Thursday, June 26, 2014

Meteorologies of Modernity. Climate Change and Weather in the Contexts of Postcolonialism and Globalization | LMU Munich | June 26-28, 2014

Third Conference of the Postcolonial Europe-Network in collaboration with the DFG Research Training Group Globalization and Literature: Representations, Transformations, Inventions

LMU Munich, June 26-28, 2014

Meteorologies of Modernity.
Climate Change and Weather in the Contexts of 
Postcolonialism and Globalization

The conference sets out to explore weather, climate and climate changes, both past and present, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The aim is to broaden existing theoretical frameworks and to examine, historicize and contextualize discourses on climate and weather. Particular consideration will be given to literature and the arts, which we consider as an archive where specific meteorological knowledge is not only registered but also scrutinized and produced.
As the title Meteorologies of Modernity suggests, one cannot understand global warming without addressing its social, economic and political dimensions: the history of industrialization and colonization, or the (western) notions of, e.g., time, space but also freedom and, finally, the human. By putting a particular focus on weather, the conference proposes to examine another inherently modern phantasm and its relation to and/or repercussions for present discourses on global warming: namely, the ability to not only observe and predict, but to actually control and even produce weather and climate.
The conference takes at its starting point the claim put forward by various scholars that the present climate change calls for a reformulation of the concepts, methodologies, and institutional structures of contemporary humanities in general. According to historian Dipesh Chakrabarty, the planetary crisis of global warming has brought about a collapse of the distinction between the humanities and sciences: Due to the sheer number of human population and the excessive use of fossil fuel and other resources, humankind has now come to possess a geological force that is not only capable of shaping local environment, but of determining climate, weather and environment on a global scale. Consequently, these phenomena are no longer clearly pertaining to the realm of the “natural,” and therefore an object of study of the sciences. Chakrabarty’s idea of the “anthropocene” as the geological epoch in which humans constitute a geophysical as well as political agent poses a number of challenges to traditional approaches, both on a theoretical and methodological level. As the historian points out, what is required is to “bring together intellectual formations that are somewhat in tension with each other: the planetary and the global; deep and recorded histories; species thinking and critiques of capital.”[1] The conference proposes to do this by putting into dialogue postcolonial studies and theories of globalization and by exploring questions of (postcolonial) justice, capitalism, and history.
Scholars in the field of postcolonial studies and ecocriticism in particular are in the process of developing frameworks in which to address questions of environmental (in)justice in national and global formations of domination, i.e. to understand the historical and political dimensions of how and why the effects of global warming affect certain communities, regions or nations more strongly than others. While most scholars would probably agree with Elizabeth Deloughrey and George Handley’s claim that postcolonial ecology must be more than an extension of postcolonial methodologies into the realm of the material world, it remains an ongoing task to explore the profile, methodologies and frameworks of such a postcolonial ecology. In what ways are the modern notions of the political, such as the nation state, affected and possibly altered? How, indeed, can we visualize notions of time and space that extend our familiar, i.e. modern temporal and spatial imagination? What temporalities does the discourse on climate change itself produce or forestall, by the use of, i.e., the affectively highly charged word “crisis”? How is our sense of history affected when all the future seems to bear is the advent of humanity’s end?
The conference wants to explore these and other questions, particularly by drawing on the methodologies of literary and cultural studies, by bringing to the fore how literature and the arts allow us to critically and imaginatively engage with the representational challenges the discourses about climate, climate change and weather have to offer. As, for instance, a renewed interest for the topic in the context of cultural and literary studies has shown, weather bears a specific affective as well as metaphorical potential. Particular attention has moreover been given to cultural practices of “meteorology” – i.e. the daily practices of observation, cataloging, charting, and measuring oneself, the weather and the environment – as they constitute and shape (modern) subjectivities and a sense of relation to environment and being in the world. We would like to analyze to what extent narratives of weather and climate crises of different epochs display a “global consciousness,” how this is reflected in their narrative strategies, and which new knowledge systems and power constellations are being formed.
By contextualizing and historicizing meteorological knowledge from the viewpoints of historiography, literary studies, and cultural studies, the aim is to bring perspectives from postcolonial studies, ecocriticism and globalization theory into dialogue and to reflect upon the wider implications of climate change for the concepts, methodologies and institutional structures of contemporary humanities. The conference will have as contributors both established and young scholars of the various disciplines.


