CFP: Postcolonial Creatures (UK) (1/8/06; 3/17/06)

full name / name of organization: 
L.C. Pechey
contact email: 

CFP: POSTCOLONIAL CREATURES (deadline 8/1/2006; 17/3/2006)

'To speak plainly [colonialism] turns [the native] into an animal' (Frantz

Postcolonial Creatures, a one-day colloquium at the Faculty of English,
University of Cambridge, on the 17th March 2006, seeks to interrogate the
dynamics of dehumanization and re-humanization in the colonies, the
post-colonies and the (so-called) developing world through the lenses of
postcolonial literature and postcolonial theory.

Our three keynote speakers, Graham Huggan (University of Leeds, English),
Gerry Kearns (University of Cambridge, Geography) and Wendy Woodward
(University of the Western Cape, English) will respectively open three
sessions on Asia and the Americas, Europe and the Russian Federation, and,
Africa and the Middle East.

That slavery, colonialism, concentration camps, apartheid, terrorist
detention centres and war dehumanise (and continue to dehumanise) their
victims and their beneficiaries has become a cliché, a generally accepted
mode of explanation passed over on the way to other issues. There is more
to be said.

What are the implications, positive or negative, of animalising others? How
are we to respond to the reality of dehumanisation in the modern world
and, how have writers and thinkers prepared or hindered the way for our
responses? Why do we persist in naming war, brutality and murder as
'inhuman'? Might we not want to recognise such activities as
characteristically human? Have institutions and bodies, such as South
Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, contributed to
re-humanisation in countries afflicted by violence? Where does the violence
associated with animal rights and, indeed, the animals themselves, stand
within these debates?

Papers are invited on the following subjects but are by no means limited to

the colonized as 'neither man nor animal' (Sartre)

animals and animalisation in literature

"race", "racial humanism" and racism

humanization, dehumanization and rehumanization


the TRC, human dignity and personhood

torture in literature and outside of it

social justice and "human rights"

dehumanising topographies eg. concentration camps, segregation

histories of dehumanisation eg. slavery, apartheid, the Third Reich,
colonialism from Ireland to the present day, Abu-Ghraib prison and
Guantánamo Bay

possible practical approaches for re-humanisation: drama therapy,
empowerment, affirmative action, land reform and reparations

Graduate students will be welcomed.

The scale, scope and length of the conference will depend on interest.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words are invited.
Please send these to Laura Pechey

Deadline for abstracts: 8th January 2006

If you are hoping to send an abstract or to attend the conference, it would
be a great help to us if you could signal your interest as soon as

--Laura Charlotte PecheyFaculty of EnglishUniversity of CambridgeGirton College ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Mon Dec 05 2005 - 13:14:02 EST