Imperial Entanglements: Rethinking Modernity with and beyond Zygmunt Bauman

Shalini Randeria standing at a lecture in the IWM library

This online lecture series was co-hosted by the Bauman Institute and the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (University of Leeds), together with the Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics Network (PIN) and invites a dialogue between Bauman and postcolonial studies.

In this lecture, Prof. Randeria engages critically with Zygmunt Bauman’s contribution to our understanding of modernity, which played an important role in shifting the debate beyond the teleology of unilinear modernization. She addresses the Eurocentrism that characterizes not only classical but also contemporary sociological theorizations of modernity, including that of Bauman. Examining some recent alternative theorizations from a postcolonial perspective in terms of plural, regional or vernacular modernities, Randeria argues that only a consideration of imperial spatial and temporal entanglements allows us to grasp modernity’s past and present relationality. Randeria illustrates these entanglements using ethnographic material from her own field research in India on legal entanglements.


a screen grab of S Randeria standing wearing a black and white jacket giving the Bauman lecture in the IWM library

Watch on the University of Leeds website