PSA Newsletter #30 (October 2023)

The PSA Newsletter #30 focuses on the theme “Decolonizing the Ecological Crisis”, and explores notions of the Anthropocene, human and more-than-human agency, as well as examining the intersections between colonialism and our current ecological challenges through the lens of storytelling. It features six original contributions. Athira Unni examines the lasting legacies of colonialism on postcolonial landscapes and ecological conditions in South Asia through analysis of Manjula Padmanabhan’s contemporary dystopian novel Escape. Mettin Jacob analyses Kota Neelima’s novel Shoes of the Deadto enunciate the role of colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy in inflicting intersectional violence across the human and nonhuman realmsin a fictionalised Indian agrarian community. Arnab Das and Madhumita Roy engage with Amitav Gosh’s fictional and non-fictional work to expose climatic disruptions at global level, but with a particular focus on the Sundarbans, and to demonstrate the importance of an holistic eco-centric culture that promotes a coordinating balance between humans and nature. Next, Joyce Onoromhenre Agofure turns the attention to the African continent as she advances the notion that poetry might be used as a powerful critical tool to dramatise the damaging effects of extractivism and petrocultureon the Niger Delta region. Throughdiscussion of Julietta Singh’s The Breaks, Sarah Kirpekar-Sauer shows that settler scholars can contribute to decolonising mainstream Western environmentalism by engaging in meaningful dialogue with Indigenous relationality and land-based ontologies. Finally, by placing emphasis on theprinciple of aloha ‘aina, Kristiawan Indriyanto demonstrates that Native Hawaiian literature provides a space for challenging neo/colonial, anthropocentric structures but also for promoting more-than-human agency, sustainability and Indigenous cultural continuity.

Next, readers can find two conference reports: one report on the 2023 Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literatureand Environment (ASLE) by Katherine Huber, and one report on the 2023 triennial conference of the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (EACLALS). This last report has been co-authored by Delphine Munos, Gigi Adair, and Isabel Carrera Suárez, Patricia Bastida Rodríguez and Paola Prieto Lopez. The issue also features Colin Coleman’s report on his fieldwork in India to support his research on the impacts of climate change on primary education in rural Indian villages, and Michal Shalev’s report on her research visits to several archive repositories and heritage sites across South Africa. Both research activities were supported by the Postcolonial Studies Association. The final section of the newsletter includes information about the call for the next issue and useful contacts.

Happy reading!

Francesca and Jennifer

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