Subjectivity vs. Objectivity in Postcolonial Studies
3 & 4 December 2012
University of Oran
Post-colonial studies have become incontestably interwoven into the trends of social and human sciences since their inception in Anglo-Saxon universities in the late 1970s. Some of these studies culminated in giving birth to a trend instead of a discipline. Correspondingly, despite the works and publications that arose after Edward Said’s founding text Orientalism, no coherent methodology has been established; and this very fact has to do with the questionings related to the ongoing evolution of this aforementioned trend.
In truth, the very interdisciplinary nature of post-colonial studies was initially geared towards general and comparative literature to bring under review, through literary production, notably the novelistic type, the mechanism of colonialism. Then post-colonial studies were to rest on other disciplines including: sociology, history, anthropology and linguistics. In any event, this de facto context was also due to the lack of interest developed towards these studies by those “southern countries” which suffered from colonization and other ex-colonies.
Paradoxically, while those manifesting their interest in such studies and themes were primarily based at Anglo-Saxon universities, especially US universities, those countries concerned with these themes continue to be ‘frozen’ in a historiography that is disconnected from contemporary issues of topical interest. Indeed, the major interest of post-colonial studies lies in the junction made between the colonial and post-colonial periods in former colonies. Being interested mainly in the colonial discourse, post-colonial studies seek to portray how former colonies were and are perceived and represented during and after colonization. Hence, these studies distinguish themselves from militant intellectualism whose concern is mainly centered on politico-economic considerations while denouncing colonialism.
Having suffered from colonialism for more than a century, Algeria, like many other southern countries, is a case study. In this context, post-colonial studies remain a new field of study for a number of scholars who see how history deals with events without taking into account the very discourse that accompanied colonization until the post-colonial era. This symposium is, on the one hand, an opportunity to raise questions relevant to post-colonial studies, and, on the other hand, a contribution to the study of colonial discourse in former African as well as Asian colonies, including Algeria and India.
Various themes and issues can be tackled within the context of this symposium, including the following examples:
1- What are the methods and objects of post-colonial studies?
2- How were independence struggles led by the colonized portrayed in literary productions? And how were the colonized depicted?
3- What is the connection between history and post-colonial studies as taught in history school books?
4- How are the colonial discourses and their ramifications handled in the mass media?
Abstracts and a short bio notice should be sent by 10 September 2012 to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our research team (Laboratoire de Langues, Littérature, Civilisation & Histoire en Afrique) offers full accommodation for 3 nights to all participants. Travel expenses will, however, be at the charge of the participants.
Participants are kindly advised to check with the Algerian Embassy in the country of their residence whether they are required to have a visa to get to Algeria.
Dr. Belkacem BELMEKKI
Maître de Conférences - HDR (British and Commonwealth Studies)
Directeur du Laboratoire de Langues, Littérature et Civilisation/Histoire en Afrique
Faculté des Lettres, Langues et Arts
Université d'Oran, Algérie
Tél: +213 771 53 41 52
email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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