LIVING BEYOND THEORY: Interdisciplinary perspectives on the postcolonial
As the field of postcolonial studies has gradually enacted its own colonisation of academic departments across the humanities an escalating self-reflexive urge has become apparent. Increasingly, totalising theories of postcolonial experiences have been seen - for all their complexity – as all too simplistic accounts of the irreducible variety to be found in the experiences and actions of nominally ‘postcolonial’ peoples. As such, the future of postcolonial studies lies in an ever more concerted effort at troubling the postcolonial paradigm, rooting out points of tension, and in establishing new ways of approaching the heterogeneity of the discipline. This future is being written now and it thus falls to young academics to establish for themselves where postcolonial studies should be moving.
Living Beyond Theory is an interdisciplinary postgraduate symposium hosted by the Postcolonial Perspectives reading group at the University of York on Friday 11th February 2011. The symposium is directed towards the problematising of the postcolonial paradigm through an attempt to pay heed to the lived experience of those people who live and have lived within geographic areas affected by colonisation as well as people who, despite not being the direct descendants of colonial situations, enact identities and political positions that take much from the postcolonial project.
The symposium provides a platform for postgraduate students to share their research with a diverse range of other postgraduates in the field(s) of postcolonial studies. The symposium will involve a series of panels framed by two plenary speakers (Simon Obendorf, Lincoln and Ruth Craggs, St. Mary’s University College Twickenham) and culminating in a workshop on the future of postcolonial studies led by 3 early career academics.
While Living Beyond Theory is a conference aimed at building connections between the many disciplines that traditionally make up postcolonial studies, it also seeks to encourage engagement with disciplines that have not always fallen comfortably within those traditions. It is highly likely that the future of postcolonial studies will lie in the expansion of the discipline’s insights beyond its previously narrow boundaries.
Papers are encouraged from any current postgraduate working in the many areas of postcolonial studies and engaging with either side of the traditional coloniser/colonised dichotomy. We especially welcome papers that offer new and dynamic approaches to the space between the theoretical and the experiential.
Please send submissions of up to 300 words for papers of 20 mins as well as a brief academic bio of 50 to 100 words to the organisers (Anna Bocking-Welch, James Alexander Fraser, Isabelle Hesse, and Sarah Pett) at email@example.com by 22nd November 2010.
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