Decolonizing the Victorians 2019 Conferece
Abstr. due: 25.08.2019
Dates: 14.10.20 — 14.10.20
Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;
Organizing comittee e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers: School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon
Decolonisation is always a good idea – of course – but it’s a complicated one. ‘Postcolonial studies’ implies that colonialism is definitely ‘post’. Is it? Whose colonisation of whom are we talking about? (…) The categories are infinite, the hierarchies complicated and intersecting, the project of domination ongoing. (Arundhati Roy 2017)
The recent debates surrounding the decolonization of the university (Mbembe 2016) and the dismantling of the institutional structures that sustain white power prove that postcolonial and decolonial critiques need to remain centrifugal forces in the context of the liquid, neoliberal university (Mbembe 2003; Mignolo 2007; Young 2012; Bhambra 2014; Mignolo and Walsh 2018; Bhambra et al. 2018). These debates also demonstrate that, to circumvent the limited imaginations of neoliberal institutions, fields of inquiry such as English studies have to continuously travel beyond their foundational onto-historical ethnocentrism and Anglo-American-centred theoretical frameworks (Hitchcock 2001).
Building on the discussions taking place in English departments across universities in the UK (Ranasinha 2019), this seminar aims to contribute to the debate on what might be entailed in the next step of decolonizing the English studies curriculum in a semi-peripheral English department whose locus of observation, interpretation and enunciation is located in a non-English speaking country.
With a focus on decolonizing the Victorians, proposals for papers and pre-constituted panels (with three speakers each and a chair) should engage with at least one of the following questions:
- How does the mediating role of English as the lingua franca of western academia replicate the colonial dynamics of the nineteenth century?
- How can the colonial dynamics of English studies be revised and reinvented outside of the Anglosphere?
- How do we reinvent English studies in ways that do not rely on pre-existing extractive colonial patterns relating to labour, production and value, but at the same time foreground these immanent patterns?
- In terms of praxis, how can the concerns with the imperial contexts in which English studies articulated its mission (in India, for example) be incorporated into not only the practice of criticism and theory, but also university pedagogies?
Conference Web-Site: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2019/06/05/decolonizing-the-victorians