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Events prior to 2015

 NCFF travelling

NCFF travelling, Nigeria. photo: Françoise Parent Ugochukwu

2014

Empires and their Hostile Populations:
Friday 12 September 2014
Senate House, University of London

Institute of Commonwealth Studies-Ferguson Centre joint workshop. Featuring papers on Kenya (postcolonial use of resettlement versus disturbances on the northern frontier), Malaya, Ireland, Afgahanistan, Algerian population control, British central policy, and comparative. Dr Karl Hack gave a paper on 'The Historian, the Courts and Expert Witness statments: Reflections based on’truth-seeking’ and memory wars in Malaysia' 

Joint Ferguson Centre and Development Policy and Practice Seminar on 'In Defence of War'
29 January 2014, 12-2pm
Open University Walton Hall

African graphic

African graphic, Hilly Famewo

"Drawing from his recent book, In Defence of War (OUP, 2013), Nigel Biggar sketched the history of Christian 'just war' reasoning, explaining the criteria that this ethical tradition developed, and then deployed them to analyse three different historical cases: the British invasion of Zululand in 1879; the Dublin Easter Rising in 1916 and the subsequent 'War of Independence'; and Britain's war against Germany in 1914-18."

African graphic

African graphic, Hilly Famewo

Project and website launch: Cultural Rights and Kenya's New Constitution
A new three-year ESRC funded research project – a collaboration between British and Kenyan scholars – will look at the different ways in which Kenyans are exercising new constitutional rights to culture.

2012

Dr Karl Hack testifies as expert historical witness
In October 2012 Dr Hack testified as expert historical witness on communists in the case of Mohamad Sabu versus Utusan Malaysia, in the Penang High Court, Malaysia. This case touches on issues of historical memory, politics and freedom of speech, and was widely reported in the regional press.

Paper by Françoise Ugochukwu 'Igbo language at the crossroads: ebe ka anyi na-eje?' At the 3rd Annual International Conference on Extinction of Igbo Language
6-8 July 2012   
Umuhia, Abia State (Nigeria)

A paper on the challenges facing the Igbo language. 

Lecture by historian Dr Rozina Visram ‘The curry in history: from early origins to national dish’
Wednesday 4 July 2012
Berrill Lecture Theatre, Open University, Milton Keynes Campus

To Launch the Exhibition:Beyond the Frame: India in Britain, 1858–1950, in partnership with the British Library.

 Seminar: Britain, Empire and Afghanistan
12 June 2012
Milton Keynes Campus

Speaker Shane Malhotra gave a paper on ‘The First Afghan War: through the eyes of Florentina Sale’, this was followed by a general discussion on British perceptions of Afghanistan, cross-cultural contacts, and 'tribes'.

Chair, Hugh Beattie (author of Empire and Tribe in the Afghan Frontier Region: Custom, Conflict and British Strategy in Waziristan until 1947. London: I.B.Tauris (Forthcoming)). 

Wasafiri, Susheila Nasta in Conversation with two young African Writers: Noo Saro-Wiwa and Chibundu Onuzo

South Bank Centre
22 March 2012

Noo Saro-Wiwa and Chibundu Onuzo explored their native land of Nigeria through travelogue and fiction, sharing their stories of Lagos and beyond.

Saro-Wiwa's activist father took her back to Nigeria each year when she was a child. In 'Looking for Transwonderland' she journeys through a country of extreme contrasts, of eccentricity, kitsch and modernity, to become reconciled with her homeland.

Onuzo's debut novel, 'The Spider King's Daughter', explores the daring and unexpected love affair between Abike Johnson, from the elite of Lagos society, and a young hawker she meets from the city's slums. The novel looks at the rifts and tensions in Nigerian society.

The event was chaired by Susheila Nasta, writer and editor of 'Wasafiri'.

Making Britain Exhibition

The 'Making Britain' team in partnership with the British Library presented a touring panel exhibition 'South Asians Making Britain, 1858-1950'. The exhibition focused on a wide range of South Asian-British networks and interactions including South Asian contributions to sport, the arts, domestic, cultural and intellectual life, resistance and activism, as well as national and global politics. It developed from the extensive research of the project, examining a wealth of new material from archives in India, Sri Lanka, the United States and Britain. The exhibition was funded by the AHRC, The Open University and The British Library. The exhibition visited regional venues across the UK throughout 2010-11. Making Britain project website.

