We are glad to announce that the edited volume Ideology in Postcolonial Texts and Contexts, edited by Katja Sarkowsky and Mark U Stein, has now been published with Brill. The volume reflects that critiques of ideological formations occur within intersecting social, political, and cultural configurations where each position is in itself ‘ideological’ – and subject to asymmetrical power relations. It further attests that postcolonialism itself has become an object of critique as ideology, while postcolonial studies’ highly diversified engagement with ideology remains a strong focus that exceeds Ideologiekritik. Its fourteen contributions focus
- (I) on the complex relation between postcolonialism, postcolonial theory, and conceptualizations of ideology,
- (II) on ideological formations that manifest themselves in very specific postcolonial contexts, highlighting the potential continuities between colonial and postcolonial ideology,
- (III) and on further expanding and complicating the nexus of postcolonial ideology, from veiling as both ideological practice and individual resistance to home as ideological construct; from palimpsestic readings of colonial photography to aesthetics as ideology.
*Corona* Important information on traveling to Germany
The DW has compiled an article which includes helpful information for students flying (back) into Germany: https://www.dw.com/en/traveling-germany-coronavirus/a-54124541.
Southern Lives at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing
Convened by Professor Elleke Boehmer, The Southern Lives Network at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing springs out of Elleke's Southern Imagining and Tracing Southern Latitudes research projects. The Network aims at bringing together writers and scholars in postcolonial and Global South studies, the oceanic humanities and polar studies, to discuss how the high southern latitudes are imagined through life-writing.
Research questions include the following:
- How are southern worlds constructed as interconnected or in relation to each other in memoir, biography, and auto-fiction?
- What does it mean to view the world from a southern hemisphere perspective?
- What perspectives do global southern writing and story-telling offer to northern imaginative norms, including that of the ‘Global South’?
- How might the postcolonial and world literature fields be approached from a consciously antipodean or about-face viewpoint?
- How do we build comparative and lateral links across southern spaces and lives, and what is the epistemological and environmental traction of doing so?
The inaugural meeting will take place on Zoom, 8 December, 11:00 – 12:40. The detailed schedule can be found here.
FREE ACCESS DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing
Starting October 1st, Cambridge University Press grants a month of free access to the first Cambridge Histoy of Black and Asian British Writing (2020), edited by Susheila Nasta and Mark U Stein.
- 'This groundbreaking book of essays is a must-have for all editors, critics and literary editors who need to know this literary history, and all university and other libraries, and writers and readers.' Bernardine Evaristo
The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing provides a comprehensive historical overview of the diverse literary traditions impacting on this field's evolution, from the eighteenth century to the present. Drawing on the expertise of over forty international experts, this book gathers innovative scholarship to look forward to new readings and perspectives, while also focusing on undervalued writers, texts, and research areas. Creating new pathways to engage with the naming of a field that has often been contested, readings of literary texts are interwoven throughout with key political, social, and material contexts. In making visible the diverse influences constituting past and contemporary British literary culture, this Cambridge History makes a unique contribution to British, Commonwealth, postcolonial, transnational, diasporic, and global literary studies, serving both as one of the first major reference works to cover four centuries of black and Asian British literary history and as a compass for future scholarship.
8th Biennial Afroeuropeans Network Conference
7-10 July 2021, Brussels
The 8th Biennial Afroeuropeans Network Conference “Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities” will take place from 7 – 10 July 2021 in Brussels, the capital of Europe. Hosted by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), this conference is the result of a long collaboration between academics, writers, artists and activists that gave rise to the International Afroeuropeans Network.
The organisers of the Brussels conference envision the event as an academic, activist, and intellectual space that engages with Blackness in Europe and in which Afroeuropeans, other marginalised groups, and their allies can meet in solidarity and critical, yet respectful dialogue. Topics to be addressed at the conference may include, but are not limited to, Black identity, Black art, Black politics, and Black struggle, and special emphasis will be placed on the intersectional dimensions that underpin, affect, and shape Afroeuropean communities and their various cultural productions.
Please note that the deadline for the submission of applications has been extended due to the SARS19-pandemic. Apply for our 2-year tuition-free M.A. programme "National and Transnational Studies" until 20 August 2020. All classes are taught in English.
The exhibition will be held later than originally scheduled, due to the global pandemic.
