Colonial debts, extractive nostalgias, imperial insolvencies – Reimagining financialization (London, Sept 22-23)

I’m thrilled to be working with an amazing team of people to host what promises to be a great two-day gathering in London this fall.

Colonial debts, extractive nostalgias, imperial insolvencies – Reimagining financialization

September 22 & 23, 10am-4pm
Goldsmiths, University of London
Deptford Town Hall – Council Chamber

This two-day workshop aims to bring together interested interdisciplinary scholars and thinkers who want to explore the historical and contemporary links between the financialization and colonialism. In particular, at the intersection of social and cultural criticism and political economy. We are hoping to curate an unconventional gathering of scholars, activists and artists to question the ideological and economic productivity of the nostalgic myth-making that has underscored the processes and discourses of financialization.

  • In what ways does the alleged novelty of “financialization” occlude the histories and patterns of colonialism, settler-colonialism and imperialism that, in fact, financialization inherits and renovates?
  • In what ways do concepts of financialization depend on and reinforce nostalgic anachronisms that erases the histories of colonial exploitation and extraction?
  • How have these tendencies contributed to the erasure of questions of race and racism from discussions of finance capital and financialization?
  • In what ways do these questions manifest themselves in today’s popular rejections of financialization, both on the left (eg. Occupy) and the right (eg. anti-globalist ethnonationalism)?
  • Conversely, how could a different form of accounting for the interlacing of financialization and colonialism help us develop strategies for a more effective resistance?
  • What approaches have been taken to these and related questions and what work needs yet to be done?

Across both days we seek to assemble a convivial and collaborative group to work through these, and other, related questions. As such, we have opted to eschew the conventional academic conference format in the hopes of facilitating a more dialogic, generative and convivial atmosphere among people from many backgrounds. Anchored by discussions between invited speakers, the workshop will offer interested artists, activists and researchers a chance to get to know one another’s work through open conversations and workshops.

We offer two streams or methods of participation:

  1. We encourage those who are working on akin projects who want to be more involved in the proceedings to fill in this form with their contact details and a short description of their research/activities. This information will be used to create interest clusters and break-out discussion groups over the two days of the conference, as well as to inform the development of further collaborations and opportunities on this topic. These may include future meetings, publishing opportunities and multimedia production.
  2. Those who wish to attend in a less active capacity are invited to register via Eventbright and come along on either day to participate in any way you wish. Opportunities for participation are limited, so please register early.

We invite all those interested in questions related to, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Neocolonialism through finance capital, old and new
  • Indigenous resistance to extractive industries
  • The racial and colonial politics of post-war “Golden Age” capitalism
  • Anti-financial resistance (the good, the bad and the ugly)
  • Intersections of financialization, debt and colonial (and colonist) subjects
  • The unpaid and unpayable debts of empire, including reparations
  • Methods of popular counter-speculation and counter-measure
  • Intersections of finance, colonialism, race, gender and other systems of domination or exploitation

This event is a collaboration between the Political Economy Research Centre (Goldsmiths, London) and the ReImagining Value Action Lab (Lakehead University, Canada). Details of invited provocation speakers and timetable will be published in July 2017.


Clea Bourne, Department of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London (for inquires
Paul Gilbert, School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton (for inquires
Max Haiven, Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice, Lakehead University
Johnna Montgomerie, Department of Politics, Political Economy Research Centre, Goldsmiths, University of London