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IPP Workshop Series | Dzifa Peters: Introduction to Postcolonial Societies


Nov 22, 2022 from 02:00 to 04:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)



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Prominent in the field of culture and literary studies, postcolonial studies refer to the discourse initiated by colonised countries bringing their independence about, as well as the continuous discourses that have emerged in postcolonial societies. Here, the ‘post’ in postcolonial, or post-colonial, does not necessarily imply an ‘after’ in the chronological sense but indicates an  ongoing study of the anti-colonial.


Hence, postcolonialism is associated with taking a turn from imperialism, eurocentrism, and colonial rule, while entailing forces of decolonisation. In the course of time, various theories and ideas have been developed, while not remaining free from critical debate of oppositional approaches negotiating the localisation of theory and complexities of a progressing globalisation. Such notions can be found in the postcolony (Mbembe, 2001), neo-colonialism (Nkrumah, 1965) and discourses within decolonial theory (El Tayeb, 2020), which criticise “the normalisation of the abnormalities of the colonial system” in postcolonial societies (Ngugi, 2017).


The aim of the workshop is to provide a concise overview and juxtaposition of postcolonial and decolonial studies and to offer a differentiation between various lines of thought. The session unpacks the characteristics of postcolonial societies, by means of introducing postcolonialism as a global challenge. The workshop helps students understand the socio-cultural effects of postcoloniality as a whole and provides useful tools for further cultural analysis. The teaching plan presents current developments in postcolonial and decolonial studies (Loomba, 1998, Young, 

2016), and examines what it means to look at different cultural objects in contemporary postcolonial societies.


Works Cited:

Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. London, New York: Routledge, 1998.

Mbembe, Achille. On The Postcolony. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London:  University of California Press, 2001.

Nkrumah, Kwame. Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1965.

Young, Robert J. C. Postcolonialsim. An Historical Introduction (15th Anniversary Edition). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2016.


The IPP Workshop Series

It offers IPP members the opportunity to lead a workshop on current concepts and methods in the Study of culture. The aim of the series is to create an interactive discussion group for doctoral candidates and students. The topics can range from general introductions to various "schools" of literary and cultural theory to concepts, methods and topics of literary and cultural theory.