Call for Papers: Postcolonial Infrastructures
– Deadline Extended!

We are delighted to announce that the 2023 annual GAPS conference will take place at the University of Konstanz from 18 to 20 May, 2023. Please download the Call for Papers here and submit your 250-300 word abstract by January 31, 2023.

Conference participants might be interested in attending the annual Wolfgang Iser Lecture on the night before the conference (17 May 2023) which will be held by Homi K. Bhabha and is co-sponsored by GAPS. Attendance is free of charge.

Call for Applications: GAPS Graduate Award 2023

Applications for the GAPS Graduate Award 2023 may be sent in from
now until 15 January 2023. Eligible for proposals are BA, MA, and
state examination theses written or supervised by GAPS members
which were submitted in 2022. For more information on the award and
how to submit nominations, you can find the call for applications here.

Dissertation Award 2022 goes to Magdalena Pfalzgraf

Recipient of the 2022 GAPS Dissertation Award is Magdalena Pfalzgraf. She received the prize for her outstanding thesis “Crossing Borders, Transcending Boundaries: Dynamics of Mobility in post-2000 Zimbabwean Literature”, which was submitted at the University of Frankfurt and published by Routledge in 2021. Her study explores mobility in Zimbabwean works of fiction published between 2000, the year of Zimbabwe’s controversial Land Reform, and 2017, the end of Mugabe’s rule, demonstrating how the texts critically engage with the spatial orders imposed by the Mugabe regime. Four dynamics of mobility frame the analyses: intra-urban movement and rural-urban movement in Zimbabwe, transnational migration within Africa and transcontinental migration. The concept of mobility, rather than migration, allows her to conceptualize movement in a broader and more inclusive sense, including social and economic mobility. Magdalena Pfalzgraf’s study not only offers an in-depth survey and an innovative reading of contemporary Zimbabwean fiction that moves beyond the received discourse on Zimbabwean migration in terms of exodus and escape. It also shows how the texts discussed critically respond to authority and the boundaries of Afrocentric nationalism by self-reflexively placing themselves within both a specific national literary tradition (“writing back to self”) and tapping into transnational literary traditions.

Graduate Award: Winners announced

The GAPS Graduate Award Jury are pleased to announce that the GAPS Graduate Award 2022 has been conferred on Stefanie Kemmerer (Frankfurt University) for her graduate (MA) thesis “Yogascapes: The Visual Politics of Transcultural Yoga as seen on Instagram”. A recognition award has been conferred on Alisa Preusser (Münster University) for her graduate (MEd) thesis “The Politics of Disposability: Negotiating the US-Canadian Border through Representations of Waste in Thomas King’s Novel Truth & Bright Water”. Congratulations! We look forward to meeting the successful candidates in person at this year’s annual conference in Frankfurt, where the official award ceremony will take place.

Introducing the GAPS Thesis Register

GAPS members do a lot of work supervising BA, MA, Zula and PhD theses. Sometimes, it would be nice to know if others are working with students on similar thesis topics. It might also be helpful for students to link up directly and network with each other for thesis research. We have therefore decided to set up a GAPS Thesis Register to raise the profile of GAPS and its work with undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, and to foster student research networks in postcolonial studies.

After seeking permission from the student, a student supervisor/GAPS member will need to go to the GAPS website to send a student’s thesis details to the coordinator Dr. Geoff Rodoreda. We have prepared a form to be filled out for this purpose, which you can find here.

The Register is password protected. Only GAPS members or students they are supervising (for a limited period of time) will be given the password, which can be altered or updated as need be. The initial password has been circulated with the newsletter 2/2022 and any future changes to this password will be announced via the newsletter as well.

Call for Participation: GAPS Diversity Mentoring Strategy

We invite expressions of interest for participation in two projects that form part of the new GAPS diversity mentoring strategy, both of which will be developed over the next 12 months.

  1. A series of masterclass videos on German academia aimed in particular at international students and/or students without privileged access to the inner workings of the academy. Each video will be ca. 5-15 minutes long on a relevant topic, e.g. “how to write an exposé” or “what funding sources are available for a PhD”. We invite expressions of interest to participate in making such a video, which will become part of GAPS’s new digital content that aims at a wide audience well beyond the membership of the organization.
  2. A Mentoring handbook. We invite expressions of interest to assist with and/or consult on the writing of a handbook with mentoring guidelines for GAPS members. The aim is to develop a living document focused on how GAPS members can best nurture diversity in the academy and support international and/or POC students and early-career researchers.

Please write to Priyam Goswami Choudhury and Gigi Adair ( to indicate your interest in getting involved in one or both of these projects.

Publication: Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World

Edited by Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Marion Gymnich and Klaus P. Schneider. Leiden/Boston, Brill Rodopi, 2022.

GAPS is delighted to announce the publication of Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World, which has been developed from the eponymous annual conference that took place in Bonn in 2017.
Here is the blurb of the anthology:
Poverty and precarity are among the most pressing social issues of today and have become a significant thematic focus and analytical tool in the humanities in the last two decades. This volume brings together an international group of scholars who investigate conceptualisations of poverty and precarity from the perspective of literary and cultural studies as well as linguistics. Analysing literature, visual arts and news media from across the postcolonial world, they aim at exploring the frameworks of representation that impact affective and ethical responses to disenfranchised groups and precarious subjects. Case studies focus on intersections between precarity and race, class, and gender, institutional frameworks of publishing, environmental precarity, and the framing of refugees and migrants as precarious subjects.

Please click here for further details.

Publication: Nationalism and the Postcolonial

Edited by Sandra Dinter and Johanna Marquardt. Leiden/Boston, Brill Rodopi, 2021.

GAPS is delighted to announce the publication of Nationalism and the Postcolonial, which has been developed from the eponymous annual conference that took place in Mainz in 2018. The anthology explores how, in spite of often being thought of as a thing of the past, nationalism remains surprisingly resilient in the postcolonial era, especially since the concepts of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism have lost authority in recent years. The contributions assembled in this volume examine various forms, representations, and consequences of past and present nationalisms in languages, popular culture, and literature in or associated with Australia, Canada, England, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Bringing together perspectives from linguistics, political science, cultural studies, and literary studies, the collection illustrates how postcolonial nationalism functions as a unifying mechanism of anti-colonial nation-building as well as a divisive force that can encourage discrimination and violence.

Please click here for further details.

Declaration on precarious work in academia

Side by side with a number of other academic associations, GAPS has signed a declaration in response to the social media campaign #ichbinhanna. The initiative was launched by the German Sociological Association (GSA), the German Association for American Studies (GAAS) and the Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands (VHD) and demands a critical and thorough re-evaluation of the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz) and the creation of more permanent employment positions. The full text (in German) and a list of all organisations supporting the claims can be found here.

GAPS Board elections

We are happy to announce the results of the elections that were held during our annual meeting on 14 May 2021. GAPS-President Prof. Dr. Cecile Sandten (Uni Chemnitz) and Vice-President Prof. Dr. Timo Müller (Uni Konstanz) have been re-elected for a second term of office and are joined by four new board members. Silvia Anastasijevic (Uni Frankfurt) will take over the post of treasurer from Magdalena Pfalzgraf. Priyam Goswami Choudhury (Uni Potsdam) will join the board as our new Students & Young Academics Representative, taking over from Hannah Pardey, and Gigi Adair (Uni Bielefeld) and Marie Berndt (Uni Bonn) have been elected to replace Julian Wacker and Dr. Pavan Malreddy. We thank all parting members for their enthusiastic and excellent work and welcome the new members!

From now on, Priyam will help look after our social media accounts and maintain our connection to the postgraduate forum Postcolonial Narrations. Gigi will take the planning of the GAPS-panel into her hands, which is to take place as part of the annual conference 2022 in Frankfurt. Marie will help keep our monthly newsletter running and our website up to date. You can reach them via the email address or find their individual contact details here

Free GAPS memberships available

We invite applications by students who find it difficult to pay the membership fees. The fee will be subsidized by the Sustained Members of GAPS. Applicants should write to the president as well as the treasurer of GAPS, briefly explaining why they wish to be considered under this category.