Postcolonial criticism emerged as a distinct category only in the 1990s. It is not mentioned, for instance, in the first edition of Selden's A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory (1985) or Jeremy Hawthorn's A Concise Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory (1992). It gained currency through the influence of such books as In Other Worlds (Gayatri Spivak, 1987); The Empire Writes Back (Bill Ashcroft, 1989); Nation and Narration (Homi Bhabha, 1990) and Culture and Imperialism (Edward Said, 1993). An important collection of
Postcolonial Manchester offers a radical new perspective on Britain's devolved literary cultures by focusing on Manchester's vibrant, multicultural literary scene. This book presents the North West of England as quintessential 'diaspora space' and contributes to a better understanding of the region in social, cultural and aesthetic terms. It examines the way in which stories, poems and plays set in locales such as 'the Curry Mile' and Moss Side, have attempted to reshape Manchester's collective visions. The book features a broad demographic of authors and texts emanating from different diasporic communities and representing a wide range of religious affiliations. Manchester's black and Asian writers have struggled to achieve recognition within the literary mainstream, partly as a result of exclusion from London-centric, transnational publishing houses. Manchester's unfortunate reputation as one of Britain's 'crime capitals' is analysed by the use of fiction to stretch and complicate more popular explanations. A historical overview of Manchester's literary anthologies is presented through a transition from a writing that paid tribute to political resistance to more complex political statements, and focuses on the short story as a literary mode. The book combines close readings of some of the city's best-known performance poets such as Lemn Sissay and SuAndi with analysis of the literary cultures that have both facilitated and challenged their art. The book affords readers the opportunity to hear many of the chapter authors 'in their own words' by reflecting on how they themselves in terms of the literary mainstream and their identities.
In this chapter we look at the work and perspectives of historians in the field of postcolonial history. The decades immediately following the Second World War have often been described as the ‘age of decolonization’. During the second half of the twentieth century the European powers granted independence to, or were forced out of, colonies acquired over the previous four centuries. 1 The magnitude of European imperial expansion may be measured both by its unprecedented geographic spread, and the millions of human beings whose lives and cultures were
1970s, as memories of the Raj attained a degree of nostalgia, clubs that
had opened in the 1870s and 1880s celebrated their centenaries. This was
an occasion for looking back and for justifying their existence within
the nation-state. Slowly, clubs began to capitalize on their Raj
connection, noting their contributions to civilized society, and
marketing themselves as sites of colonial nostalgia in a postcolonial
This book provides a sense of the continuing debates about postcolonialism while seeking to anchor some of its key themes and vocabularies securely. It takes as its primary focus, the various reading practices which distinguish and characterise much of the field - practices which for the purpose of this book attend chiefly to literary texts, but which can be applied beyond a strictly literary context to other cultural phenomena. The book introduces some major areas of enquiry within postcolonialism, as well as offers concrete examples of various kinds of relevant reading and writing practices. It provides a brief historical sketch of colonialism and decolonisation, providing the intellectual contexts and development of postcolonialism. The book approaches various attitudes towards nationalist representations in literary and other writings during the busy period of decolonisation in the 1950s and 1960s. It then deals with national traditions and national history, and the conflict between national liberation and imperialist domination. Divisions within the nation such as ethnicity, language, gender and eliteness which threaten the realisation of its progressive ideals are discussed, with attention on Partha Chatterjee's narrative of Indian nationalism and Chinua Achebe's novel Anthills of the Savannah. Other discussions include the re-reading of literary 'classics', the re-writing of received literary texts by postcolonial writers, postcolonial feminist criticism, and migration and diaspora in the context of decolonisation. The 'STOP and THINK' section in each chapter identify focal points of debate for readers to pursue critically.
Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference raises a host of crucial
questions regarding the relevance of Fanon today: in today’s world, where
violence and terror have gone global, what conclusions might we draw from
Fanon’s work? Should we keep on blaming Fanon for the colonial violence, which
he internalized and struggled against, and overlook the fact that the very
Manichaeism that previously governed the economy of colonial societies is now
generating violence and terror on a global scale? Has the new humanism which he
inaugurates in the concluding section of The Wretched of the Earth turned out to
be nothing but a vain plea? What grounds for optimism does he allow us, if any?
What is to be salvaged from his ethics and politics in this age of
globalization? Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference offers a
new reading of Fanon’s work, challenging many of the reconstructions of Fanon in
critical and postcolonial theory and in cultural studies and probing a host of
crucial issues: the intersectionality of gender and colonial politics; the
biopolitics of colonialism; Marxism and decolonization; tradition, translation
and humanism. Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference underscores
the ethical dimension of Fanon’s work by focusing on his project of
decolonization and humanism.
The habit of self-critique
This concluding chapter is designed to allow us to revisit some of the comments we made when defining postcolonialism in Chapter 1 , and to think again about the problems and possibilities of the term in the light of some of the ideas we have encountered throughout Beginning Postcolonialism while meeting some new ones too. We will have an opportunity, then, to reflect critically upon the beginnings we have made. Ultimately, the purpose of this chapter (if not Beginning Postcolonialism as a whole) is to assist you in reaching
Anthropology and the
The story of ethnic difference in Africa has threatened to overwhelm larger debates about postcolonial identity politics across the
continent. Once told in terms of tribe, now ethnicity and ethnogenesis, this narrative apparently remains spell-binding. Yet as in the
colonial politics of everyday life that we saw shown in early Manchester School studies, so too ethnic identities are only a small
fraction of the identities mobilized in the postcolonial politics of
everyday life, and anthropology has faced a major challenge to
The purpose of this chapter is to approach a flexible but solid definition of the word ‘postcolonialism’. In order to think about the range and variety of the term, we need to place it in two primary contexts. The first regards the historical experiences of decolonisation that have occurred chiefly in the twentieth century. The second concerns relevant intellectual developments in the latter part of the twentieth century, especially the shift from the study of ‘Commonwealth literature’ to ‘postcolonialism’. After looking at each, we will be in a
Despite the well-documented difficulties in production, distribution and exhibition that it has faced over the last fifty years, African cinema has managed to establish itself as an innovative and challenging body of filmmaking. This book represents a response to some of the best of those films. It is the first introduction of its kind to an important cross-section of postcolonial African filmmakers from the 1950s to the present. The book brings together ideas from a range of disciplines, film studies, African cultural studies and, in particular, postcolonial studies, to combine the in-depth analysis of individual films and bodies of work by individual directors with a sustained interrogation of these films in relation to important theoretical concepts. It provides both an overview of the director's output to date, and the necessary background to enable readers to achieve a better understanding of the director's choice of subject matter, aesthetic or formal strategies, ideological stance. The book focuses on what might loosely be called the auteur tradition of filmmaking, closely associated with Francophone African cinema, which explicitly views the director as the 'author' of a work of art. The aim is to re-examine the development of the authorial tradition in Africa, as well as the conception of both artist and audience that has underpinned it at various stages over the past fifty years. The works of Youssef Chahine, Ousmane Sembene, Med Hondo, Djibril Diop Mambety, Souleymane Cissé, Flora Gomes, Idrissa Ouédraogo, Moufida Tlatli, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, and Darrell James Roodt are discussed.