On December 14, 1960, the UN General Assembly concluded a historic act. With a vote of 89 supporters and no dissenters, it passed UN Resolution 1514, “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.” In doing so, it enshrined the right to self-determination and dealt a powerful blow against empire.
What was the legacy of Resolution 1514? How did it redefine the stakes of anti-colonial protest throughout the Global South and North? What conceptual difficulties and political challenges arose because of activists’ use of this right? And finally, how did activists – in deploying the language of the UN – reimagine the world and create new ties of solidarity of their very own?
“Reckoning with Empire: The Right to Self-Determination in Historical View” will provide an interdisciplinary forum to engage these questions. Rather than focusing on Resolution 1514’s afterlives in the narrow confines of diplomatic history and international law, conference organizers propose widening our lens on the right to self-determination and its many instantiations. As such, the conference will feature recent work in social, cultural, and political history. The conference will pay special attention to scholarship which exposes the political and discursive power that Resolution 1514 yielded in establishing global ties of protest, solidarity, and critique.
The conference will take place from November 12-13th, 2021 at Yale University’s campus in New Haven, CT. An in-person conference is currently planned. Conference planners, however, will abide by all health and safety protocols and will follow Yale University’s changing campus guidelines.
Professor Adom Getachew, the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago, will deliver the conference’s keynote address.
Conference organizers Charlotte Kiechel and Samuel Moyn encourage scholars at all stages of their careers to apply. They aim to build the most inclusive academic community possible. Interested participants should submit a proposal which engages with the right to self-determination and does so along the following themes:
- Anti-colonial Lawyering
- Contemporary Social Justice Movements
- Black Transatlantic Thought
- Gender and Internationalism
- Grassroots Anti-Atrocity Campaigns
- Indigenous Rights
- Cultural and Intellectual Movements against Empire
- South-to-South Connections
- Global Intellectual History
Interested presenters should email their CV and a 300-word abstract of their proposed paper to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submission is May 31, 2021. Queries can be directed to email@example.com.