Postcolonial Europe

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Note of Intent





POSTCOLONIAL EUROPE


It can without exaggeration be said that Eastern Europe [...] has not achieved the same scientific presence in our humanistic sciences as is have various cultures of Western Europe; it is not vividly present, in the way they are, in our historical awareness. You do not need to be a prophet in order to be able to foresee that the future of Europe will undoubtedly work on this imbalance and that it is above all the humanistic sciences that will have to influence its diminution.

Hans Georg Gadamer, The Heritage of Europe.



When analysing the problems troubling Europe today, we will try to reach for an understanding their historical, cultural and political sources. We will analyse these problems in the areas of aesthetics, knowledge and power, and our special concern will be identity-forming processes as they affect individuals, social groups, ethnic minorities and nations of Central and Eastern Europe from the perspectives provided by postcolonial theory.
We will be interested in the literary and cultural sphere and its connections with history and politics, although other contexts of culture will also receive attention. We will concentrate on analyses of literary and other cultural products, on research into symbols, stereotypes, historical narrations, political discourse and everyday performances in the European public space. Inspired by the achievements of postcolonial studies, we will concern ourselves with the traces that have been left in the collective memory and awareness of Europeans by hegemonic discourses and propaganda, by the conquests made by Eastern and Western European empires, and also by the legacy of Sovietism and the Cold War. We hope that a deeper theoretical reflection on these issues will enrich postcolonial approaches and methodologies by providing them with new avenues of research and horizons of understanding.
When he was in Stockholm in 1993, after the collapse of the Soviet empire, Czesław Miłosz stated that the fall of Communism is a phenomenon on an improbable scale. Communism extended a certain line of progressive thinking from the nineteenth century. [...] [T]he great mistake of the Marxists and various other progressives was the belief that, by going straight ahead, we could take off into the air. What has happened has created an enormous crisis in the conceptualisation of history, of historical time, and demands a completely new way of thinking.[1]
Today, not only the Enlightenment idea of progress and the specific philosophy of history connected with it have been discredited, as Czeslaw Miłosz has said. Some foundations of Enlightenment universalism, which turned out not to be as universal as some thinkers of the eighteenth century presumed, have also been undermined. The roots of many phenomena that influence today's relations between the European "East" and "West" stem not only from attempts to realize the modern project of the Enlightenment. They also stem from Romanticism, medieval sources, or from even more ancient cultural periods. This publication will also, therefore, concern itself with distant political and cultural facts whenever these constitute vital reference points for contemporary scholarly and public discourses.
The publication's interest is in those phenomena of modern times which contributed to nation-forming processes and which led to the emergence of modern national states. Of particular importance is the period from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century, which was the heyday of colonial conquests and which witnessed the birth of European totalitarianisms -- a period whose legacy that still weighs heavily on the present day.
We are living, it is often said, in a postmodern world, and a postcolonial and post-Communist condition. What does this imply? Are the old political and cultural divisions disappearing? Or are, perhaps, different, more dangerous dissonances taking their place, despite the heralded progress of Europeanisation and globalisation?
We hope that the materials in the publication will help us to understand some cultural complexities in today's Europe, will help explain some historical misunderstandings, and will make readers aware of identity processes as they affect individuals, groups and nations in contemporary Europe.

POSTCOLONIAL EUROPE will, for some, be a provocative title. It indicates the condition in which both Western Europe finds itself (after decolonisation, namely after disposing of its colonies) and in which a substantial part of Eastern Europe now finds itself (after the collapse of Communism). This title allows us to avoid over-ideologised categories that automatically place the European "East" in opposition to the European "West". Despite recognising many fundamental differences, we are also searching for commonalities. Postcolonial refers not only to a historical legacy, but also suggests an aspiration -- a Europe free of both colonisers and colonised.



[1] "Rozmowa Janusza Korka z Czesławem Miłoszem" ["A conversation between Janusz Korek and Czesław Miłosz"] [in:] Acta Sueco-Polonica no. 3 (1994), p. 229.

 

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...