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Key Concepts In Postcolonial Studies Pdf 18

At times, the term postcolonial studies may be preferred to postcolonialism, as the ambiguous term colonialism could refer either to a system of government, or to an ideology or world view underlying that system. However, postcolonialism (i.e., postcolonial studies) generally represents an ideological response to colonialist thought, rather than simply describing a system that comes after colonialism, as the prefix post- may suggest. As such, postcolonialism may be thought of as a reaction to or departure from colonialism in the same way postmodernism is a reaction to modernism; the term postcolonialism itself is modeled on postmodernism, with which it shares certain concepts and methods[citation needed].

key concepts in postcolonial studies pdf 18

As an epistemology (i.e., a study of knowledge, its nature, and verifiability), ethics (moral philosophy), and as a political science (i.e., in its concern with affairs of the citizenry), the field of postcolonialism addresses the matters that constitute the postcolonial identity of a decolonized people, which derives from:[2]

As an example, consider how neocolonial discourse of geopolitical homogeneity often includes the relegating of decolonized peoples, their cultures, and their countries, to an imaginary place, such as "the Third World." Oftentimes the term "the third World" is over-inclusive: it refers vaguely to large geographic areas comprising several continents and seas, i.e. Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. Rather than providing a clear or complete description of the area it supposedly refers to, it instead erases distinctions and identities of the groups it claims to represent. A postcolonial critique of this term would analyze the self-justifying usage of such a term, the discourse it occurs within, as well as the philosophical and political functions the language may have. Postcolonial critiques of homogeneous concepts such as the "Arabs," the "First World," "Christendom," and the "Ummah", often aim to show how such language actually does not represent the groups supposedly identified. Such terminology often fails to adequately describe the heterogeneous peoples, cultures, and geography that make them up. Accurate descriptions of the world's peoples, places, and things require nuanced and accurate terms.[7] By including everyone under the Third World concept, it ignores the why those regions or countries are considered Third World and who is responsible.

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."[8] 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.[9]

As postcolonial praxis, Fanon's mental-health analyses of colonialism and imperialism, and the supporting economic theories, were partly derived from the essay "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" (1916), wherein Vladimir Lenin described colonial imperialism as an advanced form of capitalism, desperate for growth at all costs, and so requires more and more human exploitation to ensure continually consistent profit-for-investment.[15]

Another key book that predates postcolonial theories is Fanon's Black Skins, White Masks. In this book, Fanon discusses the logic of colonial rule from the perspective of the existential experience of racialized subjectivity. Fanon treats colonialism as a total project which rules every aspect of colonized peoples and their reality. Fanon reflects on colonialism, language, and racism and asserts that to speak a language is to adopt a civilization and to participate in the world of that language. His ideas show the influence of French and German philosophy, since existentialism, phenomenology, and hermeneutics claim that language, subjectivity, and reality are interrelated. However, the colonial situation presents a paradox: when colonial beings are forced to adopt and speak an imposed language which is not their own, they adopt and participate in the world and civilization of the colonized. This language results from centuries of colonial domination which is aimed at eliminating other expressive forms in order to reflect the world of the colonizer. As a consequence, when colonial beings speak as the colonized, they participate in their own oppression and the very structures of alienation are reflected in all aspects of their adopted language.[16]

In 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of India's Independence, "Santiniketan: The Making of a Contextual Modernism" was an important exhibition curated by R. Siva Kumar at the National Gallery of Modern Art.[28] In his catalogue essay, Kumar introduced the term Contextual Modernism, which later emerged as a postcolonial critical tool in the understanding of Indian art, specifically the works of Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramkinkar Baij, and Benode Behari Mukherjee.[29]

The incorporation of ancient concepts and racial and cultural assumptions into modern imperial ideology bolstered colonial claims to supremacy and right to colonize non-Europeans. Because of these numerous ramifications between ancient representations and modern colonial rhetoric, 19th century's colonialist discourse acquires a "multi-layered" or "palimpsestic" structure.[35] It forms a "historical, ideological and narcissistic continuum," in which modern theories of domination feed upon and blend with "ancient myths of supremacy and grandeur."[35]

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.[40][41]

Postcolonial literary criticism comprehends the literatures written by the colonizer and the colonized, wherein the subject matter includes portraits of the colonized peoples and their lives as imperial subjects. In Dutch literature, the Indies Literature includes the colonial and postcolonial genres, which examine and analyze the formation of a postcolonial identity, and the postcolonial culture produced by the diaspora of the Indo-European peoples, the Eurasian folk who originated from Indonesia; the peoples who were the colony of the Dutch East Indies; in the literature, the notable author is Tjalie Robinson.[42]Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) by J. M. Coetzee depicts the unfair and inhuman situation of people dominated by settlers.

To perpetuate and facilitate control of the colonial enterprise, some colonized people, especially from among the subaltern peoples of the British Empire, were sent to attend university in the Imperial Motherland; they were to become the native-born, but Europeanised, ruling class of colonial satraps. Yet, after decolonization, their bicultural educations originated postcolonial criticism of empire and colonialism, and of the representations of the colonist and the colonized. In the late 20th century, after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the constituent Soviet Socialist Republics became the literary subjects of postcolonial criticism, wherein the writers dealt with the legacies (cultural, social, economic) of the Russification of their peoples, countries, and cultures in service to Greater Russia.[43]

The second category of literature presents and analyzes the degeneration of civic and nationalist unities consequent to ethnic parochialism, usually manifested as the demagoguery of "protecting the nation," a variant of the us-and-them binary social relation. Civic and national unity degenerate when a patriarchal régime unilaterally defines what is and what is not "the national culture" of the decolonized country: the nation-state collapses, either into communal movements, espousing grand political goals for the postcolonial nation; or into ethnically mixed communal movements, espousing political separatism, as occurred in decolonized Rwanda, the Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; thus the postcolonial extremes against which Frantz Fanon warned in 1961.

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.[44][45] 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.[46]


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