Race/Religion/War – A Symposium

This two-day symposium at UC Berkeley explores the uses of race and religion to establish war as a strategy of political power, and conversely the uses of war to stabilize the epistemologies of race and religion as intimately linked organizing categories of social life—what we might call the “race/religion/war” nexus.

This inquiry finds its proximate cause in the racialization of Islam that has animated the contemporary U.S. led “war on terror,” as well as its doppelgangers in places like London, the Parisian Banlieues, Chechnya, Palestine, Darfur, Kashmir, and the Huiger regions of China. Our aim, however, is to consider how the race/religion/war nexus coheres in the present precisely because of a set of much longer historicotheoretical processes. That is, multiple overlapping genealogies mutually determine our political present: from the medieval religious wars of the Crusades to the formation of race in the conquest of the Americas; from the birth of the modern state-system in its deployment of antisemitism to the racializing rubrics of development in the capitalist world system; from the colonial wars of high imperialism to the significance of third world proxy wars for the purportedly secular rivalry of the Cold War. The symposium will animate potential convergences in current scholarship on the longue durée of the race/religion/war nexus in what have been discrepant, if deeply interrelated, knowledge projects.

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
11:00 Welcoming Remarks
11:30 Session 1 David Theo Goldberg, “Racial Religiosities, Religious Racialities”
Nasser Hussain, “The Racial/Spatial Nomos in the Laws of War”
2:30 Session 2 Junaid Rana, “Apocalypse and the Global Race War”
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, “Savages Welcomed: Imputations of Indigenous Humanity in Early Colonialisms”

Friday, October 19th, 2012
11:00 Welcome Back
11:30 Session 3 Tomaz Mastnak, “Race and Religion of Money, and the War of All against All”
Ann Pellegrini, “Race, Religion, and the Right to Be Governed”
2:30 Session 4 Caren Kaplan, “Desert Wars: Unfolding Orientalism as the Limit of ‘Genuine Knowledge’ ”
Keith P. Feldman, “Racial Liberalism’s Cartography of Terror”
4:30 Closing Remarks Leerom Medovoi