Wednesday, December 19, 2018

New publication by Kerstin Knopf

Special Edition of Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien (ZKS) guest-edited by Prof. Kerstin Knopf (Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies)

Knopf, Kerstin (ed.) 2018. Indigenous Knowledges and Academic Discourses; Les savoirs autochtones et les discours scientifiques; Indigenes Wissen und Akademische Diskurse. Special Edition of Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 67.1.

The list of articles:
  • RICHARD ATLEO, Foreword 
  • KERSTIN KNOPF, Introduction 
  • JEANNETTE ARMSTRONG, Influences of Okanagan Oraliture: Sources of Syilx Knowledge
  • JOHN CARLSON, Manoomin is not Wild Rice: An Anishinaabeg Treaty 
  • HARTMUT LUTZ, “They Talk, We Listen”: Indigenous Knowledges and Western Discourse 
  • ŞÜKRAN TIPI, Documenter le patrimoine culturel et linguistique à travers un inventaire de savoirs toponymiques en langue autochtone: Expériences de recherche collaborative chez les Pekuakamiulnuatsh du Lac Saint-Jean, Québec 
  • DAVID NEUFELD, A Cultural Cartography of the Tr’ondëk-Klondike: Mapping plural Knowledges
  • WOLFGANG KLOOß, Métissage – Vom Historismus zur indigenen Historiographie: Die kanadischen Métis im Wandel der Geschichtsschreibung 
  • JESSICA JANSSEN, L’autohistoire amérindienne: une méthode pour concilier les savoirs autochtones et le discours scientifique (de l’histoire) au Québec 
  • KATJA SARKOWSKY, “This is why I’m remembering”: Narrative Agency and Autobiographical Knowledge in Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed and Joy Harjo’s Crazy Brave 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New publication by Sukla Chatterjee

Women and Literary Narratives in Colonial India.
Her Myriad Gaze on the ‘Other’, 1st Edition
By Sukla Chatterjee
138 pages

In the colonial context of South Asia, there is a glaring asymmetry in the written records of the interaction between the Bengali women and their European counterparts, which is indicative of the larger and the overall asymmetry of discursive power, including the flow and access to information between the colonizers and their subjects.
This book explores the idea of gazing through literature in Colonial India. Based on literary and historical analysis, it focuses on four different genres of literary writing where nineteenth-century Bengali women writers look back at the British colonizers. In the process, the European culture becomes a static point of reference, and the chapters in the book show the ideological, social, cultural, political, and deeper, emotional interactions between the colonized and the colonizer. The book also addresses the lack of sufficient primary sources authored by Bengali women on their European counterparts by anthologizing different available genres. Taking into account literary narratives from the colonized and the less represented side of the divide, such as a travelogue, fantasy fiction, missionary text and journal articles, the book represents the varying opinions and perspectives vis-à-vis the European women.
Using an interdisciplinary approach charting the fields of Indology, colonial studies, sociology, literature/literary historiography, South-Asian feminism, and cultural studies, this book makes an important contribution to the field of South Asian Studies, studies of empire, and to Indian women’s literary history.

Friday, November 9, 2018

INPUTS Bremer Denkanstöße

An invitation to an event within the theme semester Global Cotton organized and moderated by Prof. Kerstin Knopf, chair of the Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies:

Reihe: INPUTS Bremer Denkanstöße
„Versklavung für Baumwolle: INPUTS liest aus Sven Beckerts King Cotton
13.11.2018, 18 Uhr, Bremer Baumwollbörse, Wachtstraße 17-24, 28195 Bremen
kritische Lesung und Diskussion von Auszügen aus Kapiteln 2, 4 und 5
Moderatorin: Prof. Dr. Kerstin Knopf (U Bremen)
Mitwirkende: Deborah Nyangulu (U Münster), Dr. Sukla Chatterjee (U Bremen), Dr. Detlev Quintern (FSMV U Istanbul), Prof. Dr. Gisela Febel (U Bremen)

Alle sind herzlich eingeladen!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

New member of Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies

Dr. Sukla Chatterjee joined the team of Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies as a Postdoctoral Researcher on November 1st.

Sukla's areas of interest include Comparative literature, Literary theories, Colonial and postcolonial literature, Body, gender, sexuality, and emotions, Women’s writings, and Colonial relations between Bengal and Britain.

Starting in the next semester, she will also offer classes in the English-Speaking Cultures BA program.

Welcome to Bremen, Sukla! 

Postcolonial Movie Nights: Spotlight on the Arctic

Postcolonial Movie Nights in winter semester 2018/2019
All welcome!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Postcolonial Oceans conference

The Joint Annual Conference of GAPS and IACPL Postcolonial Oceans. Contradictions and Heterogeneities in the Epistemes of Salt Water, co-organized by the Chair of Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies, prof. Kerstin Knopf, is going to take place on 30 May-2 June 2019 at the University of Bremen.

