Seminar on postcolonial studies

Seminar on Postcolonial Studies


The first semester of SAP corroborates the observation we made in our first edition: postcolonial approaches (postcolonial, anti-colonial, decolonial, subaltern studies) occupy a minor place in the education and research of French Humanities and Social Sciences, although they occupy a significant place in the international sphere. Few research centres focus on the postcolonial situation, its events and contemporary evolutions. Yet, numerous PhD candidates and researchers work on postcolonial issues. A forum for reflection, discussion and updating these debates was thus necessary. Through this monthly seminar, we want to create a space to welcome PhD candidates, researchers and master students interested in these scientific approaches as well as activists who use them outside the academic environment. The steady configuration of the seminar is based on the presentation of research work, completed or in progress, followed by a discussion. This year, the seminar will be shared between the CERI (Centre de recherches internationales) of Sciences Po and the CEPED (Centre Population et Développement) of Paris Descartes University and Institute for Research and Development (IRD). Based on the shared reflections between these two institutions during the second semester of the year 2018-2019, we have defined the following research axes:

Axis 1: Critical understanding on the reception of postcolonial approaches

This study axis is concerned with the circulation, reception, and transformation of postcolonial approaches, as well as the resistance they encounter in a number of contexts. It aims at understanding which causes trigger the development of postcolonial approaches and which effect this development has on scientific and social spaces.

Axis 2: (Post)colonialism, imperialism, and history

Although the term “postcolonial” may not only be used in reference to the era following decolonisation, it remains closely linked to history as it constantly refers to periods of time in which imperial expansions of modern science arose along with different forms of colonisation. Therefore, this axis suggests a reflection on the links between history and postcolonial approaches, in the empirical as well as the theoretical realm.

Axis 3: Postcolonial approaches and activism

The relation between postcolonial approaches and activism is simultaneously quoted to disapprove these approaches and to praise their situated epistemology. The purpose of this axis is to enlighten the construction of contact zones between scientific activity and activism in postcolonial approaches, by conversing with those who use them for action.

Axis 4: Postcolonial approaches and the humanities and social sciences

This axis questions the role of postcolonial approaches in the renewal of the humanities and social sciences. How does the critical approach by difference allow for the questioning of the epistemological foundations of the humanities and social sciences? Which methodological operations are suggested for the opening up of the mono-disciplinarity and the Eurocentrism of the social sciences?


2019-2020 Programme

Axis 1 : Critical understanding on the reception of postcolonial approaches

Session No.1 - 1 October 2019, 17h-19h CEPED

Invited: Stéphane Dufoix, Université Paris Nanterre, SOPHIAPOL

Session No. 2 - 5 November, 17h-19h CERI

Invited: Audrey Alejandro, London School of Economics and Political Science

Axis 2: (Post)colonialism, imperialism, and history

Session No.3 - 3 December, 17h-19h CERI

Invited: Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Université Paris Diderot, CESSMA.

Title of her presentation: « Eurocentrisme et décolonial, le grand malentendu tel que vu par une historienne »

Session No. 4 - 4 February, 17h-19h CERI

Invited: Lissell Quiroz-Perez, Université de Rouen, ERIAC.

Axis 3: Postcolonial approaches and activism

Session No. 5 - 10 March, 17h-19h CEPED or EHESS (tbc)

Invited: Selim Nadi, Université Lyon 2  & University of Oxford.

Title of the presentation: "Marxisme et postcolonialisme"

Session No. 6 - 7 April, 16h-18h CERI

Invited: Luis Martinez Andrade, "Global South(s)" & "Mouvements sociaux à l’âge global", Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'homme (FMSH)

Title of the presentation: "Études décoloniales et théologie de la libération"

Axis 4: Postcolonial approaches and the humanities and social sciences

Session No. 7 - 5 May, 17h-19h CEPED TBC

Session No. 8  - 2 June, 17h-19h CERI TBC

Sessions are shared between CERI, 56 rue Jacob, Paris 6e and CEPED, 45 rue des Saints-Pères, Paris 6e.

Scientific advisors: Mina Kleicher-Dray (IRD, HDR, Paris V/Ceped) and Frédéric Ramel (Sciences Po/CERI).

Organization committee: Ayrton Aubry (PhD student, Sciences Po/CERI) — Pablo Barnier-Khawam (PhD student, Sciences Po/CERI) — Léonard Colomba-Petteng (PhD student, Sciences Po/CERI) — Aline Martello (master student, EHESS) — Adèle Maudeux (master student, PSIA) — Louise Perrodin (PhD student, Université Paris-Est/LIPHA, Ater Sciences Po) — Mathieu Quet (IRD, HDR, Paris V/Ceped).

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