"Postcolonial Intellectuals and their
PIN Network Conference
Utrecht University/Netherlands, 5-6 February 2019
As the first of three PIN network conferences, “Postcolonial Intellectuals & their European Publics” will kick off the interdisciplinary research network (Utrecht, February 5-6). The conference addresses many vital question regarding the function and work of postcolonial intellectuals in Europe:
• Who can be considered postcolonial intellectuals?
• What kind of intellectual activity do collectivities, networks, and movements gathering around issues of race and citizenship perform?
• How do postcolonial academics, artists, writers, parties, and movements respond to current issues in the European landscape such as migration, citizenship and the legacies of colonialism?
• How do they contribute to a new idea of “Europe” and relate to Western categories of modernity? And, are their critical tools effective enough?
Confirmed Keynote speakers include:
• Prof. Kaiama L. Glover
Associate Professor of French and Africana Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University, USA
• Prof. Awam Amkpa
Associate Professor, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, USA
Participants from the PTTS team include Felipe Espinoza Garrido, Deborah Nyangulu, Mark U. Stein, and Julian Wacker.
For more information about the conference and the full conference programme, please visit the conference page. The full programme is available here.
Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics Network
PIN, the Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics Network, is a NWO-funded project that brings together more than 25 European academics from 9 universities. PIN not only focuses on postcolonial intellectuals as critical individuals in the public eye, but also challenges the traditional definition of the "public intellectual" by emphasizing the role of artists, writers, activists and social movements in shaping postcolonial publics and knowledge. The interdisciplinary network investigates the role of the postcolonial public intellectual as crucial agents in renewing the function of the humanities and of democratic participation in Europe. Members include, among others, Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University), Ana Cristina Mendes (University of Lisbon), Mark U Stein (WWU Münster), John McLeod, Graham Huggan, and Max Silverman(University of Leeds), Daniela Merolla (Sorbonne Paris Cité, USPC), Paulo de Medeiros (University of Warwick), Sabrina Marchetti and Shaul Bassi (University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari), Bolette B. Blaagaard (Aalborg University), Neelam Srivastava (University of Newcastle).
Guest lecture | "Windrush: The second generation" -
Professor Bénédicte Ledent, Université de Liège
On 14 Jan 2019, Professor Bénédicte Ledent delivered a guest lecture on “Windrush: The second generation”. In her talk, Ledent investigated the theme of unbelonging in the works of second-generation Windrush writers such as David Dabydeen, Caryl Phillips, Joan Riley, and Linton Kwesi Johnson. She showed how their texts simultaneously also claimed diasporic belongings within and to Britain, negotiating the very positionality of this transitonal body of writing as located between inside and outside perspectives. Her lecture took place in the context of Prof. Mark U. Stein's lecture series “'Remember the Ship in Citizenship’: Migration, displacement, refugeeship” and complemented the previous session on first-generationWindrush writing.
Bénédicte Ledent is Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the Université de Liège and a member of CEREP (Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales – Centre for Teaching and Research in Postcolonial Studies). She is the world’s leading expert on the work of Caryl Phillips and has published widely on contemporary fiction of the Caribbean diaspora, on Black British literature and literature of the African diaspora, as well as genres and postcolonial literature.
Reading and discussion with Yaa Gyasi
Saturday, 27 October | 18:00 s.t. | Bookstore 'Der Wunderkasten'
The Chair of English is glad to announce a reading by renowned Ghanaian-American author Yaa Gyasi, hosted by the Afrika Kooperative e.V.. Gyasi, received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction for her novel Homegoing (Knopf, 2016), a family saga that spans almost two centuries. Beginning with the story of two Ghanaian sisters whose lives take drastically different routes as one is sold into slavery while the other one marries a slave trader, the novel charts their families’ histories across the Black Atlantic in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
During this event, Yaa Gyasi will read from her novel and actress Beate Reker will be reading from the novel’s German edition, Heimkehren (DuMont, 2017). The reading will be followed by a Q & A about her moving and politically highly relevant literary debut between Yaa Gyasi and Julian Wacker.
For additional information in German, please follow this link.
