New Worlds, New Sovereignties Conference

New Worlds, New Sovereignties Conference

Julie Evans (University of Melbourne), Patrick Wolfe (Victoria University)
Wurundjeri land
Melbourne, Australia
From - Until
10.12.2007 - 14.12.2007

We have had a wonderful response to our call for papers. A distinguished and varied group of international speakers will address the conference on a range of conceptual, theoretical and practical issues concerning sovereignty in the new global order (see below).

From England's first invasion of Ireland and Columbus’ landing in the so-called ‘New World’ to the post-Soviet expansion of the European Union and beyond, nations and nation-states have continuously preoccupied themselves with the problem of sovereignty. Which human groups should be recognised as possessed of sovereignty and who should be excluded? How do sovereign states accommodate the presence and competing claims of other sovereign states without compromising their own autonomy? Is there a higher power to which sovereigns can turn to have their disputes resolved or is sovereignty’s only ultimate sanction violence? Are sovereigns subject to their own law or do they stand outside it? Should nation-states refuse to interfere in each other’s affairs regardless of the treatment of minorities? Can different sovereignties overlap and coexist or is sovereignty monolithic and exclusive? Are settler democracy and Native sovereignty compatible? How is sovereignty (or are sovereignties) gendered?

Our conference will address questions such as these with a view to bringing history to bear on the problems of the present. The conference’s standpoint will be from below. We will be focusing on sovereignty’s consequences for those whom the current order excludes or diminishes. We will be exploring the possibilities for change and redress. The conference will bring together international scholars, policy-makers and community organizations in an exchange of information that will make the fruits of contemporary scholarship available to those responsible for delivering practical outcomes at the local level. At the same time, it will alert academics to the practical experiences and problems that should be informing our scholarship.

All the sessions are plenary, so all of us will participate in the whole conference. We intend our conversation to develop cumulatively so that the difference between presenter and participant will break down. Participants will be invited to submit a proposal for a paper to be included in the publication(s) that come out of the conference. We have received expressions of interest from a number of leading international publishers.

Topics we will be discussing include:

1. Indigenous concepts and practices of sovereignty.
2. Historical genealogies of Western concepts of sovereignty.
3. Limits and contradictions of sovereignty.
4. Sovereign subjecthoods – individuals, human rights and the nation-state.
5. Overlapping and coexistent sovereignties – Natives, minorities, and the nation-state.
6. Sovereignty and the new global order.
7. Sovereignty, land and nation.
8. Refugees, asylum seekers and national borders.
9. Sovereignty and the internet
10. Sovereignty regained


1. Aboriginal Australia/Torres Strait Islands.
2. Native North America.
3. Palestine.
4. Timor Leste.
5. Hawai'i.
6. Post-Soviet Europe.


Mrs Joy Murphy-Wandin (Wurundjeri/Australia, welcome to country), the Hon. Fred Chaney (Australia, opening address), Ezrah Aharone, Ghana/USA, Anthony Anghie, Australia/USA, Tracey Banivanua-Mar, Fiji/Australia, Larissa Behrendt, Eualeyai-Kamilaroi/Australia, Tony Birch, Koori/Australia, Julian Burnside, Australia, Jessica Cattelino, USA, Williamson Chang, Hawai’'i, Hilary Charlesworth, Australia, John Collins, USA, Monisha Das Gupta, Hawai’'i, Ravi de Costa, Canada, Luis Eslava, Colombia/Australia, Peter Fitzpatrick, Australia/UK, Lisa Ford, USA, Andrea Geiger, Canada, Ann Genovese, Australia, Hariz Halilovich, Bosnia/Australia, Robert Horvath, Australia, Paul James, Australia, Richard Joyce, UK, Marilyn Lake, Australia, Marcia Langton, Yiman/Australia, Jackie Lasky, Hawai’'i, Smadar Lavie, Israel/USA, Sydney Lehua iaukea, Hawai’'i, Saree Makdisi, Palestine/USA, Gordon Matthews, Australia, Kent McNeil, Canada, Christian McMillen, USA, Bob Miller, Eastern Shawnee/USA, Maher Mughrabi, Palestine/Australia, Alexander Pershai, Belarus/USA, Janna Promislow, Canada, Henry Reynolds, Australia, Lynette Russell, Australia, Ella Shohat, Israel/USA, Audra Simpson, Mohawk/USA, Nin Thomas, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Ganesh Trichur, India/USA, Lorenzo Veracini, Australia, Robert A. Williams, Jr., Lumbee/USA, David Yarrow, Australia.

Deadline for Applications Extended Applications welcome now.
Fees (in Australian dollars):
Full: $450.
Early bird (register and pay by October 5th): $400.
Concessions: There is a $100 discount for full-time students and pensioners (up to a maximum of 100, first come first served).
Concession: $350, Early bird concession (register and pay by October 5th): $300.


Contact (announcement)

Editors Information
Published on
Temporal Classification
Regional Classification
Additional Informations
Country Event
Language(s) of event
Language of announcement