Freitag, 18. Mai 2018, 09:00 - 14:00 iCal

Encountering Development in Postcolonial Fiction

Research Project: Concepts of Development in Postcolonial Kenyan Literature. Austrian Science Funds (FWF).

Seminarraum 3 (Do) und Seminarraum 4 (Fr), Institut für Afrikawissenschaften
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Wien

Seminar, Workshop, Kurs

Weitere Termine

Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2018, 13:00 - 17:30

In this workshop we delve into literary representations of worlds and relations global development created. Development programs, the structures of funding and projects, transcultural contact zones constituted by international organisations and more essentially, the languages and epistemologies of developmentalist approaches have not gone unnoticed in literature and the arts. For decades, writers, filmmakers and artists from the Global South have witnessed the transformation of their worlds through the ideologies and practices emerging from the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid. More often than not, their stories differ significantly from institutional discourses, bringing to the fore excluded voices, experiences and conceptualisations of the encounter with ‘development’. These different ways of knowing shall be elaborated as a matter of what – in terms of contents - but equally how – in terms of narrative choices and aesthetics – postcolonial literatures know about processes of directed change and the governance of aid.

Questions to be addressed include: What is the place of fiction in making sense of the social realities created by international development and aid? How has the daily contact with discourses of development shaped the mental and intellectual landscapes expressed in works of imagination from the Global South? How has fiction represented the (foreign) ‘expert’ – either in the shape of a person, an organization, or, metaphorically, in the form of ‘expert knowledge’? How have works of imagination received the development industry, its international and national actors, its material signs and promises? Who desires ‘development’ and for what reasons? What meanings do narratives give to epistemologies, subjectivities and practices encountered in the field of development cooperation and international aid? What are challenges posed by works of imagination to modes of knowledge production in social and political science and vice versa?

Interdisciplinary in scope, the workshop assembles contributions from African Studies, Political Science, English Studies, History and Development Studies on the grounds of a shared interest into crossing conventional boundaries between literary studies and social sciences. The workshop is open to the public.

The workshop is jointly organised by the FWF-research project 'Concepts of Development in Postcolonial Kenyan Literature', Department of African Studies, and the Department of Development Studies. The program can be found at our website.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Afrikawissenschaften


Martina Kopf
Institut für Afrikawissenschaften