The Centre for Postcolonial Studies (CPS) is an important new initiative in the School of Advanced Study, University of London, building on the School’s role in the international government policy and consultancy arena. The Centre’s mission is to make a significant contribution to the field of postcolonial studies and to highlight the value of policy-relevant research in the humanities.
The CPS coordinates contributions from SAS’s constituent institutes in London with the aim of promoting and advancing research into the postcolonial world and facilitating dialogue between policy-makers and academic researchers. It also aims to become a London hub for UK postcolonial studies, activities and events, and for international research and collaboration.
The research being advanced and promoted by the new Centre is not limited to cultural or critical theory, which has hitherto been the dominant prism through which scholars have viewed the postcolonial world. This ambitious initiative also seeks to engage with empirical research in the fields of law, medicine, governance, counter-terrorism, health studies and business. The distinctiveness of the CPS is that it aims to be very much a hybrid and interdisciplinary organisation, working on the principal that the complexity of the contemporary world cannot be understood by any one discipline alone. It seeks to elucidate what the French thinker, Georges Bataille, called ‘the politics of atmosphere’, which underlines many of the political and geo-political shifts taking place in the world today.
The CPS also publishes Francosphères, the University of London’s bi-annual journal of transcultural and intercultural French Studies, edited by Professor Hussey and published by Liverpool University Press. Its operations are based both in Senate House in London and in Reid Hall in Paris, enabling it to reach out to a wide range of collaborators.
The Centre’s mission to reach out beyond the academy is exemplified by the work of Professor Andrew Hussey OBE, an internationally renowned expert on France and North Africa. As an essayist, broadcaster and public speaker, Professor Hussey communicates this research far beyond academic audiences. His work has led to debates about the contemporary significance of French and North African cultures in the 21st century. The first public manifestation of the CPS was at the 2014 Hammamet Conference in Tunisia, a major think-tank organised by the British Council. Its first ‘hands-on’ activity was to work with journalists in Tunis who had witnessed, and sometimes helped make, the ‘Arab Spring’. The year 2015 has seen the publication both of a paperback edition and a French translation of Professor Hussey’s highly-praised international bestseller, The French Intifada (Granta Books, 2014). He has published articles in the Observer, the New Statesman, the Guardian, the New York Times, and has lectured at the Royal College of Defence Studies and the Institut Fritz Bauer, Frankfurt. Professor Hussey has also written and presented documentaries for Channel 4 and BBC Radio 4. Click here to visit his full profile.
CPS Research Officer
Dr Maria del Pilar Kaladeen joined the CPS in October 2016. Her work as an academic has focused on the system of indenture in Guyana and its representation in colonial and postcolonial literature. Having completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, Maria is now working on the publication of her dissertation: ‘With Eyes of Wonder: Colonial Writing on Indentured East Indians in British Guiana, 1838-1917’. Maria left school at fifteen and returned to education as an adult, taking a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds and a Research MA in Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick. While writing her doctorate, she trained as an ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) tutor and has had the privilege of working with Londoners from all over the world. One of Maria’s interests as an early-career academic is public and community engagement; her own experiences in education have motivated her to work for inclusion in the academy. She has designed and managed academic projects that involved knowledge exchange activities with London’s homeless and badly-housed.