Postcolonialism Theory

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Postcolonialist Theory

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  • Postcolonialism Theory

    1. 1. POSTCOLONIALISM THEORY
    2. 2. What puts the “post” in Postcolonialism? <ul><li>Considering “post” is a prefix meaning after, we need to first discuss the history behind colonialism . </li></ul><ul><li>What is colonialism? </li></ul><ul><li>¤ An extension of a nations rule over territory beyond its borders </li></ul><ul><li>¤ a population that is subjected to the political domination of another population </li></ul>
    3. 3. Two sides of colonialism <ul><li>The militaristic side ( the physical conquest and occupation of territories) </li></ul><ul><li>The civilizational side (the conquest and occupation of minds, selves and cultures) </li></ul><ul><li>-- Colonialism does not end with the end of colonial occupation </li></ul><ul><li>-- Resistance begins before the end of colonial occupation </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>¤ the historical whereby the “West” attempts systematically to cancel or negate the cultural difference and value of the “non-West” (Leela Gandhi,1998) </li></ul><ul><li>* colonial critique – deals with imperialistic views </li></ul><ul><li>* post-colonial criticism – examines the effects of imperialistic views in postcolonial societies </li></ul>
    5. 5. Post colonial Criticism? <ul><li>¤ A set of theoretical and critical strategies used to examine the culture, literature, politics, history, of former colonies </li></ul><ul><li>¤ Post-colonial theory deals with the reading and writing of literature written in previously or currently colonized countries, or literature written in colonizing countries which deals with colonization or colonized peoples </li></ul><ul><li>- it embraces no single method or school </li></ul>
    6. 6. Postcolonialism <ul><li>Questions the effect of empire </li></ul><ul><li>Raises issues such as racism and exploitation </li></ul><ul><li>Assesses the position of the colonial or post-colonial subject </li></ul><ul><li>Offers a counter-narrative to the long tradition of European imperial narratives </li></ul>
    7. 7. Why were people colonized? <ul><li>Social Darwinism </li></ul><ul><li>* Eurocentrism </li></ul><ul><li>* Universalism </li></ul><ul><li>* Colonialism is nature </li></ul><ul><li>White Man’s Burden </li></ul><ul><li>* What was thought to be an obligation to “civilize” non-European people </li></ul>
    8. 8. How long did it last and why did it end? <ul><li>¤ 15 th century to 20th century (arguably, it is still going on) </li></ul><ul><li>¤ WWII </li></ul><ul><li>* right to sovereignty </li></ul><ul><li>* lack of resources </li></ul><ul><li>* Independence movements </li></ul>
    9. 9. OK, so what is Postcolonialism? <ul><li>¤ Postcolonial theory attempts to focus on the oppression of those who were ruled under colonization. </li></ul><ul><li>¤ Factors include: </li></ul><ul><li>*Political oppression </li></ul><ul><li>* Economic </li></ul><ul><li>* Social/cultural oppression </li></ul><ul><li>* Psychological oppression </li></ul>
    10. 10. Who are the oppressed? <ul><li>Those who were formerly colonized </li></ul><ul><li>In postcolonial theory, the word colonized can mean many things: </li></ul><ul><li>* Literal colonization </li></ul><ul><li>* More abstract “colonization” </li></ul><ul><li>African-American </li></ul><ul><li>Native Americans in the United States </li></ul>
    11. 11. How was the colonized oppressed? <ul><li>Post colonial theorist believe that the colonizers (generally Europeans): </li></ul><ul><li>Imposed their own values onto those colonized so that they were internalized. </li></ul><ul><li>Social/ Cultural - Spanish language/Catholic Religion in the Carribean </li></ul><ul><li>Political - Drew the boundaries of Africa based on European politics rather than tribal interests. </li></ul>
    12. 12. How did the oppressed escape? <ul><li>Post colonial theorist also analyzed the processes by which those who were colonized resisted the colonizers </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Haiti </li></ul><ul><li> South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>India </li></ul>
    13. 13. When exactly does the postcolonial begin? <ul><li>“ When third world intellectuals have arrived in the first world academe” (Arif Dirlik) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Postcolonial Theorist <ul><li>Edward Said </li></ul><ul><li>* moved colonial discourse into the first world academy and into literary and cultural theory </li></ul><ul><li>Was also very influential in third world universities (esp. in India) </li></ul><ul><li>Coined the term “Orientalism ” </li></ul><ul><li>describing the binary between the Orient and the Occident </li></ul>
    15. 15. Edward Said <ul><li>“ Power and knowledge are inseparable”(following Foucalt’s belief ) </li></ul><ul><li>Orientalism is the 1978 book that has been highly influential in postcolonial studies. E </li></ul><ul><li>Attempted to explain how European/Western colonizers looked upon the ‘’Orient” </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Orient? </li></ul><ul><li>A mystical plane that was stereotyped due to lack of knowledge and imagination </li></ul><ul><li>A’’ lumping’’ together of Asia </li></ul>
