About us:
'Postcolonial Europe' is a 2-year international research network sponsored by the AHRC and involving the Universities of Leeds, Munich and Utrecht. Until recently, most work done in comparative postcolonial studies focused on Europe's ex-colonial peripheries. Increasing emphasis is now being placed, however, on the after-effects of colonialism on European metropolitan cultural practice, and on those power relations within Europe that can be analysed as direct or indirect forms of colonial power. By bringing together established and younger scholars from three different European locations working in the interdisciplinary field of postcolonial studies, the network aims to establish the parameters of postcolonial Europe, bringing the field back to its European intellectual origins but also showing how these origins have been creatively transformed. The network's activities include two one-day workshops in Leeds and Utrecht, respectively, and a two-day postgraduate conference in Munich. These and other events will provide a platform from which to develop further research on 'postcolonial Europe' as a critical alternative to binary understandings of the Occident and the Orient, the West and the non-West.

‘Occidentalism, Orientalism, and the idea of a postsecular Europe.’
Friday 30 October, 2009 Utrecht University, the Netherlands
The aim of this day-long workshop is to discuss from different intellectual traditions and perspectives the idea of Europe as an imagined and actual space. It will explore in particular the relationship between ‘Occidentalism, Orientalism, and the idea of a postsecular Europe' by going beyond the reactionary notion of a threatened Europe, a notion on which some, unduly inflexible concepts of Occidentalism (e.g. as a ‘war on the West') depend. In moving beyond the ossified concepts of Occident and the Orient, the workshop aims to clear a space to look at postcolonial Europe in terms of a non-binary understanding of European social, cultural and political forms.
In the morning the workshop will engage with the thinking of the prominent Jewish philosopher Avishai Margalit and of postcolonial scholar Paul Gilroy. In the afternoon cultural historian Luisa Passerini (Turin University, Italy) will be in dialogue with continental philosopher Simon Glendinning. In the late afternoon speakers for the network and other invited guests will present their own vision on the suggested theme in the form of short papers and/or responses to the keynote addresses.

Organiser: Sandra Ponzanesi
(In collaboration with the Centre for the Humanities, the Graduate Gender Programme and the Institute for History and Culture, Utrecht University, NL)

Morning session: 09:00-12:15
Location: Sweelinckzaal – Drift 21, Utrecht
Chair: Sandra Ponzanesi (on behalf of the AHRC Research Network Postcolonial Europe)


Opening by Sandra Ponzanesi (Assistant Professor Gender and Postcolonial
Critique, Utrecht University)

Keynote by Avishai Margalit (Kennan Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University/ Schulman Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem).
Title: "Colonialism: Between Humiliation and Exploitation" (click here for the abstract)

Response by Max Silverman (Professor of French, University of Leeds)

Questions from the public

Keynote by Paul Gilroy (Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory, London School of Economics, UK)
Title: "Shameful History" (click here for the abstract)

Response by John McLeod (Reader in Postcolonial and Diaspora Literatures, University of Leeds)

Questions from the public


Afternoon 14:00-18:00
Location: Sweelinckszaal, Drift 21
Moderator: Paulo de Medeiros (Professor of Portuguese Studies)


Speaker: Luisa Passerini (Prof. Cultural History, Turin University, Italy)
Title: "The liquid Europe of the Cahiers du Sud" (click here for the abstract)

Speaker: Simon Glendinning Reader in European Philosophy, London School of Economics, UK)
Title: "Europe, for example..." (click here for the abstract)

Response by Graham Huggan (Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures, University of Leeds)

Response by Tobias Döring (Professor of English Literature at the LMU Munich)

Coffee/Tea break

Dialogue between Passerini and Glendinning open to the public

Paper presentation by Cordula Lemke (Junior Professor of English Literature at the FU Berlin)
Title: "Occidentalist Mothers" (click here for the abstract).

Paper presentation by Margret Fetzer (Assistant Professor at the LMU Munich)
Title: "Beyond the textual line: Walter Scott's postponing and post-scripting of authentic Scottishness" (click here for the abstract)

Paper presentation by Koen Leurs (PhD student Research Institute for History and Culture, Utrecht University)
Title: "Online social networking sites as spaces of conviviality? Dutch-Moroccan youth on Hyves" (click here for the abstract)

17:00-17.15 Feedback and discussion

Book Launch Luisa Passerini’s Idea of Europe, Berghahn 2009 (hosted by the Centre for the Humanities (CfH), Utrecht University)

18:15-19:15 AHRC network meeting – CfH meeting room - Achter de Dom 20, Utrecht

Past events:
On Wednesday May 13th 2009 the ICPS and the AHRC-sponsored 'Postcolonial Europe' network co-hosted a spectacularly well-attended public dialogue between Etienne Balibar (Emeritus Professor at Paris X Nanterre and the University of California, Irvine) and Zygmunt Bauman (Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds) in Leeds.