Author Archives: Chelsea Wall

Thoughts on the Imperial University

I was particularly drawn to the selections from the Imperial University assigned for tomorrow’s discussion, and not just for the Saidian references of which we all know I am especially fond. I was engrossed in Nicholas de Genova’s account of what seemed to be the malignant misappropriation/misinterpretation of his speech against the U.S. invasion of Iraq for its exploration of the harmful rhetoric employed by his fellow faculty members and administrators, rhetoric which insidiously suppressed him as a member of the faculty. I was simultaneously impressed with and sickened by the way in which Lee Bollinger was able to both advocate for the tolerance of both freedom of speech and academic freedom while simultaneously impressing upon faculty and students, through coded language, that “both the form and the substance of [de Genova’s] speech commanded vociferous condemnation”. I am unsure how these principles of freedom are able to coexist with a flagrant disregard of them, and an insistence that there exist situations in which academics can be seen to be “crossing the line” – in an environment that truly advocates for academic freedom, should there really be a line to cross? I am further unnerved by de Genova’s insistence that “widely publicized allegations of ‘sedition’ or ‘economic heresy,’ which are perceived to diminish the value of the university’s commodity and to degrade the institution’s corporate credibility and respectability, are deemed infinitely more consequential than sustaining a space of genuinely uninhibited, robust, and wide-open freedom of speech and expression.” What, then, is the value of the university as a space of knowledge production and inquiry, if that very inquiry is limited instead to  inquiry that doesn’t disrupt the hegemonic status quo, or engage problematic issues of U.S. foreign policy, or make social justice a priority of the academic sphere, but rather only pays lip service to these ideals? As a postcolonial scholar, the details of Bollinger’s commencement speech, in which he “unreservedly upheld the notion of U.S. global hegemony as [the graduating students] special responsibility,” do not sit well with me. If that is my special responsibility going forth, I, for one, want nothing to do with it. I am further unnerved by the idea that “the feelings we have that I have called familial, and that live in an extended orbit…including soldiers that fight on the nation’s behalf, often class with the seemingly abstract values and principles we also embrace for social and other purposes.” I feel Bollinger here is implying that such familial feelings are to be extended only within the bounds of nationhood, and therefore that such abstract values as “freedom of speech” and “social justice” exist only when they fall within the circle of the family of the nation. That makes me uncomfortable. As de Genova asks, “why indeed were these officials of the imperial university not more appalled and outraged by the real atrocities that the United States war machine was perpetrating against innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq than the violent imagery [he] conjured with [his] words?” Why, indeed.

I am further interested in the way in which de Genova was punished for his incendiary words through a culture of censure rather than censorship, thereby divesting the university of any real responsibility or accountability for disciplining him. As he notes, “when I violated the tacit terms of that academic covenant – which pervasively encourages scholars to speak and write in disguised, Aesopian, obfuscatory language and exalts the exchange value of apparently sophisticated esoteric complexity – the penalty was not overt official sanction but instead a concerted silencing that could be enforced only through the multifarious manifestations of political disapprobation and professional disregard.” In this way, the institution itself was able to navigate the murky waters of public opinion, paying lip service, as I said, to the ideals of freedom of speech and academic freedom, placating faculty and students who disagreed with punishing de Genova overtly for his speech, but also ensuring that he did receive a form of punishment regardless of its comments to the contrary, through manipulating the culture of the university to exclude him and denying him tenure, thereby simultaneously placating the efforts of, for example, the 104 or so members of Congress that demanded he be dealt with in some way or another.

