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In this sense, it could indeed be said that the Baltic countries have been doubly disadvantaged: victims of World War II, they were further victimized by the Cold War that followed, since the latter prevented them from being seen as the victims of the former. In terms of the Cold War, Eastern Europeans belonged to the political right by definition and could therefore count on little sympathy from the left. The example of French writers and thinkers is particularly revealing.

Thus, in , at the height of the Stalinist repression, Les Temps modernes —a journal associated, most notably, with the name of Sartre—published the following account:. Forced labor does not exist there, because the exploitation of man by man has long since been abolished.

While the contributors to Les Temps modernes were eager to deny or downplay the existence of the Gulag, they were also—as we might expect—among the most outspoken critics of colonialism. Marxism-Leninism and the Soviet Union offered them this alternative. Eventually, the reality of the Soviet system imposed itself as the deluded experiment in human engineering it had been from the start and, perhaps not coincidentally, the illusions fostered by Marxism-Leninism dissipated about the same time that France was giving up its colonial ambitions.

We threw out the Enlightenment together with Dialectics. There is still much to be understood and much to be revealed in this regard, and before we jump on the bandwagon of those who would trumpet the triumph of enlightened Western values, it is important to see how and why these values are apt to be so easily co-opted and subverted. It is at this juncture, we might note, that postcolonialism intersects with postmodernism, in the sense that both approaches can be seen as attempts at resisting and questioning some fundamental principles of Western Wisdom.

It is also at this juncture that the experience of the Baltic peoples could be deemed relevant to such postcolonial issues as the necessity to develop strategies of resistance to persisting forms of domination as well as the desirability of renewing precolonial forms of thought. This can be done most effectively by showing that such ways have become irrelevant. Thus the distinction— between socialism and capitalism, left and right—that sustained the rhetoric of the Cold War have become largely meaningless.

To some, such an agenda may sound overly vague and ambitious; to others it may appear much too sentimental and naive. That is why narrative—in oral or written form—has been of utmost importance for those deprived of their dignity, those who were denied their very humanity because they had become subhumans by definition. She remembers that the need to recount her experience became an obsession from the beginning:.

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The importance of this literature of deportation, as it has become known, can be appreciated on several levels. For them, however, it was this very futility and absurdity that made it imperative that it not be passed over in silence.

About Postcolonial Studies

In this sense, the literature of deportation partakes of an impulse that marks an entire stage in the history of our civilization. The latter part of the 20th century has been marked by the disintegration of all the great historical referents—capitalism, the bourgeoisie, imperialism, socialism, the proletariat.

For Nancy, the reality of these times is to be found in the void opened up by the failure of meaning, by the failure of civilization to make sense. As the metaphysics of meaning stands revealed, Nancy argues, individuals are increasingly exposed to the risk of no longer being able to interpret the world or themselves and meaning has been brought down to the level of singular, individual, immediate experience. At the same time, individuals also become exposed to themselves, to each other, to their own language and end up having no other recourse but to exist in the sense that they themselves are.

The work has generally been valued for its innovative treatment of form and character and for the influence it had on Latvian literature. Bels was the first Latvian writer to effectively bring out the importance of the world of material things and of its power over human thoughts and emotions, of its capacity for creating desire as well as for suppressing individuality. The cage stands for all the dehumanizing, stifling, and repressive elements of social existence that have been internalized by the individual; it represents the cumulative effect of the norms, habits, standards, and platitudes that limit thought and prevent the development of meaningful human relations.

There is, therefore, no escaping the cage, and when the architect finds himself finally freed, it is only to return to the cage of his life in Soviet society. As the colonial grip of the occupier loosened and as the hope of an eventual liberation grew stronger, the scope of his novels expanded to include considerations that went beyond strictly individual concerns. Its central theme is the destiny of the Latvian people as it has unfolded over the centuries.

Postcolonialism: WTF? An Intro to Postcolonial Theory

Above all else, it stands for the force of destiny: just as the dune finally engulfs the hamlet, history eventually swallowed up the once prosperous nation of Courland. What gives the narrative its tragic resonance is the evocation of the inexorable force of geopolitical circumstances to which small nations are subject. The lesson Bels wishes to impart is an understanding of the inherent importance of each people—no matter how small—in the global community of nations.

At the same time, each people must also accept the responsibility for preserving the language, history, art, and traditions that are unique to each individual community. And it is the former colonizers who seem to have it. The Latvian postcolonial hangover therefore appears to be rather unique by virtue of the ironic situation Bels outlines in the novel. They now had all that.

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  6. Only this time their position turns out to be incomparably more profitable. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of nonachievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from the wasteland. It makes them identify with that which is decadent and reactionary, all those forces which would stop their own springs of life. It even plants serious doubts about the moral lightness of struggle.

