CFP: [Postcolonial] Europe in Black and White

full name / name of organization: 
Manuela Ribeiro Sanches
contact email:


Lisbon, 12-14 May 2008

(The conference is part of the project Dislocating Europe)

Keynote Speakers:
Ella Shohat (New York University)
Paul Gilroy (London School of Economics)
Robert Stam (New York University)

Europe in black and white intends to address conflicting definitions of
what ‘Europe’ was, is and should be.
We depart from the assumption that postcolonial Europe cannot ignore
colonial histories on a national and transnational level. Thus there is
the need to redefine priorities and identities in an increasingly
multicultural space, taking at the same time into account the virulent
conflicts that permeate contemporary interactions that cannot be
understood as a mere “clash of civilizations” but rather as complex sites
of conviviality (Gilroy), contact zones (Pratt), in which the unevenness
of former dependencies are prolonged and contested.
Such issues cannot be isolated from debates on the possibilities and
limits of postcolonial theory, as recent developments in postcolonial
studies show, and have been analyzed by several disciplines with
different emphases and agendas.
We wish to address and discuss these topics in a conference bringing
together specialists from diverse disciplines and fields, located in
different countries, and continents, thus hoping to promote a sustained
discussion on a comparative basis in order to probe the limits and
possibilities of postcolonial approaches to specific geographic and
disciplinary contexts.
 What is the relevance of such concepts as identity and
difference, race and ethnicity, or hybridity, when applied to precise
social or geographical contexts, disciplinary fields, and issues related
to the politics of representation?
 How are discourses on, and the production of difference (Gupta,
Ferguson) to be articulated with the role of universals in human rights
and citizenship claims?
 How are representations of religion and secularism to be analysed
according to the specificity of local contexts in contemporary Europe?
How are the corresponding discourses to be read according to specific
colonial histories?
 What about the role of emergent forms of diasporic expressive
cultures in music, film, and art? How are these to be considered in
regard to other narratives such as those suggested by literature, history
or anthropology?
 How far are these tendencies able to contribute to an unthinking
of Europe (Shohat/ Stam)?

Interested scholars should send their proposal, including abstract
(maximum 2000 characters, with spaces), to until
January 31st 2008.

Manuela Ribeiro Sanches

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