Monday, September 26, 2016

Public Lecture by Prof. Zygmunt Bauman

On 16 December, Prof. Zygmunt Bauman (Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds) will give a public lecture, entitled 'Between separation and integration: Strategies of cohabitation in the era of diasporization and Internet'. The lecture is a part of the Academy Colloquium Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism?, organised by Dr Koen Leurs and Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi.

Liquid Modernity
Zygmunt Bauman is one of the world's most eminent social theorists writing on a number of common themes, including globalisation, modernity and postmodernity, consumerism, and morality. Well known for his groundbreaking work Liquid Modernity (2000), he is the author of 57 books and over a hundred articles.

Publications in recent years include monographs and co-authored books such as Strangers at our door, Babel, Practices of Selfhood, State of Crisis, Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity, and Liquid Modernity, Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation (all published with Polity).

Practical information
Date: 16 December
Location: Trippenhuis Building, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam
For more information or to register, please visit the website of the KNAW.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Doing Gender lecture by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Two days after her films are screened in the PCI Film Series, Frances Négron Muntaner will provide a Doing Gender lecture. Her talk is titled 'What To Do with All This Beauty? The Political Economy of Latina Stardom in the Twenty-first Century'.

The talk explores the political economy of a common stereotype in U.S. media, the Latina beauty, since its emergence in the late nineteenth century to its present incarnations. The presentation will also inquire about how and why this is the only Latino stereotype that produces major stars like Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, and Salma Hayek; and examine the racial, gender, cultural, and market contexts that allow contemporary Latina actresses to leverage their beauty capital into influence inside the entertainment industry, domestic and international politics - to a point.

Practical information
Date: 13 October
Time: 16.00 - 17.30
Location: Drift 21, room 1.05
Please register by sending an email to

Monday, September 19, 2016

PCI Film Series 2016/2017

The Postcolonial Studies Initiative is happy to announce its 7th film series 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.

This year the focus will be on the relation between documentary filmmaking and postcolonial theory, and their deep entanglement in the critique of realism and representation of the other. We want to explore, through visual representations and cinematographic narratives, how postcolonial realities are analyzed and re-imagined in contemporary film.

Each film will be introduced briefly by scholars connected to the PCI and international guests and filmmakers. The series will take place every third Tuesday of the month, starting with September until May.

The first four editions

20 September         The Lost Ones. Long Journey Home (2011, USA, 42 min)
Introduced by Prof. Susan Rose (Dickinson College, USA)
11 October               Brincando El Charco. Portrait of a Puerto Rican (1994, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, USA, 55 min)
Small City, Big Change (2013, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, USA, 10 min)
Introduced by Frances Negrón-Muntaner (Columbia University, USA)
With a Q&A session
15 November           Lift (2001, Marc Isaacs, UK, 25 min)
Calais, the Last Border (2003, Marc Isaacs, UK, 60 min)
Introduced by Dr Domitilla Olivieri (Gender Studies, UU)
13 December           The Nine Muses (John Akomfrah, Ghana, 2011, 90 min)
Introduced by Jamila Mascat (Gender Studies, UU)

Practical information
Location                    Drift, 21 room 0.32
Time                           19.15-21.30

First edition: The Lost Ones. Long Journey Home 
Introduced by Susan Rose (Dickinson College, USA)


The Lost Ones: Long Journey Home is a documentary film that weaves together Native American oral histories and historical, archival research as it pieces together the story of two Lipan Apache children captured along the Texas-Mexican border in 1877.

After the massacre of their village known, as Remolino or the "Day of Screams," the children rode from fort to fort with the U.S. Calvary for three years before being taken to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (CIIS) in Pennsylvania – thousands of miles from their home. Carlisle, established in 1879 at the end of the “Indian wars,” served as the model for off-reservation boarding schools across the United States and Canada. Its goal was to “civilize” and assimilate Indian children to Euro-American culture: “education for extinction.” The children’s ties with their family were completely severed; the only legacy the children left was Kesetta's three-year-old son who became the youngest child ever to be enrolled at CIIS. While the family remembered the Lost Ones every year, they never knew what had happened to the children or where they were buried until two centuries later.

This documentary reveals the mystery of how on the 132th anniversary of Remolino, Lipan Apache descendants from California, Texas, and New Mexico came to Carlisle to offer blessings so the children could be sent home. The film demonstrates the power of collective memory, the impact of intergenerational trauma, and the ways in which photographs can be used as a form of both erasure and reclamation.