Insidious manipulation aside, attempts such as these to quash what appears to be overtly political dissent, or whatever you’d like to call it, bring to mind several current debates within postcolonial studies, namely that “the ‘linguistic turn’ and ‘descent into discourse’ in postcolonial studies risk obscuring the material coordinates of imperialism, and depoliticizing a field of study that is from its inception engaged with inherently political questions of empire, race, colonialism, and their relationship to cultural production” as Helen Scott writes in her Caribbean Woman Writers and Globalization. I am concerned with the institutionalization of this subfield into the discipline of literary studies, worried that it will lose it’s edge, soften its radicalism in order to conform to the expectations of the academy so as to be conducive with the process of evaluating candidates for tenure, a process that seems to insist that scholars conform to the existing status quo rather than interrogating it. I wonder, as well, if this speaks to the fact that postcolonial theory largely refuses to engage with the status of the United States as a postcolony despite the fact that many seminal texts of postcolonial theory (Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth comes to mind here, for example) are directly applicable to the history of independence and neoimperialism in the US. Instead, however, postcolonialists have chosen to engage with globalization, leaving the myth of nationality behind as an obsolete concept, much to my dismay. As Rob Nixon notes in Slow Violence, “together, the rise of world literary studies and the rise of the pro-globalization public intellectual have allowed many universities to phase out (or greatly reduce) their hiring and course offerings in postcolonial studies as a purportedly superannuated field. This would concern [him – and me!] less if [he] did not suspect this as being symptomatic of a broader scaling back within the humanities and the social sciences of the kind of radicalism that anti-imperial and postcolonial work often enabled.”

Finally, at the risk of clambering up on my soapbox and preaching accessibility yet again, I would just like to make a nod to de Genova’s encoded stab at the inaccessibility of language in academia, his comment about the culture “which pervasively encourages scholars to speak and write in disguised, Aesopian, obfuscatory language and exalts the exchange value of apparently sophisticated esoteric complexity,” as this is a deep concern of mine within the postcolonial sphere as well. Rob Nixon (who, as an aside, seems particularly relevant to Steven Salaita’s chapter in the Imperial University, as well) is similarly discomfited by this trend, noting that “an involuted turn toward an abtruse prose accessible only to disciplinary initiates severed much postcolonial work from the public, communicative ambitions that, at its best, had provided much of the field’s anti-imperial dynamism.” It puts me in mind of questions I often find myself asking of postcolonial theorists when grappling with their work – who, exactly, is your audience? Who, exactly, are you pretending to liberate, when the fact of the matter is that even those of us who claim to be postcolonial scholars have trouble muddling through what you’re saying? Who is being served by this rhetoric? How can you consider yourself a public intellectual when the public finds you completely unintelligible? And if your mission is not to serve the postcolonial public, then what, exactly, is it?




Shelley and His Circle at the NYPL

By: Chelsea Wall

In the interest of full disclosure (and because I was probably the only one of us who had such an encounter), my experience with the New York Public Library archives began with a rather strange email exchange with one of the curators, whom I suppose should probably remain nameless. I filled out a request form to access the archives of Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley, to which this (slightly touchy) curator responded with a lecture on the vagueness of my assignment as well as a semantics lesson on the uses of “archive” vs. “archives.” This semantics lesson turned out to be incorrect, as I learned in a further email from said curator, however if anyone is interested in its nature, the singular form of “archives” is, in fact, “archives.”

Semantic quibbling aside, upon filling out the form, I received response rather quickly from multiple sources, though I was directed by the curator of the Berg Collection to consult the archives of Shelley and his circle, rather than the Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley archives, as vastly more of her papers are contained within the Pforzheimer Collection. The curator of that collection further requested that I consult the volumes of Shelley and His Circle before looking at the holdings of the archives, as many of the manuscripts are already published there, and I could potentially find them more useful than looking at the originals.

This brings me to draw upon a point that Sarah made in her posted assignment on her experience in the archives of the NYPL – it seems that access to manuscripts is quite guarded, and the filtration system to keep out the “riff raff,” so to speak, is rather extensive. While I fully understand the necessity of protecting two hundred year old documents, I remain discomfited by the privileging of access to and production of information and knowledge being restricted to those in higher-level education. The fact that I was asked to provide a reference in order to visit the archives speaks volumes to this point. As was pointed out in class, the creation of knowledge isn’t restricted to the institutions of academia, though we seem to have established a monopoly on primary sources and documents. I worry about what this privileging and micromanaging of access is doing to the production of knowledge through alternative avenues by denying access to primary documents to “amateur enthusiasts,” as if someone without a college education couldn’t use these sources in an appropriate manner.