Confirmed Speakers:

Dipesh Chakrabarty  (University of Chicago)  

ElizabethDeLoughrey (University of California, Los Angeles)

Eva Horn (University of Vienna)

Graham Huggan (University of Leeds)

Bernhard Malkmus (Ohio State University)

Mirko Bonné (Writer in Residence, Weather Stations Project, Berlin)

Cornelia Lüdecke (University of Hamburg/TU Munich)


Conference Program

Thursday, 26 June 2014
Conference Venue: IBZ, Amalienstr. 38
13.30: Introductory address (Sarah Fekadu, Fabienne Imlinger, Sandra Ponzanesi)
14.00: Panel I: Charting a Challenging Terrain (Chair: Sarah Fekadu)
Robert Stockhammer (LMU Munich) Philology in the Anthropocene?
Nicole Seymour (LMU Munich) Climate Change, Cinema, and “Bad” Affect

16.00–16.30: Coffee break

Panel II: Mapping Climate Zones: From the Temperate…
Oliver Grill (LMU Munich) Unpredictable Weather. Meteorologic Calculations in Humboldt’s Kosmos and Stifter’s Nachsommer
Bernhard Malkmus (Ohio State University) Man in the Anthropocene: Max Frisch’s Eschatological Meteorology

18.30–19.00: Coffee break

19.00 Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago)
         Beyond Capital: Time, Scale, and the Climate Crisis

20.30 Reception

Friday, 27 June 2014
Conference Venue: IBZ, Amalienstr. 38
9.00 Panel III …to the Polar…(Chair: t.b.a.)
Cornelia Lüdecke (University of Hamburg/TU Munich) The International Polar Year 1882/83 and the Investigation of Climate Change around 1900Lars Jensen (Roskilde University) The Island that came in from the Cold: Greenland, Climate Change, and the Scramble for the Arctic
11.00–11.20: Coffee break
Prem Poddar (Roskilde University) Writing on Water: East India Himalayas

12.20–13.20: Lunch

13.20: Panel IV: …to the Tropical… (Chair: Fabienne Imlinger)
Eva Horn (University of Vienna) Tropes of the Tropics: The Anthropology of Hot Climate
Patrick Ramponi (Hagen University) Weather Manipulation and Weather Stress: Literary Meteoropathics and Climate Theory in a Global Age

15.20–15.40: Coffee break                

Hanna Strass (Munich) “There’s going to be a drought. A wrong thing was done.” Weather Phenomena in Linda Hogan’s People of the Whale
Antonia Mehnert (Munich) Strange Flight Behavior: Climate Change, Butterflies, and Eco Cosmopolitanism in Barbara Kingsolver’s Latest Cli-fi Novel

17.40-18.00: Coffee break

18.00 Reading by Mirko Bonné, Writer in Residence Weather Stations Project / Berlin

19.30 Dinner

Saturday, 28 June 2014
Conference venue: French Library, Ludwigstr. 25, 4th floor

9.30: Panel V: Island Climates (Chair: Sandra Ponzanesi)
Johannes Ungelenk (LMU Munich) The Climate of the Isle: Shakespeare’s Tempest

10.30–11.00: Coffee break

Elizabeth DeLoughrey (U.C.L.A.) The Sea is Rising: Visualizing Climate Change in the Pacific
Graham Huggan (University of Leeds) Unlucky  Country? Australian Literature, Risk, and the Global Climate Challenge

13.00: Closing remarks (Sarah Fekadu, Fabienne Imlinger, Sandra Ponzanesi)

From Right: Tobias Doering, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Sandra Ponzanesi, Paulo de Medeiros, Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Sarah Fekadu, Fabienne Imlinger.


Hosts: Prof. Robert Stockhammer (Comparative Literature, LMU Munich), Prof. Tobias Döring (English Literature, LMU Munich)
Organizing team: Dr. Sarah Fekadu (English Literature, LMU Munich), Dr. Fabienne Imlinger (Comparative Literature, LMU Munich), Dr. Sandra Ponzanesi (Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University)


Postcolonial Europe Network (PEN) is funded by NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). 
The project, conducted by Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) in collaboration with European partners, aims to establish an international platform for developing research into new forms of conceptualizing Europe from a multidisciplinary perspective engaging several disciplines (literary, media, gender studies) in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (sociology, political theory). PEN aspires to develop theoretical and methodological tools for representing and imagining Europe in a postcolonial and postimperial perspective.
International partners: Utrecht University, University of Leeds, University of Munich, London School of Economics, University of Naples, University of Roskilde and University of Iceland, University of Warwick.

