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LALIT call for Papers for 50 Years Independence, 50 years’ Decolonization


 In 2016, LALIT held a previous Symposium on the Phenomenon of NGOs after a successful call for papers. And now this year, with the celebration of the 50 Years’ Independence of Mauritius, we are again calling for papers, this time on Mauritius: 50 years’ Decolonization: State of the Nation, & Proposals to accelerate Decolonization. Our Symposium is being called in a kind of polemic with the University of Mauritius’ call for papers for an International Seminar in April.

Please do submit an abstract if you would like to. And please also feel free to circulate the Call to people who may be interested. Here is the Call.

LALIT calls for papers from anyone active in the political struggle, or social, union, women’s emancipation, student or young peoples’ associations or any academic, researcher or student or indeed anyone who wants to contribute their ideas, to submit proposals for a paper to be presented at the LALIT International Symposium. We are calling for papers early to give 6-months for you to prepare.

LALIT International Symposium 2018 on the theme:

Republic of Mauritius: 50 years’ Decolonization: State of the Nation, & Proposals to accelerate Decolonization”

Saturday 28 July 2018

Sunday 29 July 2018

LPT Hall, GRNW, Port Louis.

 Deadline for abstracts of 100 – 300 words is 31 May 2018. Papers are welcome in Mauritian Kreol, English or French. Two weeks after the deadline, you will be informed if your proposal has been accepted. During the Symposium, LALIT will offer interpretation to and from English and Kreol. We will translate papers between these two languages if submitted to us before the 8 July.

 The Symposium is in contrast to the University of Mauritius’ Department of History and Political Science’s International Seminar. The University Seminar which will be held in April presents two issues: as if signaling their need for decolonization, it is not possible to submit papers in the Mauritian Kreol language even after 50 years’ Independence, and their suggested themes reveal rather shallow thinking, and a degree of residual colonization of the mind. (See excerpt from their Call for Papers at the end).

 For LALIT’s Symposium, you can prepare on any aspect of the central title above.

 But, here is a list of some items we would particularly like to receive proposals on.:

 * Decolonization of Mauritian Territory – Chagos: different aspects of the struggle for decolonization.

* Analysis of struggles for decentralization of political power: Movement against abolition of Village Councils, for Regional Councils in Rodrigues, Agalega, Chagos.

* Land Reform: Hopes at Independence, and degree of decolonization? Land concentration in sugar estate owners.

* Women’s Movement for Emancipation and the process of decolonization: 1968-2018.

* Development of class analysis in Independent Mauritius – in retrospect and/or of contemporary socio-political reality.

* Decolonization in terms of the mother tongue of 90% of Mauritians.

* Colonial vestiges in the Constitution/Judiciary/Electoral System.

* Intellectual and artistic production in Kreol since Independence.

* Decolonization-Recolonization – significance of trading millionaires’ investment for citizenship or Permanent Residence.

* Housing:  EDC and CHA before Independence to NHDC liberalization: Struggles and the present state of housing. Worthless statistics?

* MBC: Continued colonization of Broadcasting? International news reporting, films shown without Kreol sub-titles, language for news.

* Education: The Colonial Elephant in the Room, Mother Tongue Suppression. Also, syllabus, exams, pedagogy. Struggles.

* Decolonization and the right to information: Struggle for freedom of expression, against censorship of the press (political control of MBC, capitalists’ stranglehold on private media), banning of novels like The Rape of Sita, plays  like Li, slide-shows like LALIT’s “Disik ki Lavenir”.

* Struggles against repression: MSAR to struggle against POTA and against violence by officers of the State.

* Political struggles that are not electoralist.

* MMM: Evaluation of political contribution before in Parliament, when in Opposition (1976-82), and when in Government.

* MMM: How and when its deviation from being a progressive party happened.


And, here is a short list of some movements we would appreciate papers on:

 * Role of the 1970 rolling strike against sexual abuse on women by men bosses in the context of decolonization for women workers.

* Importance of the 1975 Students’ Strike – localized strikes and the 20 May uprising.

* The role of the August 1979 nation-wide strike movement in trade union democracy and struggle for workers’ power.

* Importance of the mass movement around the September 1980 hunger strike.

* All Workers’ Conference 1996-99; role in defense of the neo-liberalism of the IMF-BM, allowing Mauritius to maintain:

          Free health, education, universal pensions, free transport, and subsidized food.

* February 1999 uprising after death of Kaya in police cells: mobilization in JUSTICE: Association against Violence by officers of the State.

* Muvman Lakaz: Analysis of the direct action of 92 families who occupied NHDC houses in Richelieu on housing policy, 2000.

* The Role of MAC (Movement Against Communalism) in the process of decolonizing the mind.

* Analysis of the Joint LALIT and Neighbourhood dwellers’ Committees on the land and housing issues, , 2015-2018. 

* Anti-Imperialist struggles: Against Princess Alexandra’s Visit to Opposing Trump’s Declaration that Jerusalem is Capital of Israel.


If you need any clarification, please just e-mail us or ring 208 5551 or 208 2132 or contact any LALIT member you know. We will select papers on the basis of: degree of originality of work, focus on decolonization, usefulness to struggle to accelerate decolonization. 


Yours sincerely,

Lindsey Collen for LALIT, 30 January 2018


What the University of Mauritius proposes for its International Seminar [We think the list is both confused and limited. e.g. see how the key theme “language” is squashed between “inter-ethnicity” and “culture”. And the total absence of reference to class]:

Suggested Themes:

·    International and Geopolitical Context of Independence

·    Social, Political and Economic Context of Independence

·    The Role of the Religious bodies in the struggle for Independence

·    The Role of the Press during the years leading to Independence

·    Constitutional Development

·    Political Parties and Elections (Pre and Post-Independence)

·    Hopes, Fears and Apprehensions on Independence Day Celebrations

·    Gender issues

·    The Riots of 1967-1968

·    Inter-ethnicity, Language, and Culture

·    The Impact of Independence

·    Decolonizing Research and Education - 50 years on

·    Mauritian Foreign Policy and the New World Configuration

·    The Independence Constitution / Best Loser System – 50 years later

·    Personalities, Oral History and Memory

·    Democratizing the Economy: the Challenges

·    Mauritian Law, Human Rights and Social Justice

·    Insularity and Globalization

·    Heritage, Natural History and Environmental Sustainability

·    Towards a new Republic

·    The Outer Islands: Rodrigues, Chagos, Agalega and Tromelin