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Discover new books on Goodreads. Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Post-colonial literature often involves writings that deal with issues of de-colonization or the political and cultural independence of people formerly subjugated to colonial rule. It is also a literary critique to texts that carry racist or colonial undertones.

postcolonialism examples

Postcolonial literature, finally in its most recent form, also attempts to critique the contemporary postcolonial discourse that has been shaped over recent times. It attempts to re-read this very emergence of postcolonialism. Chinua Achebe. Want to Read saving….

postcolonialism examples

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Arundhati Roy Goodreads Author. Salman Rushdie. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Joseph Conrad. Jean Rhys. Michael Ondaatje. Barbara Kingsolver. Kiran Desai. Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

postcolonialism examples

Tsitsi Dangarembga.Postcolonial International relations scholarship posits a critical theory approach to International relations IRand is a non-mainstream area of international relations scholarship.

According to Baylis postcolonial international relations scholarship has been largely ignored by mainstream international relations theorists and has only recently begun to make an impact on the discipline. Postcolonialism focuses on the persistence of colonial forms of power and the continuing existence of racism in world politics. Postcolonial IR challenges the eurocentrism of IR—particularly its parochial assumption that Western Enlightenment thinking is superior, progressive and universally applicable.

Postcolonialists argue that this is enabled through constructing the Other as irrational and backwards. Postcolonial IR attempts to expose such parochial assumptions of IR; for example, in the construction of white versus coloured peoples. An example is the IR story of a "white men's burden" to educate and liberate coloured men and women, to protect coloured women from coloured men.

Often this is linked to other postpositivist theories, for example, through Postcolonial feminismwhich analyze issues in IR through the lenses of gender and culture.

Examples of the parochialistic nature of IR include geographical parochialism and cultural chauvinism. For the former, the construction of the Cold War era as a time of peace ignores the reality that major conflicts continued in the developing world. Furthermore, the oft-cited history of IR is constructed in western terms more information under history ; and IR has been used to justify everything from imperialism to a playground for skirmishes between the two Cold War superpowers.

Such IR stories are purposefully limited in scope in terms of statecentric modelling, cataloguing and predicting in formal terms; and like other postpositivist theories, they do not attempt to form an overarching theory as after all, postpositivism is defined as incredulity towards metanarratives.

This is replaced by a sensitivity and openness to the unintended consequences of metanarratives and their negative impacts on the most marginalised actors in IR. In defence, postpositivists argue that metanarratives have proven unworkable.

Thus, such theories, although limited in scope, provide for much greater possibilities in the normative work of developing an emancipatory politics, formulating foreign policy, understanding conflict, and making peace, which takes into account gender, ethnicity, other identity issues, culture, methodology and other common issues that have emerged from problem-solving, rationalist, reductive accounts IR.

International relations theory. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chowdhry and S. Idealism Democratic peace theory Republican liberalism Institutionalism Neoliberalism Interdependence liberalism Sociological liberalism Institutional liberalism. Modern constructivism Post-modern constructivism Feminist constructivism. Neo-Gramscianism Critical security studies Critical theory World-systems theory. International ethics Historical sociology Regime theory State cartel theory Geopolitics.

Robert J. Carr Daniel Deudney Michael W. Huntington Robert Jervis Peter J. Katzenstein George F. Politics portal. Categories : International relations theory Postcolonialism.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser.


Imagine this: people come over to your house, while you're still living thereand decide to settle down. They rearrange your furniture, force you to cook for them; they even tell you to say things like "'wicked"' instead of "'hella. Big guns. Then, finallythings start looking up and you push the intruders out, guns and all. But wait…they've been over for so long that your house no longer feels like your home.

Worse yet—you might not even remember how things were before these folks came in. Oryou might even like how these people rearranged your home—and life!

Postcolonial Theory

Complicated, right? You'd think you'd feel footloose and fancy-free, and maybe you kind of do, but there's all this anger, frustration, and confusion, too. Plus, where'd they put the cookie jar? Okay, so take that tangle of complicated feelings and apply it all to an entire nation.

And then multiply that nation by all the nations that have been "'settled"' or colonized by other nations usually the UK, but there are some other culprits too —and voila! That's postcolonialism for you. It's all about the anguish of the colonized who have to deal with the aftermath of colonization. As far as the theory goes, it's also about a select group of academics who immigrated from some of those nations, settled into a new country mostly the US and sometimes the UK, but there are a few other hot spots tooand started this whole business of dissecting English etc.

And the select of that selection are Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak. These two are kind of like the king and queen of "'poco"' land, if only they actually believed in things like royalty and rulers they don't. That would be totally anti-poco.Postcolonialismthe historical period or state of affairs representing the aftermath of Western colonialism ; the term can also be used to describe the concurrent project to reclaim and rethink the history and agency of people subordinated under various forms of imperialism.

