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Sovereignty Lab

Faculty Coordinators: Amy Graves Monroe (RLL) and Stephanie Schmidt (RLL)

The Sovereignty Lab will operate as a research workshop to create and maintain a network of scholars and nurture an exchange with students around a coherent, timely theme. Its core constituency is UB faculty and students working on themes such as political legitimacy, empire, indigenous sovereignties, natural law, social contracts and their rupture, mixed-sovereignty models, tyranny, resistance, transfers of power, disenfranchisement, confidence in institutions, and so forth.

This Research Workshop will reach out to students and illustrate how the Humanities and Social Sciences can tell a cohesive story about the crisis at our southern border, what Standing Rock means for the control of territory and resources, what the social contract means in a period of increasing surveillance, what sovereignty and executive force exert onto the bodies of people of color, and much more. We hope to do what the Humanities have always done, which is to ask the questions that no one is asking – like asking what precisely are we resisting against when we hash tag #resist? What does it mean to confront power that must justify itself to itself alone? And do western ideas of shared sovereignty in the democratic project have the universal reach they pretend to?

Upcoming Sovereignty Lab Workshops

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