Monday, 22 August 2011

International Conference An Intellectual Appreciation & Celebration of Fifty Years the Liberation of Goa

Goa: 1961 and Beyond
International Conference
An Intellectual Appreciation & Celebration of Fifty Years the Liberation of
Goa University, GOA, December 18 to 20, 2011.
Co-organised by
Indian Institute of Advanced
Study, Shimla, India
Goa University
Goa, India
Centro de Estudos Sociais
Universidade de Coimbra,
Call for Abstracts
Abstract Submission: latest by September 15
, 2011:  On any of the
four themes listed in the Concept note below. Send your abstract to: (Include: Title, 500 word abstract , names of
all authors, e-mail address and affiliation. Accepted languages:
English. Konkani, Marathi, Portuguese, must be accompanied with
English translation).
Abstract Presenters will be notified of acceptance or rejection by email by September 30
 2011.  Abstracts will be reviewed by the
academic committee. Abstract titles and authors will be posted on the
IIAS website before the conference begins.
Last date for receipt of Paper: December 10, 2011: Only paper readers
whose abstracts are accepted and have submitted papers by the last
date will be permitted to read their papers.
Registration: There is no registration fee. For other details contact
Young Scholars: To encourage the participation of young scholars and
researchers to present their current and innovative work, the academic
committee will integrate a special session into the Conference
Publication:  The conference Volume to be published is intended as an
intellectual contribution that will focus on the consequence of the
Liberation of Goa in 1961 to the world and in particular to colonies in
Africa, Asia and Portugal.
Peter R  deSouza
Indian Institute of Advanced
Study, Shimla, India
Parag Porobo
Goa University
Goa, India
Boaventura de Souza Santos
Centro de Estudos Sociais
Universidade de Coimbra,

Goa: 1961 and Beyond
Anniversaries are occasions for reflection and review. They allow us to
stand back from the heat and dust of the everyday and instead look
for the social patterns in the biography of a region as it wends its way
towards the present. The 50
 anniversary of the end of colonialism in
Goa is thus an opportunity for us to revisit many of the interesting
issues that inform current discourses on post-coloniality, state
formation, democratization, and nationalism and that frequently
intrude into our deliberations on Goa and leave us with a feeling that
we have derived less than we could have or should have. The issues
that Goa invites us to engage with are not only Goa-centric. They go
beyond Goa. One should see them as aspects of a frame within which
to locate the empirical discussion of post-colonial spaces, a frame that
allows us to recognize the particular inflections of a place while
simultaneously recognizing that it has much in common with other
similar places. We want this conference to engage with some of these
issues so that we can think about Goa, Portugal, India, the luso-phone
world, decolonisation, post-coloniality, syncretism, hybridisation,
democratisation, etc, in interesting new ways. Post-colonial Goa has a
story to tell, a story that must find an appropriate place in the
imaginary of Independent India as well as that of post-colonial
The key conceptual peg around which we want to invite reflections is
with respect to the ‘afterlife of a territory where colonialism first
set foot in 1510’. The idea of the ‘afterlife’ assumes death which
included efforts to wipe out memories, eradicate symbolic markers and
revive painful memories. This suggests that something of the previous
persists and hence we need to explore what that ‘something’ is, how
long it persists, and why does it do so? The idea of an ‘afterlife’ allows
us to examine the societal transformations brought  about during the
colonial period. This can help us recognize the residues of these
transformations: both the fractures and the continuities that persist in
either a robust or a feeble form. These have a role to play in the
dynamics of the present. With time they either grow stronger, or
remain the same, or just fade away into irrelevance. This question of a residue’s longevity is significant if we wish to explore the afterlife of a
territory since we will need to explain what persists, what fades, and
why. Just discussing events, or themes, or even processes, as many of
the seminars that have been organized to mark the anniversary have
done, without acknowledging the issue of the ‘afterlife of both the
metropolis and the colonies’ may not provide valuable data and
insights into the event, theme or process but gives what one can at
best describe as a hermeneutic minima.
The conference that we are planning on ‘Goa: 1961 and Beyond’ seeks
more than this minima since it wants to open up discursive spaces that
have hitherto been considered taboo by some currents on scholarship
on Goa. It would be organized around the following themes.
The first theme will be on  ‘Decolonization and the imagination of
Goa’. From the speeches of Salazar, the documents brought out by
the Government of Goa, the essay on ‘Denationalization of Goans’ by
TB Cunha, the submissions before the UN Decolonization committee,
the pressure by the newly independent countries of Africa on Nehru as
the leader of the Non-Aligned movement, the struggle for liberation in
Goa, the ‘Voice of Goa’ Broadcasts, the resistance  poems, novels,
speeches, etc. we get rich material, ranging from international history
to cultural politics, from which we can debate the struggle for an ‘idea
of Goa’ which was crucial for India, the Lusophone world and Portugal.
This struggle, in as much as it was about the status of Goa, was a
legal, political, material and also an ideational struggle. It would be of
interest if the different aspects of the struggle were explored in detail
so that we can appreciate the multiple elements of  the legacy of
contemporary Goa.
The second will be on  ‘The Beginning of the End’.  This could be a
more comparative history/politics theme where the date 1961 is seen
to mark the unravelling of the Portuguese Empire. Presentations would
be welcome on Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Portugal as well as on the
larger decolonization process that had built up a certain momentum in
Africa. We would need to probe the thesis that 1961 marked the
beginning of the end i.e., why the beginning, what are its aspects, and
in what way does one describe the end. Did it set the grounds for the
end of the Salazar regime as well as the end of Portuguese
colonialism? How did Portugal manage the transition if at all? Was
there a possibility of ‘the beginning of the beginning’ as the British did when they created the Commonwealth? This would be an important
rubric since it would allow us to see the year 1961 in a comparative
frame with respect to the Lusophone world, Goa being part of the
Luso-colonial world but less a part of the Lusophone world.
The third theme is on the ‘The Loss and Afterlife of the metropolis
in the colony’.  As suggested in an earlier paragraph here issues of
the residues and their transformation of the colonial encounter:
residues seen for example in law, civil code, municipal administration,
religion, expressions, language, food, literature,  civilities, private
mining leases, architecture, etc. illustrate the criss-crossing of the
economic social and cultural domains. The keyword here is ‘afterlife’
and what we would want to identify as deserving recognition as an
afterlife and why would we want to identify it to be so. This is
important because we can here engage with hybridity, syncreticism,
post-coloniality etc. It will also allow us to venture into the cultural and
not just the historical, political and social. We could look at the Goan
diaspora across the world especially in Portugal. The issue of longevity
could perhaps also be examined.
The fourth theme will be on the ‘Dynamics of post-colonial Goa’. If
the previous section is on the afterlife, suggesting thereby a proximity
to the colonial period, this section could be on themes which are the
product of Goa’s integration with India. What are the terms – cultural,
political, and economic - of this integration? Here the processes of
democratic politics, the issue of identity, the spread of primary and
secondary education, the conflict over the language of instruction,
party and electoral politics, Bahujan Samaj, Konkan Railway, Tourism,
Globalisation, the rise of new elites, the changing market in land, in
other words, the whole field of contemporary Goa, even its diaspora in
West Asia, Mumbai etc. can be listed. A comparison in specific domains
of Goa with other former colonies in Africa and Asia is also welcome.  
The Conference is organized by Indian Institute of  Advanced
Study, Shimla; Goa University; and Centro de Estudos Socias
(CES, Coimbra)  at Goa University from 18-20 December 2011.
The Convenor - Goa: 1961 and Beyond

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