Vacancy: Student assistant (SHK/ SHB)

Are you interested in Postcolonial and Diaspora Studies? Are you a team player with a good command of English? Our Chair is looking for a flexible, communicative, and responsible student assistant to join our team as of 1 October. The application deadline is 12 August. More information is provided in the PDf below.

Download PDF

MA National and Transnational Studies (NTS):
Deadline for Applications Extended!

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.

Further information can be found on the MA NTS website and here.

© Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College

“Hostile Terrain”

The exhibition will be held later than originally scheduled, due to the global pandemic:

16-30 November 2020

In Autumn 2020, 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 takes place from 16 – 27 November, Monday to Friday, and 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.

Annika Reketat
Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein

Anniversary: 10 years MA NTS

MA National and Transnational Studies (NTS):

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: 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

© © Cover illustration: Larissa Sansour, »Space Earth«, C-Print (2009) / transcript

New book by Markus Schmitz

Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies: The Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations.

transcript, 2020

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.

Start of teaching postponed at WWU Münster

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.

Roundtable: The politics of contingent belonging in Europe - Call for Statements

Conveners: Deborah Nyangulu ( 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.

© PTTS Münster

>> 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
12 c.t.

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.

© PTTS Muenster

“West African publishing, diasporic connections: A publisher’s perspective”

Guest lecture with Akoss Ofori-Mensah (Accra, Ghana)
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
JO1, Johannisstr. 4, 48143 Münster
12 c.t.

The Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies is excited to host Akoss Ofori-Mensah, founder of the publishing house Sub-Saharan Publishers, for a guest lecture at WWU Münster’s English Department. In her lecture titled “West African publishing, diasporic connections: A publisher’s perspective,” Ofori-Mensah will give insights into her experiences as a publisher and touch on both publishing on the continent and its diasporic entanglements. The guest lecture is part of Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein’s lecture “Literatures of the African Diasporas” and is open to anyone interested.

Sub-Saharan Publishers specialises in African children’s books, African literature, literature on the transatlantic slave trade, and also features scholarly books. Founded in 1993, it has since published various award-winning books such as Animal Village, which recently won the 2019 Storytelling Award, or The Cross Drums, which was selected for the White Ravens list of outstanding new books for children and young adults in 2009. In the past, Ofori-Mensah has also not shied away from addressing obstacles she encountered in her endeavour to establish the publishing platform such as a lack of bookselling infrastructure or the underdevelopment of reading habits.

© F. Espinoza and J. Wacker

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
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 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
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
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.


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Intellectuals Across Borders: Abstracts now online

The book of abstracts for the upcoming Intellectuals Across Borders conference has now been uploaded to the conference website and can be accessed here.

The Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies will welcome participants to the second PIN Network Conference fully titled "Intellectuals Across Borders: Writers, Artists, Activists" (IAB2019) in Münster early next month (September 4-6, 2019). The conference is co-hosted by the University of Münster and the University of Lisbon. IAB2019 explores 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 while working in the manifold European public spheres.

For additional information, please follow this link for the CFP, check out the programme overview here, and follow our Twitter page to stay up-to-date!

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

Professor Paul Spickard returns to Münster

We are very happy to welcome back Paul Spickard, Distinguished Professor of History from UC Santa Barbara. From 18.6. to 22.7., Professor Spickard is working on his new book and teaching a seminar on "Racial and Ethnic Theory" in our MA programme National and Transnational Studies. For more information on Paul Spickard follow this link.

© M.Stein

>> Thru' Words that Still, Frames that Freeze: A Backward Glance at the Cracked Earth and its Fragmented Worlds <<

A literary guest lecture by Prof. Sridhar Rajeswaran

Tuesday, 9 April | 12:15 s.t. | JO1

The University's English Department is glad to host Prof. Sridhar Rajeswaran, Founder Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in India (CASII) for a public literary guest lecture at WWU Münster.

