CFP: Cultures of Decolonisation, c.1945-1970

Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Venue: Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, Senate House
Keynote Speaker: Dr Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London
This symposium will bring together scholars with an interest in the cultural practices, performances and material cultures of decolonisation, c.1945-1970.
While the problems of ‘empire’ and ‘the postcolonial’ have come under increasing scrutiny in the humanities and social sciences in recent years, and debate about the political and economic processes of decolonisation is well established, the cultural sites, spaces and social practices of this process in the middle years of the twentieth century have often been overlooked.
Yet new scholarship is beginning to point to the attention that the literary, visual and built environment paid to political, economic and social change in this period. In addition, the roles of individuals and institutions in cultural practices and performances of decolonisation are now drawing critical attention from a variety of fields. This symposium will bring together scholars from history, art and design history, cultural geography, literature, museum studies, architecture and other cultural fields to further explore these topics with regard to decolonisation between 1945 and 1970.
We invite contributions which examine aspects of cultural engagements with decolonisation. Papers may consider the peoples, sites, materials and practices of emerging and newly independent nations, as well as the processes of decolonisation as enacted in Europe. This event will lend new insights into debates about the contested nature of decolonisation, and into the impact of cultural practices on socio-political processes.
Papers might focus on:
• Cultural institutions and their reactions to and engagements with decolonisation
• Amateurs, professionals and enthusiasts in decolonisation
• Imperial knowledges, materials and collections, and their place in a decolonising world
• Specific media as arenas for political exchange
• Cultural sites of independence and decolonisation
• Visual and performance cultures of decolonisation
• Decolonising lives
• Networks of decolonisation
Please send abstracts of 250 words or expressions of interest to Dr Ruth Craggs, St Mary’s University College (craggsr@smuc.ac.uk) and Dr Claire Wintle, University of Brighton (c.wintle@brighton.ac.uk) by 30 January 2012.
Symposium Website:
commonwealth.sas.ac.uk/events/eventdetails0.html?id=10987
Supported by the Institute for Commonwealth Studies, University of London; Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton, and St Mary’s University College.

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