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"The Tentacles of Empire": Silvia Nagy-Zekmi, PhD, Deconstructs Eurocentrism in Faculty Book Talk

Falvey is pleased to announce our upcoming Faculty Book Talk, featuring Silvia Nagy-Zekmi, PhD. Dr. Nagy-Zekmi will speak on her new book, Perennial Empires: Postcolonial, Transnational and Literary Perspectives on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. in the library first floor lounge.

Perennial Empires presents new scholarship on the subject of empire building from a postcolonial and transnational perspective. Dr. Nagy-Zekmi, a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, explains, “The book offers examples of post-colonial representations of empire in the modality of ‘writing back,’ which is to say, from the perspectives of the once colonized, with articles that deal not only with the reality of ex-colonies in their spaces, but also describe the consequences of colonization in the so-called mother countries, such and England.”

Her talk “will try to deconstruct the Eurocentric world-view, upon which colonial discourses have been based and which still perpetuates in our current discourses praising the so-called ‘Western civilization.’”

“The survival of the autocratic order and the hegemonic discourses that support it inspired the volume,” which was co-edited by Chantal Zabus, a professor of cultural and gender studies at Sorbonne Univeristy in Paris. “Our work draws on the critical theories advanced by Edward Said, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt. A clearly Hobbesian reference, we use the metaphor of the Leviathan to describe the tentacles of empire that reach all corners of the world.”

Postcolonial and transnational approaches to scholarship are enjoying academic prominence currently. Dr. Nagy-Zekmi comments, “Many decades after the ‘official’ end of empire, i.e. colonized states, ex-colonies still suffer from the ills of corruption, disorganization, lack of basic institution. I would like to make a link between this chaotic reality and the colonial legacy. In another book Dr. Zabus and I co-edited, Colonization or Globalization? Postcolonial Explorations of Imperial Expansion, we look into globalization as a possible form in which empire reemerges.”

This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Nagy-Zekmi, director of Hispanic graduate studies and the Cultural Studies program, recently organized a two-day conference for the centenary of José María Arguedas, which featured a reception and book presentation in the library.




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Last Modified: November 8, 2011

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