calls for papers, monthly mailing, new titles, news

SFPS Monthly Mailing: February 2014

2nd February 2014


1.1   SFPS PG Study Day: ‘Migrations in Francophone Contexts.’ Warwick.

1.2   Contemporary Caribbean Visual Culture: Artistic Visions of Global Citizenship. Birmingham.

1.3   Africa Research Day 2014. London.

1.4   Violence, Colonialism and Empire in the Modern and Contemporary World. London.

1.5 Island-dwellers, Language, Memory and Identity. Djerba.

Calls for contribution:

2.1 CJPLI Special Issue: Postcolonial Literature and the Law

New titles:

3.1 India and Europe in the global eighteenth century


4.1 De la Postcolonie à la Critique de la raison nègre . Liège.


Calls for papers

1.1 SFPS Postgraduate Study Day

Thursday 5th June 2014

University of Warwick – ‘Migrations in Francophone Contexts’


The subject of migration has always provoked much debate, both at home and abroad, and never more so than in the current socio-political climate. In Europe, discussions have focused on greater migrant mobility and the economic implications this may have; yet the focus of this study day will encompass the experiences of migration in the wider Francophone world.

This year’s Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Postgraduate Study Day, which will be held at the University of Warwick on Thursday 5th June, will focus on the theme of migration in francophone postcolonial texts and contexts.

The aim of this study day is to consider how migration is portrayed in different disciplines, specifically addressing the extent to which geographical location might influence literary perspective and production. We are keen to address the experiences and representation of migration from within the francophone world.

We want to facilitate discussion between students of different geographical contexts in order to inform and develop our relative perspectives on migration. Therefore, we welcome contributions from a range of disciplines (arts and humanities, cultural studies, and other social sciences) and scholars of Caribbean, African and Canadian Studies, provided there is a strong emphasis on Francophone Postcolonial themes.

Subjects for conference papers may include (but not be limited to):

* Translation,

* movements across borders (linguistic, geographic and cultural),

* voluntary vs. forced movement and migration (to include slavery),

* experiences of exile,

* island cultures,

* Francophone diaspora and communities (for example, experiences of migration in and between Caribbean and African contexts).

Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words, and should contain your name, institutional affiliation, and contact details.

Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Please send all abstracts by Friday 28th February 2014 to and email the same address to register for the study day.

1.2 Contemporary Caribbean Visual Culture: Artistic Visions of Global Citizenship

University of Birmingham (Department of Modern Languages)

13th and 14th June 2014

This conference aims to bring together academics, curators and creators to explore some of the key thematic priorities and political challenges which have begun to define Caribbean visual culture since the beginning of the twenty first century. The conference will address the cultural predicaments staged in the visual cultures of the English, Spanish, French and Dutch Caribbean. It also seeks to address the way different versions of the Caribbean are created and recreated within contemporary US and European contexts. Contemporary Caribbean visual practices, through multiple, often disturbing mechanisms, continue to wrestle with the nation-diaspora polemic which was an important feature of various twentieth-century cultural and political agendas. More importantly, however, they also propose new insights on questions of citizenship and new ways of interpreting globalization and transnationalism.

The conference aims to activate cross-disciplinary discussion on, among other issues, 21st Century Caribbean Visual Culture in terms of its participation in the on-going dialogues/diatribes on:

a) shifting modes of community development

b) mobility, immobility, disability and diversity

c) governability and citizenship

d) Europe in the Caribbean and the Caribbean in Europe

e) US Caribbean Visual Cultures

f) the traumas of moving beyond race and ethnicity

g) Experiences of inter-textual literacy

h) Conversations between literature and visual culture

i) Engendering processes of mobility

j) Narratives of Migrant Sexuality.

Titles and Abstracts should be sent to by March 3rd 2014. Conference Fee £25.

Conference Organisers

Conrad James (Department of Modern Languages, University of Birmingham) and Carlos Garrido Castellano (Departamento de Historia del Arte, Universidad de Granada).