AfroEuropeans: Black In/Visibilities Contested VII in Lisbon
The English Seminar and the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media studies are pleased to advertise the seventh Biennial African European Studies conference, which will be held in Lisbon (4-6 July 2019). An important platform for the production of knowledge in the field of transdiciplinary research on racism, black cultures and identities in Europe, Afroeuropeans VII serves as an opportunity to strenghten and widen a network for scholars, activists and artists, who question structural racism and engage on topics of Blackness in Europe. It further enables the members to discuss their critical thoughts on the production of postcolonial knowledge on european blackness and the african diaspora. This networking is promoted through keynotes and panels, round-tables, individual speakers and artistic and cultural activities.
This year, the conference will focus on the topic of black in/visibilities, by discussing the tensions, ambiguities and paradoxes of Blackness in Europe.
Conference Website: Link
Call for Panels: 2 May 2018 - 15 August 2018
Call for Papers: 1 November 2018 - 31 January 2019
Prof. Mark Stein and Prof. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o during the event "World Literature in Gikuyu" on Friday, 15th of June
On June 15, 2018 renowned scholar and writer, Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (UC Irvine) returned to Münster. Ngũgĩ (R) is pictured in discussion with Professor Mark Stein (L) on Gĩkũyũ World Literature, an event hosted by Afrika Kooperative e.V.
World Literature in Gikuyu: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (UC Irvine) in conversation with Mark Stein (WWU Münster)
Friday, 15 June | 19:00 s.t. | Freiherr-von-Vincke-Haus
This event is part of the Afrika Festival Münster “Sprache der Macht — Macht der Sprache” / “Language of Power — Power of Language”.
For additional information please follow this link.
>> Decolonial Hierarchies in the African Literary Tradition<< A literary guest lecture by Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ
Wednesday, 25 April | 18:00 s.t. | ES 226
The University's English Department is proud to host Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, co-founder of the Matabi-Cornell Kishwahili Prize for African Literature and co-director of the Global South Project - Cornell, for a public literary guest lecture at WWU Münster. He is the author of the novels Mrs. Shaw, Black Star Nairobi, Nairobi Heat and a book of poetry called Hurling Words at Consciousness.
In his lecture, Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ will be drawing on the studies in his newest book "The Rise of the African novel", which explores the topic of African literary tradition. For additional information on his newest book, please follow this link.
The poster for this event can be viewed and downloaded here.
>> A defiant mind: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s life-writing <<
Reading and discussion
Thursday, 14 June | 6:00 pm (s.t) | Freiherr-von-Vincke Haus
The University's English Department warmly invites everyone to a free reading and discussion with Prof. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o on 14 June 2018. After his highly successful visit in 2015, we are honoured to welcome the critically acclaimed novelist and renowned scholar Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (University of California, Irvine) at WWU Münster again. At this event hosted by the WWU’s Forum for Life Writing Research, he will read from, and engage with, his recent memoirs.
Over the past twenty years, life-writing has gained considerable prominence in the literary marketplace as well as in university departments. As a distinct and differentiated literary genre, life-writing encompasses not only (auto)biography but also autofiction, letters, or memoirs and extends to other media including fine art and photography. The Forum for Life Writing Research at WWU Münster creates a space for intensive investigations and explorations of these texts and materials, as well as for systematic theoretical reflections on the genre itself.
Perhaps best known for his seminal Decolonising the Mind (1986) as well as several novels, Ngũgĩ’ wa Thiong’o’s recent work includes several memoirs of extraordinary scope. Detailing a long and eventful life at the pulse of Kenyan history, they stand witness to colonialism and postcolonial resistance, neo-colonialism, activism, and exile. His most recent publication Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir (2018), based on the 1982 Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary, looks back on a year of incarceration in a maximum security prison following his severe criticism of the inequalities and injustices of postcolonial Kenyan government and society. Ngũgĩ is the recipient of many honours including the 2001 Nonino International Prize for Literature and numerous honorary doctorates.
The event will be chaired by Julian Wacker (Univ. Münster). All researchers, students, and those interested in life-writing or African literature are welcome to join in.
African Book Festival Berlin | Writing in Migration
From the 26th to 28th of April 2018 "Writing in Migration", the first ever literary festival with and by African writers in Berlin, will take place at the cinema Babylon. The festival will look at topics such as transnationalism and migration in a more literary sense of “keeping in motion”. Curator is the German-Nigerian author Olumide Popoola, who wrote the novella This is not about sadness (Unrast, 2010) and the play text Also by Mail (edition assemblage, 2013), just to name a few.
Throughout three days the event will focus on the African reality of life with the help of fiction, poetry, lectures and panel discussions. How do writers from Africa or the diaspora negotiate the changes that come with displacement, forced or chosen? How do writers approach the constant flux of place and identity?
