Oecumene Dialogue October 2013

Dear Oecumene friends and colleagues,

We are very pleased to send you the October edition of Oecumene Dialogues our monthly newsletter.

Summary of items covered in this issue:

  1. Event: Citizenship, Narrative and Neo/colonial Histories
  2. Event: Hamid Dabashi confirmed keynote for Final Conference
  3. Blog: 'Sharing songs: Decolonising ethnography, disrupting scientific orientalism' by Brendan Donegan
  4. News: Videos of Citizens' Dialogue with MEPs available
  5. News: Leticia Sabsay interviewed for Iconos Magazine 
  6. Related projects: First Global Forum on Statelessness

1.  Event: Citizenship, Narrative and Neo/colonial Histories

Organised jointly by the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group and the Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism Research Project at the Open University.

The symposium addresses narratives of citizenship as a political category in colonial and neo/colonial contexts. Citizenship has been a subject of renewed interest in the social sciences over the past two decades and has generated a proliferating body of theory which reflects on its political-historical genealogy, its emergence from a limited concept of membership to the nation-state, and its viability as a continually re-enacted political identity. In cultural history, literary criticism and postcolonial studies, however, the engagement with citizenship has been less immediate, as studies of the neo/colony have retained broader terms such as identity, ethnicity, subjectivity, nation and cosmopolitanism as favoured critical categories. This one-day symposium seeks to re-situate citizenship at the heart of current critical debates and asks how new ‘civic’ reading strategies might illuminate the politics of citizenship and its neo/colonial histories, especially where citizenship is the subject of literary and cultural narratives.

Keynote speakers: Javed Majeed (King's College London); Allison Drew (University of York).

Symposium venue: Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP Directions and map: http://www3.open.ac.uk/contact/maps.aspx?contactid=1

To book one of the limited number of places please register for the event as soon as possible (and no later than Friday 15th November) by sending an email titled 'Citizenship narrative symposium' to oecumene-project@open.ac.uk.

For further information see http://www.oecumene.eu/events/citizenship-narrative-and-neocolonial-histories

2.  Event: Hamid Dabashi confirmed keynote for Final Conference

Dates have been set for the Final Conference as 6th - 7th March 2014.  Please put these dates in your diaries. Professor Hamid Dabashi will be the Keynote Speaker at this event.  More information will be sent out shortly.

3. Blog: 'Sharing songs: Decolonising ethnography, disrupting scientific orientalism'

by Brendan Donegan

On an evening in early 2009 I sat on a hilltop not far from the Narmada river in western India. I was visiting a militant mass-membership organisation based in that area, as part of a field trip with health activists from a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) I had already spent many months with. Over dinner, in front of an audience of a dozen Indian activists, the head of the mass-membership organisation asked me questions that pointed to the bloody, neo-colonial hands of my country. “Oh, you’re from Britain? Didn’t your Prime Minister Tony Blair make the Iraq war possible? Doesn’t your country support Israel?”


4. News: Videos of Citizens' Dialogue with MEPs available

NCVO along with CSV and The Open University in partnership with the European Parliament ran a project 'Europe: what does it mean for you?'. As part of this initiative, the team organised a dialogue with MEPs and a book launch with professors and civil societyorganisations to discuss citizenship rights within the EU. The event was organised as part of the European Year of Citizens 2013. Videos of interviews with MEPs and recordings of the panels are now available.




5. News: Leticia Sabsay interviewed for Iconos Magazine 

Leticia Sabsay was interviewed by Iconos, the Latin American Review of Social Sciences, on queer politics, sexual citizenship, orientalism, and postcolonial and decolonial perspectives in Latin America.


6. Related projects: First Global Forum on Statelessness

The First Global Forum on Statelessness will take place at the Peace Palace in the Hague 15 – 17 September 2014. The event is organised by Tilburg University and UNHCR. 


Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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