Last weekend I went to Hamburg for a doctoral colloquium with the topic "Postcolonial perspectives on United Nations research". It was an interesting format; each paper was presented by a discussant who was not the original author, and then opened up the discussion with their own questions and comments. The paper that I co-wrote with a friend from grad school was about the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and their role in the reproduction of racial and ethnic inequality. The whole thing was quite long, but very stimulating and productive.
On Friday, we had a keynote speech and then a post-colonial tour of Hamburg. The main thing that I found interesting was the information about Germany's role in colonizing various countries. Often, I think people aren't aware that most people in Western Europe had (and have) to do with the exploitation of countries that make up the Global South.
The colloquium was held on the campus of the Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg, which is a military university. It was kind of a strange place to hold a colloquium with many young scholars critical of the UN and national institutions in general, but it was nice nonetheless. I stayed in a very spartan single room on campus, with showers down the hall and lockable compartments in the community fridge.
Representatives from the DGVN (German Soceity of the United Nations) were part of the organizing team, so it had the official German feeling that one tends to have at these sorts of things.
I found the quote chosen for this bag hilarious. "We're getting closer with climate change to the 'point of no return'". This is the kind of advertising that they want to do with their merch....ok.
I ended up returning to Lugano not very late, but for some reason I was still utterly destroyed on Monday. It was all I could do to come to work, go to class and take notes. Afterwards, I ended up heading home early and trying to recuperate for the week ahead. I'm really looking forward to this weekend, when I can do nothing for a couple of days. I have a conference next weekend as well, so I'll probably need the extra sleep!