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Cottbus City Tour: postcolonial meets postsocialist

When you think of Cottbus, its (post)colonial entanglements might not be the first thing that come to mind. But a small group affiliated to the local university have taken up the task of confronting just these aspects of the city’s history. At the tail end of August, on a broiling late summer day, I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along on this tour in Cottbus, which bills itself not just as postcolonial, but as postcolonial-and-postsocialist.


The Emotional Onion

It’s an ingredient which crosses – cultural, political, geographical – boundaries and yet it does not show a lesser degree of respect wherever it goes.


Yoga, Environment and Language

“Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”

With this statement, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, proposed establishing an International Day of Yoga.


Eat Gingerly

Ginger tea to Germans is starting to feel like what Windex brand glass cleaner was to the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.


We All Have Garlic Breath

There isn’t a garlic tool in the world that has met with my approval so far. I’ve probably tried all of the ones that are small enough to justify filling space in your kitchen. (As opposed to some overpriced whack-chopper machine advertised on TV.)


Machine Translation and Natural Language Processing

Reading through various studies on gender bias in machine translation, I stumble across the sentence: The doctor asked the nurse to help her. It’s used in a study that tests how gender is translated from English into languages which, unlike English, have grammatical gender. This attribution is particularly relevant when it comes to terms that label people. In English, for example, doctor is gender-neutral, whereas in German one would traditionally have to choose between ‘Arzt’ or ‘Ärztin’, the former a male doctor, the latter female. Intrigued, I open one of the most popular translation engines to see what happens when I translate this sentence into German.


Decolonization is not (just) a metaphor

One of our aims with poco.lit. is to try to demystify some of the key ideas in and around postcolonial studies. In this post, we take a look at an article called “Decolonization is not a metaphor”, published by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang in 2012.


A Visit to the Museum of African Art in Belgrade

I could have taken a bus, but I decided to walk. This was a mistake, as my journey on this otherwise beautiful autumn morning in Belgrade took me along a highway full of thunderous traffic, noxious car fumes, and a bewildering labyrinth of pedestrian over- and underpasses. But after getting lost and taking twice as long for the trip as intended, I finally arrived in the leafy suburb of my destination: The Museum of African Art.


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.