Permanent Seminar on Post-Colonial Studies with Nazir Ahmed Can

October 22, at 3 pm., will welcome the next session of the Permanent Seminar on Post-Colonial Studies. “João Paulo Borges Coelho: ficção e cesura” is the topic; Nazir Ahmed Can is the guest speaker.

Reconciling regularity in production, experimentation at the formal level and cohesion in the imaginary realm, João Paulo Borges Coelho has published eight novels, three volumes of short stories and three novellas since 2003, a vertiginous record that, nevertheless, does not shake his commitment to rigour. The author’s choice of formal and thematic paths favouring the overlapping (and consequent questioning) of times and memories, the widening of the Mozambican literary geography, the composition of an equitable existential density of protagonists and secondary characters, the diversification of the narrator’s postures and the destabilisation of theses through a particular artistic research on paradox, broadens the aesthetic code of Mozambican fiction and lends a new dynamism to Portuguese language literature in the 21st century. Also drawing on this line, João Paulo Borges Coelho identifies some threads of continuity between colonial and post-colonial times. Unwilling to be fitted into any jargon or theoretical stream, his aesthetics privileges the “colonial dust” – the tangled remains of a recent past which, under another guise, are revitalised today. Combining these aspects, I will try to observe how the notion of “caesura”, contrary to some concepts established in the last decades (such as “hybridism” or “third space”), organises and mobilises João Paulo Borges Coelho’s fiction.

Nazir Ahmed Can is Serra Húnter Professor at the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. PhD in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and postdoctoral fellow at the University of São Paulo, he served as a Full Professor of African Literatures at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro between 2015 and 2021 and as Visiting Professor at the University of Salamanca between 2019 and 2020. His latest publications include the books João Paulo Borges Coelho: ficção, memória, cesura (Folha Seca, 2021), O campo literário moçambicano. Tradução do espaço e formas de insílio (Kapulana, 2020) and, co-authored with Sheila Khan and Helena Machado, Racism and Racial Surveillance: Modernity Matters (Routledge, 2021).

The event will be held online on Zoom.

[Posted: 14-10-2021]