Graduate conference on Postcolonial Studies – Frankfurt, June 2011

Might be of interest:


Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”

Goethe-University Frankfurt


Call for Papers


International Graduate Conference


Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Contestations:



16th – 18th June 2011

Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany

Organizer: Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan

In the past two decades postcolonial perspectives are increasingly influential in the Social Sciences and the Humanities. In particular, postcolonial-feminist interventions have contributed decisively by revealing the pivotal status and stubborn persistence of colonial gendering and racialisation processes for the structuring of the postcolonial late-capitalist world. The epistemic and material conditions that underpinned European colonialism continue to shape current socio-political constellations and global relations; so that the formal end of European colonial rule has not translated into decolonisation of the global North and the global South. If the Social Sciences and the Humanities seek to overcome this violent and exploitative historical legacy in order to contribute to the processes of decolonisation, they need to adopt a critical perspective that involves a reassessment of their disciplinary powers and responsibilities.

It is against this backdrop that the Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies (FRCPS) seeks to contribute to ongoing debates in the Social Sciences and the Humanities by hosting the International Graduate Conference on Postcolonial Studies. Conference presentations are sought particularly to examine those fields in which postcolonial theory has largely been underrepresented. Postcolonial-feminist theory comprises a key point of reference for the conference, because it has simultaneously led to an increasing differentiation and crucial revisions both within Postcolonial Studies as well as within Gender and Women’s Studies.

The conference’s goals are twofold: first, we seek to illustrate the epistemological and methodological relevance of a postcolonial (feminist) perspective within the various disciplines of the Social Sciences and the Humanities by example of concrete research projects; second, we aim to facilitate (trans-)disciplinary networking. The conference is conceived of as a graduate conference for early career researchers; contributions with a reference to postcolonial (feminist) theory from advanced students, doctoral candidates and postdocs in the Social Sciences and the Humanities are most welcome.




Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland)

Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago)

The following sections will be accepting paper proposals:

Section: 1 – Third World and Postcolonial Approaches to International Relations


Panel 1: Political Practice and Third World/Feminist Approaches to International Institutions

(Panel Convenors: Katja Freistein/Philip Liste)

Panel 2: Saving Brown Women? Deliberating the “Post” in Post-colonialism and Post-conflict (Panel Convenor: Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel)

Panel 3: Transnational Social Movements and the Postcolonial Condition

(Panel Convenor: Elisabeth Fink)

Section: 2 – Postcolonialism meets Economics


Panel 4: Building Bridges: Critical Political Economy and Postcolonial Theory

(Panel Convenors: Simone Claar/ Nikolai Huke)

Panel 5: Culture vs. Capitalism: Postcolonial Emancipations and the Ambivalences of the Market

(Panel Convenor: Katja Rieck)


Section: 3 – Postcolonial Academia? Knowledge, Methodology and Representation


Panel 6: Postcolonising Methodologies

(Panel Convenors: Joshua Kwesi Aikins/ Nadine Golly / Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar)

Panel 7: Teaching Emancipatory Postcolonial Knowledge

(Panel Convenors: Nadine Golly / Joanna James)

Panel 8: Between Subjection and Subjectivation: Postcolonial-Queer-Feminist Perspectives (Panel Convenors: Jasmin Dean / Astride Velho)

Section: 4 – Postcolonial Politics of Human Rights, International Aid and Global Governance


Panel 9: Postcolonial Perspectives on Human Rights

(Panel Convenors: Olivia Rutazibwa/ Eva Georg / Aylin Zafer)

Panel 10: Postcolonial Power and Capitalism – Critical Approaches to Contemporary International Aid

French: Pouvoir postcolonial et capitalisme – Approches critiques de l’aide internationale contemporaine

 (Panel Convenors: Olivia Rutazibwa / Kai Koddenbrock)

Section: 5 – Negotiating Western Normativity and Intellectual History – Secularism, In/Justice and Revolution


Panel 11: Secularism, Religion and Politics: Critical Interventions

(Panel Convenor: Zubair Ahmad)

Panel 12: Transnational In/Justice in a Postcolonial World

French: In/justice/s transnationales dans une monde postcolonial

(Panel Convenor: Franziska Dübgen)

Panel 13: Revolution Reconsidered – Slavery, Enlightenment and the Haitian Revolution (Panel Convenor: Jeanette Ehrmann)

Section: 6 – Entangled Historical Legacies and Politics of Memory


Panel 14: Postcolonial Perspectives after Auschwitz

(Panel Convenor: Ulrike Hamann)

Panel 15: Postcolonial Thought and the Problem of Periodization

(Panel Convenor: Felix Schürmann)

Panel 16: Taking Postcolonialism elsewhere? Post-Soviet Postcolonialities

(Panel Convenor: Alexander Vorbrugg)

Section: 7 – Postcolonial Statehood and Governmentality


Panel 17: Representations: The (Post)colonial ‘Body Politic’ in Historical Perspective

(Panel Convenor: Verena Steller)

Panel 18: Postcolonial Perspectives on Corruption and Statehood

(Panel Convenor: Philipp Zehmisch)

Panel 19: Weak States, Failed States, Developmental States – Problems and Challenges in Conceptualising Political Formations in Postcolonial Africa

French: ‘Etats fragiles, Etats défaillants, Etats développeurs’ – Problèmes et défis concernant la conceptualisation des formations politiques de l’Afrique postcoloniale

(Panel Convenor: Anna Krämer)



Section: 8 – Cultural Politics and Postcolonial Urban Spaces

Panel 20: African Cultural Production in the Global Economy

French: Les productions culturelles africaines dans l’économie mondialisée

(Panel Convenor: Lotte Arndt)

Panel 21: Postcolonial Representations of Urban Spaces

Spanish: Representaciones poscoloniales de espacios urbanos

(Panel Convenor: Andrea Gremels)

About the Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies:

The Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies (FRCPS), which is headed by Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan, is one of the first research settings in the German-speaking academic landscape to decidedly approach research within the Social Sciences from a postcolonial perspective. Having established the promotion of young social scientists as one of its priorities, the FRCPS regularly holds a colloquium, whose participants individually organize the respective panels. In hosting the International Graduate Conference, the FRCPS aims to provide graduates and early career researchers with the opportunity to present and discuss their work in the above-mentioned thematic areas.

How to Submit Proposals:

For your paper proposal to be considered, we request that you email the respective panel convenors directly. An abstract (max. 500 words) and a short bio-note (max. 100 words) should accompany your proposal. The closing date for applications is 30th November 2010. Detailed information on the respective panels can be found here:

Conference languages are English, French and Spanish. Abstracts may be submitted in a language as stipulated in the relevant panel’s call for papers. For the French and Spanish-language panels translations will be made available. The conference rooms are accessible for people of all abilities. Please indicate if any further aides and/or support are needed when registering for the conference.  

Registration & Participation:


There are no conference fees, but we kindly request registrations until 31st May 2010: Please state ‘registration’ in the subject heading.

A limited number of travel bursaries will be provided, especially for paper presenters from the global South. Please motivate your application in a short accompanying letter (max. 300 words).


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