The English Department and the Zentrale Kustodie/Kulturbüro will be hosting the “Hostile Terrain 94” installation, which will take place simultaneously at different institutions across the globe from May 2020. The exhibition will tackle questions of border regimes; contingent belonging; agency; art, activism, and remembrance. Hostile Terrain 94 Muenster is a collaborative project.
Hostile terrain is the term used by US Border Patrol to describe the deathly strip of land that divides Mexico from the US, encompassed by the Arizona Dessert. As a result of the 1994 US immigration policy of “Prevention Through Deterrence”, thousands of immigrants are forced to cross this “hostile terrain” every year, many of whom perish under the harsh and deadly topography of the border-crossing area.
To highlight this systematic oppression and plight of these identified and unidentified victims, “Hostile Terrain 94” is organized by the Undocumented Migration Project, a non-profit research-art-education-media collective, directed by Professor Jason De León (UCLA). The exhibition is composed of c. 3,200 handwritten toe-tags, filled out by teams of volunteers, each representing a refugee who died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. A participatory art installation, these geolocated tags are mounted on a large map of the Sonora Desert, pinpointing the exact locations where remains were found.
In preparation of the exhibition, the seminar "Hostile Terrains" is offered at the English Department during the Summer term. More information can be found here.
The exhibition will be complemented by a lecture series titled "Contingent Belongings" which relates the project to historical and contemporary perspectives on migration, remembrance, borders, and belonging. The lecture series includes speakers from disciplines such as Art History, American Studies, Christian Social Sciences, Migration Research and Intercultural Studies. More information on the lecture series will follow shortly.
Students of all programmes are invited to engage with this project in a hands-on manner and to volunteer in supporting the preparation and installation of the exhibition. Please contact Annika Reketat for information on volunteering.
Information on the project in German can be found here.
Online information event, Wed. 27 May 2020 @2pm (CET) via Zoom
On Wednesday, 27 May 2020, our faculty members will host a digital info event for students interested in the international Master’s programme “National and Transnational Studies: Literature—Culture—Language“ here at WWU Münster.
The event will take place in Zoom and will address the following topics:
- General introduction to the Master’s programme
- Fields of study (literary and cultural studies, linguistics, book studies, etc.)
- Application procedure and “corona concessions”
- Q&A session
We look forward to meeting you in this virtual space!
MA National and Transnational Studies (NTS):
Application portal open
The application portal is now open for the international two-year Master’s programme "National and Transnational Studies: Literature, Culture, Language" here at WWU Münster. You can find the application portal here: https://studienbewerbung.uni-muenster.de/bewerbungsportal/. Our established interdisciplinary programme is tuition-free and taught in English. Due to the corona crisis our admission procedure has been adjusted with regard to language tests, official certifications, and postal services.
Please find further details on the NTS website.
Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies: The Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations.
Markus Schmitz has recently published his revised habilitation thesis Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies: The Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations. This book explores the formative correlations and inventive transmissions of Anglophone Arab representations ranging from early 20th century Mahjar writings to contemporary transnational Palestinian resistance art. Tracing multiple beginnings and seminal intertexts, the comparative study of dissonant truth-making presents critical readings in which the notion of cross-cultural translation gets displaced and strategic unreliability, representational opacity, or matters of act advance to essential qualities of the discussed works' aesthetic devices and ethical concerns. Questioning conventional interpretive approaches, Markus Schmitz shows what Anglophone Arab studies are and what they can become from a radically decentered relational point of view. Among the writers and artists discussed are such diverse figures as Rabih Alameddine, William Blatty, Kahlil Gibran, Ihab Hassan, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, Emily Jacir, Walid Raad, Ameen Rihani, Edward Said, Larissa Sansour, and Raja Shehadeh.
For more information and open access to the e-book please click here
Deadline extension for term papers
Due to the corona pandemic and the closure of University libraries, please note that your deadline will be extended, if you are writing a term paper in one of the classes held by the PTTS team. Once the libraries open up again we will post an update about this deadline extension.
If you wish to hand in your paper before this, please send an electronic version including the signed plagiarism form to the respective PTTS team member. In addition, please make sure to drop off a printed version either at the respective post box at the English Department once the building reopens or at any time in the white post box at the Department's front entrance.
The extension does not apply to classes taught by Mrs. Nyangulu, as the term papers were due before the closure of the libraries.
