Monday, November 12, 2018

8th PCI FILM SERIES announcements for November and December 2018

26 November: Human Flow (2017, Ai Weiwei, Germany, USA, China, Palestine, 140 min.) Introduction by Prof. dr. Sandra Ponzanesi (Gender Studies, Utrecht University)

Time: 17.00 - 19.30 
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)
About the film: Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

10 December: In the Same Boat (2016, Rudi Gnutti, Spain, 70 min). Introduction by dr. Domitilla Olivieri (Gender Studies, UU).

Time: 17.00 - 19.30 
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)
A fascinating and stylish investigation into globalisation and the future of our economyn The Same Boat is an artistic and sophisticated analysis of the effects of globalisation on the world, which presents an optimistic argument for the future of the planet. Guided by some of the world's leading radical figures, from Zygmunt Bauman to Jose Mujica, In The Same Boat travels the world discovering the views of its people on work, happiness, the environment, and the economy. Supported by Rudy Gnutti's stunning cinematography and compositions, this film will transform your understanding of the modern world.

Conference PIN, Postcolonial Intellectuals and Their European Publics

Utrecht, 5-6 February 2019

Who are the postcolonial intellectuals? Which of them are currently the most influential? What kind of intellectual activity do collectivities, networks and movements gathering around issues of race and citizenship perform? How do postcolonial academics, artists, writers, parties and movements respond to current timely issues in the European landscape such as migration, citizenship and the legacies of colonialism? How do they contribute to a new idea of “Europe” and relate to Western categories of modernity? Are their critical tools effective enough?

The PIN – Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics network, not only focuses on postcolonial intellectuals as outspoken individuals, but also challenges the traditional definition of the “public intellectual” by emphasizing the role of artists, writers, activists and social movements in shaping postcolonial publics and knowledges.
Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics network    (PIN) brings together an international and interdisciplinary network of scholars to investigate the role of postcolonial public intellectuals as crucial actors in renewing the function of the humanities and of democratic participation in Europe.

We welcome abstracts that engage with the topics and questions addressed above.
Please e-mail your abstract (250 words), bio (150words) and possible questions to:
More info will follow soon on our website

  • 15 December, 2018
     an abstract of 250 words; a bio of 150 words;
  •  Notification of acceptance: 31 December, 2018
Practical information
Date: 5-6 February 2019
Location: Drift 21, room 0.05 Sweelinckzaal (entrance drift 27)
More info will follow soon on our website

Photo courtesy of  © Omar Victor Diop, Sashakara, 2016, Le Studio des Vanités

Book presentation Postcolonial Intellectuals in Europe, ed. by Sandra Ponzanesi and Adriano José Habed

28 November, 2018 in Amsterdam

Sandra Ponzanesi and Adriano José Habed
Sudeep Dasgupta and Koen Leurs

Respondent: Susan Legêne Susane
This book offers an innovative take on the role of intellectuals in Europe through a postcolonial lens and, in doing so, questions the very definition of "public intellectual," on the one hand, and the meaning of such a thing as "Europe," on the other. It does so not only by offering portraits of charismatic figures such as Stuart Hall, Jacques Derrida, Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, and Hannah Arendt, among others, but also by exploring their lasting legacies and the many dialogues they have generated. The notion of the ‘classic’ intellectual is further challenged by bringing to the fore artists, writers, and activists, as well as social movements, networks, and new forms of mobilization and collective engagement that are part of the intellectual scene. Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018  
Click here for more information about this book.

Practical information
Place: Free University Amsterdam
Wednesday, 28 November, 2018
Time 15.30-17.00
Registration: Please register at

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Book Launch: Postcolonial Intellectuals in Europe: Critics, Artists, Movements, and their Publics, ed. by Sandra Ponzanesi and Adriano José Habed

  5-6 February 2019

Among the confirmed speakers/contributors: 

Bolette B. Blaagaard, Rosemarie Buikema, Gianmaria Colpani, Adriano Jose Habed, Wigbertson Julian Isenia, Koen Leurs, Jamila M. H. Mascat, Ana Cristina Mendes, Sandra Ponzanesi, Mehdi Sajid, Neelam Srivastava, Jesse van Amelsvoort.Special guest: Rosi Braidotti.
Postcolonial intellectuals have engaged with and deeply impacted upon European society since the figure of the intellectual emerged at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Yet a critical assessment and overview of their influential roles is long overdue, particularly in the light of contemporary debates in Europe and beyond.With interventions by Engin Isin, Gayatri C. Spivak and Bruce Robbins. Read more here
Practical information
Date: 5-6 February 2019
Time: 15.00 - 18.00
Location: Drift 21, room 0.05 Sweelinckzaal (entrance drift 27)