To answer these and many more questions, highly influential authors from three continents whose works have been trendsetters in their respective fields will convene in Berlin for the festival. Curated by Olumide Popoola they will encourage the audience to leave behind their expectations and start to think outside the box.
For additional information, please follow this link.
Book launch | "Dekolonisierung des Denkens" (German translation of Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Decolonising the Mind)
On December 9, 2017, the Eine-Welt-Forum Münster invited to a gathering on the eve of the 69th International Human Rights Day. During the event, the first ever German translation of Kenyan writer and intellectual Ngugi wa Thiong'o's groundbreaking work Decolonising the Mind (1986) was launched.
On this occasion, Mark U Stein, Professor of English, Postcolonial & Media Studies at the University of Münster, chaired a discussion between Dr. Lizzy Attree, director of the Caine Prize for African Writing, and Dr. Rémi Tchokothe, linguist affiliated with the University of Bayreuth, which focused not only the work's theoretical implications on contemporary debates but its overall impact on human rights issues. Actor and writer Markus von Hagen spiked the event with selected readings from the book, actress Azizè Anne-Sophie Flittner translated.
For more information about the book, please follow this link.
Book launch "Dekolonisierung des Denkens"
British Council Literature Seminar 2018: "Writing Gender: Sexuality, Feminism and Masculinity"
Next year's British Council Literature Seminar will be hosted from January 25-27 2018 at Werkstatt der Kulturen in Berlin. The event is chaired by renowned author and professor Bernardine Evaristo and features seven contemporary British writers for readings, discussions and workshops. As such, it offers academics, students, publishers, translators and journalists from across Europe the chance to engage with the latest writing from the UK and meet the writers on the spot.
The list of writers includes, among Bernardine Evaristo, Juno Dawson, Sabrina Mahfouz, Nick Makoha, Paul McVeigh, Monique Roffey and Kerry Hudson.
Participants will be responsible for the costs and booking of their own travel to and accommodation in Berlin.
Symposium | 30 Years of Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Power Relations
With Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein
From March 15-17, 2018, the Symposium 30 Years of Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Power Relations will take place at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. This event will tie back to Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein's volume Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (1988), in which they interrogated the clear entanglements of racism and changing class relations as well as the historical formation of the nation. 30 years later, the resurgence of right-wing and populist movements raises the pressing question in how far the idea that racism articulates itself through class relations and is intensified by nationalist currents can be understood today. During the symposium, a group of international theorists will engage in redefining the effects of this interrelated, sinister triad.
Along with Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, the participants will venture to understand these issues in their present configurations from a variety of perspectives.
New publication | Contested Communities: Communication, Narration, Imagination
edited by Susanne Mühleisen, University of Bayreuth
Susanne Mühleisen (University of Bayreuth) has recently published the edited volume Contested Communities: Communication, Narration, Imagination with Brill. The interdisciplinary volume, which ties back to the 2010 GNEL/ASNEL (now GAPS) Conference, features contributions that interrogate community in postcolonial language situations, texts, and media. Overaching questions include: How do communities construct, manifest, test or contest different forms of membership? What new forms have emerged in the wake of globalization, translocation, and digital media? Contributions ranging from linguistic, literary, and cultural studies explore the role of communication, narratives, memory, and trauma in processes of (un)belonging.
The volume includes a wide range of essays by, among others, Robert C. Young and Tobias Döring as well as Münster colleagues Dagmar Deuber, Katja Sarkowsky, and Caroline Koegler.
For more information, you can download the flyer here.
PTTS team at Hervé Youmbie's installation “Les masques célèstes” during the 2017 Münster Skulptur Projekte
Nationalism and the Postcolonial - GAPS Annual Conference
Next year's annual GAPS (Gesellschaft für Anglophone Postkoloniale Studien) conference themed "Nationalism and the Postcolonial" will be hosted from May 10 - 12, 2018 at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. On behalf of GAPS, Prof. Rainer Emig and his colleagues invite papers which may draw on but are not limited to the following aspects:
• Nationalism in postcolonial literature, the arts, music, and popular culture
• The language(s) of nationalism in postcolonial contexts
• The histories of nationalism in postcolonial environments
• Nationalism and postcolonial cultural and political identities
• Pan-Africanism, Pan-Asianism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc. and their
relation to nationalism
• Figureheads of postcolonial nationalism
• Nationalism and/vs. globalisation
• Contradictions within postcolonial nationalisms
• Indigenous nationalisms
The deadline for abstract submissions is December 31, 2017. For more information, you can download the full CfP here.
