The Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Wrocław and the University of Wrocław invite young scholars (PhD candidates and postdocs), to take part in the Seminar Central Europe and Colonialism: Migrations, Knowledges, Perspectives, Commodities, to be held in Wrocław (Poland) on 21-23 September 2016.
Central Europe has not yet been an object of keener interest in (post)colonial studies. However, not only did large numbers of Central Europeans migrate to the (former) colonial world, but Central Europeans also provided personnel to occupy, administer and police colonial empires,and reflected on colonial experiences at the levels of high and popular culture. Even if largely excluded from colonial politics at an international level, Central Europeans played an important role in generating new discourses based on data gathered in the colonial contact zone. Publications on exotic worlds circulated widely in Central Europe and inspired new conceptions of world history, world literature, and cosmopolitanism, in conjunction with new concepts of human nature (esp. a division of humanity in races) and ecology, with wide ranging consequences for world history.
A closer look at the role of Central European actors in imperial domains can contradict the supposed consistency of colonial discourses. Although Central Europeans in colonial territories blended into the colonial ruling class and acted in a transnational capacity as ‘Europeans’, they nevertheless preserved shades of difference. Focussing on these differences might put the supposed sameness of colonisers into perspective.
In addition, their in-between position brought Central Europeans into contact with both the West European imperial powers and Russia, which made the Central European experiences and perspectives in many ways richer than those of the colonial powers themselves, where close contacts with specific territories tended to marginalise perceptions of other parts of the world. Therefore, an important point to discusswould be the role Central Europe played in developing notions of globalism.
On the other hand, large parts of Central Europe experienced a similar fate at the hand of the great powers (recently from the Soviet Union) as countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Just as (post)colonial studies examines the colonial past of these areas, scholars have recently started to explore the same processes in Central Europe.
Finally, increasingly global trade networks, brought about by the expansion of European colonialism, impacted on material culture, whether via the importation of new commodities to Central Europe, or the export of manufactured goods. The conference also aims at furthering investigations in this field.
The registration is available at: http://www.acadeuro.wroclaw.pl. Submit a 300-word proposal, a curriculum vitae with a list of publications by 30 September 2015. All applicants will be notified about the selection of participants before 31 October 2015
Presenters are required to submit a 3,000-5,000 word description or excerpt (i.e., chapter, article, etc.) to be circulated among participants by March 1, 2016. All workshop participants are asked to read these submissions prior to the workshop. The paper should be an unpublished one. Presenters who do not meet the submission deadline will not be able to present their work.
THE SEMINAR LANGUAGE will be English.
The organizers will cover the conference fee and the costs of accommodation (up to 4 nights), travel (up to a certain maximum: Western Europe – up to 100 EUR; Central and Eastern Europe – up to 150 EUR) and insurance.
- Pieter Emmer (History, Leiden)
- Siegfried Huigen (Dutch and South African Studies, Wrocław)
- Dorota Kołodziejczyk (Postcolonial Studies Centre, Wrocław)
- Michael North (History, Greifswald)
- Aleksandra Nowak (Knowledge Hub, Academia Europaea, Wrocław)
- Renate Pieper (History, Graz)
- Dorota Praszałowicz (American & Migration Studies, Krakow)
All correspondence, including submission of proposals and final papers, must be addressed to: Katarzyna Majkowska - Kołyszko: firstname.lastname@example.org or via http://www.acadeuro.wroclaw.pl.