CfP: Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Contestations

Attempts to `fill the gap´ between post-Soviet and postcolonial studies have dealt with very different issues like: What was and is the role of the Russian/Soviet Other in Western identity-formation and politics? How can Russian and Soviet imperialism (colonialism?) be conceptualized? How can the Soviet experiment be understood in relation to modernity and Western hegemony? What challenges and chances do new perspectives on `real-life socialism´ bear for those who draw on Marxism? Despite conceptual questions, the analytical potential of postcolonial approaches in this context has been debated. Can they help understand the shifts and changes that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reconfiguration of ‚the‘ old geopolitical world order; the renegotiation of spheres of influence, the rearticulation of histories and nationalities, drifting identities and epistemologies etc.?

The travel and transfer of `postcolonial´ ideas to contexts alien to its `origins´ may be contested, inadequate and challenging, but it holds the potential of bringing in new perspectives from and on the oevanished second world, to enable voices and stories to be heard that have not been previously acknowledge and share experiences from different parts of the world, circumstances and disciplinary backgrounds. Postcolonial tools and arguments can help understand and make visible specific forms of exploitation and oppression in the `peripheries´ of the  Russian/Soviet empires, the changing notions and specific intersecting effects of race, gender, sexuality, religion and class and respective forms of subjectivation, and rearticulate political struggles and questions of emancipation in these localities. Furthermore, the inclusion of these new (hi)stories might in turn influence postcolonial studies.

The panel invites abstracts which bring postcolonial and post-Soviet perspectives together and thereby contribute to critical (self)reflexion in both contexts.

If you want to propose a contribution to this panel in any other language beside English, please contact the panel proposer.

Abstracts (deadline 30th November 2010) and queries may be submitted to:

For further information on the conference please consult:

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