The Research Training Group Globalization and Literature: Representations, Transformations, Inventions is funded by the DFG (German Research Fund). The DFG Research Training Group sets out to examine the function of the literary in processes of globalization from a broad historical perspective, ranging from antiquity to the present day. The research interests focus on the interaction between literature and globalizing dynamics: on the one hand, the transformation of the functions of literature by historically variable media relations (e.g. the changing status of books in societies in which communication is globalized by means of the internet); on the other hand, the ways in which literature not only represents and reflects, but also criticizes and intervenes in globalization processes.

[1] Chakrabarty, Dipesh. 2009. “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry 35: 197-222. P. 213.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Postcolonial Transitions in Europe: Conflict, Transitional Justice and Cosmopolitanism | Utrecht University | April 18-19, 2013

Second Conference of the Postcolonial Europe-Network (founded by NWO Internationalization in Humanities) in collaboration with Postcolonial Studies Initiative (PCI), Centre for the Humanities (CfH) 
and the Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP)

Utrecht University, April 18-19, 2013

Postcolonial Transitions in Europe:
Conflict, Transitional Justice and Cosmopolitanism

Bruce Robbins

 Rosemarie Buikema

 Gurminder Bhambra

Robert Young

More pictures here
Flyer available here
All ABSTRACT and BIOS here

Convener: Sandra Ponzanesi

This conference focuses on the relevance of postcolonial theories for the understanding of world-systemic transformations and the shifts in geopolitics in terms of conflict, transitional justice and cosmopolitanism. New crises such as conflicts, terrorism, trafficking, and human rights violation go beyond the boundaries of the nation state and European frontiers and require new analytical tools for the understanding of these rapid transformations.

By investigating culture with the innovative, interdisciplinary and transcultural tools of postcolonial critique Europe emerges as a complex space, which is often imagined and oblivious of its politics of inclusion and exclusion towards migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, as well as of its take on internal conflicts, political transitions and cosmopolitan imaginary. In order to tackle the new crises that plague Europe and beyond, this conference will bring together the complementary and synergizing expertise of postcolonial scholars who work across different disciplinary fields such as conflict studies, law, ethics, memory studies, human rights and international relations as well as the arts, visual culture, music and digital platforms. The goal is to inform a new wave of young scholars and academics on how to assess the emergencies and transitions of the present through an ability to acknowledge the working of the past and rethink Europe as a new possible cosmopolitan space.

The conference will focus on conflict, transitional justice and cosmopolitanism examining the narrative that walks the line between, before and after, memory and truth, compensation and reconciliation, justice and peace. Some of the participants will examine communities ravaged by colonialism and the harm that colonial and postcolonial economic and social disparities cause. The comparative and interdisciplinary exchanges will generate a better understanding of difficult pasts to present communities, questioning the many possible trajectories from disruption to truth, reconciliation and healing, with particular focus on Europe.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Gurminder K. Bhambra:
Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism in an Austere Europe
(Warwick University, UK):

Rosemarie Buikema:
Transitional Justice, Dialogical Truth and the Arts
(Utrecht University, NL)

Kate Mackintosh
Development of International Criminal Justice. 
The Example of the International Criminal Tribunal of  the Former Yugoslavia
(ICTY, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, NL)

Neil Lazarus
Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature
(Warwick University, UK)

Bruce Robbins
Cosmopolitanism in Deep Time
(Columbia University, USA)

Robert Young
Late Postcolonialism
(New York University, USA)

Final Programme

Day 1
Location: Academic Building (domplein 29) Kanunnikenzaal (entrance achter de dom 7)

9.00-9.30: Coffee

9.30-9.45: Opening Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University, NL)
Postcolonial Transitions in Europe

9.45-10.45: Keynote 1
Bruce Robbins (Columbia University, USA)
Cosmopolitanism in Deep Time

10.45-12.00: Panel 1
Chair: Graham Huggan
Paulo de Medeiros (Utrecht University, NL)
Postimperial Nostalgia
Lars Jensen (Roskilde University, Denmark)
A Greenlandic Cosmopolitanism for an Emerging Postcolonial Moment
Max Silverman (University of Leeds, UK)
The Palimpsest and Cosmopolitical Memory

12.00-13.15: Panel 2
Chair: John McLeod
Sabrina Marchetti (European University Institute, Italy)
The Colonial Legacy in the Memories of Migrant Women: Eritrean and Afro-Surinamese Domestic and Care Workers in Postcolonial Europe
Koen Leurs (Utrecht University, NL)
Technology as a Refuge? Opportunities and Constrains in Migrant’s Use of Digital Media.
Jess Bier (University of Maastricht, NL)
The Colonizer in the Computer: The British and Israeli Influence in Palestinian Authority Cartography