Due to the corona pandemic, the Land NRW has closed down its schools and postponed face-to-face teaching at University. For now, these measures are in place until 20 April 2020. As things currently stand, 17 July remains the final day of teaching this summer semester.
Because of the rapidly changing situation, it’s essential to keep yourself and fellow students well-informed, especially in case you were planning return travel to the University of Münster. Please see here.
If you cannot find the answers you need on the web, you can also turn to Die Brücke which fields questions through its information desk on Facebook.
In the midst of a global pandemic, students & lecturers are wondering what the summer semester will bring for them.
Here is an open letter which generates important ideas and demands, turning the semester into a ‘Nichtsemester’. Such a 'No-Semester’ will allow us to explore new forms of teaching, study and learning, and to keep research and admin going, but crucially so without the default expectations, measurements, and constraints (including credit points, teaching hours, etc.).
Let’s suspend the teaching machine and transform it.
Think. Sign. Share.
You can access the open letter here.
Conveners: Deborah Nyangulu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mark U. Stein
I am German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose – Mesut Özil
When things were going well, I was reading newspaper articles and they were calling me Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian Striker. When things weren’t going well, they were calling me Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker of Congolese descent – Romelu Lukaku
These are just two of many examples which demonstrate how European publics often subject people of colour, regardless of class or status, to a politics of contingent belonging – “a conditional belonging that is strategically granted and revoked, meted out by white Europe when useful to its own interests”, as we put it recently.* To say it differently, contingent belonging is (apparently benevolently) bestowed onto migrants and ‘diasporeans’ – only to be withdrawn without warning; Mo Farah’s contested Europeanness after his 2015 Lisbon Marathon win is another example to complement the above. But on the receiving end, contingent belonging can also be employed strategically, and therefore become a potential site of resistance, performing self-identification and defiance against normative grammars of belonging.
Starting out on the premise that European publics often equate national belonging with whiteness, this roundtable seeks to explore how issues of self and group identification, race, language, nationality, citizenship, religion, birthplace, and/or cultural origins are mobilized to claim, pronounce on, negotiate, or revoke conditions of national belonging. What are the connections between nativism, whiteness, identity, migration, and belonging? What sort of contradictions emerge from pursuing a politics of contingent belonging and does this open up spaces for de-essentializing identities and conditions for national belonging? Designed to promote discussion amongst panellists and with the audience, the short statements (5 minutes) comprising this roundtable respond to its thematics and questions.
If you are interested in joining the roundtable, please let us have a (working) title for your statement as well as a brief abstract (c. 150 words max.) along with a short bio. Email one single word file to the conveners by 5FEB2020. Thanks!
* “Introduction: African European Studies as a Critique of Contingent Belonging”, Locating African European Studies: Interventions, Intersections, Conversation. Eds. Felipe Espinoza Garrido, Caroline Koegler, Deborah Nyangulu, and Mark Stein. London: Routledge, 2020. Free download here.
>> What makes literature diasporic? Reflections on Like mule bringing ice cream to the sun <<
Guest Lecture with Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Tuesday, 29 October 2019
JO1, Johannisstr. 4, 48143 Münster
The Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media studies is proud to host Sarah Ladipo Manyika for a guest lecture at WWU Münster’s English department titled “What makes literature diasporic? Reflections on Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun.” The guest lecture is part of Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein’s lecture “Literatures of the African Diasporas”. Anyone who is interested is welcome to join this free event.
When asked if she considers herself an African writer, Sarah Ladipo Manyika poignantly described herself as “an African writer and a British writer and an American writer and a global writer and a female writer and a black writer and a serious writer and a silly writer” in 2016, questioning literary classification and geographical fixation. An author of essays and novels, Manysika’s first novel In Dependence (2008) was originally published in London and later republished in Nigeria and Zimbabwe where it has become a set book for the Advanced-Level English Literature examinations.
In her talk, Manyika will reflect on her latest novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun (2016), which has recently also been translated into German. It has been endorsed by influential authors such as the 2019 Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo, who applauds the novel for expanding “the canon of contemporary African literature into welcome new territory.” The novel has also been shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize in 2016.
For additional information in German on her newest novel and the author, please click the following download link.