Therefore, my search for information began in the second floor research area, where I, again like Sarah, was struck by the level of touristic noise and hullabaloo from the first floor below. Despite the nature of the library space as unconducive to quiet study and reflection, I did indeed find the volumes that I was instructed to look through quite informative. I focused on Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley’s correspondences rather than any manuscripts, in the interest of finding any reference to her neuroses regarding her failed pregnancies and determining their influence on the genesis of Frankenstein, which is rife with creation anxieties and motherless figures, intertwining life forces and death forces that are correspondent with Shelley’s lived experience. While I found nothing of this nature, after rifling through the 8 or so volumes of Shelley and His Circle, I decided to take a look at the letters written by Mary Wollestonecraft (Mary Shelley’s mother) to her childhood friend Jane Arden, written from 1773-1783. While they didn’t prove pertinent to any of my current work, I found it quite interesting to be privy to a private childhood squabble between Wollestonecraft and Arden, as if I was hearing a piece of juicy gossip some 225 years after the fact.

Though I didn’t find what I was looking for (though maybe I am an inadequate researcher), I was thankful to have some small experience with the daunting processes of archival research, and this assignment was effective in mediating my reluctance to engage with such processes. I refrained from taking pictures as I got the sense from our presentation on the archives at the NYPL some weeks ago that picture-taking is frowned upon, at least within this particular institution. However, I look forward to conducting research more pertinent to my work in other archives as well!

Peer-to Peer Review and Planned Obsolescence

Hi all,

I realize this is a little belated, but our discussion on Fitzpatrick’s Planned Obsolescence really got the gears a-grinding, so to speak. Perhaps this is woefully ignorant of me to admit, but I was unaware that peer review forms such a cornerstone of modern scholarly publishing. As far as Fitzpatrick’s historicization of peer review, I am interested in the ways in which she locates it within systems of authority, but remain leery of much historical postulation about the history of the discipline, especially after reading Graff’s tome which completely neglects to locate any historicity within colonial England’s cultural imperialism of India. Furthermore, I am concerned by the larger implications of laziness within the academy, as peer review seems to be a sort of outsourcing of the evaluation of tenure candidates and doctoral students. If evaluation of my merit is to be outsourced to the system of peer review, I am deeply troubled by the flaws inherent in this system.

I was interested in the points brought up in class discussion about the concept of “blind review” regarding the construction of peer relationships — who are our peers, really? And could a misunderstanding of peer relationships, especially when conducted anonymously, lead to a biased review of an article, resulting in a rejection of material because your review operates under different theoretical methodologies than the ones which frame your work? Fitzpatrick notes that “blind review,” rather than rectifying these issues, “cannot compensate for the reviewer who operates within a cloud of intellectual bias, dismissing any arguments or conclusions that disagree with his or her own” (29). It reminds me of a Louis C.K. interview in which he discusses children text messaging each other — the layer of anonymity, though slight, enables harshness due to the lack of profoundly human interaction. These concerns gendered by blind review, however, seem to be echoed in the systems of online peer-to-peer review, causing Fitzpatrick to appeal to “consider[ing] the ways that network effects bring out both the best and the worst in the communities they connect, and the kinds of vigilance that we must bring to bear in guarding against the potential reproduction of the dominant, often exclusionary ideological structures of the Internet within the engagements between scholars and readers online” (36).

That being said, it is quite exciting to consider the opportunities opened by peer-to-peer review in the facilitating of discussions of scholarly work in real-time. I appreciate the way that Fitzpatrick consistently circles back to the idea of academia as a community, and her solutions seem to work against what Graff calls “patterned isolation.” I also appreciate the way in which she calls attention to authorship as a dialogic process, in which no text is an island, so to speak, and locates texts in their connection to and conversation with other texts. I am excited by the potential inherent in a system of peer-to-peer in which more people have access to the conversation taking place (which – imagine!- takes the form of an actual conversation where the text is not an uninterrogable lump of paper that shouts “I am authoritative,” but rather a space of conversation where the author can literally be held accountable in real-time for disjunctions in clarity as well as questions engendered by ideas and their implications – yes, I’m thinking of Homi Bhabha) and in which the digital world can mediate between spaces of exclusivity and inclusivity, thus perhaps unprivileging the position of the traditional scholar, which I think can only be a good thing as far as the project of humanizing the academy is concerned. I am also drawn to the ways in which such a system might be useful in expanding our notions of who our peers are, as reviewing across disciplines could be intensely helpful in certain kinds of work. I know my own work could potentially benefit in ways I probably can’t imagine from the comments of anthropologists or sociologists who would be capable of dispelling ignorances I am not even aware of. I am further thrilled by the thought of submitting work for review at earlier stages and hope to find an environment in which I can do so — it seems a low-stakes and less anxiety-ridden alternative to only submitting finished work in a make-or-break sort of setting. This kind of work could also help younger scholars be rid of the notion that scholarly works spring fully formed from the forehead of the author. As far as my own scholarship is concerned, I envision a technological utopia in which I am able to connect immediately to the texts which the text I am reading cite and/or obliquely refer to, however such a vision seems too labor intensive to be economically viable.

