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Third Bremen Conference on Language and Literature in Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts (BCLL #3):

“Postcolonial Knowledges”

March 15-18, 2016

Keynote Speakers

  • Jeannette Armstrong (The University of British Columbia, Canada): “Syilx knowledges: A decolonial strategy”
  • Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University): “Can Non-Europeans think? Intellectual traditions and decolonization of epistemology”
  • Michel DeGraff (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): “Local languages as technology for liberation in (neo-)colonial contexts: The case of Kreyòl in Haitian schools”
  • Gloria Emeagwali (Central Connecticut State University): “Intersections between endogenous and hegemonic knowledge systems with a focus on Africa and Native America”
  • Lisa Lim (The University of Hong Kong): “Paradox of the periphery: Postcolonial and postvernacular (re)positionings in 21st-century Asia”
  • Sinfree Makoni (The Pennsylvania State University): “What does food have to do with multilingualism?”

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars of different academic backgrounds to explore how knowledge systems, cultures, languages, and literary traditions have been affected by colonial and postcolonial conditions that are increasingly marked by contradictions, cultural heterogeneity, and transcultural processes. We are interested in the ways in which colonial and postcolonial constellations have been reflected, shaped, and negotiated by communication, symbolic practice, and knowledge practices.

We will look critically at ongoing knowledge production and Eurocentric ‘intellectual dominance’ (Emeagwali 2003) in knowledge centers and discourses around the world. We aim to crystallize decolonial strategies to challenge neocolonial tendencies in institutions of knowledge production and to probe the possibilities of integrating postcolonial knowledges into present knowledge discourses. Many collaborations and attempts to interlink Eurocentric and non-Eurocentric knowledge systems are already taking place, and scholars around the globe are producing alternative postcolonial visions of reality and the world that are embedded in non-European lives, ontologies, and philosophies (e.g. Armstrong 2009; Atleo 2009, 2011; Dogbe 2006; Garcés V 2012; Moctar Ba 2013).

To address these issues, this conference focuses on themes related to the marginalization and displacement of local knowledge systems and the endangerment of languages as well as on epistemological and language ideologies in colonial and postcolonial settings.

Conference Program


Conference Organizers

  • Prof. Dr. Kerstin Knopf, Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Eeva Sippola, Postcolonial Language Studies, University of Bremen

Contact and Information

Download: BCLL #3 Call for Papers