In his Keynote Speech at The Asian Conference on Literature and Librarianship 2014 (LibrAsia2014) in Osaka, Japan, Professor Bill Ashcroft discusses the function of literature in the twentieth century, and argues that literature, far more than the language of politics, has the capacity to speak to power by speaking beyond it. It does this first by transformation. Resistance, as we see from the example of postcolonial literature, is most effective when it is transformative – when it takes the language of power and makes it work in the service of the powerless.
Professor Bill Ashcroft
Bill Ashcroft is a renowned critic and theorist, founding exponent of post-colonial theory, co-author of The Empire Writes Back, the first text to examine systematically the field of post-colonial studies. He is author and co-author of sixteen books, variously translated into six languages, over 180 chapters and papers, and he is on the editorial boards of ten international journals. He has recently completed an Australian Professorial Fellowship at the University of NSW and produced his latest monograph Utopianism in Postcolonial Literatures.