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Postcolonial Literatures Research Group


Founded in 1992, the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group represents an active community of scholars who work on a wide range of individual and collaborative projects, both within the Open University and in partnership with other academics and organisations. The group is organised as a research collective, and its activities are co-ordinated by its current director, Alex Tickell. 

The predominant focus of the group is on Anglophone literatures from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and forms of colonial and neo-colonial experience represented in these literary traditions, but group members’ interests also encompass the writing of the Caribbean and South-Asian diasporas; colonial cultural and literary history; anti-colonial political thought, and wider global literary systems. Members of the group also work on poetry, film and drama, anthropology, postcolonial theory, and the publishing and reception of literature in the post-colony.

In the past five years members of the group have directed and participated in several externally-funded AHRC projects (see Projects), organised numerous conferences and seminar series (see Events) and disseminated its research through the international journal Wasafiri. In the past two decades the group has published extensively and has shaped and informed the field of postcolonial studies.

Follow the History link for more information about the Postcolonial and Global Literatures Research Group.

The aim of the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group is to facilitate the study of colonial and postcolonial writings and expand the boundaries of the discipline through the group’s collaborative emphasis on history, material contexts and archival research. Members of the group share a common interest in the material cultures of post/colonial literature, and are currently working on aspects of anti-colonial political discourses, civil society, urban narrative and collective biography.

Some of the Group’s future projects will be promoted through the new research theme of ‘Colonial Literary Cultures’. This will re-address the colony as a dynamic cultural site in which numerous forms of literature – by coloniser and colonised – were publicised, circulated and contested. The broad ambition is to explore new approaches to the literary cultures of the colony, approaches that are not delimited by established critical paradigms in postcolonial studies or depoliticised by a formalised or comparative methodology.

"In Black and White", cover of collection of short stories by writer Rudyard Kipling

"In Black and White", cover of collection of short stories by writer Rudyard Kipling, published by A.H. Wheeler & Co., 1888. Carries a cover price of one rupee.