Event Date: 4 June 2013
Room 541, Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX
The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research presents:
Professor Mrinalini Greedharry (Laurentian University, Canada) – Making Postcolonial People
How do we make ourselves in the passage from critique of colonialism to being postcolonial? I pose this question in terms of an identity that is not yet commonplace to highlight the contingent ways in which critique becomes, or fails to become, a new way of being. Drawing on the autobiographical accounts that colonial critics such as Edward Said, Sara Suleri and Gayatri Spivak, give of their postcolonial transformations, I will examine the potential of life-writing as a form for critical pedagogy. Given the history of colonialism and its forms of knowledge, writing the self is not, in this context, primarily a matter of self-expression. Instead, I will make an argument for its redeployment as a form for making up new kinds of people.
Mrinalini’s research focuses on how the practices, organization and theory of studying English literature engender postcolonial subjects, which continues her longstanding interest in the ways that postcolonial theory produces new ways of thinking about subject-formation generally. She is the author of Postcolonial Theory and Psychoanalysis (Palgrave Macmillan 2008) and currently teaches in the Department of English and Interdisciplinary Humanities MA at Laurentian University, Canada.
Introduction by Dr Jennifer Fraser (Birkbeck).