Decolonising the Imagination: freeing reading and writing from the legacy of Empire with Leila Aboulela 

Wednesday 22nd September 11.30am - 12.30pm 

A masterclass to enrich our understanding of decolonisation 
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Our views of the world and of ourselves are shaped by the texts we read. Often, it is the victor’s story that is amplified and easily accessible. Imperial and colonial ideas dominate the cultural landscape with deep and long-term effects not only on readers but also on creative writers. How do we question whose viewpoint such stories are coming from?  How can we distinguish between harmful legacies, cherished tradition, and art? How can we free our imagination to discover new ways of thinking and knowing?  

The aim of the Masterclass is to enrich our understanding of decolonisation and gain inspiration from the following African key texts: Ngugi wa Thiong’o ‘s Decolonising the Mind, Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North, and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman. 

Leila Aboulela has written short fiction, plays and five novels, including The Kindness of Enemies, Minaret and, most recently, Bird Summons. Her debut novel, The Translator, was one of New York Times’100 Notable books of the Year, while Lyrics Alley was Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards. Leila was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her latest short story collection, Elsewhere, Home, won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. She is currently writing a historical novel set in Sudan. 

Supported by the University of Aberdeen BAME Forum

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Supported by the University of Aberdeen Anthropology Society 

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