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Memory and Postcolonial Studies

Synergies and New Directions


Edited By Dirk Göttsche

In the postcolonial reassessment of history, the themes of colonialism, decolonisation and individual and collective memory have always been intertwined, but it is only recently that the transcultural turn in memory studies has enabled proper dialogue between memory studies and postcolonial studies. This volume explores the synergies and tensions between memory studies and postcolonial studies across literatures and media from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and intersections with Asia. It makes a unique contribution to this growing international and interdisciplinary field by considering an unprecedented range of languages and sources that promotes dialogue across comparative literature, English and American studies, media studies, history and art history, and modern languages (French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian-Croatian, Spanish).

Combining theoretical discussion with innovative case studies, the chapters consider various postcolonial politics of memory (with a focus on Africa); diasporic, traumatic and «multidirectional memory» (M. Rothberg) in postcolonial perspective; performative and linguistic aspects of postcolonial memory; and transcultural memoryscapes ranging from the Black Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, from overseas colonialism to the intra-European legacies of Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian/Soviet imperialism. This far-reaching enquiry promotes comparative postcolonial studies as a means of creating more integrated frames of reference for research and teaching on the interface between memory and postcolonialism.

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Notes on contributors


Monika Albrecht, Professorial Research Fellow and Lecturer of Cultural Studies at the University of Vechta, Germany; Dr. phil. Münster 1988 (“Die andere Seite”: Zur Bedeutung von Werk und Person Max Frischs in Ingeborg Bachmanns “Todesarten”, 1989); Habilitation Salzburg 2009 (“Europa ist nicht die Welt”: (Post)Kolonialismus in Literatur und Geschichte der westdeutschen Nachkriegszeit, 2008). Principal research areas: comparative postcolonial studies; memory studies and the politics of memory; transculturality and migration; culture and economy; German culture, history, and politics; German literature, twentieth and twenty-first century, Ingeborg Bachmann, Max Frisch, Uwe Timm.

Heike Bartel, Associate Professor of German, University of Nottingham (UK); Dr. phil. Bonn 2000 (“Centaurengesänge”: Friedrich Hölderlins Pindarfragmente, 2000); Principle Investigator of the international AHRC research network “Hungry for Words: A cross-disciplinary approach to articulating, communicating and understanding male anorexia”. Main research areas: German literature from the eighteenth century to the present day; German women’s writing; the reception of classical antiquity in contemporary literature and culture; comparative approaches to mental health and/in literature; Health Humanities. Further publications: Anne Duden: A Revolution of Words. Approaches to her Fiction, Poetry and Essays (co-ed with E. Boa, 2003); Mythos in der Literatur (2004); Pushing at Boundaries: Approaches to Contemporary German Women Writers from Karen Duve to Jenny Erpenbeck (co-ed. with E. Boa, 2006); Unbinding Medea: Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Classical Myth from Antiquity to the 21st Century (co-ed. with A. Simon, 2010).

Victoria Carpenter, Head of Research Development, University of Bedfordshire (UK); PhD University...

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