Initially when I saw a call out for abstracts by a networking group called 'New Voices in Postcolonial Studies' I was excited to firstly see early career researchers and PhD candidates being nurtured in a communal space that was entirely focusing on sharing their investigative interests. Secondly, I was exhilarated that the thematic glue bonding our interests was centered on postcolonial studies. The one-day event, on June 13th, was impressively organised (by three PhD students) and I felt the overall buzzing of excitement coming from both the participants and the variety of cross-disciplinary ideas being promoted.
The day's programme was tastefully designed and laid out in delightful pastel colours (I appreciated the attention to detail) dividing the schedules into three parallel sessions throughout the day to maximize efficiency for presenters. Each panel was hosted by a student member of the Network's Association. The grouping of the panels was also testament to the diversity of postcolonial outreach interests spanning for example the medical humanities, environmental interests, decolonising education and cultural industries, in addition to other more commonplace fits for this theory in race, gender, history and indigenous representation.
Commendation must be paid to two well-renowned postcolonial scholars, Professor John McLeod and Professor Graham Huggan both academics at the School of English, University of Leeds, who admiringly spent the entire day with students shuffling to and from different panels of presenters.
The day was well-balanced with two keynotes one from Professor John McLeod and the second one at the end of the day by Dr Amy Rushton which culminated both her research interests and paid homage to the many people who help get a single person through their respective research journeys. The final keynote certainly captured both the research process but also hinted at the overall purpose of this type of conference to support each other in more collegiate ways.
Overall, the University of Leeds (School of English) was warm and inviting and I do look forward to the next Postcolonial event.