Januar 2015

 

Doing African Cultural Studies

Freitag 23.01.2015 15:00 | Saal

Eintritt: frei

Veranstalter/-in: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Universität Potsdam

Kooperation

Workshop hosted by the University of Potsdam

Across the African continent, new forms of cultural enquiry are emerging that operate either in parallel or in opposition to Anglo-American and European traditions of cultural studies. Devoted to a critique of the continuing dominance in Africa of the European academic legacy, these African approaches to cultural studies draw on local knowledge traditions and seek to develop a genuinely decolonised approach to thinking culture and understanding the relationship between the local and the global, between tradition and modernity.

Within the European context of the workshop, the impulses from African cultural studies make necessary a critical reappraisal of concepts such as indigeneity and the place-bound nature of knowledges that sometimes sit uneasily within Anglo-American and European ways of doing cultural studies. How does one adequately address and make productive the tensions that exist between a research agenda that is presumably shared by all cultural studies scholars alike and the simultaneous insistence on diverse, local traditions? Bringing together African scholars from the field of cultural studies with Berlin-based colleagues, the workshop aims to generate a dialogue between their diverse practices of thinking culture.

 

Speakers

  • Francis B. Nyamnjoh | Professor of Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town
  • Adam Haupt | Associate Professor of Media Studies, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town

Panellists

  • Elahe Haschemi Yekani | Junior Professor of English Literature, University of Flensburg
  • James Odhiambo Ogone | Doctoral Student in the Department of English, University of Potsdam
  • Regina Römhild | Professor of European Ethnology, Humboldt University, Berlin (tbc)

     

Book Launch


The workshop is followed by the launch of Postcolonial Piracy: Media Distribution and Cultural Production in the Global South (eds Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz).

  

Across the global South, new media technologies have brought about new forms of cultural production, distribution and reception. The spread of cassette recorders in the 1970s; the introduction of analogue and digital video formats in the 80s and 90s; the pervasive availability of recycled computer hardware; the global dissemination of the internet and mobile phones in the new millennium: all these have revolutionised the access of previously marginalised populations to the cultural flows of global modernity.

Yet this access also engenders a pirate occupation of the modern: it ducks and deranges the globalised designs of property, capitalism and personhood set by the North. Positioning itself against Eurocentric critiques by corporate lobbies, libertarian readings or classical Marxist interventions, this volume offers a profound postcolonial revaluation of the social, epistemic and aesthetic workings of piracy. It projects how postcolonial piracy persistently negotiates different trajectories of property and self at the crossroads of the global and the local.