Prof. Rajeswaran has taught at numerous international universities and has published articles/chapters in reputed academic journals and critical anthologies and authored English Cup, Irish Coffee and Black Sugar: Postcolonial Perspectives on the Poetry of W.B. Yeats. He has co-edited a collection of essays entitled Constructions of Home in Philosophy, Theory, Literature and Cinema. He has published a collection of his poems called Cracked Images: Frozen Frames.
He has been a Poet-in-Residence at the University of Dusseldorf and has been invited to read his poems at the London Book Fair. In his lecture, Prof. Sridhar Rajeswaran will focus on Bapsi Sidhwa’s noviel Cracking Earth and its adaptation to film Earth 1947.

The Poster can be viewed and downloaded here.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event!

© M. Stein

>> 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 ( bis zum 22.03.2019 anzumelden. Bitte denken Sie daran, mindestens eine Viertelstunde vorher da zu sein und Ihren Studierendenausweis mitzubringen.

Sashakara, 2016 [cropped]
© Omar Victor Diop

"Postcolonial Intellectuals and their
European Publics"

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.

Ledent's guest lecture drew a wide audience.
© M. Stein
Prof. Bénédicte Ledent
© M. Stein

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.

Venue: 'Der Wunderkasten' | Rüschhausweg 6 | 48161 Münster-Gievenbeck

© M.Stein

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

© D. Nyangulu

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.                                                                                                    

© M.Stein

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.

The poster can be viewed and downloaded here.

Venue: Freiherr-von-Vincke-Haus | Domplatz 36 | 48143 Münster

© F. Espinoza

>> 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.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event!

Venue: Englisches Seminar | ES 226 | Johannisstraße 12-20 | 48143 Münster |

>> 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.

Venue: Bezirksregierung | Freiherr-von-Vincke-Haus | Domplatz 36 | 48143 Münster

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.

© Christiana Diallo-Morick

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"

© Christiana Diallo-Morick
  • © Christiana Diallo-Morick
  • © Christiana Diallo-Morick
  • © Christiana Diallo-Morick

"Writing Gender: Sexuality, Feminism and Masculinity"

British Council Literature Seminar 2018

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.

If you are interested in attending, you can register via the following link:

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.

© Susanne Mühleisen/Brill

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

© D. Nyangulu
Sharon Dodua Otoo during her literary guest lecture
© T. Krampe

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

© T. Krampe
  • © F. Espinoza
  • © F. Espinoza
  • © T. Krampe
  • © T. Krampe
  • © T. Krampe
  • © T. Krampe
  • © T. Krampe
  • © H. Eickhoff

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).

To visit the event page, please click here.

© F. Espinoza

GAPS Annual Conference: "Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World"

This year's GAPS annual conference (May 25-27 2017, University of Bonn/Germany) will focus on representations of poverty and precarity in a postcolonial world. The convenors welcome papers focusing on topic such as the relationship between poverty/precarity and social justice in a postcolonial contexts, issues of poverty/precarity in intercultural learning, material and visual representations of poverty/precarity, and many more.

© Universität Bonn


The British Literary Council will host a seminar under the headline 'Diverse Voices, New Directions' from 26th to 28th of January 2017 in Berlin. You can join the event live or online via the following link:

Black British writer Sharon Dodua Otoo receives Bachman Prize 2016

Black British writer Sharon Dodua Otoo <> receives Igeborg Bachman Prize 2016:

Fauré Requiem: World AIDS Day 2016

in cooperation with AIDS-Hilfe Münster
Two candle-light concerts conducted by Marion Wood
Petrikirche, Münster
November 30th, 23h
December 1st, 20h
> for more information please visit the facebook page.

Article - In the Fall: Decolonisation and the rejuvenation of the academic project in South Africa

If you are interested in reading the online article on an academic project for decolonisation in South Africa, please click here.

"Whitelash Against a Black President"

Van Jones (political activist, commentator, writer, attorney) on US election results

Public event: An Evening to Celebrate Black and Asian British Writing

On September 29th, the University of Münster’s Chair of Postcolonial Studies and Wasafiri, the well-known magazine of international contemporary writing, co-hosted a literary event to celebrate Black and Asian British writing. The reading and discussion - chaired by Susheila Nasta and Mark U Stein - featured writers Moniza Alvi, Mike Phillips, Kerry Young, and Gabriel Gbadamosi.

Please find several screenings of the reading below

Grace Nichols & John Agard (centre) with James Procter (left) & Mark Stein (right) in front of the Friedenssaal (courtesy of Florian Barten, June 2014).