Public events with visiting professor Nandita Sharma (University of Hawai'i) hosted by EuroStorie, CEREN and INEQ

Nandita Sharma is an activist-scholar whose research is informed by the movements she is a part of, in particular No Borders movements and those struggling for a planetary commons.

Sharma is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and the author of Home Economics: Nationalism and the Making of ‘Migrant Workers’ in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2006) and Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants (Duke University Press, 2020).

Twitter @nsharma101

Tuesday 6.9.2022 14:00-16:00 Open seminar with Nandita Sharma on her book Home Rule

Venue: Unioninkatu 35, seminar room 113

The seminar will be an open discussion on the last chapter, titled 'Struggles for a Decolonized Commons', in Sharma's 2020 book Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants (e-book available through the UH library)

Wednesday 7.9.2022 14:00-16:00 Open lecture: "National Citizenship and the Institutionalization of Postcolonial Racisms"

Venue: Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), lecture hall 6

This lecture will also be streamed online through Unitube:


In the decisive shift from imperial-states to nation-states after World War Two, two, arguably related, processes took place. There was a wide scale effort to delegitimize racist ideologies. At the same time, in a period when state sovereignty was (nearly) universally nationalized, the association of colonialism with foreignness was retained. Nationalist ideologies were regarded not only as legitimate but as practically mandatory in politics. This talk charts this history in order to understand how racism is organized, practiced, and resisted when national sovereignty is the hegemonic state form and when the social and juridical distinction between 'national' and 'migrant' are widely accepted. To do so, I examine the growing autochthonization of politics. Nationalisms the world over are increasingly reconfiguring the 'national' as an autochthon, i.e. a 'native' of the national 'soil'.

Through a discussion of various autochthonous movements in very different contexts and with very different political registers, I analyze the double move wherein historic colonizers are re-termed 'migrants’ and today's 'migrants' are re-imagined as 'colonizers'. This move, I argue, is made possible by postcolonial racisms: the historic articulation between ideas of 'race' and 'nation' wherein ideas of national geography are racialized and racist ideas of blood are territorialized. The result, I argue, is an intensification of the very practices that anti-colonial struggles fought to overturn - capitalist practices of expropriation and exploitation and the associated denigration of the oppressed. I conclude with an argument for a decolonization worthy of its name, one that ushers in a planetary commons wherein no one is excluded.

Organisers: EuroStorie – Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives, CEREN – The Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, and INEQ – Helsinki Inequality Initiative, University of Helsinki