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Social Activism in Africa Meets Postcolonial Studies: Cooperative Event Jan. 28

Thursday. January 28, 2010. 14:15-15:45

Room A. Institut für Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie. Regina-Pacis-Weg 5.

The role of social and other activism in postcolonial studies appears varied if we take a look at different protagonists of the discipline. Postcolonial studies approaches the long-lasting effects of European colonization of large parts of the globe. In Homi Bhabha’s and Edward Said’s work cultural effects prevail, which corresponds with the establishment of the discipline in English departments all over the world, for example in Bonn. Robert Young, by contrast, charts the development of postcolonial studies from social struggles that contest disparity on a global scale. In Gayatri C. Spivak’s work with its focus on the “double colonization of women” local social struggles, such as those of peasant women in India, play a central part.

In this event the Department of English, American, and Celtic Studies hosts FIAN and the Kunzwana Women’s Association, Zimbabwe.

FIAN is an international NGO that uses Human Rights to fight global poverty. The Right to Food is part of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966 and signed by 160 states including Germany. At a global level and below FIAN lobbies for better control mechanisms of the implementation of the Right to Food. FIAN supports communities whose Right to Food has been violated. FIAN also cooperates with initiatives that aim to improve local living conditions, such as the Kunzwana Women’s Association.

The Kunzwana Women’s Association supports women in rural areas of Zimbabwe, plantation workers in particular. An improvement of working conditions and wages is a major goal. Kunzwana trains women in legal affairs and health issues. It provides individual support to women who are experiencing problems with male superiors and colleagues. An overall aim is to change women’s attitudes to themselves and their role in society.


- Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Bonn University: “Social Activism and Postcolonial Studies”

- Rainer Hillrichs, Bonn University/FIAN: “FIAN and the Struggle for a Better Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Human Rights”

- Spiwe Chigwande and Emma Mahlunge, Kunzwana Women’s Association, Zimbabwe: “Empowerment of Women in the Zimbabwean Flower Industry”

- Joint questions and answers


Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp      [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

Rainer Hillrichs M.A.                                   [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]