Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
5Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
McClintock, Anne - The Angel of Progress Pitfalls of the Term Post-Colonialism

McClintock, Anne - The Angel of Progress Pitfalls of the Term Post-Colonialism

Ratings: (0)|Views: 274 |Likes:
Published by sunnerfjell

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: sunnerfjell on Oct 26, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/14/2013

pdf

text

original

 
The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term "Post-Colonialism"Author(s): Anne McClintockSource:
Social Text,
No. 31/32, Third World and Post-Colonial Issues (1992), pp. 84-98Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 26/10/2010 05:44
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=duke.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.
 Duke University Press
is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to
Social Text.
http://www.jstor.org
 
TheAngelofProgress:PitfallsoftheTerm "Post-Colonialism"
ANNEMcCLINTOCK
His faceis turned towardsthepast....Theangelwouldliketostay,awakenthedead,and makewholethat which has beensmashed. ButastormisblowingfromParadise;it hasgotcaughtinhiswingswithsuch violence that theangelcan nolongerclose them. Thisstormirrestistibly propelshimintothefuture towhich his back isturned,while thepileofdebris before himgrowsskyward.Thisstorm is whatwe callprogress.WalterBenjamin
To entertheHybridStateexhibit onBroadway, youenter ThePassage.Instead of agallery,youfindadarkantechamber,where onewhite wordinvitesyouforward: COLONIALISM.Toenter colonialspace,youstoopthroughalowdoor,onlyto beclosettedinanother blackspace-acuratorialreminder,howeverfleeting,of Fanon: "Thenativeisabeinghemmed in."1 But thewayoutofcolonialism,itseems,isforward.Asecond whiteword,POSTCOLONIALISM,invitesyouthroughaslightlylargerdoor intothe nextstageofhistory,afterwhichyou emerge,fullyerect,into thebrightlylit andnoisyHYBRIDSTATE.Iam fascinated lessbythe exhibititself,thanbytheparadoxbetweentheidea ofhistorythatshapes"ThePassage,"andthequitedifferent ideaofhistorythatshapesthe"HybridState"exhibit itself.Theexhibit cele-brates"parallelhistory":
Parallelhistory pointstotherealitythat there is nolongera main-streamview ofAmericanartculture,with several"other,"lesserimportantculturessurroundingit. Rather there existsaparallel historywhich is nowchangingourunderstandingofourtransculturalunder-
standing.2
Yettheexhibit's commitmentto"hybrid history" (multipletime)is con-tradictedbythe linearlogicofThePassage("ABrief Route To Free-dom"),which,as it turnsout,rehearsesone of themosttenacioustropesof colonialism.Incolonialdiscourse,asinThePassage,spaceistime,andhistoryisshapedaroundtwo,necessarymovements:the"progress"for-wardofhumanityfromslouchingdeprivationtoerect,enlightenedrea-son. Theothermovementpresentsthe reverse:regressionbackwardsfrom(white,male)adulthood toaprimordial,black"degeneracy"usually
84
 
AnneMcClintockincarnatedin women. ThePassagerehearses thistemporallogic:progressthroughtheascendingdoors,fromprimitivepre-history,bereft oflan-guageandlight,throughtheepic stagesofcolonialism,post-colonialismandenlightenedhybridity. Leavingtheexhibit,historyistraversed back-wards.Asincolonialdiscourse,the movement forward inspaceisback-wardsintime:fromerect,verbalconsciousness andhybridfreedom-signifiedbythe(notveryfree)white rabbit called"Free"whichroams theexhibit-downthroughthe historicstagesofdecreasingstaturetotheshambling,tonguelesszoneofthepre-colonial,fromspeechtosilence,lighttodark.Theparadox structuringtheexhibitintriguesme,asit is aparadox,Isuggest,thatshapestheterm"post-colonialism."Iamdoublyinterestedintheterm,since the almostritualisticubiquityof"post-"wordsincurrentculture(post-colonialism,post-modernism, post-structuralism,post-coldwar,post-marxism, post-apartheid,post-Soviet, post-Ford,post-feminism, post-national,post-historic,evenpost-contemporary) sig-nals,Ibelieve,awidespread, epochalcrisisinthe idea oflinear,historical"progress."In1855,theyearofthe firstimperialParisExposition,VictorHugoannounced:"Progressisthefootstepsof Godhimself.""Post-colonialstudies" has setitselfagainstthisimperialideaof linear time -the"grandideaofProgressandPerfectability,"asBaudelairecalled it. Yetthe term"post-colonial,"liketheexhibititself,ishauntedbytheveryfigureoflinear"development"that itsetsouttodismantle.Metaphori-cally,the term"post-colonialism"markshistoryas aseriesofstagesalonganepochalroadfrom "thepre-colonial,"to "thecolonial,"to "thepost-colonial"-anunbidden,ifdisavowed,commitment to linear timeand theideaof"development."Ifatheoreticaltendencytoenvisage"ThirdWorld" literature asprogressingfrom"protestliterature,"to"re-sistanceliterature,"to"nationalliterature" hasbeencriticizedasrehears-ingtheEnlightenmenttropeofsequential,"linear"progress,the term"post-colonialism"isquestionablefor thesamereason.Metaphoricallypoisedonthe border betweenoldandnew,endandbeginning,thetermheraldsthe endofa worldera,but withinthe sametropeof linearprogressthat animatedthatera.If"post-colonial"theoryhassoughttochallengethegrandmarch ofwesternhistoricismwithitsentourageofbinaries(self-other,metropolis-colony,center-periphery,etc.),the term"post-colonialism"nonethelessre-orients theglobeonce morearound asingle,binaryopposition:colo-nial/post-colonial.Moreover,theoryistherebyshiftedfrom thebinaryaxis ofpower(colonizer/colonized-itselfinadequatelynuanced,as inthe caseofwomen)to thebinaryaxis oftime,anaxis evenlessproductiveofpoliticalnuancesinceit doesnotdistinguishbetweenthe beneficiaries85

Activity (5)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
rudy2shoes liked this
gomita1 liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->