Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Professor Roderick A. Ferguson and Dr. Rahul Rao in a Doing Gender and PCI Lecture Series

Roderick A. Ferguson (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA): ‘Queer of Color Critique and the Engagement with Western Marxism’
This presentation will address the effort to fashion queer of color critique as a different version of historical materialism. In this sense, queer of color critique both located itself within historical materialism and attempted to reshape historical materialism, making what Althusser described as “the science of social formation” into an intersectional analysis of race, gender, sexuality, and political economy. As such, queer of color critique would be presented as both an engagement with and an eschewal of Western Marxism. The talk will attempt to demonstrate this intent by revisiting Aberrations in Black and publications by other authors and critics who have helped to produce a materialist shift in the field of queer studies.

Rahul Rao (SOAS University London, UK): ‘Queer in the Time of Homocapitalism’
In recent years, leading institutions of global capitalism have begun to take activist stances against homophobia. For example, in response to Uganda’s passage of an Anti Homosexuality Act, the World Bank withheld a $90 million loan that was due to have been disbursed to the country. Like a number of multinational corporations, the Bank has also become invested in quantifying the “economic cost” of homophobia so as to make a “business case” for LGBT rights. Why have these institutions begun to inveigh against homophobia and why have they done so now? What are the terms on which the figure of the queer has come to be embraced as an object of concern by the global development industry and as a potential “stakeholder” by the business world? What understandings of “homophobia” underpin the putative “business case” against it? In addressing these questions, I shall attempt to offer a political economy of “homophobia” as it expresses itself in contemporary Uganda; in doing so, I hope to make visible the implication of the Bank in the production of the very affects that it now purports to oppose.

Practical information:
Date: May 18, 2017
Time: 11.00 – 12.30 hrs
Location: Drift 25, room 1.02
Chair: Rosemarie Buikema & Gianmaria Colpani
Registration via email is compulsory.

More information here.

Friday, March 31, 2017

PCI Film Series presents 'Everyday Borders'

Introduction by and Q&A session with Leila Whitley (Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany).



The Postcolonial Studies Initiative continues its 7th film series in 2017 with a selection of films, shown monthly, that draw on a variety of different contexts in our postcolonial world. The series is organized annually and invites all interested in our European postcolonial present and the representation of its political, cultural and aesthetic realities and challenges. 

Everyday Borders film will be introduced briefly by Leila Whitley (Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany). Everyday Borders is joint project of The University of East London’s Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging and activist organisations based in London (Southall Black Sisters, Migrant Rights Network, and the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London), this documentary examines the UK’s Immigration Act of 2014 and the experience of everyday bordering. 

Everyday Borders traces the effects of legislation shifts which increasingly institute immigration checks and controls throughout the space of everyday life. As Nira Yuval-Davis explains in the film, these shifts are “threatening to destroy the conviviality of pluralist metropolitan London, and multi-cultural Britain in general.” The documentary is a piece of public scholarship, which combines an activist orientation with analysis of shifts in UK immigration policy from academics working in the UK. 

Practical information 
Date: 11 April 
Time: 19:15 to 22:00 
Location: Drift 21, room 032
Free admission

Join the event here

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Creating Spaces for Other Voices: Postcolonial Student Symposium

This symposium is set up using student feedback on the Postcolonial Studies Initiative survey where we asked students to write down the topics, speakers and theoretical content they are missing or would like to see addressed in Academia. Results show that students want more diversity of speakers and broaden academic traditions and mainstream canons. Moreover, students would like to know more about initiatives in their community and how to exercise their academic expertise in a practical way.

With this valuable input, we are organizing a symposium where students can engage with local student initiatives from a postcolonial perspective, network, socialize and attend workshops. First of all, there will be a marketplace where students can gain/ask for more information about local student actions. Secondly, the day will consist of speakers from different communities in Utrecht with student panel discussions aiming at exercising the practicality of their academic knowledge/skills. Thirdly, students can sign up for two workshops where there is an opportunity to go more in depth on specific postcolonial themes in the Dutch context, with the guidance of young student professionals.


Proudly we would like to introduce the power ladies speaking at the Creating Spaces: Student Symposium: Pravini Baboeram musician & activist involved with the International Institute for Scientific Research and volunteer at the Sarnámihuis. Patricia Kaersenhout visual artist, activist, and womanist. Sayonara Stutgard organizer of the Feminist Open Mic in Utrecht and hosts two book clubs: It's LIT YA & and a Postcolonial Book Club Aphra's Book Club. Alfie Vanwyngarden the Queen of Bonaire, afro feminist, freedom fighter and RMA Media Studies student. Furthermore, there will be performances and lectures by Decolonial artist; Patricia Kaersenhout, Sarnámihuis member & Echo: center of expertise for diversity policy program manager; Pravini Baboeram-Mahes, and many others.

This symposium is for students by students and aims at creating a comfortable space for students to come together and discuss diverse affirmative actions in their communities where a diversity in perspectives and approaches is valued.

Practical information: 
Date: 3 February
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Casco- Lange Nieuwstraat 7, 3512 PA, Utrecht
Entrance: Free
Make a lunch reservation here
More information, head to the Facebook event here