This is an invitation for PhD students to apply to the third interdisciplinary Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies PhD summer school. This will take place 15-20 August 2022, at Linnaeus University, Sweden on the theme Concurrences and Connections: The Colonial Anthropocene. Participation in the summer school is free of charge for those accepted, and a limited number of travel and accommodation scholarships are available for PhD students from low-income countries.
As Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin have argued, the arrival of Europeans in the lands that would come to be known as the Americas can be considered the origin of the present planetary emergency. This event “led to the largest human population replacement in the past 13,000 years, the first global trade networks linking Europe, China, Africa and the Americas, and the resultant mixing of previously separate biotas, known as the Colombian Exchange” (2015: 174). In this way, as Karen Yusoff (2019) has argued and as Heather Davis and Zoe Todd propose, “the Anthropocene is not a new event, but is rather the continuation of practices of dispossession and genocide, coupled with a literal transformation of the environment, that have been at work for the last five hundred years” (2017: 761-780).
When the beginning of the planetary emergency is linked to the beginning of colonization, a new set of problems come into focus. Scholars investigating these problems have been able to partially rewrite of the history of this emergency, a rewriting that emphasizes the role that colonization played for the emergence of a liberal, capitalist Europe. This new research also identifies the persistence of colonial relations globally. As Rob Nixon (2011) has influentially argued, the “slow violence” of anthropogenic climate change has affected the (post)colonial nations of the global south much more severely than those of the global north. In this way, and as Jason Moore also notes, colonial relations persist deep in the ecologies of the global south. Just like the global south suffered the most during colonization – as a repository of labour, and a location of natural resources – it is the most vulnerable today in the wake of pollution, mining, oil drilling, nuclear testing, and global warming.
The realization that the current planetary crisis originates in colonialism and in the liberal capitalism that organized this project has profound consequences for how this history and the present moment must be understood, but conversely also for postcolonial studies. Concurrences and Connections: The Colonial Anthropocene PhD school invites PhD students in the Humanities and Social Sciences that explore this diverse and complex territory in their work. The school is opens with a one-day conference where the faculty of the summer school represents new research in this particular field. This is followed by four full days where PhD students presents and receives feedback on their thesis projects.