Professor Gillian Hart will deliver a Public Lecture and Post-Graduate Master Class entitled ‘Political Society’ & Its Discontents: South African Reflections on Indian Debates on Tuesday (7 October 2014) at Rhodes University, Humanities Seminar Room at 5pm.
Prof Hart is a leading geographer on the global stage, a key protagonist in the revival of scholarship on Antonio Gramsci and a leading political theorist of the South African crisis.
“In writing Rethinking the South African Crisis (2013), I was struck by the similarities and differences between India and South Africa since the early 1990s - a moment that marked key turning points in both countries and around the world,” she says.
“I also found Indian debates over these processes incredibly stimulating and "good to think with". As the first step in a new comparative project, this talk will engage by far the most influential conceptual import from India in South Africa today - Partha Chatterjee's distinction between ‘political society’ and ‘civil society’ which, he argues, applies not just in India but most of the postcolonial world.
“I ask, ‘In confronting a key challenge: how to understand the entwining of neoliberal capitalism, liberal and popular expressions of democracy, and amplifying nationalisms in the two countries in relation to one another?”
Hart is a Professor of Geography and co-chair of Development Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and Honorary Professor at UKZN.
The lecture is organised by The Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU).