Contemporary Postcolonial Theory A Reader Pdf
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Modern Fiction Studies 46.2 (2000) 553-555 // --> [Access article in PDF] Book Review Edouard Glissant and Postcolonial Theory Theory and Cultural Studies Celia Britton. Edouard Glissant and Postcolonial Theory. Charlottesville: U Virginia P, 1999. 224 pp. The title of Celia Britton's study of the Martiniquan theorist and writer Edouard Glissant signals this book's important contribution to the growing body of writing on Glissant. Hers is the first book-length work to situate Glissant in the context of contemporary postcolonial theory, noting how his writings can be read alongside those of more widely known theorists such as Frantz Fanon, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Spivak. Britton complements her comprehensive study of Glissant's theoretical writings with a detailed examination of how his theory is realized in the practice of his fiction. While not superseding the pioneering work of J. Michael Dash on Glissant, Britton's elucidation of Glissant's theories in particular will significantly broaden the scope of current critical understanding of his oeuvre.
As a term in contemporary history, postcolonialism occasionally is applied, temporally, to denote the immediate time after the period during which imperial powers retreated from their colonial territories. Such is believed to be a problematic application of the term, as the immediate, historical, political time is not included in the categories of critical identity-discourse, which deals with over-inclusive terms of cultural representation, which are abrogated and replaced by postcolonial criticism. As such, the terms postcolonial and postcolonialism denote aspects of the subject matter that indicate that the decolonized world is an intellectual space "of contradictions, of half-finished processes, of confusions, of hybridity, and of liminalities." As in most critical theory-based research, the lack of clarity in the definition of the subject matter coupled with an open claim to normativity makes criticism of postcolonial discourse problematic, reasserting its dogmatic or ideological status.
As a literary theory, postcolonialism deals with the literatures produced by the peoples who once were colonized by the European imperial powers (e.g. Britain, France, and Spain) and the literatures of the decolonized countries engaged in contemporary, postcolonial arrangements (e.g. Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations) with their former mother countries.
In the essays "Overstating the Arab State" (2001) by Nazih Ayubi, and "Is Jordan Palestine?" (2003) by Raphael Israeli, the authors deal with the psychologically-fragmented postcolonial identity, as determined by the effects (political and social, cultural and economic) of Western colonialism in the Middle East. As such, the fragmented national identity remains a characteristic of such societies, consequence of the imperially convenient, but arbitrary, colonial boundaries (geographic and cultural) demarcated by the Europeans, with which they ignored the tribal and clan relations that determined the geographic borders of the Middle East countries, before the arrival of European imperialists. Hence, the postcolonial literature about the Middle East examines and analyzes the Western discourses about identity formation, the existence and inconsistent nature of a postcolonial national-identity among the peoples of the contemporary Middle East.
Indian-American Marxist scholar Vivek Chibber has critiqued some foundational logics of postcolonial theory in his book Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital. Drawing on Aijaz Ahmad's earlier critique of Said's Orientalism and Sumit Sarkar's critique of the Subaltern Studies scholars, Chibber focuses on and refutes the principal historical claims made by the Subaltern Studies scholars; claims that are representative of the whole of postcolonial theory. Postcolonial theory, he argues, essentializes cultures, painting them as fixed and static categories. Moreover, it presents the difference between East and West as unbridgeable, hence denying people's "universal aspirations" and "universal interests." He also criticized the postcolonial tendency to characterize all of Enlightenment values as Eurocentric. According to him, the theory will be remembered "for its revival of cultural essentialism and its acting as an endorsement of orientalism, rather than being an antidote to it."
As the first critical collection of essays to consider the representation of sexuality across such a wide variety of contemporary writing, Sexuality and Contemporary Literature analytically foregrounds insights into the historical and current arrangements of sexuality that contemporary literature provides, while also inviting the reader to imagine other possibilities for the future that literary texts open up.
In critically examining the plural representations of sexuality in contemporary literature, this book has a distinctly global emphasis, containing essays that interrogate sexuality in the work of not only a number of mainstream American and British writers but also less well-known writers from New Zealand and Canada. All of the chapters owe primary intellectual and theoretical debts to three broad and overlapping domains of critical scholarship and practice: feminism, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. As the first critical collection of essays to consider the representation of sexuality across such a wide variety of contemporary writing, Sexuality and Contemporary Literature analytically foregrounds insights into the historical and current arrangements of sexuality that contemporary literature provides, while also inviting the reader to imagine other possibilities for the future that literary texts open up.
Angelia Poon is Associate Professor of English at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, Victorian literature, and contemporary writing with a focus on issues pertaining to globalization, and gender and racial subjectivities. Professor Poon is the author of Enacting Englishness in the Victorian Period: Colonialism and the Politics of Performance (Ashgate). She is also coeditor of Writing Singapore: An Historical Anthology of Literature in English (NUS Press) and has published articles on Singapore literature and contemporary women writers like Anita Desai and Monica Ali in various journals including Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Postcolonial Text, and ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature.
Jenni Ramone is Senior Lecturer in English at Newman University College. She is the author of Postcolonial Theories (Palgrave Macmillan) and Salman Rushdie and Translation (Continuum), as well as the coeditor of The Richard & Judy Book Club Reader (Ashgate). Her research interests include translation theory, the public and digital performance of literature, and postcolonial literature and theory, particularly the literature of South Asia, the Middle East, and their diasporas.
Postcolonial theory has become enormously influential as a framework for understanding the Global South. It is also a school of thought popular because of its rejection of the supposedly universalizing categories of the Enlightenment. In this devastating critique, mounted on behalf of the radical Enlightenment tradition, Vivek Chibber offers the most comprehensive response yet to postcolonial theory. Focusing on the hugely popular Subaltern Studies project, Chibber shows that its foundational arguments are based on a series of analytical and historical misapprehensions. He demonstrates that it is possible to affirm a universalizing theory without succumbing to Eurocentrism or reductionism.
Some of the main genealogies within postcolonial scholarship are discussed, with a focus on key thinkers, such as Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Aníbal Quijano, and Walter Mignolo. Key concepts, such as colonial discourse theory, development, and subaltern studies are presented. The discussion of postcolonial thought is embedded in a reflection on its relation to other theoretical paradigms and social theories (e.g., poststructuralism, world-system theory, Marxism). This focus seeks to highlight some of the main contours of the field, while also pointing out the ways postcolonialism has shaped the discipline of international relations (IR).
These three broader strands of postcolonialism will be reflected on and the extent to which they shaped international relations theories discussed. The different trajectories at the intersection of postcolonialism and international relations theories will be illuminated by discussing the postcolonial scholarship informed by discursive approaches and their influence on IR. While this postcolonial strand certainly has the strongest influence on IR, it has not yet played a bigger role in IR compared to other strands of critical theory. The works of important Latin American scholars Mignolo, Quíjano, and Escobar will be discussed, as will the problem of accounting for subaltern actors and the question of de-colonization of thought. Emerging themes at the nexus of postcolonialism and IR as well as puzzles at this intersection will be highlighted. 2b1af7f3a8