Call for abstracts:
Postcolonial studies have a vested interest in embodied and discursive, social and political, historical and ecological dimensions of oceans. They foreground histories of colonization, imperial wars, the dispossession of territories, enslavement of people, and circulation of goods and ideas, in their entanglements with contemporary postcolonial societies, substantially shaping decolonial knowledge production, postcolonial literatures and academic discourses until today. In his interview on the third space, Homi Bhabha (1990) has pinpointed the inherent contradiction in the genesis of Western modernity: the progressive development of Western societies, individuals and thought traditions according to ideas and values that were monumentalized as the “Enlightenment” on the one hand, and the history of the West as despotic power pursuing various forms of colonial aggression and possession, on the other. Walter Mignolo (2000) and Paul Gilroy (1993) have likewise defined histories of colonization and enslavement as Western modernity’s well-concealed darker side. Studies of oceans and coasts have generated a variety of heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory academic and public discourses from a range of different disciplinary perspectives, including postcolonial studies, the sociology of knowledge, anthropology, literary studies, linguistics and social studies of science and technology. A more systematic perspective on the relations between colonialism, postcolonialism, oceans and lands, rejecting and/or complementing one-sided terrestrial perspectives, emerged only gradually. Rupert Emerson, for instance, defines colonialism as “imposition of white rule on alien peoples inhabiting lands separated by salt water” (1969, 3), understanding salt water – in line with widespread Western ideas of seas and oceans – as separating lands, cultures, people and ideas. In contrast, Gísli Pálsson (1991, xvii) argues that different and isolated worlds were connected by colonial sea voyages into a “global but polarized network of power-relations”. Epeli Hau’ofa (1994; 2008), working from a perspective grown in a marine epistemology, understands diverse Pacific islands, cultures and environments as a network, not separated but linked by the ocean – a “sea of islands”. Extending this idea, Édouard Glissant’s (1997) “archipelagic thinking” shifts understanding the entire world as a connected archipelago, an epistemic shift that is a counterpoint to insular thinking and allows registering the heterogeneities and myriad entanglements and creolization processes in our globalizing world. Early anthropology saw the sea as “atheoretical”, while it became an explicit category of study in environmental history (Gillis 2004, 2011; Bolster 2012; Kehrt/Torma 2014), in geography (Steinberg 2001; Peters 2014, 2015) and maritime anthropology (Astuti 1995; Helmreich 2011). In the construed nature/culture divide, water appears as natural form and “uncontainable flux” as opposed to culture imagined as “land-based idiom”, or it is perceived as materiality to channel (nature) as opposed to being a medium of pleasure, sustenance, travel and disaster (culture) (Helmreich 2011). The nature/culture divide implicates water as one domain “open to control and colonization by the other” (Strathern 1980). Critical maritime history grappled with the opposition between a fully historicized land vs. a supposedly atemporal, “ahistorical” sea that is “outside and beyond history” and researches oceans as polymorphous and transnational contact zones (Klein/Mackenthun, eds. 2004). Indigenous seascape epistemologies are often approaches “to knowing through a visual, spiritual, intellectual, and embodied literacy of the ‘āina (land) and kai (sea)’”, explicitly stressing the nexus between sea and land, and knowing the ocean, wind, and land as interconnected system (Ingersoll 2016). Colonial exploration, colonization and (forced) migration via oceans have created cultural, linguistic and epistemic contact zones where transcultural processes, creole and pidgin languages, and pluriversal knowledges and narratives emerged, however implicated in a hierarchical power matrix (Pratt 1992; Warnke/Stolz/Schmidt-Brücken 2016). The sea prominently features in colonial literatures as both facilitating sea voyages and sustaining colonial myth-making (e.g. Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe), whereas in postcolonial literatures it often appears as lethal force enabling colonization and enslavement (e.g. Fred D’Aguiar, George Lamming) or life-giving force and as life itself, integrating all elements and beings (e.g. Eden Robinson, Patricia Grace, Linda Hogan, Alexis Wright). Contradictory and heterogeneous views and ideas of the ocean are commonplace, while knowledge production on and with oceans and saltwater appear to be under-researched through multidisciplinary scholarship. We want to extend the study of oceans and salt water as “theory machine”, an “object that stimulates theoretical formulation” (Galison 2003), and research saltwater knowledge systems, knowledge production and narratives from various epistemological, geographical, cultural and disciplinary perspectives. We are particularly interested in:
  • imaginaries of the seas and oceans in various discourse formations as well as colonial, postcolonial and decolonial genealogies of ocean, coastal and marine spaces;
  • contradictory and heterogeneous concepts of marine spaces; likewise pluriversal ocean and coast-related epistemologies;
  • entangled colonial histories of oceans with regard to the Black, Red and White Atlantic, the Black Pacific, and early non-Western cross-ocean contacts; the circulation of ideas and goods and their role in shaping ocean-related epistemes;
  • salt water spheres as zones of epistemic and cultural contact, neo- and postcolonial communicative practices and linguistic smoothness;
  • linguistic overlaps and language contact, the universalist spread of colonial languages and their status in contact zones, the threat of local languages;
  • the role of European Atlantic port cities (e.g. Bremen, London, Rotterdam, Antwerp) in colonial histories of oceans and the role of port cities outside Europe (e.g. Dakar, Cape Town, Dubai City, Hong Kong) in world trade and global relations, incl. changing discourses constituting such port cities;
  • the ship as vessel enabling and as metaphor for colonization, enslavement, migration, global trade, scientific exploration and various forms of harvesting marine and ocean floor resources;
  • ecological and resource-related aspects of oceans such as rising sea levels, hurricanes, earthquakes, overfishing, resource extraction, and ocean pollution;
  • symbolic oceans in colonial literary and non-literary texts and postcolonial constructions of oceans and salt water epistemologies in literature, theatre, film, electronic and other media.
Please send abstracts outlining your theoretical approach, subject of study and argument (max 400 words) and short bios (max 150 words) to by 31 Oct 2018.