Universiteit Leiden

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Platform for Postcolonial Readings


The bi-annual interactive seminars of the Platform for Postcolonial Readings are all about sharing our enthusiasm about our field of research and our eagerness to learn more about its theoretical intricacies. Our seminars, although informal, adopt a well-defined format. Each meeting is organized around a certain theme, key-concept or hot topic.

In the morning session an expert on the theme gives a lecture, after which there is time for discussion. Together with the expert, we, as organizers, propose one or two dense theoretical texts to be read in preparation for the meeting. We invite all participants to tune in to our close reading jams and really begin to understand notoriously difficult texts such as those by postcolonial thinkers like Spivak, Bhabha, and Hardt and Negri, and by philosophers like Agamben, Foucault, and Heidegger.

In the afternoon some of the participants present their work-in-progress and explain how their work relates to the central theme. We invite all participants to respond to these presentations and encourage an open exchange that stimulates us all to further develop our thinking, about the day’s readings and presentations and about our individual research projects.

We conclude the meeting with a joint, on-the-spot analysis of a literary work or film, for which the themes, concepts or issues developed in the theoretical texts serve as a point of departure.

The readings, presentations and discussions are in English so that researchers from different linguistic backgrounds can participate.

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