Practical information
Date: 20 September
Time: 19.15 - 21.30
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32

PCI Film Series presents 'Brincando El Charco. Portrait of a Puerto Rican' and 'Small City, Big Change'

Introduced by Frances Negrón-Muntane (Columbia University, USA)

Refreshingly sophisticated in both form and content, Brincando el Charco contemplates the notion of 'identity' through the experiences of a Puerto Rican woman living in the US.

In a wonderful mix of fiction, archival footage, processed interviews and soap opera drama, Brincando el Charco tells the story of Claudia Marin, a middle-class, light-skinned Puerto Rican photographer/videographer who is attempting to construct a sense of community in the US. Confronting the simultaneity of both her privilege and her oppression, Brincando el Charco becomes a meditation on class, race and sexuality as shifting differences.

During this edition, one of Negrón-Muntane's short films will also be screened: 'Small City, Big Change'. This film portrays how the smallest city of Massachusetts, of mostly Latino working class residents, provided the key leadership for the approval of the Transgender Equal Rights Act of the state.

Q&A with the director
After the screening, there will also be a Q&A session with director
Frances Negrón-Muntane. And on 13 October, she will provide a Doing Gender lecture.

Negrón-Muntaner is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, curator, scholar and professor at Columbia University, where she is the founding director of the Media and Idea Lab and founding curator of the Latino Arts and Activism Archive at Columbia’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. She also served as the director of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race from 2009-2016.

Negrón-Muntaner’s work spans multiple disciplines and practices, including cinema, literature, cultural criticism, and politics. Her work focuses on a comparative exploration of coloniality in the Americas, with special attention to the intersections between race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Practical information
PCI Film Series
Date: 11 October
Time: 19.15 - 21.30
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Doing Gender Lecture by Prof. Susan Rose

The Global Clothesline Project (GCP): Bearing Witness to Violence Against Women 


The Global Clothesline Project (GCP): Bearing Witness to Violence Against Women is part of the international movement against violence directed at women. The GCP invites women to create T-shirts that express the violence they suffered and the healing they have experienced. 

The effectiveness of the project lies in the work that can be done at an individual or small group therapeutic level (anonymously or confidentially as women may individually or collectively create T-Shirts), and at the social movement level with the public display of shirts that expose the violence and healing that has taken place within a particular community – be it a university campus, NGO, or local community. The exhibit has the potential to open up a dialogue about violence and to engage victim-survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators to “see” what impact violence has and work towards ending it. 

A powerful tool to educate the community about the impact of gender violence, it provides both agency and safety to vulnerable victims. It empowers survivors and allies to come together to not only express individual stories but also to collectively challenge human rights violations that are often constructed and dismissed as traditional cultural practices. This presentation will offer a qualitative and comparative analysis of women’s experiences of violence, healing, and action across cultures. It examines the relationship between gender inequality and gender violence, and the health impacts of gender violence as the most pervasive human rights violation that affects women and children today across both the developed and developing world.

In the process of breaking silence through images and words, survivors are not only finding their own voices, they are also collectively creating new narratives that challenge the individual and collective denial of abuse and the reproduction of violence. As contributors are constructing oppositional narratives that challenge traditional narrative, they often encounter skepticism and resistance to the telling of their stories for speaking out is a political as well as a therapeutic act, and as such, is a claim to power. As Milan Kundera writes in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 'Man's struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.’

About Susan Rose  
Susan D. Rose is a Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology and Director of the Community Studies Center at Dickinson college (USA). Professor Rose specializes in the sociology of religion, family, and education; violence; indigenous studies; and inequality, race, class, and gender studies. She uses a comparative (cross-cultural and historical) approach to the study of family, sexuality, religion, education, migration, and violence. 

She has conducted fieldwork in the United States, Guatemala, the Philippines, and South Korea on evangelical movements, education, and gender that has resulted in a number of articles and books. These include: Challenging Global Gender Violence: The Global Clothesline Project (Palgrave, 2013); Exporting the American Gospel: Global Christian Fundamentalism (Routledge, 1998) and Keeping Them Out of the Hands of Satan: Christian Schooling in America (Routledge, 1986; 2017). 

Her recent work explores sexuality education and gender-based violence in Cameroon, Cuba, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Venezuela, and the United States; the impact of the Religious Right on social policy in the United States, and Indigenous Studies: The Carlisle Indian Industrial School: Indigenous Histories, Memories, and Reclamations (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). 

