UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Prof. Homi Bhabha to speak: 'On Global Perplexity and Global Prosperity: Migration and Dignity.'

10 October 2019, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm


The IGP welcomes Professor Homi Bhabha (Harvard University) for a Director's Seminar, "On Global Perplexity and Global Prosperity: Migration and Dignity"

Event Information

Open to





Annelise Andersen


Stevenson Lecture Theatre
British Museum
Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury

The Institute for Global Prosperity welcomes Professor Homi Bhabha (Harvard Univesity) for his seminar "On Global Perplexity and Global Prosperity: Migration and Dignity", on Thursday 10th October at the British Museum. This seminar is part of the IGP Soundbites and Director's Seminars series, and marks the start of We Are 5 - a year-long series of events to celebrate the IGP's fifth birthday. 


Taking its theme from Hannah Arendt's thoughts on the "perplexity of rights", this seminar will reflect on ethical and aesthetic conditions of enforced displacement as they are caught between the harrowing experience of degradation and the desire for a measure of dignity in extremis. What does it mean to "belong" in times of global perplexity? What does it mean to live in "disappointed hope"?

Professor Homi Bhabha

Homi Bhabha is one of the foundational figures in postcolonial studies. Heis the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Languages, Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center, and Senior Advisor to the President and Provost at Harvard University. He is the author of Nation and Narration, and The Location of Culture, which was reprinted as a Routledge Classic in 2004. Bhabha is one of the most important figures in contemporary post-colonial studies. He has developed a number of the field's key concepts, such as hybridity, mimicry, difference, and ambivalence, terms that, according to Bhabha's theory, describe ways in which colonised peoples have resisted the power of the coloniser. 

His honours include the Padma Bhushan award, a prestigious award from the Republic of India that recognises outstanding contribution in literature and education (2012); the Humboldt Research Prize (2015), and honorary degrees from Universite Paris 8, University College London, and the Free University Berlin. 

Professor Bhabha is a member of the Academic Committee for the Shanghai Power Station of Art, and the Mobilising the Humanities Initiating Advisory Board (British Council). He is an advisor on the Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP) project at the Museum of Modern Art New York, a Trustee of the UNESCO World Report on Cultural Diversity, and the Curator in Residence of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

About the IGP’s Soundbites and Director’s Seminars
The IGP’s Soundbites and Director’s Seminars series are public events hosted by the Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL, and open to all. They are held throughout the academic year on the main UCL campus. Each series features both Soundbites and Seminars, mixed intermittently.

About the IGP's Director's Seminars
The IGP's Director's Seminars are an opportunity for audiences to get an in-depth theoretical perspective on sustainable and inclusive prosperity. These Seminars are given by academics who are pushing for new ways of thinking and new ways of researching society's grand challenges.

The Director’s Seminars for the Autumn term 2019 will explore the way mass displacement intersects with the global challenges affecting global prosperity. Rather than migration being the subject, we explore the causes, conditions and consequences of displacement; from food security, climate change, livelihoods, conflict and natural resource production, our lectures will explore how mass displacement is a symptom of structural inequalities in one place, which then exacerbate inequalities in another place. How do we move from these shifting inequalities, displacing peoples and communities to a stable, just and prosperous world? This term’s seminars will continue our prosperity conversations that aim to build alternative stories, narratives and understandings that change the way we conceive global prosperity when people are on the move.