Eighteenth-Century Colonialisms and Postcolonial Theories

Friday, June 6, 2003–Saturday, June 7, 2003
All Day

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.