2011

Seminar ‘Narrating British India: the East India Company and the imperial imagination’
Jack Harrington, Research Affiliate
Friday 21 October 2011
Milton Keynes Campus

This paper explored the link between empire-building and history-writing in the early nineteenth century. The creation of a narrative of the rise of British India was analysed by looking at the intellectual origins of James Mill's History of British India and its implications for the Victorian era

Interfaculty Heritage Studies Research Group Seminar
‘Heritage and Human Rights: Changing Perspectives’
7 July 2011
Milton Keynes campus

Link to programme Word doc (35 kb)

Memory and Nationhood: panel presentation at ECAS4 conference
15-18 June 2011, Uppsala, Sweden

Lotte Hughes, based in the Ferguson Centre and History Department, co-organised a successful panel entitled ‘Contestations over Memory and Nationhood: Comparative Perspectives from East and southern Africa’, at ECAS4, the 4th European Conference on African Studies, held in Uppsala, Sweden, 15-18 June 2011.

The theme of the conference, attended by some 1500 scholars from around the world, was ‘African Engagements: On Whose Terms?’ It was organised by the Nordic Africa Institute, with the support of (among others) AEGIS, the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies.

The two-session panel, co-organised with Reinhart Kössler  (Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg, Germany) was an opportunity for Lotte (Principal Investigator) and Kenyan collaborator Karega-Munene (lead Consultant) to co-present on their research on heritage and memory issues in Kenya. Unfortunately project Co-Investigator Annie Coombes (Birkbeck College, University of London) was unable to attend because of illness. Prof. Kössler also acted as discussant for the first of two sessions, while Dr. Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni (former Ferguson Centre staff member and Associate Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of South Africa) was discussant for the second.

Link to presenters and papers

Photograph of the workshop audience

 A Day at The British Museum

Museums and Peacemaking in a Post-Conflict State,
a talk by Lotte Hughes

11 June 2011
The Clore Gallery, The British Museum

Flyer.pdf (859 kb)

Nollywood website

Conference: Language, Identity, and Intercultural Communication
Birkbeck College, University of London
9 -10 June 2011

A joint conference of the British Association for Applied Linguistics Intercultural Communication Special Interest Group and The Annual Bloomsbury Round Table.

Paper by Françoise Ugochukwu, The Open University 'Language & identity: the impact of Nigerian video-films on diasporic communities'

For more info

Nollywood website

Joint Cross Cultural Identities Group and Ferguson Centre Seminar: ‘Truth be Told: Some Problems with Historical Revisionism in Kenya’
Lotte Hughes, Lecturer in African Arts and Cultures at the Open University
3 June 2011

Historical revisionism is equally appealing to state and non-state actors during periods of intense socio-political change, especially following civil conflict, when the need for unification is paramount. This applies to Kenya as it struggles to come to terms with the post-electoral crisis of 2007/08. Redressing orchestrated amnesia about Mau Mau and the struggle for independence is another important element, amnesia instituted by first president Jomo Kenyatta, ostensibly in the interests of national unity. Since Mau Mau was unbanned in 2003, and a lawsuit was brought by veterans with the support of a human rights group against the British government in 2009, there has been an upsurge in public memorialisation and debate about the liberation movement in Kenya. This has been accompanied by increasing calls for ‘true’ history to be written. Veterans have persuaded the state to support a ‘rewriting Kenya history’ project, which links to efforts to commemorate heroes and broaden official definitions of heroism to include a wide range of ethnic communities and rebel leaders from different periods of anti-colonial resistance. These themes are reflected in two new history exhibitions developed by National Museums of Kenya, and in the local media, which has done more to popularise these histories and commemorative initiatives than any scholarly texts. This paper drew on research interviews and the literature on resistance, social memory and patriotic nationalism to problematise and analyse these developments, within the context of constitutional change.

Making Waves – Connections Across the Indian Ocean
Wednesday 25 May 2011

Ananda Devi – Indian Tango
Abdulrazak Gurnah – Desertion
Tabish Khair - Filming
with Susheila Nasta and Stephanie Jones

Three eminent writers whose evocations of Indian Ocean worlds have established new literary geographies, and whose new work continues to re-define the landscapes of international contemporary writing.

Ananda Devi, from Mauritius, writes lyrical narratives centred on the troubled lives of women at the edges of Mauritian communities. Zanzibar novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah’s narratives trace both the regular and irregular routes of migrants, and work provocatively upon the vagueries of memory and history-telling. Poet, novelist, journalist and academic Tabish Khair provocatively addresses topics from guilt to religion to love in his writing.

In partnership with Wasafiri, the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme  and the University of Southampton

Flyer.pdf (231 kb)

Biography, its Subjects and Sources, from Montaigne to Mandela

The Open University's Book History and Postcolonial Studies Research Groups in Association with the Institute of English Studies, University of London. The seminars ran from Wednesday October 6, 2010 to Tuesday April 5, 2011.

Empire and Postcolonial Studies Research Group, Anti-colonial activism: Campaigns in and Beyond Africa and Asia, 2011

Despite a growing body of work on anti-colonial movements and the activities of individual activists, there remain large gaps in our knowledge of early agitation in and around Africa and Asia, and the links between people. This seminar will focus on early transnational networking, particularly by journalists and other types of writer, which laid the foundations for later nationalist struggle and today’s globalised human rights activism.

AHRC/British Library workshop
4-5 March 2011

Sandip Hazareesingh was one of the UK-based researchers funded by the AHRC to participate in this interdisciplinary workshop, joining India-based scholars to explore how historical records are currently being used in research on climate. This event is part of a new strategic engagement by the AHRC designed to bring together researchers and institutions in the UK and India for interdisciplinary research collaborations on climate issues. Updates on this will follow in due course.

Nollywood in Diaspora: a cultural tool
Paper by Francoise Ugochukwu (Ferguson Centre)
23-25 March 2011, University of Lagos Nigeria

This paper, focusing on Europe and based on two sets of questionnaire and interviews dated 2009 and 2011, confirms the growing importance of the Nigerian Diaspora in those countries and the strategic position of the UK in the current building of a European network. It examines the individual and communal consumption of Nigerian video films by diasporic communities, considers its social, linguistic and economic impact among both first generation migrants and British youth of Nigerian descent, and reasons behind the success of Nollywood among resettled Nigerians. It highlights the premium given to the cultural aspect of these films by viewers, and its link to individual and collective memory and moral values. Given viewers’ insistence on the educational value of these films, considered by the majority as a fair reflection of the current Nigerian scene, the paper posits that producers should pay more attention to the content of their films and to their possible impact on other diaspora-linked factors such as the attitude of Nigerians towards their home country and its wellbeing.

For more details please Nollywood project website

Informal Ferguson Centre Talks:
Performing Memory: Theatricalising Identity in Contemporary South Africa
8 March 2011
Milton Keynes Campus

2010

Negotiating with the Enemy 
Friday 24 September 2010
Joint Workshop at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London

Karl Hack, Hugh Beattie, William Sheehan, Elizabeth McDonnell, Philip Murphy, Paul Dixon, Huw Bennett, Isabelle Duyvestyn, Chris Tripodi, Bart. Schuurman, Andrew Mumford, Robert Johnson

Summary: Counterinsurgency, 'homeland security' and 'The War on Terror' have led to a renewed interest in historical case studies of counterinsurgency, including case studies from the British Empire and Commonwealth. There has been considerable debate, notably in the US and UK, of military strategies, 'winning hearts and minds' through civil programmes, and policing for international operations. But the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the peace process in Northern Ireland, demonstrate that another, relatively neglected area can have a major impact on such campaigns. This is the 'negotiation' with, and 'persuasion' of, militant elites and their key civilian supporters. The Northern Ireland peace process was developed through complex, often secret, contacts. The Iraqi insurgency was turned around as much through the 'Anbar Awakening' as by a 'surge' and new American counterinsurgency policy. The question of how to negotiate, persuade and buy over Taliban leaders and supporters came to the fore in Afghanistan policy in 2009 to 2010. This workshop looked at a wide variety of ways and contexts, contemporary and historical, in which 'enemy' leaders (military and civilian) have been targeted for persuasion and negotiation.

Outcome: Special edition of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (forthcoming 2011), edited by Karl Hack and Philip Murphy.

Research seminar: Cross-Cultural Identities
Half-day research workshop under the “Cross-Cultural Identities” research theme
Tuesday 06 July 2010
Milton Keynes Campus

Short presentation will be made by:
Maria Nita (Religious Studies)
Robert Samuels (Music)
Catherine Tackley (Music)
Amy Whitehead (Religious Studies)

This workshop shared related research with a view to establishing a collaborative research project.

Making Britain Conference
Bharat Britain: South Asians Making Britain 1870-1950

13-14 September 2010
British Library Conference Centre, St Pancras, London

Keynote speakers:
Humayun Ansari, Elleke Boehmer, Antoinette Burton, Mukti Jain Campion, Dominiek Dendooven, Chandani Lokugé, Susheila Nasta, Shyama Perera, Nayantara Sahgal, Meera Syal, Rozina Visram.

This major international conference marked the culmination of the AHRC-funded project ‘Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870-1950', led by the Open University in collaboration with the University of Oxford and King's College, London . ‘Bharat Britain ' showcased new research from distinguished scholars, curators and writers worldwide. Held in partnership with the British Library, it explored the manifold ways in which South Asians impacted on the formation of Britain 's cultural and political life prior to Independence and Partition in 1947.

Features:
Exhibition showcasing the historical contribution of Asians in Britain
Launch of the Making Britain database

For more details or to make a booking please go to the Making Britain website

Conference Flyer.pdf (194 kb)

Workshop 'Memory, Home and Migration' 

Tuesday 1 June 2010, 10am
GC062 Geoffrey Crowther Building

Short presentations were made by
Jenny Doubt ( Ferguson Centre, Department of English)
Byron Dueck (Department of Music)
Lorna Hardwick (Department of Classics)
Laura Leante (Department of Music)
Dennis Walder ( Ferguson Centre, Department of English)
Awelani Moyo (Performing Arts, Warwick)

Followed by a talk/response from Alison Blunt, Professor of Geography, QMW, author of, for example, Travel, gender, Imperialism (1994), Domicile and Diaspora (2005), Home (2006).

Our aim was to share related research with a view to establishing a collaborative research project.

Re-imagining postcolonial futures: knowledge transactions and contests of culture in the African present
09-11 July 2009
University of the Western Cape, South Africa

At a time of intensified political shifts and realignments, and renewed appeals to culture and indigenous knowledge, the re-imagining of the nation and society in South Africa poses challenges to the scripts of postcolonial studies. Those contests and issues in debate are being felt at every level in public culture. They are also part of an emergent sense of uncertainty in many societies around the world that at the same time hold out new possibilities for redefinition and reconstitution. What are the new scripts for daily life? How might the postcolony be rendered liveable? What are the boundaries of the new nation? What are the markers of time in the African present and how is expertise being reconstituted in the humanities? Is it possible to imagine different ethical relations between knowledge projects and lived experience? And how might knowledge unravel the histories of violence in the postcolony?

This conference sought to create a platform for ideas, engagements and analyses that were alert to the new complexities and nuances that underlie the seemingly banal expressions of politics in public life. South African scholarship was placed in a critical relation to other postcolonial projects because of the danger of South African exceptionalism. For further details please contact Professor Dennis Walder.

Faculty of Arts: Research Day
Workshop Framing Muslims New Directions
25 June 2009
Open University Campus, Milton Keynes

A collaborative workshop organised by the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, Open University and the SOAS-UEL AHRC-funded Framing Muslims project.

Ends of Empire
18-20 June 2009
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

This conference sought to explore the ends of European empires in the twentieth century. The general themes of imperial decline and anti-colonial struggle were examined by focussing on different instances of decolonisation and their multiple representations. Papers focused on any of the following: the ends of particular colonies; identifiable moments of crisis in imperial rule; cultural, political, and economic continuities and ruptures in the transitions to postcolonial rule; intellectual legacies of imperial ideology and of anti-colonial struggle; the discourses of empire/ colony/ settlement/ nation/ commonwealth; literary representations of the end of empire or of emergent postcolonial nations; the historiography of the ends of empire; and contestations over land and conceptions of landscape in the transition to postcolonial rule. Papers came from scholars working within literary studies, history and historiography, anthropology, film and media, art history and visual culture, historical and cultural geography, as well as papers making connections across these disciplines.

Organising Committee: Glenn Hooper (Open University), David Johnson (Open University), Conor McCarthy (National University of Ireland, Maynooth). Supported by a the Ferguson Trust.

Programme.pdf (146 kb)

Faculty of Arts: Research Day
Joint Seminar on 'Representing Prostitution'

23 April 2009
Milton Keynes campus

This joint seminar was jointly organised by the Gender in the Humanities research group and the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies. Papers were drawn from across disciplines and institutions with the aim of connecting researchers with interests in common, to create a network for future collabortions and joint publications.

‘Were Europe’s early actresses “notorious whores”?’ Peg Katritzky (Department of English, Open University)

‘Painting and Prostitution: Contextualising the Greuze Girl’ Emma Barker (Department of Art History, Open University)

''"Soldiers' trolls"': Prostitution in the port, dockyard and garrison towns of Kent, 1860-1880' Catherine Lee (Department of History, Open University)

‘The University’s policing of prostitution in 19th-century Cambridge’ Janet Oswald (Department of History, Open University)

"Prostitution in Ngugi's Later Fiction: History, Representation and Asymmetrical Agency." Brendon Nicholls (Department of English, University of Leeds)

Asian bodies and African fantasies: Chinese prostitution and the transformation of the local economy of sex and pleasure in Cameroon, Basile Ndjio (Social Anthropology, University of Yaounde)

‘The Problem of "the prostitute, the bully and obscenities": An Exploration of the Linkages between the Campaigns to Regulate White Slavery and Obscenity in the British Empire’ Deana Heath (Department of History, Trinity College Dublin)

Keynote speech by Dr Sandip Hazareesingh
'Britain, global hegemony and port development in the nineteenth century' at the 28th colloquium on the History of the Canary Islands
13-17 October 2009
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950
Workshop 2: ‘Investigating Asian Bloomsbury’

5 July 2008
St John’s College Research Centre, St Giles, Oxford

This one-day workshop was the second in a series of events hosted by the collaborative AHRC-funded project, Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950, led by Professor Susheila Nasta. The workshop sought to redefine Bloomsbury, central London, as a site of cross-cultural interaction and exchange in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Locating South Asian editors, writers, activists and soldiers at the core of London, it explored the varied ways in which these early migrants negotiated and reshaped this iconic space. The workshop opened with a keynote paper by Kristin Bluemel (Monmouth University, NJ) on Mulk Raj Anand and ‘intermodernism’. This was followed by a range of papers on literary figures and movements, publishing ventures and political activism, and a panel on the First World War as an ‘Indian war’. Follow this link for more details

Conference on 'Crossculturality: English Studies and World Literature in China', a collaborative event organised by the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies and Institute of World Literature/ Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies, Peking University.
24-25 April 2008
Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China

The emphasis of this workshop was on the academic pursuit of the disciplines of English Studies (with an emphasis on English Literature) and World Literature (incorporating Comparative Literature) at an advanced level in China. For more details please email Suman Gupta (suman.gupta@open.ac.uk).

Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950
Workshop 1: ‘South Asian contact zones in the metropolis’

23 April 2008, 9.30am to 4.30pm
Institute of Historical Research, London

This one-day workshop was the first in a series of events hosted by the collaborative AHRC-funded project, Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950, led by Professor Susheila Nasta. The workshop considered South Asians and their varied interactions with the metropolis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Keynote speakers were Antoinette Burton (Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois) who addressed the methodology of transnationalism in relation to a migrant doctor, and Partha Mitter (Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Sussex) who addressed ideas of cosmopolitanism in relation to migrant artists.

Seminar by Professor Baisheng Zhao, Crossculturalism: British Challenges and Chinese Responses
22 January 2008

Professor Zhao is Professor of Comparative and World Literature and Director of the Institute of World Literature at Peking University, Beijing. He was spending a month at the Open University as a Ferguson Fellow, working with colleagues in the English Department on plans for a conference on 'Crossculturality: English Studies and World Literature in China', which is being organised jointly by the Ferguson Centre and the Institute of World Literature, and will take place in Beijing in April 2008.

The Nollywood Film Industry and the African Diaspora in UK: Workshop
9-11 August 2007
The Open University Camden Town

For more details please go to the project website: Nollywood Project website

Also

Nigerian Film Event
9-11 August 2007
Nigerian High Commission, London

Nigerian film event held at the Nigerian High Commission, leading on from our projects on the 'Nollywood Film Industry and the African Diaspora in the UK'.
The event consisted of evening and Saturday screenings of films and talks by influential directors Tunde Kelani, Amaka Igwe. Other attendees included Afolbai Adesanya, MD of the Nigerian Film Corporation and Emeka Mba GM and CEO of Nigerian Films and Videos Censors Board.

Commodities of Empire: International Workshop
13-14 July 2007
The Open University, London Regional Centre, Camden Town

For an overview of the project, please go to the Events page.

Contemporary Indian Literature in English for Indian Markets
25-27 June 2007
The Open University Camden Town

For more details please contact Dr Suman Gupta (s.gupta@open.ac.uk). For an overview of project please go to Collaborative projects.

Seminar by Professor Khalid Bekkaoui, Refashioning National Identity in Moroccan Fashion Photography
20th June 2007
Milton Keynes Campus

Professor Khalid Bekkaoui is Visiting Research Fellow, International Development Centre based in the Ferguson Centre May to July 2007.

In recent years, a number of women's magazines, both in Arabic and French, appeared in Morocco, and quickly gained popularity among the female youth. The most attractive section in these glossies is fashion photographs. Fashion photography is the space of the female body, beauty, fashion and consumption. Professor Bekkaoui's presentation discussed this space also as a site for conflicting cultural and ideological agendas, where ideas of gender, nationhood, and cultural identity in postcolonial Morocco are reconstructed and reinvented.

Seminar by Professor Khalid Bekkaoui, Picturing the Moorish Woman in Colonial Postcard Photography
The Open University Camden Town, London

Joint presentation with Gender in the Humanities Research Group

Professor Khalid Bekkaoui is IDC Fellow based in the Ferguson Centre May - July 2007.

The conquest and pacification of Morocco were accompanied with a massive production of postcards depicting aspects of native people, customs, towns and villages, guilds, etc. These postcards were read as authentic ethnographic documentations of indigenous life and culture and were hugely reproduced in colonial encyclopaedias, tourist-guides, travel narratives and geographical magazines.

Professor Bekkaoui’s paper analyzed the representation of the mauresque (Moorish woman) in the colonial postcard photography and discussed the extent to which representation is implicated in discourses of racism, imperialism and pornography. It then problematized the configuration of the mauresque by foregrounding the native gaze and its subversion of the European photographic eye. The images of the mauresque were discussed in comparison with those of the North African Jewess as well as the Senegalese nude.

Seminar by Professor Tapan Basu, Religious Conversion and the Anxieties of De-Nationalisation: The Case of Babasaheb Ambedkar
19 June 2007
Milton Keynes Campus

Professor Tapan Basu is Ferguson Fellow employed to work on the Centre’s Contemporary Indian Literature in English for Indian Markets Project, more details of which can be found on the Centre’s website (details below). Professor Basu is a Reader and teaches in the Department of English, Hindu College, University of Delhi. Professor Basu is a keen student of the social and political history of modern India.

 

Seminar by Professor Karega Munene, The Challenge of Promoting Heritage Resources for Social and Economic Development in Kenya
24 May 2007
Milton Keynes Campus

Professor Karega Munene was a Ferguson Fellow involved in the Centre's collaborative pilot project (2006-7) on Kenya, Museums and counter-museums in the postcolony. He is Associate Professor of History at the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi, and an archaeologist and anthropologist. He is currently attached to the 3-year project 'Managing Heritage, Building Peace', led by Principal Investigator Lotte Hughes. Managing Heritage project website

Commodities of Empire seminar
16 May 2007
The Open University, Camden Town

This initial workshop was for project members only and focused on the ethics of collaboration as well as on the project's research framework over the year. Please see the Commodities of Empire website for more details.

Daniel Defoe and White Slavery in North Africa - talk by Bob Owens
20 May 2007
The British Museum, London

The hero of Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe spends two years as a slave in Morocco. This talk explored the history of white slavery in North African, and its significance for Defoe and his contemporaries.

Paper at Conference at National Maritime Museum: Exploring and Being Explored: Africa in the Nineteenth Century, Friday 30 March–Saturday 31 March 2007
31 March
Dr Lotte Hughes gave a paper at the Bodies panel:
'Beautiful beasts' and 'brave warriors': the longevity of a Maasai stereotype.

Contemporary Indian Literature in English for Indian Markets
8-10 March 2007
Delhi, India

For more details please contact Dr Suman Gupta (s.gupta@open.ac.uk). For an overview of project please go to the project website.

