Postcolonial Perspectives on Eastern Europe: Ambivalences and Simplifications

The Slavic appropriation of postcolonial studies in the early twenty-first century served as an arena for various controversies -  this is the thesis which this lecture seeks to defend. Among these controversies, that regarding the question whether the relevant research featured a properly literary focus was at times less prominent. One might declare this as proof of the societal relevance of literary theory—in a novel transdisciplinary and transcultural disguise. The lecture will reconstruct the controversies, pointing to their varying relevance for literary and cultural theory. The historical overview will round off with a critical review of the post-2022 wave of heated demands for “decolonization.”

Dirk Uffelmann is professor of East and West Slavic Literatures at Justus Liebig University Giessen and coeditor of Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie. He has authored 4 monographs (The Russian Culturosophy, 1999, and The Humiliated Christ—Metaphors and Metonymies in Russian Culture and Literature, 2010, both in German, Vladimir Sorokin’s Discourses, in English, 2020, and Polish Postcolonial Literature, in Polish, 2020) and co-edited 14 volumes, There within: Practices of Internal Colonization in Russia’s Cultural History (in Russian, 2012), and Postcolonial Slavic Literatures After Communism (in English, 2016).

Moderation: Professor Dr. Roman Dubasevych

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