Critical Nationalisms & Counterpublics Conference

Organized by Dina Al-Kassim, Karyn Ball, Larissa Lai, and Madeleine Reddon, this conference brings together scholars from across the humanities disciplines to theorize our present political conditions. Recent years have seen a resurgence of populism, nationalism, and discourses of racial supremacy in traditionally liberal Western democracies, notably in the USA, Canada, and the UK. While political coalitions and solidarity movements have mounted widespread resistant responses to these social/political developments, we believe that illiberal trends in contemporary politics also call for concerted rethinking of the grounds of politics and the public sphere, with particular attention to the connections between structures of sexual, racial and political power.  This conference addresses the necessity and status of the “nation” as a category of belonging, the perils of the new nationalisms, and the promise of the counterpublics that have arisen in response to rightward turns in political governance.

WHERE / SFU Harbour Centre (Room HC7000) Vancouver
WHEN / March 1 and March 2, 2019
Open to the public


With support from SSHRC Canada Council, the University of British Columbia’s Department of English Language and Literatures, the A/C/T Network housed in the Social Justice Institute, St. John’s College, The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing, the David Lam Chair, UBC’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and SFU’s Institute for the Humanities. Green College has supported the conference through their accompanying series “Critical Nationalisms, Counterpublics.”

UBC-Vancouver stands upon the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

SFU acknowledges the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie and Kwikwetlem peoples on whose traditional territories our three campuses stand.