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Savage States: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow - Morgan Lecture

February 29, 2024

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Center for the Futures of Native Peoples.

Audra Simpson, Columbia University

How is the past imagined to be settled? What are the conditions that make for this imagining, this fantasy or rather, demand of a new beginning? In this lecture, Professor Audra Simpson will consider the making of ‘new time’ in light of histories of wrongdoing – residential and boarding schools and the dispossession that is tied to this in recent history – 1990 to the near present in Canada. This is a time of apology, and a time in which Native people and their claims to territory are whittled to the status of claimant in time with the fantasy of their disappearance from a modern and critical present. How has settler governance adjusted itself in line with global trends and rights paradigms away from overt violence to softer and kinder, caring modes of governance? This lecture will ask not only in what world we imagine time to stop, but will also take up the ways in which those that survived the time stoppage stand in critical relationship to dispossession and settler governance apprehend, analyze and act upon this project of affective governance. Here an oral and textual history of the notion of “reconciliation” is constructed and analyzed with recourse to Indigenous criticism of this affective and political project of repair. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

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Further information

  • Location: Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium
  • Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Calendar Icon
  • Cost: Free