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CFP: Postcolonial Representation[s] & the U.S.
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Centennial House, UC Santa Barbara

Keynote Speaker: Bishnupriya Ghosh, Associate Professor of English, UC Santa Barbara (biography below)

Submission Deadline: Extended to Friday, March 16, 2007

Click here for more details.

The 2007 American Cultures and Global Contexts Graduate Conference, an interdisciplinary forum at UC Santa Barbara, will explore issues revolving around the postcolonial—encompassing representations of the postcolonial in the U.S., colonial, neo-colonial and postcolonial ideologies and debates surrounding imperialism and empire building. We are not only interested in representations of the postcolonial, inside and outside of the U.S., but also representations that have to do with the U.S. In the face of contemporary debates about whether postcolonial theory is bowing out to theories of globalization, what is at stake for us as postcolonial scholars in continuing our research? Has the U.S. Empire actually or only seemingly “moved on” from previous colonial models? Does postcolonial study reveal continuing colonial violences from a century ago that shape geopolitical balances of power, and internal colonialisms within the U.S. that are lost in overemphasizing transnational flows? The intersections between postcolonial theory, global studies, and American studies offer a rich field of study that crosses disciplinary boundaries, and we aim to cultivate our knowledge and open up a forum for discussion and debate. Both contemporary and historical work is welcome, as well as multi-genre work, including the visual arts.

Presentation topics may include but are not limited to the following suggestions:

  • Representations of memory in diasporic/postcolonial literature
  • Memory, memorializing, and elided histories
  • The subaltern, the disenfranchised
  • Specters, hauntology, redress
  • National identity as central to the U.S.’s new nationalisms
  • Global capital, postcolonial theory, and U.S. institutions
  • Genre and postcolonial literature
  • Mixed media art and postcolonial identity
  • Diasporic/postcolonial peoples as represented by “ U.S.” authors/artists
  • Diasporic imagined communities, social imaginaries
  • Language and literature as related to the global south
  • United States citizens as represented by “postcolonial” authors/artists
  • Hollywood in the post-colonies and the post-colonies in Hollywood
  • Postcolonial and globalization theory—overlaps and divides
  • Postcoloniality, sovereignty, Empire, and the U.S.
  • Violence, terror, war
  • The (re)construction and/or production of the postcolonial body
  • History, genealogy, and recovery
  • Gender, sexuality, as related to postcoloniality
  • Identity, agency, subjectivity, and nation building

To Submit an Abstract:


Please submit 250-word individual abstracts or panel proposals (comprised of a 250-word abstract for the panel as a whole and titles for each paper) to by Friday, March 16, 2007. We request that you paste your proposal into the body of your email and include any technology requests. If submitting a work of art, please attach a low-resolution image of your piece, if possible, in addition to your abstract. Some travel subsidies may be available. Please indicate on your abstract if you are interested.

Deadline: Extended to Friday, March 16, 2007

Conference Date: Saturday, May 12, 2007


For more information about the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center, visit


Keynote Speaker Biography:

Bishnupriya Ghosh is a professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She came to UCSB with a doctorate from Northwestern University, a B.A. from Wellesley College, and a B.A. from Presidency College (Kolkata). Her teaching interests are global studies, postcolonial theory and media studies, and gender/sexuality studies. Apart from publishing essays on literature, film, postcolonial criticism and theory in journals such as Screen, boundary 2, The Journal of Postcolonial Studies, and in several anthologies, Ghosh’s first monograph on globalization, literary markets, and the political imagination of South Asian writing in English, When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel (Rutgers University Press), appeared in 2004; she has also co-edited a volume of critical essays, Interventions: Feminist Dialogues on Third World Women’s Literature and Film (Garland, 1997). She is working on a second manuscript on the corporeal idioms of famous contemporary female icons marked as “South Asian” such as Phoolan Devi, Taslima Nasrin, Arundhati Roy, and Mother Teresa; Corporeal Intimations: The Material Life of South Asian Female Icons rethinks received dismissals of icons as overexposed mass mediatized commodities and resituates them hieroglyphics of social power in South Asian contexts. As she completes Corporeal Intimations, Ghosh is beginning research on a third project on a spectral modernity evidenced in twentieth-century gothic and speculative fiction from South Asian postcolonial contexts. At UCSB she is active in the Multi-Research Group, “The Subaltern and the Popular”; most recently, she is engaged convening a UCHRI short-term research focus group on risk, uncertainty, and globality, “Speculative Globalities,” in February 2007.