SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Book Launch: 'Postcolonial Poetics: 21st-Century Critical Readings'

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Date: 6 December 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 6 December 2018Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: SWLT

Type of Event: Book Launch

Elleke Boehmer
In conversation with
Wen-chin Ouyang and Amina Yaqin

Postcolonial Poetics asks primarily whether postcolonial texts solicited a particular kind of reading, and what its main characteristics were. Boehmer examines how the structures of postcolonial writing in English (focusing on southern and West Africa, black and Asian Britain, and India) ‘shape our reading’.

Emphasis moves from text and author, to recipient: Boehmer believes that literature can “keep re-imagining and refreshing how we understand ourselves in relation to the world and to some of the most pressing questions of our time, including cultural reconciliation, survival after terror, and migration”, and shows “that literary writing itself lays down structures and protocols to shape and guide our reading”.

In Postcolonial Poetics, Boehmer’s careful examination of ‘reading’ practices permits a deeper understanding not only of the formal aestheticism of postcolonial writing, but also of our role as readers in decoding and experiencing a text. It constitutes an invigorating relocation of attention in postcolonial studies.

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About the speaker:

Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford) is the author of five highly-praised novels including The Shouting in the Dark, Screens against the Sky (shortlisted for the David Hyam Prize 1990), Bloodlines (shortlisted for the SANLAM prize), and a founding figure in postcolonial literary studies.  Boehmer is the Director of the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, and General Editor of the Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures series, and she was the Man Booker International Prize judge 2013-15.

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