1.3 Africa Research Day 2014

Deadline: February 3, 2014

The second Africa Research Day will be hosted by the Africa Research Students Network (AfNet) on Monday, March 17, 2014 at University College London. We welcome presentations from PhD students conducting research on Africa or Africa-related themes. Presentations and discussions will be organised into the following thematic panels:

  • Governance, Globalisation and Politics: history, statecraft, policy formulation, trade and aid, state-society relations
  • Environment and Sustainability: political ecology, natural resource management, local knowledges
  • Culture and the Arts: identity, representation, history, cultural and creative industries/practice
  • Health and Education: interventions, policy, local experiences, gender
  • Peace and Conflict: external interventions, peace-building, post-war recovery

The Research Day is an excellent opportunity for current PhD students to share their research with peers working on similar topics or in similar fields. It will allow participants to share ideas, get feedback on work in progress, and make connections. Presenters will each make a 15-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of questions and discussion.

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words, including the title of your presentation and indicating the thematic panel you would like to be considered for. Please also include your full name, institution and email address.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is Monday, February 3, 2014 and presenters will be notified by February 10.

For more information and to submit abstracts, please email

AfNet and the Africa Research Day are sponsored by the Centre of African Studies, University of London (

AfNet 2013-2014 Coordinators

ThienVinh Nguyen (UCL)

Simi Dosekun (King’s)

Robtel Neajai Pailey (SOAS)

Aidan Mosselson (UCL)

1.4 Violence, Colonialism and Empire in the Modern and Contemporary World


British Academy, London
29 June-1 July 2015
Sponsored by The Centre for the History of Violence,
and the University of Newcastle, Australia

Guest speakers:
Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University
Elizabeth Kolsky, Villanova University
This conference will bring together scholars from across the world to
explore innovative ways of critically engaging with the question of
violence, repression and atrocity in imperial and colonial empires, its
representations and memories, from the late eighteenth through to the
twentieth century. The conference will explore the wide variety of means
by which empire was maintained in the modern era, the politics of
repression and the structures inherent in empire. We want to explore
broader trends in the direction and intent of imperial violence and state
repression, including extra-legal sanctions, and how patterns of violence,
embedded within other forms of colonialism and culture, created cultural,
legal, social, or imperial Œspaces¹. The conference organizers encourage
scholars to interpret the conference themes broadly incrafting their
proposals and are not limited to European colonial empires made up of
settler societies, but also empires of occupation.
The organizers have three interrelated aims.
The first is to rethink assumptions about the imperial experience and to
underline the types of violence that were used to initially impose power,
and then to maintain it over vast stretches of land. By underlining this
aspect of the imperial enterprise, this conference may help scholars begin
to see more clearly the relationship of violence as a cultural norm, and
the extent to which it was part and parcel of imperial social and cultural
The second aim is to interrogate the relationship between various forms of
violence and the construction of imperial spaces. In essence, this
conference will explore the ways in which empires were and are constructed
through violence, whether legal, political, cultural or religious. We aim
to move beyond Western notions of violence and to see the ways in which
attempts to create colonial empires were inextricably linked to violence.
Third, the organizers hope to explore these questions in a way that
connects national historiographies — including the British, French,
American, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Ottoman
empires — to each other, as well as to world history.
Topics may include (but are not limited to):

o   the forceful means employed to impose foreign rule, including legal
and extra-legal means used to impose imperial structures;

o   forceful contestations of the land, including patterns of violence and
war on colonial frontiers;

o   interpersonal violence between the colonizer and the colonized;

o  the gendered nature of colonial violence in the building of settler
colonial spaces and polities;

o   the role of violence in maintaining social order in colonial societies;

o   the political dynamics of colonial and imperial violence, including
ideological and political justifications of violence;

o   representations of violence in either the empire or the metropole;

o   resistance to the imperial enterprise by the colonized, including
violent, anti-colonial struggles in exits from empire;

o   the aftermaths and legacies of colonial and imperial violence.
The organizers invite proposals from scholars working in all disciplines
to apply. Please include the following information with your proposal:
a) A paper title
b) Name, institutional affiliation, and email address
c) A brief description of the proposed paper (up to 500 words) explaining
the substance of the proposed paper, the sources used, and the topic¹s
relationship to the conference themes
Conference structure
Those invited to participate in the conference will be asked to submit
papers of approximately 8,000 words in length by 1 June 2015 for
pre-circulation to conference attendees. Sessions will be 1.5 hours long,
and consist of two people, each speaking for up to 30 mins, with 30 mins
discussion. The aim is to promote dialogue between conference participants
in a round-table setting. The number of participants will, therefore, be
limited to twenty-two people.
The conference language is English. Conference participants are expected
to make their own travel arrangements. The deadline for proposals is 1
December 2014 for acceptance on 1 March 2015. A selection of papers from
the proceedings will be published.
Proposals and enquiries should be sent to Prof. Philip Dwyer:

1.5 Island-dwellers, Language, Memory and Identity

Pluridisciplinary International Conference on Island-dwellers, Language, Memory and Identity

26-28 September 2014

Island of Djerba (Tunisia)

At one level, island-dwelling can simply be defined as the fact of living on an island, or a group of islands, with its own characteristics in terms of population, lifestyle, languages, customs etc. However, the notion is actually far more complex, since it is multidimensional. Various disciplines, among them geography, economics, anthropology, biology, linguistics, demographics, take an interest in the phenomenon of island-dwelling, and so the approach of this conference is pluridisciplinary. We are expecting, however, papers that focus on issues such as the relationship between island-dwelling and language production, or island-dwelling and the creation of folk tales, or the development of the collective imagination. Since islands tend to be on a smaller scale than continents, our focus will be, as far as possible, on observing and analysing how phenomena such as being hemmed in or being on the periphery, being close to, connected to or isolated from the mainland affect artistic creation, oral traditions, language use, and the way that islanders see their cultural heritage.

There are numerous questions to be asked: do island-dwellers have specific characteristics, and if so, what type? Do these characteristics linked to island-dwelling have an effect on geopolitical issues, or on the development of an island-dwelling identity? Is being an island-dweller a marker of identity, and how is this displayed in terms of language, discourse and creativity? What kinds of discourse do island-dwellers develop about their islands, and the nearest mainlands? Does being an islander play a role in distinguishing ‘them’ and ‘us’? What kinds of social representations of islanders can be found in travel writing? How is island identity expressed in the popular collective memory?

In the past islands were often perceived as closed territories, where the population lived in isolation, or was even self-sufficient. To what extent is this still true in an ever more globalised world where the digital revolution, the arrival of multimedia and the internet have radically transformed things and made the concept of borders meaningless? Does the notion of isolation still have any sense today? In addition to upheavals due to the digital revolution, other factors such as immigration, legal or illegal, to and from islands, constantly show the porous nature of borders.

Taking all these aspects into account, we see island-dwelling as a multidimensional notion, and believe that exploring it from a range of disciplinary perspectives will help to define it better.

This conference will also be the opportunity for all those interested in the question of island-dwelling to collaborate in a range of areas, including scientific research, economic development and the development of cultural and touristic heritage.

Papers are invited on all aspects of the issue, including, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • Island-dwelling and identity
  • Island-dwelling, memory and oral traditions
  • Island-dwelling, heritage and language use
  • Island-dwelling and electronic communications
  • Island-dwelling and immigration

The languages of the conference are Arabic, French and English. All papers must be accompanied by an abstract in English. Proposals will be assessed anonymously by the scientific committee.

More information can be found here:

Calls for Contribution

2.1 CJPLI Special Issue: Postcolonial Literature and the Law

For a special issue on Postcolonial Literature and the Law, the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry is calling for articles that consider the law (colonial, postcolonial, and international) as reflected in literature or film from Africa, Asia, Ireland, and Latin America, as well as from indigenous Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

In Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, domestic disputes are decided by the ancestors in the form of masked spirits, cases of wrongdoing by the gods. But, after the coming of the British, the District Commissioner embodies the law and can detain people without legal justification. No Longer at Ease, the sequel, set fifty years later, begins with the trial in a colonial court of Obi Okonkwo for accepting bribes and ends with his sentencing. By the time ofAnthills of the Savannah there is no law above the word of His Excellency. How has the conception of the law changed with the advent of the colonial state, the precursor of the postcolonial state, relying as it does on written codes, international models, and state authority?

The school of political thought called political theology stresses that the law is always the product of an authority whose basis is necessarily itself outside the law. That state of exception, required even to conceive the foundations of the law, manifests itself whenever the law is again set aside: for instance, the concentration camp or the extrajudicial killing. Postcolonial dictator novels return with fixation to the modern state of exception, when the limits of the law and the nature of power are manifest. Where society is oppressive and the state criminal, what is the meaning of crime?

Political theology has also to do with psychology: citizens are subject to the law in the sense of integrating the law into their psyches. The law and its narratives—of origin, of good and wrong, of security and threat—shape the self and the narrative of the self. This is as true of the criminal as it is of the law-abiding citizen. The criminal is a figure that fascinates postcolonial texts, especially the gangster, the rapist, the confidence man, the thief, the taker of bribes, or the psychopath and the challenge he (rarely she) poses to the state, to the law, and to morality.