Postcolonialism signals a possible future of overcoming colonialism, yet new forms of domination or subordination can come in the wake of such changes, including new forms of global empire.

Postcolonialism should not be confused with the claim that the world we live in now is actually devoid of colonialism. Postcolonial theorists and historians have been concerned with investigating the various trajectories of modernity as understood and experienced from a range of philosophical, cultural, and historical perspectives. They have been particularly concerned with engaging with the ambiguous legacy of the Enlightenment —as expressed in social, political, economic, scientific, legal, and cultural thought—beyond Europe itself.

The legacy is ambiguous, according to postcolonial theorists, because the age of Enlightenment was also an age of empire, and the connection between those two historical epochs is more than incidental.

It was during the latter era in particular that many of the international principles and instruments of decolonization were formally declared although the history of their emergence and formation goes back much farther and that the language of national self-determination was applied to liberationist movements within former colonial territories.

The processes triggered by those struggles were not only political and economic but also cultural. Previously subjugated individuals sought to assert control over not only territorial boundaries—albeit ones carved out by the imperial powers—but also their language and history.

The term postcolonialism is also sometimes used to refer to the struggles of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world in the early 21st century. However, given the interpretation of the principles of self-determination and self-government within the international system, along with the minority status and vulnerability of those peoples even within decolonized states, the term is perhaps less apt.

At that time indigenous peoples were denied even the modest gains extended by the United Nations and the international system of states to the various decolonized territories in the s. Moreover, the history of imperialism is complex. European imperialism between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Americas, the West IndiesAustralasia, and Southeast Asia was substantially different from that of the 19th and 20th centuries. Still, one of the central themes of postcolonial scholarship is the persistence of empire in human history—and resistance to it.

Postcolonialism (international relations)

Thus, on the one hand, the legacy of the Enlightenment forms an indispensable and unavoidable feature of the present, whether European or otherwise. The universal categories and concepts at the heart of much Enlightenment thought have been put to work by both European and non-European intellectuals and activists to criticize the injustices of their societies as well as imperialism itself. There is a tradition of anti-imperialist criticism that extends as far back as the 16th century, and yet some of the very same criticism not only was compatible with but was often used to justify imperial domination.

The theoretical tools provided by the Enlightenment, combined with an often unrelenting cultural Eurocentrism, informed the political and economic practices of imperialism throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Still, many of the most-powerful local and indigenous critics of empire in the 20th century were themselves deeply influenced by European social and political theory as much as they were deeply critical of it.

The seminal work of C. As a general domain of intellectual inquiry, postcolonialism addresses those questions that emerge in relation to the aftermath of imperialism.

Best Postcolonial Literature

One of the most-important features of the history of imperialism has been the emergence of states —either from the consolidation of territories and polities or from the dissolution of empires or some combination thereof —and, along with that, new conceptions of international order. In that sense, to be concerned with postcolonialism is to be concerned with a set of questions at the heart of modern political thought. However, postcolonialism is also closely associated with a more-specific set of questions, and, although it should not be reduced to these questions, they have proved to be enormously influential.

One of the most prominent has been the relation between imperialism and identity. Fanona psychoanalyst and philosopher born in Martinique, presented one of the most searing and provocative analyses of the relation between colonized and colonizer in The Wretched of the Earth as well as in his Black Skin, White Masks His is a deeply unsettling argument, shaped undoubtedly by the brutal period of French colonial rule in Algeria and the war for independence —62 there, which Fanon experienced firsthand.Postcolonialism is the academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialismfocusing on the human consequences of the control and exploitation of colonized people and their lands.

Postcolonialism is a critical theory analysis of the history, culture, literature, and discourse of European imperial power. The name postcolonialism is modeled on postmodernismwith which it shares certain concepts and methods, and may be thought of as a reaction to or departure from colonialism in the same way postmodernism is a reaction to modernism.

The ambiguous term colonialism may refer either to a system of government or to an ideology or world view underlying that system—in general postcolonialism represents an ideological response to colonialist thought, rather than simply describing a system that comes after colonialism. The term postcolonial studies may be preferred for this reason.

Postcolonialism encompasses a wide variety of approaches, and theoreticians may not always agree on a common set of definitions. On a simple level, it may seek through anthropological study to build a better understanding of colonial life from the point of view of the colonized people, based on the assumption that the colonial rulers are unreliable narrators.

On a deeper level, postcolonialism examines the social and political power relationships that sustain colonialism and neocolonialismincluding the social, political and cultural narratives surrounding the colonizer and the colonized.

