Intellectuals Across Borders: Writers, Artists, Activists. September 5-6, 2019 @WWU Münster

"Misala ya silent"
© F. Espinoza and J. Wacker

Early next month, the second PIN Network Conference "Intellectuals Across Borders: Writers, Artists, Activists" will take place in Münster/Germany, co-hosted by the University of Münster and the University of Lisbon. The conference warming will take place on Sept. 4, and the conference closes on Sept. 6, 2019.

Intellectuals Across Borders explores the dynamic formations of postcolonial intellectual work in the manifold European public spheres. The conference works with the idea that writers, artists, and activists – like migrant academics and political representatives – can embrace the role of postcolonial intellectuals through intervention and public impact. As racism works vigorously across national borders while right-wing groupings across Europe are interconnected and cross-fertilize each other, critical intellectual work is called upon to make borders porous. In fact, it is the postcolonial intellectuals’ transgressive potential in inquiring and intervening – spatially, epistemologically, ideologically – which we consider vital to their relationship with European public spheres. In both theme and approach, the conference takes the following questions as a theoretical vantage point:

  • While the postcolonial is constitutive of Europe itself, what marks out forms of public intellectual work as postcolonial?
  • Are these distinct forms of postcolonial intellectual labour characterised through biography or location, by their mode of engagement and intervention, and/or by their subject matter?
  • How can we stretch and pluralise the concept of the ‘postcolonial public intellectual’ to encompass minoritized positionalities, inflected by race, class, gender, or sexuality?

The conference is organized in the context of the recently launched NWO Internationalization in the humanities project PIN – Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics Network, which has successfully kicked-off with an initial network conference on “Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics” (February 5-6, 2019) in Utrecht earlier this year. The IAB2019 conference is a medium-sized event with open, yet limited slots for participation. It stands in a dialogical relation to the event in Utrecht as well as the follow-up conferences in Leeds 2020, Warwick 2020, and Venice 2021.

You can view the preliminary programme here.


Postcolonial, Transnational and Transcultural Studies (PTTS)

With its research in Postcolonial, Transnational and Transcultural Studies (PTTS), the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies locates itself at the intersections of historical and contemporary debates in literary and cultural studies as well as diaspora and transnational studies. Its approach to cultural representation, historical contexts, and geographical spaces is deliberately transmedial and interdisciplinary, sketching the manifold border-crossings that are inherent to and affect cultural textualities and the discourses that shape them. The PTTS research is sparked by questions that emerge from postcolonial theory and contributes to a variety of international, third-party funded research groups, including Afroeuropean Studies and the Black Diaspora, and PIN – Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics. Individual projects span across anglophone literatures of the Caribbean, Africa, and India, postcolonial ideologies, film and national identities, black and Asian British writing, audiovisual texts and British grime culture, British settler cultures, and contemporary anglophone Arab cultural production.


The PTTS website provides information about relevant courses and events that are taking place at the department as well as elsewhere in the university. A list of staff members who comprise the PTTS team, along with the relevant research projects can also be accessed here.

The “News” section pertains the latest news related to events, publications and ideas revolving around the realm of PTTS in Münster and beyond. Information on guest lectures, conferences and readings, along with an archive of past events, can be accessed here. This section also provides links to libraries that can be accessed for more details on this subject.

Our “Students” area helps students with any type of task during their studies. It provides a FAQ for research papers and exam preparations, gives additional information on Research Papers in a separate subsection and contains a download link for presentation guidelines. Additionally, this section covers research facilities, guidelines on how to use quotations and a plagiarism form that needs to be added to every essay.

What is Postcolonial, Transnational and Transcultural Studies? The “PTTS Info” section helps in answering this question, by providing a brief background about this field of study, along with a list of topics that can be covered within its domain. Information of publications, research journals and organizations related to PTTS within Germany as well as around the globe can also be found here. A reading list, complemented with author profiles and visual aid can also be access here for anyone whose interest is piqued and wishes to acquaint themselves with PTTS through a hands-on approach.

Find out what is trending, coming up, or taking place right now at the PTTS chair in our “Now” section. It showcases the most current event at any time, which include guest lectures, conferences, or any other significant one that the chair is organising.