This lecture places dogs into the centre of the politics of the everyday within late colonial and postcolonial Kenya and Zambia, focusing upon how colonial systems of racialisation relied upon the animal to naturalise and legitimise tenuous structures of power.
The legacy of this colonial racialisation of dogs continued after Independence through the widespread discourse of - and belief in - ‘racist dogs’. Engagement with the idea of ‘racist dogs’ is the central development in the paper and begins to unpack why dogs are considered racist in certain contexts and what these ‘racist dogs’ can tell us about their owners’ postcolonial positionality.
About the speaker
Joshua Doble is the Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Leeds, where he researches the social history of settler colonialism within the context of decolonising territories of Kenya and Zambia. This research examines the intimate relations between white settlers and the African people and environment around them to question what decolonisation means in these pseudo-settler postcolonial territories.
About the seminar series
In this seminar series the relevance and irrelevance of race is being discussed as an object and concept of research in order to explore ways to talk about race without naturalizing differences. The series goes beyond a standard definition of race, one that is allegedly relevant everywhere, and situates race in specific practices of research. In addition, the series gives room to the various different versions of race that can be found in the European context and explores when and how populations, religions, and cultures become naturalized and racialized. Scholars from different (inter)disciplinary fields (such as genetics, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, history, political sciences, science and technology studies) are invited to address the issue of race through a paper presentation. The seminar is held every six weeks at the University of Amsterdam.