Panel: "Claiming spaces, creating places: Black activisim and the mediasphere" @Afroeuropeans2017
From July 6-8, the 6th biennial Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europeconferencetook place at the University of Tampere, Finland. During the conference, Mark U Stein, Felipe Espinoza, and Julian Wacker chaired a panel on "Claiming spaces, creating places: Black activisim and the mediasphere". The idea for this panel derived from the last Afroeuropean Conference hosted by the University of Münster's English Department in 2015, which in its course forged many connections between academia and activism. Bringing this spirit to Tampere, the panel convenors aimed at creating a safe space for scholars to be claimed through their respective research and own activist experiences. Presentations included mediations of blackness in YouTube series, #GenerationClapback's various engagements, discourses on natural hair in social networks as well as black social media activism in Finland and Brazil.
Literary guest lecture and reading with Sharon Dodua Otoo
The University’s English Department is proud to have hosted Sharon Dodua Otoo, recipient of the 2016 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize for German-language literatures, for a public literary guest lecture here at WWU Münster (June 27, 2017). During her talk in Prof. Mark Stein's lecture series "From Equiano to Evaristo", Otoo addressed the dynamics between creative writing and the pursuit of social change. Not only did she describe her own political activism as an editor of the Witnessed book series, which establishes a material platform for black authors in Germany who write in English (see video below), but she also contextualised her endeavours within the wider field of Afro-German literature. Reading from her novellas the things i am thinking while smiling politely (2012) and Synchronicity – the original story (orig. 2014), Otoo drew close connections between her own writing and social transformation. The lecture was chaired by Julian Wacker.
In the evening, the literary guest lecture was followed by a reading co-hosted by Afrika Kooperative Münster e.V. and the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies. Reading from the German translations of her work, Otoo caught the audience with her wit, humour, and sharp analyses of the continuum between privilege and marginalisation. Otoo's talent to turn elements of our daily lives, such as geometric figures and her award-winning breakfast egg, into metaphorical allusions to social issues was especially well received.
Sharon Dodua Otoo's literary guest lecture
Panel discussion - The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing:
Editors and contributors in conversation Great Writers Inspire at Home(Oxford University)
On June 15, editors Mark U Stein and Susheila Nasta will be in conversation with contributors Gail Low, Henghameh Saroukhani and Florian Stadtler about their forthcoming Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing, the very first academic collection to cover nearly 300 years of Black and Asian British literature, due to be published in 2018. From their perspectives as critics, they will address the questions of writing, reading and identity in Britain today. The event follows the very productive Symposium towards The Cambridge History of Black and Asian Writing (WWU Münster - September 28-30, 2016), during which numerous contributors came together and forged connections across chapters and disciplines. This June's panel discussion takes place at Oxford University and serves as one of the final workshops during the successful event series Great Writes Inspire at Home, hosted by The Oxford Research Center in the Humanities (TORCH).
The University’s English Department is proud to host Sharon Dodua Otoo, recipient of the 2016 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize for German-language literatures, for a public literary guest lecture here at WWU Münster. Not only will Sharon Otoo address the connection between creative writing and the pursuit of social transformation but situate her own work in the wider context of the lecture “From Equiano to Evaristo: Black and Asian British textuality from the eighteenth century until today”.
Sharon Dodua Otoo describes herself as a Black British mother, writer, and activist. Writing from Berlin, she is the author of two novellas, the things i am thinking while smiling politely (2012) and Synchronicity – the original story (2015). Her works, originally written in English, have been translated into German as well.
Apart from being a creative writer, she is also known for bridging the writer-activist divide and has co-edited The Little Book of Big Visions: How to be an Artist and Revolutionise the World (2012) as part of the Witnessed series.
The poster for this event can be viewed and downloaded here.
Info event - Master of Arts "National and Transnational Studies" (NTS)
As every year, we offer an information event for the very popular master programme "National and Transnational Studies". Interested students and applicants are welcome to join us on Wednesday, 26 Aprilat 6pm in room ES131 of the English Department.
For more information on the study programme, please visit http://www.wwu.de/MA_transnational/ or https://www.facebook.com/MANTSMuenster.