April Biccum

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April Biccum is a Lecturer at Lancaster University.

"My research project currently focusses on bringing the field of post-colonial studies to bear on political studies and political theory particularly in the area of development. I am especially interested in how narratives of development and the 'new' development agenda are being used to narrate the UK as a nation. My research interests also focus on issues of race, representation, gender, resistance and proposed alternatives to contemporary modes of global governance, as well as the role of history and historiography in narratives of contemporaneity, particularly as they impact claims and apologies for empire.

"Previous research has been addressing continuities between the political present and past. Using post-colonial theory in a way which aims to (re)politicize it through application to contemporary political discourses, my research investigates the similarities between mainstream development discourse in the UK context, focussing specifically on the promotional literature of the Department for International Development (DFID) as my case study, and colonial discourse as theorized in the work of Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak and Edward Said.

"Related to my research is the prospect of fostering transnational literacy through a knowing exploitation of ambivalences in public and political discourses. My research aims to expose such ambivalences in the workings of the UK's development discourse to create further ground for the promotion and fostering of transnational literacy as a method of political resistance. In the past I have been involved in various educational projects. I spent three years working in a Black Voluntary Sector organization (now defunct), providing consulting and training to public sector organizations looking to comply with the new Race Relations (Amendment) Act, and I have been involved in the design of education materials drawn from my experience documenting the World Social Forum (www.wsfindia.org/) in Mumbai in 2004." [1]


  • 2007, "Pedagogy as Politics, Exploiting the Ambivalence of a Crisis : A Practitioner reads "Diversity Training" through Homi Bhabha" in Derrida: Negotiation the Legacy. Madeleine Fagan, Ludovic Glorieux, Indira Hasimbegovic and Marie Suetsuga (Eds.), Edinburgh University Press {forthcoming}.
  • 2005, "The World Social Forum: Exploiting the Ambivalence of 'Open' Spaces", in Ephemera: theory & politics in organization, Vol.5(2), 2005 available online at: www.ephemeraweb.org
  • 2005, "Development and the 'New' Imperialism: A reinvention of colonial discourse in DFID promotional literature", in Third World Quarterly, 26(6): 1005 - 1020.
  • 2005, interview with Thomas Ponniah, "The World Social Forum: The Revolution of our Time" in Situation Analysis: A Forum for Critical Thought & International Current Affairs Issue 4, Autumn 2004. Available online at www.situationanalysis.com
  • Situation Analysis: A Forum for Critical Thought & International Current Affairs, Issue 4, Autumn 2004, Special Issue on Development and Education, co-edited with Vanessa Andreotti. Available online at www.situationanalysis.com

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. April Biccum, Lancaster University, accessed March 18, 2009.