Friday, June 6, 2003–Saturday, June 7, 2003
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street
—a conference organized by Daniel Carey, National University of Ireland, Galway; Lynn Festa, Harvard University; Doris Garraway, Northwestern University; and Sven Trakulhun, Forschungszentrum Europaeische Aufklärung, Potsdam
The conference addresses the powers and limitations of postcolonial theory as it applies to eighteenth-century literature, culture, and history. In part because the need for primary historical and literary research has been so great, there has been a relative dearth of work placing the specific nature of eighteenth-century colonialism into relation with postcolonial theories. While traditions of Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment are thought to have contributed to the formation of postcolonial theory, many of the analytic terms used in postcolonial theory are grounded in practices of nineteenth-century imperialism. The conference considers these categories in relation to the specificity of eighteenth-century colonialisms, with special attention to the shadings that distinguish the imperial endeavors of different nations and the diversity of historical experience, power relations, practices of resistance, and colonial discourses.