Aesthetic Systems and the Cold War: Rethinking African Literary History

Tuesday, 28 June, 2016 - 13:00

WiSER invites you to a lunchtime seminar by

Monica Popescu

"Aesthetic Systems and the Cold War: Rethinking African Literary History"

Debates on the function of the writer in society and the most appropriate style of writing constituted some of the most animated and impactful conversations carried out in Kampala or Ibadan, Dakar, Paris or Tashkent during the 1950s and 1960s, when the field of African literary studies was beginning to take shape. This talk considers the ways in which the Cold War influenced these conversations, whether directly through the superpowers' cultural sponsorship of ideologically sympathetic writers, or indirectly, through the creation of competing aesthetic systems.

Tuesday, 28th June 2016

WiSER Seminar Room,
6th Floor, Richard Ward Building,
East Campus, Wits University

Monica Popescu is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of African Literatures at McGill University. She is the author of South African Literature Beyond the Cold War (which won the 2012 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities) and The Politics of Violence in Post-Communist Films, and co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing on Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances during the Cold War. She has published articles on post-apartheid literature, African culture and the Cold War, post-communist cultures and nationalism. She is currently completing a book manuscript on "Postcolonial Cultures and the Cold War."

All welcome.