Publication Under the Spotlight: Rossen Djagalov’s From Internationalism to Postcolonialism: Literature and Cinema Between the Second and the Third Worlds

A reconstruction of Cold War-era cultural networks between the Second and Third Worlds that offers a compelling genealogy of contemporary postcolonial studies.

Would there have been a Third World without the Second? Perhaps, but it would have looked very different. Although most histories of these geopolitical blocs and their constituent societies and cultures are written in reference to the West, the interdependence of the Second and Third Worlds is evident not only from a common nomenclature but also from their near-simultaneous disappearance around 1990. 

From Internationalism to Postcolonialism addresses this historical blind spot by recounting the story of two Cold War-era cultural formations that claimed to represent the Third World project in literature and cinema: the Afro-Asian Writers Association (1958-1991) and the Tashkent Festival for African, Asian, and Latin American Film (1968-1988). The inclusion of writers and filmmakers from the Soviet Caucasus and Central Asia and extensive Soviet support aligned these organizations with Soviet internationalism. While these cultural alliances between the Second and the Third World never achieved their stated aim – the literary and cinematic independence of the literatures and cinemas of these societies from the West – they did forge what Ngugi wa Thiong’o called “the links that bind us,” along which now-canonical postcolonial authors, texts, and films could circulate across the non-Western world until the end of the Cold War. 

In the process of this historical reconstruction, From Internationalism to Postcolonialism inverts the traditional relationship between Soviet and postcolonial studies: rather than studying the (post-)Soviet experience through the lens of postcolonial theory, it documents the multiple ways in which that theory and its attendant literary and cinematic production have been shaped by the Soviet experience.

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Further details here.

Call for Papers: Newcastle June 2020, Colonial and Postcolonial Print Mobilities

This workshop will explore local and global networks of circulation for literary and political writing produced by black authors, editors and readers, and will showcase the rich resources in Newcastle University’s archives on black print networks in Africa, Britain and the Caribbean. We will look at how colonial-era networks were established locally and allowed the circulation of ideas about anti-colonialism and literary production through “print mobility,” that is, the dissemination of newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets across black transcontinental and transatlantic readerships. For more details on the cfp, please see here.

Call for Papers: Abu Dhabi January 2020, Print, Orality and Readerships.

The Postcolonial Print Cultures Network are delighted to announce the forthcoming conference ‘Print, Orality and Readerships in New Postcolonial Contexts’, taking place at NYU Abu Dhabi January 22nd-23rd 2020. This workshop aims to examine new forms of postcolonial print cultures and their engagement with orality, ephemerality and recent digital forms.  It focuses broadly on the relationship between print, audio-visual media, the spoken word, and the dissemination and reception of these diverse forms of communication and culture. We are interested in asking if the interactions between print, orature, and/or new digital forms attest to, or rather question, the continuing relevance of the term “postcolonial” as applied to twenty-first century writing from within postcolonial modernities. For the full call for papers visit here.