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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Discordant Solidarities: Exorcizing and Channelling Ghosts of Hegemonic Dominance


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 29 Aug 11:00 - 17:15


Room 3.131

On the eve of WWI, in The Life of Reason (1905), poet-philosopher, George Santayana declared that “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. With the smell of WWII still in the air, in Requiem for a Nun (19951), novelist William Faulkner made a character conclude that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past”. In a period of reawakening nationalism, both quotes often become part of injunctions to return to history as cultural heritage, in defiance of earlier, unsuccessful attempts to drive a stake through the hearts of colonialism, nationalism, racism and sexism. In the light of these perennial failures, “ghost” and “ghostly” increasingly serve as analytic constructs for undead, haunted spaces of identity commitment. Proliferating remembrances of diverse, complex, competing sufferings – for example, in racial, ethnic and gendered discriminations - valorize solidarities intended to dismember the hegemonic national. These attempts, however, often serve instead only to reproduce solidarities as discord that also bear the same and new inhumane potentialities. This panel invites papers to consider: 1) “ghost” and “ghostly” as referents for the discord embedded in making solidarities; 2) ethnographic accounts of the haunted places and undead beings that inform the present, motivating conflicts and/or shaping resolutions; and 3) ideologies that, like Succubus and Ghost Rider, can promote solidarity as discord and valorize the capacity to reproduce inhumane moral orders.


  • P 40.1
    • Dr. Williams, Brackette F (University of Arizona/School of Anthropology)
    • Dr. Mello, Marcelo Moura (Federal University)
    • Dr. Austin-Broos, Diane (University of Sydney)
  • P 40.2
    • Dr. Williams, Brackette F (University of Arizona/School of Anthropology)
    • Dr. Mello, Marcelo Moura (Federal University)
    • Dr. Austin-Broos, Diane (University of Sydney)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 9 contributions out of 9
This paper considers the ghosts of the penal colony who haunt the space now inhabited by migrants in a French colony in South America. St.-Laurent-du-Maroni is a town on the western river border of French Guiana, the former headquarters of a penal colony (1850-1950), and the residence of Haitian migrants attempting to enter France. What does protection of this space mean to the French state? ... More
Presented by Jonna YARRINGTON on 29/8/2019 at 13:30
The ethnographical material analysed in this paper explores political and territorial sovereignty through the lens of lived and embodied practices of co-habitation between East Indians and other-than-human powers. On the coast of Guyana, spirits of the Dutch, the first colonizers of the country, claim ownership over the land, especially on (former) sites of sugar plantations. In this paper, I focu ... More
Presented by Dr. Marcelo Moura MELLO on 29/8/2019 at 11:00
Current U.S. administrative calls to protect “American workers” and “American jobs” invoke particular tropes of economic nationalism, each with their own ghosts, including the eighteenth-century revolution for U.S. independence from British colonial rule; labor union campaigns asking consumers to “buy American” in the twentieth century; and current anti-immigrant, anti-internationalist ... More
Presented by Dr. Ann KINGSOLVER on 29/8/2019 at 12:00
“Hath a nation changed its gods?” (Jeremiah 2:10-11) Francesca Merlan Part of the re-shaping of indigenous community in Australia in contact with, and under the influence of, mainstream impulses has been the adoption of a vocabulary of `nation’. In North America (where bounding forms of organization have been under construction from indigenous antecedents for many decades) there has been ... More
Presented by Dr. Francesca MERLAN
Indigenous Studies scholars have started to critique how research on either colonial oppression or subaltern resistance serves to either victimize or valorize disempowered communities. Given that the binary of oppression versus resistance becomes a catalyst dividing indigenous communities, this paper uses the concept of contemporaneous haunting to unsettle this problematic framework. This paper ... More
Presented by Dr. Roslynn ANG on 29/8/2019 at 11:40
This paper examines differences in local understandings of history in the northern Haitian commune of Limonade, and relates those differences to an ongoing struggle over the direction and character of social and cultural change in Haiti. A series of disastrous floods in November 2016 revealed generational differences in understandings of the history of Limonade’s built landscape, particularly fo ... More
Presented by Landon YARRINGTON on 29/8/2019 at 14:10
In the wake of the stabbing murder of the Mayor of Gdansk earlier this year, a Polish university professor expressed the hope that the people would finally grasp which side truth is on. He continued, so that ‘again we can be proud of our solidarity, as we were in 1989.’ A solidarity to proud of. In the context of discordant solidarities similarly aligned against a greater force, are some simpl ... More
Presented by Dr. Diane AUSTIN-BROOS on 29/8/2019 at 13:50
Since 2017, Guyana, like some other ethno-racially diverse Caribbean countries, has had a Ministry of Social Cohesion, the stated vision of which is “A unified Guyana where diversities are embraced, conflicts resolved, networks and collaboration with stakeholders strengthened, equity promoted and decision making processes result in equal opportunities and benefits to all.” This presentation ex ... More
Presented by Dr. Brackette F. WILLIAMS on 29/8/2019 at 11:20
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