Postcolonial Environments: A Symposium, January 24th 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Whittle, VeronicaUniversity of Manchester

Postcolonial Environments is a one-day symposium that will bring together scholars and postgraduates interested in the role of environments in colonial and postcolonial encounters and the relations that they engender. Responding to the current impetus in postcolonial studies to return to questions of materiality and locality, the symposium will provide a forum for the discussion of the significance of social and physical environments and the unusual or unexpected ways in which relationships in and to particular places develop.

The symposium will consider how articulations of home, migration, displacement and imperialism must involve examining connections with place as well as between people. Such connections are not restricted to discussions of kinship, but are relevant to the affective dimension of global geographies and political power. The day will address how ecologies, localities and communities have a role in empowering independence movements and in addressing the need for the recuperation or articulation of national, racial, gender and class identities in decolonised countries. It will also consider both the transformative impact of postcolonial relations and the sense of loss at the empire's centre.

The day will be led by papers from Prof. John McLeod (Leeds), Dr. Anthony Carrigan (Leeds), Dr. Lucienne Loh (Liverpool) and Dr. Pablo Mukherjee (Warwick). We invite postgraduates to submit a short piece of work for the roundtable portion of the day. We will particularly welcome abstracts on familial, sexual or domestic environments and relationships in local or transnational contexts, as well as representations of belonging in or to postcolonial communities.

Papers relating to the following themes will also be considered:
 The effect of environment on inter-generational connections or ruptures
 Unlikely affinities between literary, political or cultural figures facilitated by their locality
 Intersections between postcolonial studies and ecocriticism
 Environmental stresses or crises and their cultural representation
 Local ecological or cultural demands including articulations of social justice

The pieces chosen will be circulated prior to the symposium to allow the other attendees to consider the ideas being dealt with in relation to their own research interests. The roundtable format, followed by the plenary debate, will be particularly advantageous in terms of allowing all of the delegates to engage in discussions on the topic of postcolonial environments.

The symposium will offer a rare opportunity for postgraduates engaged in postcolonial studies, ecocriticism, trauma studies and gender studies to hear from a range of prominent academics while also considering in detail how the ideas raised impact on their own work. We also plan to develop the day's discussions in a special journal edition on the theme of 'postcolonial environments' and so there will be the potential for publication. There are limited places available on the roundtable discussion but all applicants will have the opportunity to attend the symposium as delegates.

Please send a 250-300 word abstract of your paper to Dr. Veronica Barnsley, Dr. Jade Munslow Ong and Dr. Matthew Whittle via the email address:
CFP deadline: November 15th 2013