Welcome to the Postcolonial Studies Section
Room: R12 R05 B40
Office Hours: Wednesday, 14-15h
Tel.: 0201/ 183-3406
Culture, language, politics, the economy – European colonial expansion affected innumerable parts of daily life on a global scale. And indeed, neo-colonial structures are not a thing of the past, but still inhibit freedom and economic growth in a large number of former colonies today.
Postcolonial Studies is concerned with the relationship former colonies had and have with the coloniser. The field of studies includes such diverse cultures as, for instance, Australia, Canada, India and various African nations, issues like ethnicity, identity, hybridity and gender always have to be taken into consideration. Which new forms of cultural, literary and linguistic expressions have emerged during and since the colonial times? How are Western norms and literary genres challenged and changed in postcolonial contexts? How do Indigenous perspectives impact on Western institutions such as the museum? Culture, ethnicity and indigeneity; religion, gender and power are among the key concepts that are reflected critically in lectures and seminars. Postcolonial Studies thus has a strong focus on diversity, and has been involved in facilitating a dialogue on Critical Diversity Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Prof. Dr. Patricia Plummer's research and teaching focus on a variety of topics, especially on literature and culture of the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, on travel writing, Orientalism, Islamophobia and transcultural spirituality, postcolonial and gender studies as well as popular culture. She is the author of a monograph on Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist and of a forthcoming study on eighteenth-century English representations of the Ottoman Empire. Currently, she is editing the proceedings of an interdisciplinary symposium on transcultural Western encounters with Zen-Buddhism (to be published later this year); she is also writing a book on women, art and Theosophy in early twentieth-century Australia.
The Postcolonial Studies section engages with writers, academics, artists and diverse cultural institutions by hosting Postcolonial Writers in Residence and Artist Talks, and organising guest lectures. Moreover, the section regularly offers excursions to diverse cultural institutions; it also encourages students to participate in postgraduate research seminars, interact with visiting researchers, often in collaboration with the Essen Gender Studies Institute.
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