The Postcolonial Studies Generation: MLA 2016, 7-10 January, Austin (Deadline 1 March, 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
South Asian Literary Association
contact email: 

This panel proposes to investigate the formation of a "Postcolonial Studies Generation": namely, a generation of artists who attended university after the consolidation of postcolonial studies in the academy in the 1980s, and whose artistic production bears the influence of this academic contact. The creative production of this generation includes literature, and extends beyond it, encompassing music, visual art, digital media, and other forms. As such, this panel will examine artistic production across a range of media, including work that explicitly engages postcolonial studies by name (Teju Cole's fiction and Das Racist's rap music) and that which implicitly, yet clearly, bears the mark of a curriculum in postcolonial studies (including the work of writers such as Kamila Shamsie and Meena Kandasamy).

Panelists are encouraged to consider the following questions:

How is postcolonial theory domesticated or rejuvenated when artists make use of it outside of the academy?

How do critics respond to art that theorizes itself?

Is there an adversarial relationship between postcolonial critics and their subjects of analysis?

As this panel is supported by the South Asian Literary Association, panelists are encouraged to consider literature and culture from South Asia and the diaspora.

300 word abstracts by March 1, 2015, to Liam O'Loughlin.