Intellectuals Across Borders: Keynotes and Literature Event
The upcoming conference"Intellectuals Across Borders: Writers, Artists, Activists" (IAB2019) will include riveting sessions with prominent speakers, which we would like to introduce:
Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer and broadcast journalist. He has received various awards for his work, including a Decibel Penguin Prize and an ENAR (European Network Against Racism) award. He is the curator of the online journal Afropean.com part of the Guardian's Africa Network and has collaborated with Caryl Philips on A Bend in the River, a photographic essay about London's immigrant communities for the BBC and Arts Council. His photography has been published widely in international magazines and across the blogosphere. Johny’s book titled Afropean: Notes from Black Europe has recently come out with Penguin to much critical acclaim.
Further information on Johny and his projects can be found here.
John Sundholm is Chair of the Department of Media Studies and Professor in Cinema Studies at Stockholm University. His research areas include memory studies and minor cinemas. He focuses on theoretical and methodological issues in memory studies; cultural trauma and national victimhood, and nationalist historiography. John has published widely in the fields of film and memory studies, including two recently published edited collections The Cultural Practice of Immigrant Filmmaking (with Lars Gustaf Andersson; 2019) and Transnational Cinema at the Borders (with Ana Cristina Mendes; 2018). John also works as a film programmer and organizes Scandinavia's only international experimental film event, AVANT, since 2002.
Further information on John and his projects can be found here.
Literature X Coffee
Karosh Taha’s debut novel Beschreibung einer Krabbenwanderung (Description of a Crab Migration) was published with Dumont in 2018. Born in Zaxo/Northern Iraq in 1987, Karsoh Taha moved to the German Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr region) at the age of ten. Her novel tells the story of student Sanaan, who grows up on a German housing estate and finds herself in conflict with the older generations in her family. This narrative of generational conflicts among a growing Kurdish diaspora in Germany and resistance against restrictive, often patriarchal, structures is conveyed with startling prose, lush literary imagery, and an at times provocative bluntness. The novel has been nominated for several literary prizes, including the German-based Ulla-Hahn-Preis.
The pictures presented here feature the hosts and many of the guest speakers during the conference.
English in a world of strangers: Rethinking World Anglophone Studies. Call for Papers
The 31st Annual Conference of GAPS (Association of Anglophone Postcolonial Studies) takes place at Goethe University Frankfurt (21-24 May 2020). The conference seeks to facilitate dynamic and fruitful conversations at the intersections of various disciplines, including, for instance, postcolonial studies, world literary studies, and the study of global Englishes. It also sets out to reflect on established notions of an ‘anglophone world’ by taking into consideration emerging cultural configurations such as English-language writing in the Arab world and the revival of vernacular literatures in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. By reflecting the role of English critically, the annual GAPS conference wants to explore the current state und future development of World Anglophone Studies.
Participants are invited to join this discussion about the transformation of English and the field of Anglophone postcolonial studies with their own ideas and papers.
For a specific list of what kinds of papers are desired for this conference in particular, you can view and download the CfP here.
Deadline for individual abstracts: December 31.2019
>> The Idea of South Asia and the Construct of South Asian Diasporic Literatures <<
A literary guest lectre by Prof. Nilufer E. Bharucha
Tuesday, 2 April | 12:15 s.t. | JO1
The English Department is delighted to host Prof. Nilufer E. Bharucha, Director of the Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging – Indian Diaspora Centre, for a public literary guest lecture at WWU Münster.
Prof. Bharucha is coordinator of the Indo-Canadian Studies Centre and Adjunct Faculty, Department of English at the University of Mumbai. She has published in national and international journals and anthologies and is on the advisory board of several international journals. Additionally, she has authored and edited books in the areas of Postcolonial Indian Writing, Diasporic Indian Literature & Cinema and the Writing of the Parsis.
In her lecture Prof. Nilufer E. Bharucha aims to contextualize the concept of South Asia in history, politics and culture and provide an overview of the literatures written by the South Asian Diaspora
The Poster can be viewed and downloaded here
We look forward to welcoming you to this event!
Der Wiederholungstermin für die Klausur der VL von Herrn Prof. Mark Stein findet statt am
Donnerstag, 28.03.2019 um 10.15 Uhr, Raum ES 129
Wenn Sie die Klausur am 28. März mitschreiben möchten, bitte ich Sie, sich per E-Mail (email@example.com) bis zum 22.03.2019 anzumelden. Bitte denken Sie daran, mindestens eine Viertelstunde vorher da zu sein und Ihren Studierendenausweis mitzubringen.
"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.
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.
Book launch "Dekolonisierung des Denkens"
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.
For more information, please follow this link.
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.