Call for Papers: NOS-HS exploratory workshop: Resilience, Racism and Colonialism


Uppsala University, 31 October - 1 November 2023

The network Politics and Power of Resilience (POWERS 2023-2024) aims at developing multidisciplinary critical discussions on resilience and its power effects in the Nordic context. The project is funded by The Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS) and its exploratory workshop program. 

The aim of the workshop is to initiate a scholarly discussion on the interlinkages between resilience, colonialism and racism. Rapid and drastic global changes have prompted the political and social scientific use of ‘resilience’. Resilience is narrated as an answer to questions of security, well-being, adaptation as well as to rising xenophobia and postdemocratic values in times of permanent crisis. However, critical resilience scholarship has noted how the need for resilience tends to apply to some groups of people, especially those already marginalised and vulnerable. Research has highlighted the persistence of colonial and racist societal structures and problematised how certain communities become defined by reactive adaptation and disciplined through expectations of endurance. By building on such observations, we ask: How do resilience, racism and colonialism (re)create divisions in contemporary societies and global orders? How can we understand the workings of colonialism under new shapes and manifestations, beyond ideas of linear progress? What kinds of power implications are embedded in the intensifying calls – within various social, political and economic contexts – to embrace and promote resilience? The workshop invites papers that in one way or another examine colonialism, racism and/or resilience. Theoretical, empirical or methodological papers reflecting these topics are welcome.

The two-day workshop will include keynote talks, paper presentations and “a writing clinic” for the purposes of developing a special issue on the theme of the POWERS network. A keynote speech will be given by Mattias Gardell, Nathan Söderblom Professor in Comparative Religion, and researcher at the Centre for the Multidisciplinary Studies of Racism (CEMFOR). He has examined the intersections of religion, politics, racism and violence.

There is some travel funding available for early career scholars affiliated with Nordic universities (doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers max. 5 years after completing their PhD). The aim is to support the attendance of scholars from a variety of Nordic countries and universities.

Please send your abstracts (max. 300 words) by 15 June 2023 to

If you wish to apply for travel funding, please include the following information in your abstract submission:

  • description of your career stage
  • estimation of your travel costs to Uppsala (tickets & accommodation)

Please note that there is no participation fee for the workshop.
For more information

Workshop organisers Marjo Lindroth, Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen and Julian Reid (University of Lapland), Claes Tängh Wrangel (Uppsala University) and Frank Sejersen (University of Copenhagen)