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Conference Call for papers

Colonial Letters and the Contact of Knowledges:
Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Colonial Correspondences

11 - 14 April 2023 (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Call for papers

We invite submissions that describe, from multidisciplinary perspectives (within the humanities and social sciences, especially linguistics, history, literature, communication studies, anthropology and sociology), the instantiations of colonial contacts, conflicts, contestations and eventual coalescence, co-habitations and or hybridisations of ‘knowledges’ during colonialism that are embodied in, and transmitted through, letters written during British colonisation of Southern Cameroons (1916-1961) and beyond. Other colonisations, especially in Africa, form part of the focus of the conference. Several lines of investigation fall within the scope of the conference including, but not limited to:

  • Colonial correspondences and the construction of multiple identities
  • Colonial correspondences and the discursive enactment of (social, religious, political, hereditary) power
  • Colonial correspondences and the coalescence, cohabitation and hybridisation of colonial and precolonial social norms (interaction, hierarchy, respect forms, kinship affiliation) Colonial correspondences and the contact of languages
  • Colonial correspondences and patterns of language stratification: official, native, local, dialect, etc. languages
  • Colonial correspondences and the production, consolidation and contestation of ‘knowledges’
  • Colonial correspondences and the role of letter writing agencies
  • Colonial correspondences and the concealment of, and access to, knowledge, information and rights
  • Colonial correspondences and colonial social and power structures of stratification
  • etc.

What patterns of knowledge production are adopted in colonial correspondences? How are these different in letters written by colonial administrators and those written by colonised subjects? What repertoires of knowledges drive their production, rejection and perhaps co-construction? To answer these questions, we invite submissions that adopt multidisciplinary, trans-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary approaches.

Submission Guidelines

Partial scholarships

We offer per diems of up to 300€ (i.e., 100€ per day) for participants whose abstracts are accepted.

Conference organisers

Eric A. Anchimbe (University of Bayreuth)
Glory Essien Otung (University of Bayreuth)


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