This book analyses black Atlantic studies, colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial theory, providing paradigms for understanding imperial literature, Englishness and black transnationalism. Its concerns range from the metropolitan centre of Conrad's Heart of Darkness to fatherhood in Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk; from the marketing of South African literature to cosmopolitanism in Achebe; and from utopian discourse in Parry to Jameson's theorisation of empire.
overlapped with the end of state socialism and the Yugoslav wars, this asymmetric relationship led to a decisive theoretical conjunction when scholars brought up in the region but working in the USA applied postcolonialtheory to explaining postsocialism (Bakić-Hayden and Hayden 1992 ; Todorova 1994, 1997
; Bakić-Hayden 1995 ). Postcolonial thought is still closer to the centre of south-east European studies than many other fields.
An image from another discipline which (after the Yugoslav wars) shares many topics with south
spaces overlap and compete; and a chapter by Peter Childs which offers a
different perspective on the notion of marginality by addressing ‘Englishness’ in relation to ‘migrant’ writing in prose concerned with India and
England after Independence. In each case specific intersections of
identity are used to explore the wider configurations of space and self. In
this section we also include an essay by Colin Graham which offers a
mediation on the broader critical implications of postcolonialtheory
through analysis of its application in a specific context. Taking the
testify to the reality that ‘the
question of where Ireland belongs has yet to settle into a single answer
or set of answers’.61
Again, Field Day constitutes an instructive case study. The introduction
of postcolonialtheory, alongside the controversy involving the inclusiveness of the Anthology, has proved a particularly vexed issue in analyses of the Field Day enterprise. Deane’s introduction to Nationalism,
Colonialism and Literature declared that Ireland’s current condition was
‘above all, a colonial crisis’.62 The book included essays by Edward Said,
Urban presence and uncertain futures in African cities
Michael Keith and Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos
In the context of urban Africa, how can we ‘see like a city’ and yet account
for the different legacies of colonialism, inequality and social change
across the region? This is a discussion that encompasses both local
experiences as well as shared postcolonial theories of planned
modernisation. Particularities about a place’s history and demographics also
call for an analysis of how exceptionalities are responses to pressing
global contexts. By combining specific discussions on African cities with a
global overview on key issues including waste, energy transition, security
and risk governance, we break the conventional polarisation between seeing
‘from within’ or ‘from afar’. The scholarship we present showcases the
perspectives of scholars based in Africa and the UK, offering an alternative
framing through collaboration and shared research. The data analysed and
represented is also interpreted and translated, speaking through a variety
of personal and scientific dispositions that appear throughout this volume.
In particular, we use infrastructure – in its various intersections of
place, people and power – to discuss the philosophy and postcolonial
theories around becoming and being a city.
of the textualist The
Empire Writes Back, but it was also the year of Timothy Brennan’s sociological Salman Rushdie and the Third World.4 1990 saw Robert Young’s
anti-Marxist White Mythologies into print, but it also saw Neil Lazarus’s
Marxist Resistance in Postcolonial African Fiction.5 Anthologies of essays
such as Francis Barker, Peter Hulme and Margaret Iversen’s Colonial
Discourse/PostcolonialTheory, or Padmini Mongia’s Contemporary
PostcolonialTheory, contain as many self-designated materialist as culturalist or textualist contributions.6 It can furthermore
is far from peripheral. The tendency of postcolonialtheory to
recuperate every such local difference as a subversive act of
‘speaking back’ to the metropole obscures the
autochthonous nature of a movement like the Spiritual Baptists,
engendered out of specific local circumstances to which outside
influence is itself marginal.
Furthermore, the smallness of the society I
You can get there from here: critique and
utopia in Benita Parry’s thought
Benita Parry is justly acclaimed as an exemplary demystifier – the thinker
who has provided unsurpassed critiques of the neo-colonial elements that
lurk in the work of some postcolonial critics and creative writers. Less
acclaimed are the affirmative, even utopian elements of Parry’s intellectual project. Her writings, from imperialism to postcolonialtheory to
resistance, articulate optimistic belief in the achievability of political solidarity
Hulme and Margaret
Iversen (eds.), Colonial Discourse/PostcolonialTheory (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 1994), pp. 221–38, which follows similar arguments to his Oxford Literary Review article and applies them to the consideration of ethnic cultures within the USA. See Laura Chrisman, ‘Local
Sentences in the Chapter of the Postcolonial World’, Diaspora: A Journal of
Transnational Studies, 7, 1 (1998), pp. 87–112, for a critical discussion of
Lloyd’s ‘Ethnic Cultures’ article.
2 Kant wrote explicitly on race. See, for example, his ‘Of the Different Human
Francis Barker, Peter Hulme and Margaret Iversen (eds.), Colonial
Discourse/PostcolonialTheory (Manchester: Manchester University Press,
1994), pp. 197–220.
Postcolonial theoretical politics
3 Benita Parry, ‘Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discourse’, Oxford
Literary Review, 9, 1–2 (1987), pp. 27–58.
4 Robert Young’s recent Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (Oxford:
Blackwell, 2001) maintains problematic assumptions about South Africa.
This passage, from the section on ‘South Africa’ in the