27th Mar 2014 6:30pm
G7, Pavilion Parade.
Philosophy Politics Aesthetics seminar series. 'Race', History and Representation.
Professor Mark McGovern, Edgehill University.
When ‘empire’ and ‘shame’ are discussed it tends to be in terms of whether or not a history of empire is something of which to be ashamed. That is surely the case, but it is not the focus here. Rather, the aim is to examine how shame has been (and is) deployed as a tool of imperial rule, and the practices (such as torture) through which such rule is enforced. Shame has become a subject of concern for those inquiring into the roots of conflict and the ways in which societies emerging from conflict deal with their past. However, shame as something other than a problem faced by individuals, or as an aspect of empire and its legacy is far less well explored. Indeed, when shame is discussed in post-conflict contexts it is often in terms of a deeply troubling idea of ‘civilisation’ and ‘civilising processes’. Why there is a need to challenge such ideas and take an alternative approach to thinking about dealing with the legacy of the ‘shame of empire’ will be the subject of this talk.
Mark McGovern is Professor in Sociology at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. His research is primarily concerned with the study of political violence, conflict and post-conflict transition, particularly in Northern Ireland, and he has been involved for many years in research with community groups and local and international NGOs dealing with post-conflict human rights, truth and justice issues. His current research investigates the nature and extent of British state collusion with paramilitary organisations during the conflict in Northern Ireland. He is the co-author of Ardoyne: The Untold Truth (Beyond the Pale: 2002) and has published in a wide range of journals including Sociology, Law and Society, Terrorism and Political Violence, Children and Society and State Crime.