A Book at Lunchtime seminar with Elleke Boehmer, author of Postcolonial Poetics, joined by Dr Malachi McIntosh, Professor Ben Morgan, Professor Richard Drayton and Professor Robert Young (chair).
Postcolonial Poetics is about how we read postcolonial and world literatures today, and about how the structures of that writing shape our reading. The book’s eight chapters explore the ways in which postcolonial writing in English from various 21st-century contexts, including southern and West Africa, and Black and Asian Britain, interacts with our imaginative understanding of the world. Throughout, the focus is on reading practices, where reading is taken as an inventive, border-traversing activity, one that postcolonial writing with its interests in margins, intersections, subversions, and crossings specifically encourages. This close, sustained focus on reading, reception, and literariness is an outstanding feature of the study, as is its wide generic range, embracing poetry, essays, and life-writing, as well as fiction. The field-defining scholar Elleke Boehmer holds that literature has the capacity to keep reimagining and refreshing how we understand ourselves in relation to the world and to some of the most pressing questions of our time, including resistance, reconciliation, survival after terror, and migration.
About the author
Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English at the University of Oxford, UK, and a founding figure in the field of colonial and postcolonial literary studies. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of over twenty books, including monographs and novels. Her monographs include Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (1995/2005), Stories of Women (2005), and Indian Arrivals (winner of the ESSE 2015-16 Prize). Her novels include The Shouting in the Dark (2015) and Screens Against the Sky (1990).
About the panel
Dr Malachi McIntosh (Runnymede Trust)
Professor Ben Morgan (Worcester College, Oxford)
Professor Richard Drayton (King's College London)
Professor Robert Young (NYU)