The SOAS Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) exists to promote the disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies in relation to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The Centre is housed in and administered by the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, but as a Centre dedicated to interdisciplinary study it is not subordinate to any single Department in the Faculty, either administratively or intellectually.
Many theorists and scholars in the different disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies are stressing the need for a move toward the study of non-European literatures and non-European aesthetic and cultural practices. The range of expertise in non-European literatures and cultures offered at SOAS aims to respond and contribute to current critical and theoretical debates in these disciplines.
The mission of the CCLPS is therefore to promote research on non-European cultures and literatures in the disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies, with the aim of having an impact on the debates and of eventually reinvigorating and pioneering certain dimensions of the disciplines. The SOAS CCLPS also aims to promote comparative critical thought and postgraduate research in critical methods derived from the study of non-European literatures and aesthetic and cultural practices, in addition to written literatures in European languages.
The SOAS CCLPS provides an administrative and intellectual home for the School’s MA Comparative Literature, MA in Cultural Studies and MA in Postcolonial Studies, as well as the MPhil/PhD programmes in these three disciplines. The Centre places its emphasis on the acquisition of critical theoretical skills and in-depth regional knowledge across disciplines. Members of the Centre and current research students work on an exceptionally wide range of topics, both theoretical and critical. Supervision for research students can be provided across this wide range. MPhil/PhD students may register for a degree in Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies or Postcolonial Studies while being supervised by an associate member based in a SOAS department.
The Centre organises a training programme in the three disciplines for research students, in coordination with the faculty wide Research Training Seminar, which is supported by regular Centre seminars. The Centre also liaises with other discipline-based centres and departments over the following MA degree programmes offered faculty wide: MA African Literature, MA Chinese Literature, MA Japanese Literature, MA Korean Literature, MA Arabic Literature, MA Gender Studies, MA Theory and Practice of Translation.
Membership of the SOAS Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies is open to all academic staff and students at SOAS as well as to individuals based in other higher education institutions in the UK with an academic interest in the disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies. Membership will operate on an annually renewable basis. Members will be listed under the following headings: Steering Committee, SOAS Staff (listed by discipline), SOAS Postgraduates (listed by discipline), International Advisory Board (to be invited by Chair through Steering Committee), Visiting Scholars and Affiliated Scholars. An up-to-date list of current members will be maintained by the Centre and will be subject to the Data Protection Act.
CCLPS Primary Objectives
- to promote disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and teaching in the disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies with particular reference to Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
- to provide a forum in which staff and students within SOAS, together with scholars from other institutions, can collaborate in the fields of research and teaching in all three disciplines;
- to focus on the role of SOAS in promoting not only the disciplinary study of European literary and critical practices but also the literary and cultural agencies of non-European literatures and cultures in all three disciplines;
- to effectively intervene in the developments of these disciplines through contributions to theoretical, methodological and pedagogical debates, in the contexts of Middle Eastern, Asian and African Studies, and through publications, conferences, workshops and teaching;
- to pioneer the systematic introduction, through curricular interventions, publications and seminars, of the work of Middle Eastern, African and Asian critics, theorists and thinkers;
- to provide an administrative and intellectual home for the School’s MA programmes in Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies (the latter soon to be proposed);
- to pioneer disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices through regular seminars on Comparative Literary, Cultural and Postcolonial Studies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, open to SOAS students and staff, to academics and students of other institutions and to the general public;
- to advise on the teaching of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies in the contexts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, such as for the MPhil training programme and interdisciplinary MA courses that include core theoretical and critical studies;
- to set up joint research projects and seminars with similar centres and programmes in academic institutions in the UK and abroad;
- to undertake the editing and publication of a series of occasional papers on Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies in the contexts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Professor Francesca Orsini, CCLPS Chair and Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature,Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia, SOAS Main Building, Room 365, Tel +44 (0)20 7898 4242.