Seminar: New Voices in African Writing
28 February 2007
The October Gallery, Bloomsbury

Brian Chikwava and Parselelo Kantai read from their work, and discussed the role of young African writers in times of social and political transition.

Discussant: Dr Stephanie Jones, University of Southampton
Chair: Dr Lotte Hughes, The Ferguson Centre, The Open University

Brian Chikwava, from Zimbabwe, won the Caine Prize for African Writing 2004, while Kenyan Parselelo Kantai was runner-up the same year. Brian, also a musician, is the author of Seventh Street Alchemy (2003), and is currently working on a novel and collection of short stories. Parselelo, also an investigative journalist and former editor of the East African environmental magazine, Ecoforum, is the author of Comrade Lemma and the Black Jerusalem Boys Band (2004). Part of the new generation of writers emerging from East Africa, he is involved with the Kenyan literary magazine Kwani?. He is currently working on a novel set in 1970s Nairobi during the Kenyatta years, and a work of investigative non-fiction.

Workshop on Religion and Spirituality in the Constitution of Public and Private Lives
29-31 January 2007
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

This workshop was organised by the University of KwaZulu Natal in collaboration with The Ferguson Centre.

Archiving the Contraband Modern in the Fes Medina, Morocco
10-11 January 2007
University of Fes, Morocco

For an overview of project please go to the project website

A lecture by Professor G K Das, Emeritus Professor, Delhi University and former Vice Chancellor, Uktal University, India
“Beyond empire and nation: A Plea for a Commonwealth English”

21 November 2006
Milton Keynes Campus

Research day: How does research on Africa fit into the culture of universities and visions for the humanities?
05 October 2006
Milton Keynes Campus

Lecture by Professor Taieb Belgahzi: The Modernity/Coloniality Research Project and the New Global Arrangements
21 September 2006
Milton Keynes Campus

Fes Medina Project: Workshop
02-04 September 2006
The Open University Camden Town

Book Launch: Moving the Maasai A Colonial Misadventure.
02 March 2006
St Anthony's College, Oxford

Postcolonial spaces: politics, representation, hybridity
16 November 2005
Geography Seminar Series joint seminar with The Ferguson Centre.

Globalization, Identity Politics, and Social Conflict (GIPSC) workshop - Tehran
Globalization and Religion: Identity and Power

17-18 November 2005
Tehran, Iran

Self and Subject: African and Asian Perspectives
20 - 23 September 2005
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

An international conference organised by The Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies.

Globalization, Identity Politics, and Social Conflict (GIPSC) workshop - Beijing:
Perceptions/Constructions of the West from 'Outside' in Contemporary Cultural Texts and Discourses

20-22 August 2005
Beijing, P.R. of China

Globalization, Identity Politics, and Social Conflict (GIPSC) workshop - Plovdiv:
Clash of Civilizations?: Migration, Modern Nationalism and Nostalgia for Homeland in the Age of Globalization.
5-7 April 2005
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Open Door Seminar series "Violences remembered" 2004-05
Colonial and postcolonial conflicts in the twentieth century
20 October 2004 - 25 May 2005
British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

South Asia Research Day
17 February 2005
Milton Keynes.

Urban generations: Post-colonial cities
1-3 October 2004
Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco

Imperial globalisation? Trade, technologies, and transnationalities within the British Empire from the 18th to the 20th century
10-11 September 2004
British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

The new orders of difference: The Cultural Discourses & Texts of Economic Migration
14-16 July 2004
Roehampton University of Surrey, Froebel College

About the Ferguson Centre, A presentation by Dr David Richards
15 June 2004
Milton Keynes Campus

Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds - an international, interdisciplinary conference
19-20 May 2004
The Open University, Harborne, Birmingham

Launch of The Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies
30 April 2004
The October Gallery, Bloomsbury, London

Open Door Seminar series
Conquests, commodities, and cultures 2003/4

October 2003 to June 2004
British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

Workshop: Globalisation, Identity Politics and Social Conflict: Ethnic, Literary and Sociolinguistic Perspectives
14-16 April 2003
Lagos, Nigeria

Workshop: Social Discourses and Cultural Texts (Identity Politics, Globalisation, and Social Conflict: Social Discourses and Cultural Texts
26-28 March 2002
Delhi, India