Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Call for Papers: Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Theory, History, Geography


Beja, Portugal, November 2004

Knowledge and Power: history, geography, representation, identity in post-colonial studies

In Orientalism, Edward Said selected these two great Baconian themes - Knowledge and Power - as dominant in the discourse of imperial authority. "Knowledge means rising above immediacy, beyond self, into the foreign and distant . To have such knowledge of such a thing is to dominate it, to have authority over it". And, in Culture and Imperialism, he called for 'a different and innovative paradigm for humanistic research', 'a way of regarding our world as amenable to investigation and interrogation without magic keys, special jargons and instruments, curtained-off practices', a way through which 'the disenchantments, the disputations and systematically sceptical investigations in innovative work . submit these composite, hybrid identities [the caliphate, the state, the orthodox clerisy, the Establishment] to a negative dialectics which dissolves them into variously constructed components. What matters a great deal more than the stable
identity kept current in official discourse is the contestatory force of an interpretative method whose material is the disparate, but intertwined and interdependent, and above all overlapping streams of historical evidence.'

Both in method and content Said's books contributed to a new approach to post-colonial theory and practice. A year after his death we would like to address some of the issues he developed in his work. We, therefore, welcome papers (15 to 20 minutes reading) on the following subjects:

1. Histories of Empires and Colonies
2. Women and Empires
3. Old Empires and Indirect Colonialism
4. Post-colonial Theories in the 21st century
5. Said's works and their importance in post-colonial cultural criticism

Please send 150-word abstracts by 15 July 2004 to the following addresses:

Adelaide Meira Serras: aserras@mail.telepac.pt
LuĂ­sa Leal de Faria: lealfaria@yahoo.com
Teresa Malafaia: tvmalafaia@mail.telepac.pt