The labor question is one that holds a few contradictions for me: shouldn’t scholars be excited to participate in such seemingly vibrant intellectual communities that the digital world seems capable of producing and maintaining? Shouldn’t we be interested in peer-to-peer review for the simple sake of furthering our own work and nurturing the work of others, work that could potentially become viable to our own questions? That being said, I’m sure there are many (probably including Fitzpatrick herself) that would call me naive for having such an idealistic vision of the academic community. I appreciate that we are economically in a bit of a bad state, and scholars who are underfunded and overworked already (adjuncts, anyone?) need incentive to pour their labor into other people’s projects. While I understand the need to incentivize the peer-to-peer review process, I find the necessity disturbing in and of itself, finding it yet another instance of such isolation that prevents us from doing the best, most collaborative, interdisciplinary work possible.

Like Christina mentioned, the technical and jargon-laden passages, especially those in her “Texts” chapter, failed to resonate with me as well, however I am appreciative to at least have a reference point to start if I ever become interested in digital publishing (which I imagine I might, if Fitzgerald’s predictions about the future of scholarly publishing are correct).




Annotated Bibliography: Temporality in Postcolonial States

By: Chelsea Wall

I wanted to use this opportunity to gather some sources regarding the reconciliation (or lack thereof) of the dueling temporalities inherent in postcolonial spaces between the encroachment of modernity and its negative effects on postcolonial communities and the lure of reconnecting with a tradition and culture present before the colonial encounter.

Amor, Monicia, Okwui Enwezor, Gao Minglu, Oscar Ho, Kobena Mercer, and Init Rogoff. “Liminalities: Discussions on the Global and the Local.” Art Journal (57.4) 29-49. Web. 30 Oct. 2014.

This article is a series of essays that discuss various issues of artists working in Latin America, Africa, and China. I am particularly interested in Okwui Enwezor’s essay, “Between Localism and Worldliness,” which examines the affect of diaspora and migration on the identity of African artists and intellectuals attempting to negotiate the temporalities of the Western world and cyberspace with maintaining a connection with the home space. He uses internal migration patterns to illustrate how new temporalities within one’s own home country and culture can render citizens alienated and distant from its social procedures and concludes that the liminality of diaspora can be “seen as potential subversions of nationality – ways of sustaining connections with more than one place while practicing nonabsolutist forms of citizenship.”

Dasgupta, Rana. Capital: The Eruption of Delhi. New York: Penguin Press HC, 2014. Print.

Dasgupta’s novelistic portrait of Delhi as a booming metropolis puts into perspective the myriad of ways in which multiple temporalities can operate and conflict within one city. Between interviews with the corrupt mega-rich of the business sector and tours of the internal squalor of the city of itself, it becomes evident that more than half of the city, living in slums and sleeping on the medians of the streets, is operating on a temporality which capitalism has yet to infiltrate with which the ultra-rich are unable or unwilling to acknowledge or engage with.

Harvey, David. Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Harvey, whom I didn’t know was actually a faculty member here, analyzes the contradictions of capital and their wider social implications in fostering a world divided by social injustices. He divides the contradictions into “foundational,” “moving,” and “dangerous” with foundational crises being inherently built into the system of capitalism and unavoidable in any of its incarnations, moving crises being constantly changing, some of which build over time and become a form of slow violence in themselves, and dangerous crises (one of which includes capitalism’s relationship to nature and another being universal alienation) being those that pose a danger to the system of capitalism. I felt this source could provide beneficial background and another angle through which I could approach temporality in postcolonial spaces.

McLeod, John. “‘Wheel and Come Again: Transnational Aesthetics Beyond the Postcolonial.” Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies 7.2 (2001): 85-99.

McLeod draws attention to the problematic methodologies of postcolonialism and its tendency to become an overarching concept that lacks a grasp of the nuances of locality and an insensitivity to forms of colonialism that differ over time and space and which limit it in reading the complexities and politics of culture in former colonies. He offers transnationalism as a solution due to its insistence on the relationship between new forms of identity and economic networks of cultural production and suggests that the liminal positioning of transnational communities provide a space in which radical critique and social change can take place.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011. Print.

Nixon’s book Slow Violence gives an outline of some of the dueling temporalities faced by the advent of capitalism and toxic industry outsourcing to the underdeveloped world. He argues that we, in the Western world, conceive of violence as a singular, spectacular event and neglect to conceptualize the lingering, more insidious effects of violence that wreak havoc on native communities with economic ties to the land. His theory of slow violence is helpful in framing the nature of the temporalities at work in the postcolonial state. Furthermore, I am interested in his conception of “writer-activists” as liminal states in that they provide a strong linkage to underdeveloped countries while operating within the Western world, thereby balancing the two temporalities and attempting to unite them.

Varma, Rashmi. “UnCivil Lines: Engendering Citizenship in the Postcolonial City.” NWSA Journal 10.2 (1998): 32-55.

Varma takes a feminist approach to the problem of creating identity in the postcolonial state, arguing that decolonization projects were intimately tied to conceptions of masculinity that problematized the urban woman, noting that representations of the alienated postcolonial intellectual torn between dueling temporalities have been male in origin, with the voice of the middle-class urban India woman being conspicuously silenced.

Burton, Stacy. “Bakhtin, Temporality, and Modern Narrative: Writing ‘the Whole Triumphant Murderous Unstoppable Chute.” Comparative Literature 48.1 (1996): 39-64. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

This article engages with the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Frederic Jameson to identify the ways in which our unconscious grappling with space and time intimately affect narrative form, noting that it is often the struggle with “multiple, interrelated senses of time” that animates or drives a narrative (46). Though she focuses primarily on a Bakhtinian reading of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, which is not typically considered a postcolonial novel, her rendering of the way that the characters negotiate temporal disjunctions and become limited in their efforts to narrate history, especially her treatment of Benjy as a character who is “extratemporal” are still salient to the exploration of dueling temporalities within modernity, as well as within narrative forms themselves. She ends with a nod towards postcolonial literature, suggesting that a Bakhtinian notion of “chronotopes” becomes vastly helpful in critiquing the ideology of imperialism in postcolonialism.

Sorensen, Eli Park. “Naturalism and Temporality in Ousmane Sembene’s Xala.” Research in African Literatures 41.2 (2010): 222-243. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

In this piece, Sorensen explores the temporal flow of the novel Xala, a tale of the obstacles placed in the path towards Senegal’s emergence as an independent national identity. The novel draws on Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth in order to exemplify that a nation in the hands of a colonized bourgeoisie made of “mimic men” that simply occupy the channels left empty by the colonizing power is destined for neocolonial exploitation. He explores the multiple ways in which this bourgeoisie, embodied in the figure of El Hadji, must actively forge a present in which the deeds and environment of the past is forgotten or deliberately ignored, rendering them actors in an imaginary and wholly impotent world. Furthermore, El Hadji is cursed with a gala, a curse that renders him literally impotent, and therefore must travel to villages on the margins of his bourgeoise community, villages that exist upon a temporality that he has turned his back on and repressed to exist in the postcolonial world, and is unable to reconcile himself to. Through the notion of the xala, which operates across the disjunctive temporal spaces, the two worlds are able to be united, though it is in a negative sense. This piece serves to illustrate the dangers of refusing to negotiate the dueling temporalities of the modern postcolonial state.

Roy, Arundhati. Capitalism: A Ghost Story. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2014. Print.

