Panel Discussions North-Southern Divan

Financed with German funds: the new building of the Congolese University of Goma
Financed with German funds: the new building of the Congolese University of Goma | Photo (detail): Mika Schmidt © picture alliance
  • 01. January 2019 — 31. December 2020

  • Postcolonial world order, Postcolonial development cooperation, Decolonization

  • Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire)

The series of events critically questions German-African relations. The focus is on the discourse on the so-called developing countries as a continuation of Eurocentric colonial thinking on superiority. The thesis: The “civilization of the uncivilized” was followed by the “development of the underdeveloped” in the sub-Saharan Africa region in the post-war period.

The series North-Southern Divan, with lectures and moderated discussions, is dedicated to the German-language discourse on postcolonialism from different perspectives in the humanities, social sciences and economics. The focus is on African-German and European history, literature, politics, economics and culture.

The Topics covered include Africa and the literary discourse of postcolonialism, German African terminologies, postcolonial literature outside the German-speaking linguistic and cultural area or the intercultural memory of (post-) colonial places of remembrance in Germany and Africa.

Representatives of various disciplines discuss these (post-) colonial approaches controversially, also with regard to the key terms “development” and “globalization” in the German-African context.

The focus is on the relationship between development research and postcolonial studies. “Postcolonial Studies” refers to a loosely defined interdisciplinary field of perspectives, theories and methods that deals with the analysis of the non-material dimensions of colonial rule. Accordingly, post-colonial is not limited to a temporal “afterwards” and does not simply describe the situation after the formal end of colonial rule. Postcolonial critique also aims at deconstructing and overcoming patterns of thought and central assumptions of colonial discourse.