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220101 Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory (S) (WiSe 2019/2020)

Inhalt, Kommentar

Postcolonial theory is based on the notion that the historical impact of colonial rule and expansion in a decisive manner affects current scholarship, culture, philosophy, literature as well as the economy, politics, law and society in both the global North and the global South. Postcolonial Studies aim to explore the legacies and consequences of European colonialism in its various aspects – literal, artistic, spatial, historical, political and economic, while usually avoiding a specific focus on particular countries, regions or disciplines. “Classical” postcolonial theory (as represented by Edward Said, Homi K. Bhaba, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak) has developed mainly in the U.S. academy and focused predominantly on the former British colonies, the English language and processes of colonization and decolonization of the 19th and 20th century in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (and partly the Caribbean).

In addition to this well-established line of research, and in order to establish an inter-American perspective on post-colonial theory, the seminar includes perspectives from Spanish language Latin American and Caribbean contexts according to which colonialism in the Americas originates in the 15th century with the Spanish/Portuguese conquest and who see Eurocentric modernity as closely intertwined with colonial rule (see Moraña/Dussel/Jáuregi 2008). Such so-called decolonial approaches (see Quijano, Coronil, Mignolo) shift the perspective towards colonial processes and legacies in the Americas and also towards an inclusion of the political and economic entanglements cultural expressions and texts are embedded in. In the seminar, we will discuss central representatives of both concepts with respect to their genealogies, their merits, and their shortcomings.

Furthermore, this interdisciplinary seminar will provide an overview over historical, literary- and cultural studies methodology and its application in the context of Inter-American Studies.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse

Ability and willingness to read and discuss theoretical texts in English as this course will be held entirely in English. However, if language problems arise, they can always also be solved in German, Spanish or French.


Robert J.C. Young: Postcolonialism: A Very Short introduction, Oxford, 2003.


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Modul Veranstaltung Leistungen  
22-M-4.1 Theoriemodul Interdisziplinäres Theorieseminar benotete Prüfungsleistung
Theorieseminar Transnationale Geschichtsschreibung, Transfer und Vergleich Studieninformation
23-IAS-M-IAS1 Interdisciplinary Introduction to InterAmerican Studies / Introducción interdisciplinaria a los Estudios InterAmericanos Studienprojekt InterAmerikanische Studien Studieninformation
23-IAS-M-IAS1_a Interdisciplinary Introduction to InterAmerican Studies / Introducción interdisciplinaria a los Estudios InterAmericanos Interdisciplinary Theory of InterAmerican Studies Studieninformation

Die verbindlichen Modulbeschreibungen enthalten weitere Informationen, auch zu den "Leistungen" und ihren Anforderungen. Sind mehrere "Leistungsformen" möglich, entscheiden die jeweiligen Lehrenden darüber.

Konkretisierung der Anforderungen

Prüfungsleistung: Depending on whether you study this seminar through the IAS Master (a) or the History Master (b), your exam will either be (a) a 20-25 pages seminar paper (Hausarbeit) or (b) a 20 mins oral exam.

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