13.15-14.00 Lunch break

14.00-15.00: Keynote 2
Neil Lazarus (Warwick University)
Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature

15.00-16.15: Panel 3 
Chair: Paulo de Medeiros
John McLeod (University of Leeds, UK)
Transculturation and Adoptive Being
Dirk Göttsche  (University of Nottingham, UK)
Cosmopolitanism, Emplacement and Identity in Recent Postcolonial Literature in German
Birgit Kaiser (Utrecht University, NL)
The Subject of Transnational Literature: Diffraction in the Mirror in E.S Özdamar's 'Der Hof im Spiegel'

16.15-16.30: Coffee Break

16.30-17.30: Keynote 3

Robert Young (New York University)
Late Postcolonialism

Programme Day 2
location: Academic Building (domplein 29): Kanunnikenzaal (entrance achter de dom 7)

9.00-9.30: Coffee

9.30-10.30: Keynote 4
Kate Mackintosh (ICTY, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, NL)
Developments of International Criminal Justice. The Example of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

10.30-12.15: Panel 4
Chair: Max Silverman
Jolle Demmers (Utrecht University, NL)
Neoliberal Discourses on Violence: Monstrosity and Rape in Borderland War
Julia Suárez-Krabbe ((Roskilde University, Denmark)
Decolonising Human Rights and Democracy. Thinking Through History and the Nation from Andalucía.
Kristín Loftsdóttir (University of Iceland, Iceland)
International Development, Colonial Memory and Belonging
Emmanuelle Radar (Utrecht University, NL)
Europe and Cambodia; Postcolonial and Post Khmer Rouge Transitions in Rithy Panh’s Work.

12.15-13.15: Keynote 4
Rosemarie Buikema (Utrecht University, NL)
Transitional Justice, Dialogical Truth and the Arts

13.15-14.00: Lunch break

14.00-15.00: Keynote 6
Gurminder K. Bhambra (Warwick University, UK):
Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism in an Austere Europe

15.00-16.15: Panel 5
Chair: Lars Jensen
Lene Bull Christiansen  (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Public Intellectuals and Affective Icons: The Afropolitanism of Danish Aid Celebrities
Sara Fekadu (University of Munich, Germany)
Re-Mapping Uneven Geographies: Globalized Labour, Neo-Imperialism and the Body in the Cinematic Art of Steve McQueen
Brigitte Hipfl (University of Klagenfurt, Austria)
Exploring Migratory Culture in Contemporary Austrian Films

16.15-17.30: Panel 6
Chair: Kristín Loftsdóttir
Gianmaria Colpani (Utrecht University, NL)
The Sexual Fortress': Sexual Nationalisms and the European Assemblage.
Peter Maurits (Munich University, Germany)
From Member to Migrant: On the Future of the European Union’s Exclusion Policy
Emanuelle Santos (Utrecht University, NL)
Postcolonial Thought on the Postcolony: the Same European Dance with its Other?

17.30-17.45: Closing Remarks

The conference is free of charge, but for registration and information please mail:

Postcolonial Europe Network PEN is funded by NWO (Dutch National Endowment for the Humanities). 
The project, conducted by Sandra Ponzanesi and Paulo de Medeiros (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) in collaboration with European partners, aims to establish an international platform for developing research into new forms of conceptualizing Europe from a multidisciplinary perspective engaging several disciplines (literary, media, gender studies) in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (sociology, political theory). PEN aspires to develop theoretical and methodological tools for representing and imagining Europe in a postcolonial and postimperial perspective.

PEN International partners are:
Utrecht University, University of Leeds, University of Munich, London School of Economics, University of Naples, University of Roskilde and University of Iceland.


The conference was made possible thanks to the collaboration of:


The PEN conference is organized back to back with the Edward Said Memorial Conference “In Time of Not Yet” (April 15-17, 2013).
Organized by the Centre for Humanities in Utrechtin collaboration with the Treaty of Utrecht 2013 commemoration. 
The Edward Said Memorial conference “In The Time Of Not Yet” inaugurates the commemoration of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. The three-day conference will focus on the role of culture in diplomacy and peace-making. With Mariam Said as honorary chair, each day will feature renowned speakers on Edward Said’s work, such as Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar, Maestro Daniel Baremboim, Gayatri Spivak, Marina Warner and many others.