Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice

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27-28 April 2015
Temahuset, Campus Valla, Linköping

Keynote speakers:

  • Madina Tlostanova, professor at Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia
  • María Lugones, professor at Binghamton University, New York, USA
  • Grada Kilomba, writer and professor at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  • Manuela Boatca, professor at Free University of Berlin, Germany

Although postcolonial theory has already evolved a sophisticated theoretical apparatus for the investigation of the power imbalance, economic as well as intellectual, between the West and the rest, it has not quite taken on board postsocialist perspectives. At the same time, the intersection between postsocialist geopolitics and imperial/colonial legacies is yet to be thoroughly explored, not least in the context of transnational feminist studies. Along the changing local-global axis, the specificity of Eastern European positioning and the postsocialist condition in particular tends to disappear. This gap needs to be addressed without falling into the trap of re-centring Europe by focussing on its ‘margins’. In the context where the false geopolitical universals and stereotypes such as West versus East, North versus South and the reliance on first-second-third world model continue to operate in full force, we need new models and concepts in order to challenge hegemonic discourses and undermine the problematic expectation to subscribe to the unifying Euro-American intellectual traditions.

The aim of the conference is to spark and consolidate focused dialogues on the theoretical, temporal and spatial intersections of postcolonialism and postsocialism in present-day geopolitical climate. We investigate what are the intersections and opacities – the untranslatable experiences, concepts, ideas – between the two critical discourses in feminist theorizing and practice. We hope to do so in order to address the emergence of new political and cultural formations as well as circuits of bodies and capital so as to arrive at a novel approach to gender, race and sexuality in post-Cold War and postcolonial era in currently re-emerging neo-colonial and imperial conflicts. This becomes relevant in light of recent geopolitical transformations and contemporary complex challenges such as border controls and anti-immigration laws, xenophobia and rising fascism in Europe, and religion-based conflicts in post-multiculturalist societies.

Through staging transversal dialogues between scholars working within postcolonial and postsocialist discourses from a variety of disciplinary, geographical and historical specializations, we propose to explore the possible resonances and also dissonances between the two perspectives and put under pressure what is actually meant by postcolonialism and postsocialism and how these concepts are figured in feminist theorizing and practice. Furthermore, bringing the critical discourses of the postcolonial and the postsocialist together and examining their intersections as theoretical ground generates new understandings of categories such as silences/silencing; resistance/re-existence; border thinking and consciousness as well as multiple identifications associated with diasporic, unhomed and migrant experiences. These categories have important consequences on the ways in which we make sense of new emergent forms of sexual, gendered and racialized subjectivities in global contexts where national and geopolitical boundaries keep shifting and economic restructuring prompts new patterns of migration and circulation.

The conference aims to generate well-focused discussions and as such, it will not have parallel sessions common to large conferences. Instead, it will derive its theoretical vigour from selected keynote addresses and paper presentations and benefit from all participants being involved in all discussions. Proceedings of the conference will be published in an edited book to be proposed for the series Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality.

Conference programme>>

Detailed conference programme with abstracts can be found HERE

Organizing Committee:

Redi Koobak, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden
Nina Lykke, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden
Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden
Alyosxa Tudor, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

For further questions please contact Redi Koobak at

Facebook page for the event: Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues

The conference is funded by:

The conference contributes to the research strand on “Postsocialist/Postcolonial Feminisms: Decolonial Dialogues” which is part of a wider research field of “Intersectionality, Culture and Society” of GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies.