About Us

The Centre of Postcolonial Studies

Over the last two decades, the field of postcolonial studies has had a major impact on research across the arts, humanities and social sciences. In an age after the formal end of European empire, how do we rethink global relations between nations and cultures? The Centre of Postcolonial Studies at Stirling offers a place to trace the local and global links between cultures, societies and histories. Its aim is to refine and rethink the critical vocabularies and disciplinary interests that help us understand colonial and postcolonial systems.

Stirling was one of the pioneering institutions in this field, opening its Centre of Commonwealth Studies in 1985. The first Director, Prof. Angela Smith, emphasized the importance of bringing together researchers and students to debate the parameters of ‘Commonwealth Studies’. Since then we have continued and built on the original interdisciplinary focus to help define our comparative and multilingual interests. Today academic researchers and students in English, French, Film, Spanish, History, Philosophy, creative artists, writers and practitioners work to challenge and invigorate the field.

Each year an Indian creative writer is based at Stirling thanks to the Charles Wallace Fellowship. Since 2006 the Africa in Motion film festival in Edinburgh (founded by Stirling PhD students) has offered our student interns the opportunity to gain experience in the creative arts industries.

Studying at Stirling

Masters students can pursue a full programme of research in postcolonial studies through the MRes in Humanities, and PhD students are an essential part of our research culture.

House of Words

A series of texts traced on the walls, windows and wilder places of the campus

The Charles Wallace Fellows also play an integral part in a new initiative co-curated by the Pathfoot Gallery and Stirling’s Centre of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. ‘House of Words’ celebrates the writers connected to the University of Stirling since its foundation in 1967. The initiative, launched in 2014, is part of a long-term vision to celebrate art and literature throughout the campus. A series of quotations from the Charles Wallace Fellows are being installed on the windows of the Pathfoot Building to complement the existing pieces in the art collection that explore relationships between text, image and literature. ‘House of Words’ text installations are positioned to create interaction between the corridors and courtyard spaces of the Pathfoot Building, encouraging visitors, students and staff to pause and spend time with the artwork and texts displayed in the Gallery. 


Our Research

Recently funded projects include Devolving Diasporas (AHRC), Struggles that Unite Us All: The Life and Work of Lamine Senghor (British Academy), Martin Carter and Pan-Caribbean Literary Culture (AHRC), Making histories: towards more complex genealogies of Francophone African literature and cinema (AHRC), Meghdoot: Using new technologies to tell age-old stories (AHRC).

We welcome visiting academics, writers and students. Working with the Centre for Scottish Studies and the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Prof Carla Sassi (Verona) was a RSE Caledonian Fellow in 2008. Recent conferences and workshops held in Stirling on postcolonial topics include: ‘Caribbean-Scottish Passages’ (British Academy-funded and resulting in a special issue of the IJSL); ‘The French Slave Trade’ (Carnegie Trust); ‘Reading After Empire’ (AHRC), ‘Locating African Culture’ (3 workshops funded by Carnegie Trust); ‘The State of the Question: Latin American and Caribbean Studies in Scotland’; ‘Death and the Dead’; and the Postcolonial Studies Association’s Postgraduate Conference.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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