    The ground on which this war was waged was in the arena of language. It is perhaps in this sense that the postcolonial concerns of the Baltic peoples correspond most closely to those of other former victims of colonialism. Poor thoughts produce poor deeds. Poor deeds produce poor people. There is also the issue of the geo-political situation of the Baltic countries and the various positive or negative associations it brings, depending on the outcome of the latest war. Ashcroft et al.

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    Ashcroft, G. Griffiths, H. Poverty and precarity are among the most pressing social issues of our day. The last fifteen years have seen not only an ever widening gap between rich and poor across the globe as well as an exponential growth in the number of border subjects — refugees, asylum seekers and illegal migrants —, but also a steady growth of fictional and non-fictional representations of disenfranchised groups and individuals.

    This correlates with an intensification of research into the visual and narrative forms of these representations.

    Postcolonial Controversies

    For its conference, GAPS invites panels and individual papers addressing conceptualisations of poverty and precarity and investigating the ethics and aesthetics of representing poverty and precarity across the postcolonial world. Tournay euc. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 31 March.

    One of the characteristics of postmodernity is the global flow of people, goods, capital, and information within a single system of production and exchange legitimized by the logic of late capitalism. In addition, violence often operates at many levels political, economic, social in what has been considered a gendered continuum that positions men and women differently as perpetrators or victims. This panel invites discussion of public discourses about violence and its social significance, representation, and circulation in literary and other cultural texts in the context of English Studies.

    Proposals c. Easily the leading and most engaging voice of her era and generation, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has bridged gaps, introduced new motifs and narrative varieties which have energized contemporary African fiction since her first novel, Purple Hibiscus With Half of a Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Your Neck — — Short Stories , she established herself as a preeminent story- teller who uses her tales to give meaning to the totality of the world as she perceives it, producing in effect, narratives that seek to shape a new world of understanding as they give expression to realities the people know and human commitments and awareness they need to know.

    Americanah , comes at the summit of a dexterous fusion of ingenuous craftsmanship blending intriguingly sensitive themes of passionate love, independence, freedom and moral responsibility, with extravagant and versatile narrative innovations. Through her writings, she has made herself relevant to people of all ages—across racial and linguistic boundaries—whose needs, dreams, peculiar circumstances, successes and failures, hopes and aspirations, she has come to represent. Her talks, blogs, musings on social media, essays and commentaries, workshop mentoring for budding young writers, lecture circuit discourses, all enrich her imaginative creativity as they expand and define her mission as a writer.

    Her contributions to African, Diasporic and World literatures deserve serious critical analyses, commentaries, and interpretations as eloquent, exuberant and resourceful as her themes and narrative techniques have so far proved to be. Articles should be sent as e-mail attachments. Word document to: eernest umflint. Brief personal profile should be submitted with the article but as separate attachment.

    Deadline: 23 October More Info. In the past the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre in Baroda and the European Branch of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies have together hosted four unconventional conferences in a format that has by now become recognized among academics and activists as Chotro.

    The primary aim of this Chotro is to reach out to the linguistic, literary and artistic hinterlands and the remote and rural communities throughout the world as well as to establish a dialogue between the indigenous and the metropolitan and urban. This conference aims at bringing to the fore the debates and discussions of the various trends of Oceanic thought, writing, and storytelling, especially Polynesian, Hawaiian and New Zealand Maori, looking at its motivations, aims, and features across genres and media, whether digital media, art, in print, or performance.

    The conference also focuses on interdisciplinary research and comparative approaches that investigate commonalities and continuities between the literatures and cultures of Oceania, whether within one country or between countries. Approaches include but are not limited to :. This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars of different academic backgrounds to explore how knowledge systems, cultures, languages, and literary traditions have been affected by colonial and postcolonial conditions that are increasingly marked by contradictions, cultural heterogeneity, and transcultural processes.

    We are interested in the ways in which colonial and postcolonial constellations have been reflected, shaped, and negotiated by communication, symbolic practice, and knowledge practices. Detailed proposals up to 1, words for essays of no more than 7, words, as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to all three editors:.

    Deadline for Submissions: 1 August, Send word proposals for essays of 3,, words to teachingsaw gmail. CFP Subverting the State. CFP Empires and Revolutions. Date: May , Venue: Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales Call for Papers The influence of postcolonial thought has made it a commonplace to acknowledge the coexistence of multiple and plural forms of modernities that have led to great cultural, political, economic and technological shifts in the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

    Papers are invited on topics under the following headings: Transcultural mo ve ments and expressions of the present, the patterns, migrations, subjectivities and imaginaries. The production and reception of narrative forms in these transcultural mo ve ments. The expressions of ethical lives in transcultural postcolonial narratives. Canonicity and transcultural postcolonial literatures. Transcultural and postcolonial theories.

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    Narrative modes and genres in transcultural postcolonial literatures. The linguistic turn in transcultural postcolonial narratives. Transcultural interventions in the postcolonial. Postcolonial transcultural mo ve ments from Indigenous perspectives. Transcultural postcolonial mo ve ments of absence into presence.

    Transcultural and gender.