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Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

CCLPS Critical Forum

Wednesdays 13:00-15:00, Room 4418
Convenors: Dr Karima Laachir
(kl19@soas.ac.uk)

The aim of the CCLPS Critical Forum is to foster a culture of research and critical debate across SOAS in which the idiomatic differences of regional expertise are articulated and brought to a focus through debates over comparative critical methods and the examination of theoretical, critical, ideological and cultural premises underlying the academic disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies.

  • The Forum is designed to be congenially informal and is to be distinguished from other formal seminars and lecture series.
  • The Forum will offer a context for CCLPS members across the faculty and for Second and Third Year PhD Candidates to come together and present briefly on the critical methods and theoretical frames relevant to their research projects.
  • The discussions that are hoped to follow these brief presentations will be guided in two directions:
    • The laying of grounds for future comparative projects and publications, highlighting the unique range of expertise at SOAS, through which veritable contribution to the main stream of critical and theoretical debates in the three disciplines is potentially outlined.
    • Offering and demonstrating a range of research skills and analytic tools through which PhD Candidates are able to place their work and plan their research careers under one of the disciplines.
  • The Forum is also hoped to begin the work of outlining the Agency of non-European critical traditions:
    • First making these traditions available in translation and in debate.
    • Bringing these traditions into genuine debate with western theory and critical methods.
  • In all three disciplines, the state of the art is determined by the powerful imprints of a few figures - from Auerbach to Said - offering various modes of engagement and analytic and critical insight. But no one has so far offered a viable and consistent methodological insight as to how to work with different literatures, languages and traditions.
    • The most recent (Moretti, Damrosh, Spivak, Apter) have offered extended critical theses and analytic readings proving the need for methodologies in working across languages and traditions.
    • These can be most fruitfully examined as suggestions toward a methodology.
    • Ultimately, the goal of the CCLPS Critical Forum is to examine the different critical and theoretical attempts, drawing strongly on the unique concentration of expertise at SOAS, in order to begin to outline a critical methodology, which is not an easy task, and certainly beyond the reach of individual scholars (as earlier attempts have confirmed).
    • This will constitute the centripetal force of the Centre’s intellectual and methodological visions, which must involve the work of all CCLPS members.
Previous Events in this series

Ethel Mannin’s Lance for the Arabs: Revolutionary Counter-Reconnaissance

Professor Caroline Rooney, University of Kent

15 May 2013, Faber Building, FG01, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Reflections on the Sufi Turn in Arabic Fiction

Dr. Ziad Elmarsafy (University of York)

6 March 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Postcolonial Italian Studies: Anti-colonial Foundational Myths, Colonial Amnesia, and Neo-colonial Ambitions

Dr Simone Brioni, University of Warwick

20 February 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Arun Kolatkar and Literary Modernism in India

Dr. Laetitia Zecchini (CNRS, Paris)

30 January 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Dictionary of the Ancient Egyptian Language: from Rosellini and Champollion to Erman and the Berlin School, under the Eye of Vladimir Propp

Dr Gianluca Miniaci (UCL)

16 January 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Rethinking Istanbul: Consumerism and Violence in the novel 'Two Girls'

Dr Keya Anjaria

5 December 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Literature and the Law: Moral Censorship and the Regulation of Obscenity in Modern China

Professor Michel Hockx

21 November 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Reading Nepali Maoists, and Nepali Maoists' Reading

Professor Michael Hutt

31 October 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Critical Reflections on Interdisciplinarity & The Work of Area Studies

Dr Ayman El-Desouky & Dr Rachel Harrison

First meeting of the CCLPS Critical Forum in the 2011-12 academic year.

12 October 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Comparing ImagiNations – Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, WB Yeats and a Sad Conclusion

Helen Carmichael (PhD Candidate, Department of the Near & Middle East)

26 January 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM