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Orientalism: A brief introduction

One of our aims with poco.lit. is to try to demystify some of the core ideas in and around postcolonial studies and the ways in which postcolonial literatures have been read. In this post, we take a look at Orientalism by Edward Said and some of its key contributions to thinking about colonial practices.

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When the postcolonial meets the post-socialist

After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, a debate emerged amongst scholars about whether postcolonial studies could provide appropriate tools of analysis for post-socialist or post-Soviet situations and experiences. People voiced different views on the so-called applicability of postcolonial theory and status in the post-Soviet zone.

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Disability and/in translation: The right to self-describe

In cooperation with the Goethe-Institutes in North-Western Europe, poco.lit. hosted an online discussion about disability and/in translation. Khairani Barokka and Amy Zayed shared valuable insights. This is an overview of the discussion spanning particular terms in relation to disability, pragmatic suggestions for translators and the connection between disability justice and anti-colonialism.

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A visit to the Humboldt Forum – reflections on the how of the exhibition practices

The Humboldt Forum in Berlin has been a controversial point of discussion for what seems like forever. The debate about this addition to the urban and cultural landscape of Berlin has revolved around a number of issues, including the history of the site, the cost of the project, and not least the objects to be exhibited there. It is this last point that is of particular interest to us at poco.lit., since the Forum is set to be the new home for Berlin’s ‘non-European’ collections.

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Of whale sharks and homemakers – for gender-sensitive translation

Anyone who wants to do a quick translation is probably happy to fall back on technological aids once in a while: Google Translate, Linguee or DeepL are widely known by now. But machine translation can prevent linguistic progress or the successful establishment of non-discriminatory language. Translation programmes draw from already existing texts – and these are far from being free of discrimination. That’s why we’re excited that our macht.sprache. project will be able to develop an integration with existing translation websites to support gender-sensitive translation with the help of the Prototype Fund.

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Where Jhumpa Lahiri finds herself linguistically

Jhumpa Lahiri wrote her latest novel in Italian. Afterwards she translated it into English herself. The deliberate shift in her own language focus invites me to question several things: the linguistic pressure to conform that migrants of Colour often experience. And the common idea that people can only express themselves well in one language – their mother tongue.

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