Sunday, June 24, 2018


Migration and Mobility in a Digital Age: Paradoxes of Connectivity and Belonging

In April 2018, a two-day international conference was held at Columbia University, hosted by the Heyman Center for the Humanities. The event was made possible through co-sponsorship by many units at Columbia University, including the Division of Humanities and the Department of English and Comparative Literature, and other universities in NYC (NYU-MCC and New School-Zolberg Institute) along with European partners. The conference, entitled “Migration and Mobility in a Digital Age: Paradoxes of Connectivity and Belonging,” brought together many international scholars who have been working at the intersection of media and migration for many years from an interdisciplinary and international perspective. The conference was opened with words of welcome by the Dean of Humanities Sarah Cole. The organizer Sandra Ponzanesi introduced the themes and goals of the conference and highlighted the major strands of the seven panels and closing two keynote addresses. READ THE FULL REPORT HERE



Columbia University
The Heyman Center for the Humanities

Migration and Mobility in a Digital Age: Paradoxes of Connectivity and Belonging

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Wednesday, April 11, 2018



Sandra Ponzanesi
  •  Visiting Professor, Department of English and Comparative LiteratureColumbia University/Professor Gender and Postcolonial Studies, Utrecht University.

Keynote Speakers

Arjun Appadurai
  • Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University 
Mirca Madianou
  • Professor in the Department of Media and Communications Goldsmiths, University of London
Check the full list of speakers here

The image of Syrian refugees with a smartphone shooting ‘selfies’ upon reaching dry land has captured the international imagination (Chouliaraki, 2017; Kunstman, 2017; Risam, forthcoming 2018). It suggests an image of the ‘connected migrant’ (Diminescu, 2008), which is shaped by a profound ambivalence: migrants are expected to be people fleeing from war, violence, and poverty; they are not expected to be ‘digital natives’, equipped with technologies to navigate their difficult journeys. While smartphones are accessible, affordable, and easy to use, in the realm of the public imaginary the image of the disenfranchised and disconnected migrant remains that of the ‘have nots’, and therefore subject to ‘high tech orientalism’ (Chun, 2006, p. 73). This posits the figuration of the migrant as outside the realm of development and modern forms of communication, disenfranchised and vulnerable in order to be worthy of international aid and pity (Boltanski, 20000; Ticktin, 2008). And yet smartphones are ubiquitous, and migrants have been early adopters and heavy users of technologies for the simple reason that these technologies are ingrained in their daily practices and everyday lives, which often involve perilous crossings but also the need to keep in touch with the home front and their diasporic communities. The promise of connectivity that is guaranteed even under duress becomes fraught with the profound disconnection brought about by the disciplining gaze of Western media and publics.
It is, therefore, crucial to focus on the specific way in which digital technologies bridge or magnify the gap in migration between geographical distance and digital proximity. How are affect, intimacy, and belonging negotiated online in the face of forced migration and expulsions (Sassen, 2012) but also of circular migration, expatriation, and transnational movements?
This conference aims to cover a broad range of conflict-related issues on migration in a digital age. Using the latest insights from a range of interdisciplinary fields, it will explore theories of displacement such as diaspora, cosmopolitanism, and nomadism, and the transformations brought about by the digital revolution, through the analysis of virtual communities, social media platforms, and digital activism. It will also focus on media production and the regulation of information on forced migrants in a ‘post-truth’ era: fake news; the humanitarianism-securitization nexus, migration management, social and political conflicts related to migrant and diaspora communities, radicalization and online counter-terrorism, hate speech and racism, but also solidarities, activism, and protest.
For more info e-mail Sandra Ponzanesi:
Or follow the link updates on the programme and schedule:

The conference is a collaboration between Columbia University, Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the ERC project ConnectingEurope and other co-sponsors (Columbia University, Division of Humanities, New York University, The New School, IRWGS, Council for European Studies etc..)