470 – 75 97 00

Teleborg Castle
(single room from 940 SEK/night)
SE-351 96 VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email:
or telephone +46 470 – 34 89 80

Hotell Värend
(Single room from 650 SEK/night)
Kungsgatan 27
SE-352 33, VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email
or telephone +46 470 – 77 67 00

Hotell Esplanad
(Single room from 725 SEK/night)
Norra Esplanaden 21 A
SE-352 31, VÄXJÖ
You can book this hotel via email
or telephone +46 470 – 225 80

If you wish to share a room some of the hotels above offer rooms for double occupancy at the same or a slightly higher price.