'Migrant identities': A Graduate workshop with Karin Amatmoekrim

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Colin Matthew Room

Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford

United Kingdom

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In this event, graduate students from the University of Oxford will have the fantastic opportunity to engage withTORCH Global South Visiting Fellow Karin Amatmoekrim, an award-winning novelist and expert of Dutch Postcolonial Literature.

The workshop will combine creative writing and Postcolonial Literature research and centre around the theme of migrant identities.

How is a 'migrant identity' essential to a writer's identity? The position of outsiders offers a privileged viewpoint to writers, since in this way they are able to observe human behavior from a more or less independent distance. At the same time the experience of migration makes the migrant writer, albeit familiar with his/her ‘own’ ethnic group, never completely comfortable in that group or identity either. This partial lack of a concept of 'home' gives the migrant an autonomy that could be extremely beneficial for any writer who sets out to write a universal portrait of mankind.

In the workshop, these theoretical questions about postcolonial writers will become the starting point for discussions and creative writing activities in which the following questions will be addressed:

-How to write about an unknown world / unknown stories for white audiences - How second migrations (i.e. from Asia to the Caribbean to Europe) can affect one's writing - Differences between fictional life writing and biography - The practical problems of writing about experiences of migration -How critics, readers, editors react to migrant authors

During the workshop, Karin will provide the participants with examples from her own work and the works of Dutch-Surinamese intellectual of colour Anil Ramdas, the subject of Karin's own research.

Participants are encouraged to come to the workshop with their own questions about the topics approached during this event. The event is specifically aimed to graduate students at Oxford, but ECRs, researchers and writers from the University of Oxford are also encouraged to sign up.

Refreshments (tea, coffee and biscuits) will be provided.

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Colin Matthew Room

Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford

United Kingdom

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