Practical information
Time: 15.30-17.00
Location: Drift 25, room 0.02
Chair: Prof. Rosemarie Buikema

If you want to attend, please register via

Monday, September 12, 2016

Call for Applications: Fourth Annual ACGS Conference

Postcolonial Mediations: Globalisation and Displacement
Amsterdam, 26-27 October 2017
Keynote speakers
  • Victoria Bernal (Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine, US) 
  • Paula Chakravartty (Associate Professor Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, New York, US)
  • Iain Chambers (Professor of Cultural and Postcolonial Studies, Oriental University, Naples, Italy)
Postcolonial thinking has challenged the stability of discourses on culture, globalisation, economics, human rights and politics. Postcolonial thinking, as a form of mediation and displacement of worldviews, triggered a re-evaluation of the complex connections between culture, class, economy, gender and sexuality. This conference aims to engage with such postcolonial displacements. 
Displacement can be seen under the rubric of mobility and its many forms today, most tellingly discernible in the forced movements of peoples in the wake of wars, and the concomitant crises this provokes around issues of “culture and civilization”, and its gendered, religious and raced dimensions. The refugee crisis in Europe is an important case in point. Cultural productions from the non-West continue to displace received understandings of other cultures and societies (Chow, 2002, Narayan, 1997) while contemporary political movements draw inspiration from postcolonial struggles as they deploy new media forms, as Howard Caygill (2013) has recently shown in his analyses of the Gandhian non-violence movement, the continuing Maoist rebellions and their relation to the Zapatistas and the Indignados. The shifting contours of gender and sexual politics, and the critique of stable identities provoked by queer politics and theory, are also producing displacements, in the discourse and practice of the politics of rights. Local, regional and national politics often challenge universal rights claims. e.g. the controversies around the relevance of “Global Queer” (Altman, 1996). 
The postcolonial is understood here simultaneously as a mediating and a displacing series of interventions, which demands engagement with contemporary understandings of globalisation.
We invite papers that explore the complexity of postcolonial mediations in their interaction with the displacements of globalisation through theoretical and empirical analyses. 

Possible topics
  1. How can a postcolonial perspective inform newer understandings of contemporary forms of cultural, political and economic globalisation? For example, what does the “neo-colonial” turn (Mignolo) imply for thinking globalisation’s many dimensions today? What purchase might postcolonial perspectives (including postcolonial self-critique) have in the context of “planetary” (Spivak) developments, discussions of “Empire” and “Multitude” (Hardt/Negri) and articulations of “singular” (Jameson) and alternative modernities?
  2. Migration in its many forms has centralized displacement as a crucial feature of globalisation. How might a postcolonial perspective further a contemporary engagement with the displacements of peoples in the wake of economic globalisation, political crises, human rights crises, and the ongoing militarization of the globe? How can the figures of the “migrant”, the “refugee” and the “asylum-seeker”, for example, be rethought given their contemporary reformulations by nation-states and transnational entities such as the EU and other multilateral deportation/resettling schemes in Asia?
  3. Queer theory has long argued that gender and sexuality are not external dimensions to be “added” onto considerations of subjectivity but intrinsic to how “human” subjectivities are lived, transformed and theorized. How do contemporary forms of displacement register at the level of gender and sexual politics? And how might queer forms of thinking intervene, mediate, displace or consolidate racist, sexist, transphobic, and hetero-normative discourses in the wake of globalisation, often under the rubric of culture and civilization?
  4. Contemporary forms of globalisation are not only represented but also actively constructed through forms of media engagement, from political mobilization through social media to filmic and televisual cultural practices. These mediated forms of global politics demand different forms of analysis while also provoking transformations in how we theorize media themselves. How can “mediation” be confronted and theorized given the postcolonial dimensions of contemporary globalisation?
  5. The contours of globalisation in terms of borders, the nation-states and transnational communities are being displaced and redrawn in the content of contemporary economic, political and military crises. How might postcolonial perspectives furnish cognitive and affective mappings of the overlaps and disjunctions of political and cultural cartographies?
  6. Given that a “postcolonial perspective” unites competing perspectives (e.g. the literary, the politico-economic, the Marxist, the postmodernist) rather than a unified and homogenous body of arguments, what are the contemporary forms of internal displacement within the field?
Contributions from fields from across the social sciences or humanities are invited.
Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) and short bio (max. 100 words) by 1 February 2017 to Notice of acceptance will be given by 1 May 2017. Conference fee: 50 Euros (25 Euros for PhD students). Conference dinner: 25 Euros.

  • Sudeep Dasgupta (University of Amsterdam)
  • John Nguyet Erni (Hong Kong Baptist University)
  • Aniko Imre (University of Southern California)
  • Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam)
  • Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University)
  • Raka Shome (National University of Singapore)
More information
Please visit the website.