Seminar at USIU - Department of Literature

The M.A Literature class, under Dr. Alina Rinkanya, was privileged to attend a four day seminar
at the United States International University (USIU) on Postmodernism and Post-colonialism in
Philosophy, Film and Literature. The seminar was conducted from 18th to 27th March 2013. The
seminar was organized by the school of humanities and social sciences at USIU, with a total of
twelve lecturing hours covering various topics. We were courteously received at the University
by Dr. Mikhail Gromov who is the assistant professor of literature at USIU.
In the first two lectures Dr. Serrano gave a detailed introduction to contemporary philosophical
thinking, tracing the historical development of postmodernist philosophy. He then gave in depth
analysis of postmodernism and its tenets exploring various critical theories under the umbrella of
postmodernism: cultural studies, post-colonialism, and feminism.
Dr. Fatma Ahmed Ali introduced us to post-colonialism in its entirety in a highly interactive and
informative lecture analyzing the historical development of the theory of post-colonialism and
explaining its tenets. She also looked at colonialism and the colonial discourse, post-colonial
identities, cultural imperialism and racism in relation to colonialism.
After the lunch break, we listened to another lecture by Dr. Mikhail Gromov. He examined the
African novel in the colonial period and explored works from Francophone, Lusophone and
Anglophone countries that were written by early African writers. He stressed the differences
between the colonial and the post-colonial discourses illustrating the latter with reference to
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart that can be considered the first African post-colonial novel.
In the evening, we watched a Senegalese post-colonial movie entitled: Touki Bouki by Djibril
Diop Mambety (1973).
In conclusion, Professor Macharia Munene provided a brilliant application of post-modernist and
post-colonial theories to the context of politics in Africa.
The seminar on Postmodernism and Post-colonialism in Philosophy, Film and Literature was
insightful, informative, challenging and an eye opener to us in various aspects. We were exposed
to new and exciting information and the various approaches on postmodernism and postcolonialism in philosophy, film and literature. We also met, interacted and exchanged ideas with
fellow students from USIU and lecturers. The M.A Literature class would like to thank the USIU
organizers of the seminar, the University of Nairobi Literature Department and our lecturer Dr.
Alina Rinkanya who worked hard to make it possible for us to attend the seminar and expand our
knowledge and understanding. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Prof.
Chitere, the Dean, Faculty of Arts whose office supported our participation in the seminar by
arranging our return transportation from the University of Nairobi to USIU.
Report compiled by;
Kavaya Susan,
Student - M.A Literature.