This collection of essays by writer-activist Roy outlines the rampant chaos wrought by the underclass and natural resources of India by modern techno-capitalism. She investigates how capitalism has reinforced the caste system as well as gender, race, religious, and ethnic conflicts in addition to creating the demand to clear vast swaths of lands of people and resources to make way for zones of business activity. She also implicates NGOs and international foundations in making economic might politically and culturally legitimate. This is another source that outlines the ways in which global capitalism makes the divide between temporalities in postcolonial spaces ever more sharp and detrimental to the masses.

Bhambra, Gurminder K. Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2007. Print.

Bhambra uses a postcolonial approach to deconstruct and reconstruct our understanding of modernity, cautioning that the way in which we understand the past has implications for social theories developed today. She acknowledges that implicit in postcolonial theory is the continued privileging of the Western world and seeks to remedy the assumptions of linearity in modernity theory by constructing a comparison of “multiple modernities.” Understanding these multiple modernities and the way they interact is fundamental to understanding the development of multiple temporalities within the same geographical space.

State of the Field: Postcolonialism

By: Chelsea Wall


The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.

This journal seeks to provide a “forum for publishing research covering the full spectrum of postcolonial critical readings and approaches, whether these center on established or lesser known postcolonial writers or draw upon fields such as Modernism, Medievalism, Shakespeare, and Victorian Studies that have hitherto not been considered central to postcolonial literary studies, yet have generated some of the best insights on postcolonialism.”

Race and Class: a Journal on Racism, Empire, and Globalisation.

“Race & Class is a refereed, ISI-ranked publication, the foremost English language journal on racism and imperialism in the world today. For three decades it has established a reputation for the breadth of its analysis, its global outlook and its multidisciplinary approach.” Topics covered include but are not limited to: globalisation, popular culture, postcolonialism, legacies of empire, culture and identity, militarism and empire, religion and race, and xeno-racism.

The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies.

“The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies publishes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural articles, interviews, and creative writings on the literatures, the histories, the politics, and the arts whose focus, locales, or subjects involve Britain and other European countries and their former colonies, the now decolonized, independent nations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and also Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.”

Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.

This journal actually has it’s editorial office in the department of English at NYU and it’s website is pretty amazing to navigate via iPad. Subjects of interest include: the histories of imperialism and colonialism, the role of culture (academic, literary, and popular) in the operation of imperialism and the formation of resistance movements, liberation struggles, past and ongoing, the role of religion and culture in new nationalisms, the contemporary politics of identity, races and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, the economies of neocolonialism, diaspora and migrancy, etc.


Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (2012). “wa Thiong’o confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature’s ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or ‘orature,’ and writing, or ‘literature’; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon.”

The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South by Vijay Prashad (2014). “Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRICS countries, the World Social Forum, issue-based movements like Via Campesina, the Latin American revolutionary revival—in short, efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies and economically by the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other instruments of the powerful. Just as The Darker Nations asserted that the Third World was a project, not a place, The Poorer Nations sees the Global South as a term that properly refers not to geographical space but to a concatenation of protests against neoliberalism.”

Postcolonialism and the Specter of Capital by Vivek Chibber (2013). “Postcolonial theory has become enormously influential as a framework for understanding the Global South. It is also a school of thought popular because of its rejection of the supposedly universalizing categories of the Enlightenment. In this devastating critique, mounted on behalf of the radical Enlightenment tradition, Vivek Chibber offers the most comprehensive response yet to postcolonial theory. Focusing on the hugely popular Subaltern Studies project, Chibber shows that its foundational arguments are based on a series of analytical and historical misapprehensions. He demonstrates that it is possible to affirm a universalizing theory without succumbing to Eurocentrism or reductionism.”



The British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. “The British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, inaugurated in 1992, is the oldest and longest-running annual meeting of its kind in the United States. It encompasses colonial and postcolonial histories, literatures, creative and performing arts, politics, economics, and all other aspects of the countries formerly colonized by Britain and other European powers. There is no restriction to any particular political/cultural ideology or to specific critical practices. The Colonial, Postcolonial, and Decolonized eras all are of interest. We welcome and seek to encourage a variety of approaches and viewpoints, and the generation of wide-ranging, productive debates. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, the conference offers scholars and researchers, teachers and students, the opportunity to disseminate and discuss their knowledge and understanding of the dynamic, important field of postcolonial studies.”

Postcolonial Studies Association Conference. “We aim to help foster relevant work on, across and between such areas as anthropology, area studies, cultural studies, developmental studies, economics, gender studies, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, literary studies, political studies, sociology, and others. Though based in the UK, the PSA’s scope and membership are international, and the Association actively welcomes scholars dealing with non-Anglophone areas and subjects – particularly those that are not represented by existing research centres and groups.”

Cultural Studies Association Annual Conference. While this conference is not geared toward postcolonialism explicitly, their website notes that they “welcome proposals from a range of disciplinary and topical positions, including literature, history, sociology, geography, politics, anthropology, communication(s), popular culture, cultural theory, queer studies, critical race studies, feminist studies, post-colonial studies, legal studies, science studies, media and film studies, material cultural studies, platform studies, visual art and performance studies.” Furthermore, this year’s theme is “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy.” They go on to note that “it expresses a commitment to the intellectual and political project of a radically different university. Moving beyond policy and pundit-driven discussions of the state and the future of higher education, we seek proposals that highlight socially-engaged scholarship and activism, and projects that explore the transformative possibilities embedded in the present. What forms and formations of research, pedagogy, praxis, and activism have emerged from the struggles being waged in, around, through, and in spite of institutions of higher education? What roles can culture, theory, imagination, and technology play in these struggles? Taking up cultural studies’ historical commitment to the interrogation of the relations among knowledge, power, and social transformation, the 2015 Cultural Studies Association conference seeks to provide an insurgent intellectual space for imagining, enacting, and mapping new forms of knowledge production and scholarly communication and community,” all of which I thought was particularly relevant to our last discussion in class.



Postcolonial Literary Studies Series by Edinburgh University Press “examines how Postcolonial Studies reconfigures the major existing periods and areas of literature. The books relate key literary and cultural texts both to their historical and geographical contexts, and to contemporary issues of neo-colonialism and global inequality. Each volume not only provides a comprehensive survey of the existing field of scholarship and debate, but is also an original critical intervention in its own right.” Titles include Modernist Literature and Postcolonial Studies, Romantic Literatures and Postcolonial Studies, Postwar British Literatures and Postcolonial Studies, etc.

Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines Series by Liverpool University Press “showcases alternative directions for postcolonial studies by opening up new dialogues between disciplines and by widening its traditional subject matter. It attempts to counteract the dominance in colonial and postcolonial studies of one particular discipline, literary studies, making the case for a combination of disciplinary knowledges as the basis for contemporary postcolonial critique.” Some titles I was particularly drawn to in this series include: Rhetorics of Belonging, Sacred Modernity, and Involuntary Associations

Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literature by Oxford University Press.



The Graduate Center actually just had a speaker series in collaboration with the World of Matter project last month. The events were titled “Radical Materialism: Making the World Matter” and “A Critical Discussion of World of Matter.” There are several more events (“Rare Earth,” “The Infiltrators,” and “Malign Velocities”) in the upcoming weeks.

There is a seminar series held at Emory University that is titled “Interdisciplinary Workshop in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies” but I am unsure if this is still active.

The Postcolonial Studies Project at NYU hosts a variety of events, speakers, and colloquia throughout the year.

(I am unsure whether these are close to what you’re looking for, but I was having some trouble dredging these up.)



Lal Salaam: A Blog by Vinay Lal. Reflections on the culture of politics and the politics of culture.

Amardeep Singh’s blog:

Roopika Risam’s blog:



@ThePostcolonial is a publication for academics, journalists, artists, and activists focused on the Global South.

@JCLJournal is the twitter page for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

@WorldOfMatter is the twitter page for the World of Matter (obviously) which is an international project focusing on patterns of resource exploitation.

@RSCPostcolonial is the twitter page for the Stockton Postcolonial Studies Project.



@electrostani – Amardeep Singh, literature professor at Lehigh

@zeithistoriker – Quinn Slobodiam, a Postcolonial historian of Germany/professor of history at Wellesley

@ProfJohnMcLeod – John McLeod, professor at University of Leeds

@adelinekoh – directer of the Digital Humanities Center and literature professor at Stockton