Common Hour: Dr. Adeem Suhail: Dreaming at the World's End: Dispatches on an emergent Cosmopolitics from South Asia

February 09 11:30 am – 12:35 pm

Mayser Gymnasium

**Common Hour will resume in-person this semester with a number of events featuring a lunch of pizza! This week's Common Hour will have lunch thanks to the generous contribution from the F&M President's Office. ** 

BYO Water Bottle!

**Face masks are encouraged at this event**

In recent years, South Asia has confronted the uncertainties of the Anthropocene—an era of unprecedented human induced ecological degradation—by strengthening majoritarian political and cultural projects. Such majoritarianism often coheres around a disavowal of multiple realities that foreground the continued exploitation of human and non-human life worlds—the existential realities of caste and patriarchal violence, the re-emergence of new fascisms, agricultural crisis, a global pandemic, climate displacement, and ongoing destruction of sacred sites, ancestral groves, and places of
worship.
At the same time, everyday survival for minoritized South Asians entails navigating the gaps and brokenness of late industrial and postcolonial realities, where the politics of sustaining lifeworlds increasingly becomes entangled with cosmological speculation, whether it means charting the afterlives of industrial disaster (Fortun 2014); archiving historic anti-caste visions and inheritances (Omvedt 2008); decolonizing adivasi temporalities (Skaria 1999); popular assembles imagined through an Islamic eco-poetics (Taneja 2018; 2021). Standing apart from majoritarian visions, such popular projects are both distinctly South Asian and insistent in their worldly appeal. To borrow the words of Dalit artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan, they constitute practical acts of “dream[ing] at the end of the world” that entail “socially engaged speculative making” (2021).
What plural worlds are fashioned in these popular projects of dreaming up and forging futures at the end of the world? How do folk experiment with cosmopolitical realities, rework epistemic and ethical limits to engender new forms of responsibility and co-creation? What can we learn from practices that juxtapose broken realities to repair, regenerate, and proliferate intimate, collective futures?

 

Dr. Suhail is an assistant professor in social anthropology at Franklin and Marshall College. His research addresses issues in the anthropology of violence, social theory, and urban studies. His current project, Machines of Violent Desire, interrogates how non-state violence and transnational kinship networks contribute to order-making in urban South Asia.

He is concurrently working on another co-authored book project titled Sacropolitics, which addresses how human communities confront emergent ecological and political crises across the globe through a politics of repair and rejuvenation.
Before arriving at F&M, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Southern California (2021) and Yale University (2020). He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Emory University (2019).
Dr. Suhail’s work has garnered grant support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFG) American Council of Learned Society (ACLS), and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.