    16. 16. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak <ul><li>Introduced terms such as “Essentialism” and “Strategic Essentialism” </li></ul><ul><li>Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (born February 24, 1942) is an Indian literary critic and theorist . She is best known for the article &quot;Can the Subaltern Speak?&quot;, considered a founding text of postcolonialism , and for her translation of Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology . Spivak teaches at Columbia University , where she was tenured as University Professor —Columbia's highest rank—in March 2007. A prolific scholar, she travels widely and gives lectures around the world. She is also a visiting faculty member at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta . </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak </li></ul><ul><li>* “ Can the Subaltern Speak” </li></ul><ul><li>(1988) </li></ul><ul><li>“ My position is generally a reactive one. I am viewed by Marxists as too codic, by feminists as too male identified, by indigenous theorists as too committed to Western Theory. I am uneasily pleased about this. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Example of Orientalism
    19. 19. Homi K.Bhabha <ul><li>Homi K. Bhabha (born 1949 ) is an Indian postcolonial theorist. </li></ul><ul><li>Feels the post colonial world should valorize spaces of mixing; spaces where truth and authenticity move aside for ambiguity. </li></ul><ul><li>This space of hybridity, he argues, offers the most profound challenge to colonialism. </li></ul><ul><li>He ignores Spivak’s stated usefulness of essentialism have been put forward. Reference is made to essentialisms’ potential usefulness. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Frantz Fanon <ul><li>Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was a psychiatrist , philosopher , revolutionary , and author from Martinique . He was influential in the field of post-colonial studies and was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization . His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades. </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Frantz Fanon's relatively short life yielded two potent and influential statements of anti-colonial revolutionary thought, Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961), works which have made Fanon a prominent contributor to postcolonial studies. </li></ul>
    22. 22. The aftermath <ul><li>■ What happens after colonization? </li></ul><ul><li>* What language do you speak? </li></ul><ul><li>* what culture do you follow? </li></ul><ul><li>■ Hybridization and Double Consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>■ Two terms to describe the results of colonization on those colonized </li></ul><ul><li>■ Awareness of culture before colonized and during colonization and what emerged as a result. </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>¤ Unhomeliness/Exile </li></ul><ul><li>What is home to you? </li></ul><ul><li>- a state of limbo, without a certain or definite identity. </li></ul><ul><li>¤ Being caught between cultures. </li></ul><ul><li>¤ Being literally moved as a result of colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>( On Exile- Edward Said) </li></ul>
    24. 24. Postcolonialism: The Critical Lens <ul><li>► Examining colonizers/colonized relationship in literature </li></ul><ul><li> ■ Is the work pro/anti colonialist? Why? </li></ul><ul><li> ■ Does the text reinforce or resist colonialist ideology? </li></ul><ul><li>► Explore the dynamics of colonization through literary works </li></ul><ul><li>■ How did it come about? </li></ul><ul><li>How did it end? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the text explain this? </li></ul>
    25. 25. Type of Questions: <ul><li>How does the literary text, explicitly or allegorically, represent various aspects of colonial oppression? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the text reveal about the problematics of post-colonial identity, including the relationship between personal and cultural identity and such issues as double consciousness and hybridity? </li></ul><ul><li>What person(s) or groups does the work identify as &quot;other&quot; or stranger? How are such persons/groups described and treated? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the text reveal about the politics and/or psychology of anti-colonialist resistance? </li></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>What does the text reveal about the operations of cultural difference - the ways in which race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, and customs combine to form individual identity - in shaping our perceptions of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the text respond to or comment upon the characters, themes, or assumptions of a canonized (colonialist) work? </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Are there meaningful similarities among the literatures of different post-colonial populations? </li></ul><ul><li>How does a literary text in the Western canon reinforce or undermine colonialist ideology through its representation of colonialization and/or its inappropriate silence about colonized peoples? (Tyson 378-379) </li></ul>
    28. 28. References: <ul><li>http://www.scribd.com/search?cat=solr&q=post+colonial+theory+presentation </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/Spivak.html (retrieved January 19,2010) </li></ul>

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