This approach may overlap with contemporary history and critical theoryand may also draw examples from historypolitical sciencephilosophysociologyanthropologyand human geography. Sub-disciplines of postcolonial studies examine the effects of colonial rule on the practice of feminismanarchismliteratureand Christian thought. As an epistemology the study of knowledge, its nature and verifiabilityas an ethics moral philosophyand as a politics affairs of the citizenrythe field of postcolonialism addresses the politics of knowledge—the matters that constitute the postcolonial identity of a decolonized people, which derives from: i the colonizer's generation of cultural knowledge about the colonized people; and ii how that Western cultural knowledge was applied to subjugate a non—European people into a colony of the European mother country, which, after initial invasion, was effected by means of the cultural identities of 'colonizer' and 'colonized'.

Postcolonialism is aimed at destabilizing these theories intellectual and linguistic, social and economic by means of which colonialists "perceive", "understand", and "know" the world.

Postcolonial theory thus establishes intellectual spaces for subaltern peoples to speak for themselves, in their own voices, and thus produce cultural discourses of philosophy, language, society and economy, balancing the imbalanced us-and-them binary power-relationship between the colonist and the colonial subjects.

Colonialism was presented as "the extension of civilization", which ideologically justified the self-ascribed racial and cultural superiority of the Western world over the non-Western world. That such a divinely established, natural harmony among the human races of the world would be possible, because everyone has an assigned cultural identitya social place, and an economic role within an imperial colony.

The regeneration of the inferior or degenerate races, by the superior races is part of the providential order of things for humanity Regere imperio populos is our vocation. Pour forth this all-consuming activity onto countries, which, like China, are crying aloud for foreign conquest.

Turn the adventurers who disturb European society into a ver sacruma horde like those of the Franks, the Lombards, or the Normans, and every man will be in his right role. Nature has made a race of workers, the Chinese race, who have wonderful manual dexterity, and almost no sense of honour; govern them with justice, levying from them, in return for the blessing of such a government, an ample allowance for the conquering race, and they will be satisfied; a race of tillers of the soil, the Negro; treat him with kindness and humanity, and all will be as it should; a race of masters and soldiers, the European race Let each do what he is made for, and all will be well.

From the mid- to the late-nineteenth century, such racialist group-identity language was the cultural common-currency justifying geopolitical competition amongst the European and American empires and meant to protect their over-extended economies.

Especially in the colonization of the Far East and in the late-nineteenth century Scramble for Africathe representation of a homogeneous European identity justified colonization. Hence, Belgium and Britain, and France and Germany proffered theories of national superiority that justified colonialism as delivering the light of civilization to unenlightened peoples. Notably, la mission civilisatricethe self-ascribed 'civilizing mission' of the French Empire, proposed that some races and cultures have a higher purpose in life, whereby the more powerful, more developed, and more civilized races have the right to colonize other peoples, in service to the noble idea of "civilization" and its economic benefits.

Edward Said - An Introduction to Orientalism

Postcolonial theory holds that decolonized people develop a postcolonial identity that is based on cultural interactions between different identities cultural, national, and ethnic as well as gender and class based which are assigned varying degrees of social power by the colonial society. The neocolonial discourse of geopolitical homogeneity relegating the decolonized peoples, their cultures, and their countries, to an imaginary place, such as "the Third World ", an over-inclusive term that usually comprises continents and seas, i.

Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. The postcolonial critique analyzes the self-justifying discourse of neocolonialism and the functions philosophic and political of its over-inclusive terms, to establish the factual and cultural inaccuracy of homogeneous concepts, such as "the Arabs " and "the First World ", " Christendom " and "the Ummah ", actually comprise heterogeneous peoples, cultures, and geography, and that accurate descriptions of the world's peoples, places, and things require nuanced and accurate terms.

As a contemporary-history term, postcolonialism occasionally is applied temporally, to denote the immediate time after the period during which imperial powers retreated from their colonial territories, which is a problematic application of the term, because 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, which indicate that the decolonized world is an intellectual space "of contradictions, of half-finished processes, of confusions, of hybridityand of liminalities".

The term post-colonialism —according to a too-rigid etymology—is frequently misunderstood as a temporal concept, meaning the time after colonialism has ceased, or the time following the politically determined Independence Day on which a country breaks away from its governance by another state.When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. This resource will help you begin the process of understanding literary theory and schools of criticism and how they are used in the academy. Post-colonial criticism is similar to cultural studies, but it assumes a unique perspective on literature and politics that warrants a separate discussion.

Post-colonial theory looks at issues of power, economics, politics, religion, and culture and how these elements work in relation to colonial hegemony Western colonizers controlling the colonized. Therefore, a post-colonial critic might be interested in works such as Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe where colonial " In addition, post-colonial theory might point out that " Post-colonial criticism also takes the form of literature composed by authors that critique Euro-centric hegemony.

Seminal post-colonial writers such as Nigerian author Chinua Achebe and Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o have written a number of stories recounting the suffering of colonized people.

For example, in Things Fall ApartAchebe details the strife and devastation that occurred when British colonists began moving inland from the Nigerian coast. Rather than glorifying the exploratory nature of European colonists as they expanded their sphere of influence, Achebe narrates the destructive events that led to the death and enslavement of thousands of Nigerians when the British imposed their Imperial government.

In turn, Achebe points out the negative effects and shifting ideas of identity and culture caused by the imposition of Western religion and economics on Nigerians during colonial rule. Post-colonial criticism also questions the role of the Western literary canon and Western history as dominant forms of knowledge making.

The terms "First World," "Second World," "Third World" and "Fourth World" nations are critiqued by post-colonial critics because they reinforce the dominant positions of Western cultures populating First World status. This critique includes the literary canon and histories written from the perspective of First World cultures.

So, for example, a post-colonial critic might question the works included in "the canon" because the canon does not contain works by authors outside Western culture. Moreover, the authors included in the canon often reinforce colonial hegemonic ideology, such as Joseph Conrad. Western critics might consider Heart of Darkness an effective critique of colonial behavior. But post-colonial theorists and authors might disagree with this perspective: " And indeed, Achebe notes, the novel portrays Africans as a pre-historic mass of frenzied, howling, incomprehensible barbarians Here is a list of scholars we encourage you to explore to further your understanding of this theory:.

Post-Colonial Criticism s-present Summary: This resource will help you begin the process of understanding literary theory and schools of criticism and how they are used in the academy.This relationship tended to extend to social, pedagogical, economic, political, and broadly culturally exchanges often with a hierarchical European settler class and local, educated compractor elite class forming layers between the European "mother" nation and the various indigenous peoples who were controlled.

Such a system carried within it inherent notions of racial inferiority and exotic otherness. It is concerned with both how European nations conquered and controlled "Third World" cultures and how these groups have since responded to and resisted those encroachments. Post-colonialism, as both a body of theory and a study of political and cultural change, has gone and continues to go through three broad stages: an initial awareness of the social, psychological, and cultural inferiority enforced by being in a colonized state the struggle for ethnic, cultural, and political autonomy a growing awareness of cultural overlap and hybridity ambivalence: the ambiguous way in which colonizer and colonized regard one another.

The colonizer often regards the colonized as both inferior yet exotically other, while the colonized regards the colonizer as both enviable yet corrupt. In a context of hybridity, this often produces a mixed sense of blessing and curse. The study of the ways in which one group makes themselves different from others.

In the context of race, ethnicity, or culture, essentialism suggests the practice of various groups deciding what is and isn't a particular identity. As a practice, essentialism tends to overlook differences within groups often to maintain the status quo or obtain power. Essentialist claims can be used by a colonizing power but also by the colonized as a way of resisting what is claimed about them.

Ironically, as European groups educated local, indigenous cultures, schoolchildren often began to see their native lifeways, plants, and animals as exotic and the European counterparts as "normal" or "typical.

Hybridity can be social, political, linguistic, religious, etc. It is not necessarily a peaceful mixture, for it can be contentious and disruptive in its experience. Note the two related definitions:.

Identity is important to self-concept, social mores, and national understanding. It often involves both essentialism and othering. In particular, a return to the original indigenous language is often advocated since the language was suppressed by colonizing forces. The use of European languages is a much debated issue among postcolonial authors. A weaving together elements we tend to associate with European realism and elements we associate with the fabulous, where these two worlds undergo a "closeness or near merging.

Maps were used to assist in the process of aggression, and they were also used to establish claims. Maps claims the boundaries of a nation, for example. A metanarrative claims to be a big truth concerning the world and the way it works. Some charge that all metanarratives are inherently oppressive because they decide whether other narratives are allowed or not.

Such an approach always contains it in the ambivalence of hybridity. National interest is associated both with a struggle for independent ethnic and cultural identity, and ironically an opposite belief in universal rights, often multicultural, with a basis in geo-economic interests. Thus, the move for national independence is just as often associated with region as it is with ethnicity or culture, and the two are often at odds when new nations are formed.

By declaring someone "Other," persons tend to stress what makes them dissimilar from or opposite of another, and this carries over into the way they represent others, especially through stereotypical images. Race often is used by various groups to either maintain power or to stress solidarity. Cultural semiotics often provide the means by which a group defines itself or by which a colonializing power attempts to control and assimilate another group.

Place, on the other hand, is what happens when a space is made or owned. Place involves landscape, language, environment, culture, etc. Eliot, Little Gidding.

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