Postcolonial texts have often seen it as their mission to bear witness to wrongdoing, including the injustices of the law itself. Texts have gone beyond witnessing and usurped the roles of investigator, prosecutor and judge, staging trials to correct judgment, reward or punish the deserving, and pronounce verdict on where responsibility lies. Often the state which declares what is a crime and who a criminal is itself accused of criminality. On what basis is the law itself judged? Is there a law above that which is enforced by the state? What principles—of the nature of justice, of the rights of citizens, of the ownership of the land—are invoked here? Where do those principles derive their authority and legitimacy from?

Detective fiction is increasingly popular in postcolonial literature, but the genre is often turned on its head. The genre is invoked not just to question ideas of justice but also ideas of individual and collective guilt, social responsibility and the responsibility of society, and even the epistemological claims of notions of evidence. For example, the rationality and causality that fictional detection presumes are put into question by Mia Couto’sFlight of the Flamingo, Patrick Chamoiseau’s Solibo the Magnificent, orAbderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako.

Underpinning the law, and of particular urgency in postcolonial contexts, is the understanding of property. The question of the land, its ownership, and whether it can even be owned haunts indigenous and African texts. But property in ideas (cultural possessions), in bodies (slavery), in rights (human rights), and in inalienable entities such as water, the sea, and the subsoil are also central to the law and to literature.

The following topics would interest us in particular:

The legal basis of slavery: e.g. the Zong case in literature, the Code Noir, anti-slavery laws in the colonies

Constitutions: how legal authority is apportioned in new states and in national allegories

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: the relation between reconciliation and justice as imagined in literary texts

Land claims and Rule of Law: the role of law in the protection of property and the extralegal nature of claims to the land

Human Rights and international law

States of Exception, authority above or outside the law: this might include illegitimate authority (dictators) and legitimate authority (the “people”)

Postcolonial Detective Stories: the significance of trials and legal judgments, the nature of crime

The Novel and the Police: the relation between narrative authority and legal violence

Narrative Ideas of Justice

Bearing witness and judging

International criminal law

People outside the Law


The essays should be up to 8,000 words long including both notes and bibliography. The deadline for submission of essays is August 31, 2014.

Please visit: for formatting and other submission information.

New titles

3.1 India and Europe in the global eighteenth century

Edited by Simon Davies, Daniel Sanjiv Roberts and Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa

The long eighteenth century was a period of major transformation for Europe and India as imperialism heralded a new global order. Eschewing the reductive perspectives of nation-state histories and postcolonial ‘east vs west’ oppositions, contributors to this book put forward a more nuanced analysis to highlight:

*how anxieties over war and piracy shaped commercial activity;

*how French, British and Persian histories of India reveal the different geo-political issues at stake;

*the material legacy of India in European cultural life;

*how novels parodied popular views of the Orient and provided counter-narratives to images of India as the site of corruption;

*how social transformations, traditionally characterised as ‘Mughal decline’, in effect forged new global connections that informed political culture into the nineteenth century.

‘Adopting multi-disciplinary approaches, contributors stress the complexity, subtlety and intricacy of the remarkable global connections between India and Europe in the eighteenth century. This book will undoubtedly provoke not only lively debate, but also much further research.’

Maria Misra, Fellow of Keble College, Oxford and author of Vishnu’s crowded temple: India since the Great Rebellion.

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment (previously SVEC) January 2014

ISBN 9780729410809, xii+341 pages, 14 ills, £65 / €85 / $115


4.1 De la Postcolonie à la Critique de la raison nègre

Conférence internationale avec Achille Mbembe

1er avril 2014, Université de Liège

Salle des Professeurs, XX août

dans le cadre du séminaire « les théories postcoloniales » (Ulb, Ulg, FUsl)

13h30 à 17h30 : Workshop

avec Sarah Demart (Ulg), Nadia Fadil (Kul), Benoît Henriet (Usl), Amandine Lauro (Ulb), Anne Mélice (Ulg), Charlotte Pezeril (Usl) et Katrien Pype (Kul).

18h00 à 20h : Conférence d’Achille Mbembe

Professeur d’histoire et de sciences politiques à l’Université de Witvatersrand (Johannesbourg) et directeur de recherche au Witwatersrand Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) à Johannesburg.


You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply