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Colonial Discourse, Postcolonial Theory
JAMES PROCTER AND PETER MOREY

This chapter deals with work published in the field of Colonial and Postcolonial Theory in 2002 and is divided into two sections: 1. Books; 2. Journals.

1. Books At least since Edward Said’s account of ‘imaginative geographies’ in Orientalism (Penguin [2003]), the relationship between postcolonial discourse and geography has been axiomatic. The map, the field, contact zones, borders and boundaries are today staple spatial metaphors within the field. However, it is Blunt and McEwan’s contention that while geographical figures have tended to saturate postcolonial discourse, they have been allowed to float free of their material co-ordinates. The contributors to Blunt and McEwan’s collection would appear well placed to redress this situation, coming from departments of geography and anthropology rather than literature. The locations covered within Postcolonial Geographies include Britain, South Africa, India, Canada, Australia, Portugal, the American West, even Antarctica. While it would be misguided to judge the collection (which arose from a conference at the University of Southampton in 1998) in terms of inclusiveness, it is regrettable that the Caribbean and Africa are not better represented. Nevertheless, and as if to emphasize the comparative belatedness of geographical research into such locations, the title of Blunt and McEwan’s collection plays knowingly on Edward Soja’s seminal Postmodern Geographies (Verso [1989]), first published in 1988. Postcolonial Geographies is structured thematically around three sections: ‘Postcolonial Knowledge and Networks’, ‘Urban Order, Citizenship and Spectacle’ and ‘Home, Nation and Identity’. In doing this the editors avoid a reductive geographical essentialism in which the postcolony is determined in a straightforward way by region or geography. ‘Postcolonial Knowledge and Networks’ takes a broadly Foucauldian/Saidian approach in terms of its exploration of the relationship between knowledge, power and space. In his valuable opening essay, James Sidaway notes the ‘impossibility’ as well as some of the possibilities of postcolonial geographies. On the one hand he points out that ‘any “mapping” of the “postcolonial” is a problematic or contradictory project’ (p. 11) in the sense that © The English Association
DOI: 10.1093/ywcct/mbh004

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an event that saw the country’s colonial maritime history restaged. Quayson and Goldberg note the recent tendency of critics in the field to trace the genealogies of postcolonialism. the emphasis is on colonial rather than postcolonial formations. PAGE 2 OF 17 . On the other hand he argues that postcolonial geographies also potentially disturb and disrupt ‘established frames and methods’. Mark McGuinness reflects on some of the geographical implications of the riots in the northern English towns of Bradford.2 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Relocating Postcolonialism is less concerned with postcolonial locations than it is with the location of postcolonialism. most stimulating essay. Having said this. the diverse body of approaches identified as postcolonial are a significant advancement and offer a great deal to possibilities of a meaningfully decolonized geography. (p. Marcus Power considers the neocolonial implications of EXPO ’98 in Portugal. contradictions and discrepancies. by upsetting the ‘taken-for-grantedness’ of geographical narratives (p. there is a sense in which the collection’s claim for a material ‘turn’ remains for the most part rhetorical and its aims to ‘decolonize’ geography ultimately metaphorical. 27). Such carefully located postcolonial geographies. Haydie Gooder and Jane Jacobs consider the politics of the apology in Australia in the 1990s. 108). with its focus on colonial cartographies. for me. In Postcolonial Geographies. what is meant by a ‘meaningfully decolonized geography’ is never properly explored within this collection. Relocating Postcolonialism proceeds by dislocating itself from this current trend and attempting to expose what it regards as a series of ambiguities. thereby providing a coherent and accessible narrative of its history. charting and so on. for example. several essays do explore contemporary issues and postcolonial geographies. McGuinness comes to the conclusion that citizenship reveals a ‘continued link—at least in the minds of policy-makers and their advisers—made between race and urban space in postcolonial Britain’ (p. David Theo Goldberg and Ato Quayson are also concerned with the politics of location. (See. concealed within the emergent grand narrative postcolonialism. However. The editors at least partially concede this in their general introduction when they say that: Although postcolonialism might not have had much impact on the power imbalances between North and South. albeit within a neo-colonial context. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY postcolonialism rejects the cartographic impulse of colonial surveillance. which eschew any overarching theory of postcolonial geography. In another edited collection published this year.) Partly because of this. M. 6) Unfortunately. help make this volume a valuable contribution to the field. Satish Kumar’s fascinating essay on Madras before and during the Raj. His account considers policy responses to the riots and the particular attention they give to the concept of citizenship as it was defined by David Blunkett and others at the time. The book as a whole captures this sense of postcolonial geography as a contradictory project well. In what is a stimulating and thought-provoking introduction to the volume. In the collection’s final and. classification. Burnley and Oldham in 2001. or Jenny Robinson’s account of Johannesburg’s Empire Exhibition in 1936.

67) in everything from canonical texts to pulp PAGE 3 OF 17 . in a lively. But the essay has also been one of the most important of postcolonial genres. Postcolonialism borrows indiscriminately from theoretical traditions (e. while noting. Quayson and Goldberg note that postcolonial studies is a radically expansive discourse that is. While Parry welcomes the contribution of postcolonial studies to an extended recognition of the ‘imaginary presence of empire’ (p. which they argue is formally disposed to generalization. Goldberg and Quayson go on to acknowledge that the essay might also be said to have encouraged a dislocated. has to do with the privileging of the essay form in postcolonial studies. xvii).COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Within this context. 66). the editors suggest. Part of the problem. This leads Goldberg and Quayson to a significant conclusion: postcolonial criticism needs to learn to speak from a position capable of imagining its own future redundancy.g. Second. the displacement of political theory and practice by the politics of the symbolic order. that restlessness itself is less significant than the purpose it serves. at the same time as it claims an ethical foundation. Spivak and Bhabha’s thinking has been subject to ‘an indiscriminate and often celebratory usage’ (p. the endless repetition of phrases by key critics like Bhabha and Spivak with ‘minimal evocation of the contexts in which they were originally produced’ (p. xiii). neglects ‘the steady exploration of sources and materials’ (p. continental post-structuralist theory) elsewhere in a way that pays scant attention to the cultural and conjunctural specificity of these traditions. they note that postcolonial studies is committed to an object of study that it at once must deny. Goldberg and Quayson note that postcolonial criticism is rhetorically antifoundationalist. As a result it becomes ‘difficult if not impossible to separate postcolonial discourse completely from an ethical project. in their phrase. ix). encouraging specificity and focus rather than generalization and allowing more immediate intervention within contemporary debate than the more protracted monograph. Goldberg and Quayson ask that individual contributions be viewed in dialogue with one another rather than as discrete pieces. xvii). such as black/ white and self/other. ‘appropriatively interdisciplinary’. However. therefore. ‘is committed to dismantling even while necessarily analytically fixated with it’ (p. Within this context. Benita Parry takes issue with the way in which Said. even though the means by which its ethical ends are to be achieved remains a highly contentious issue’ (p. it is arguably in the conversation between the holy trinity and the essays that follow that a relocation is to be evidenced. restless questioning in the field that has been productive. The result has been a privileging of textualist over materialist analyses of colonial discourse. quite rightly. passionately argued piece. Quayson and Goldberg fear the ‘tyranny of quotationality and citation’. Perhaps. xviii)? In the collection’s ‘Preface’ we are told that ‘Relocating Postcolonialism is designed to rethink many of the assumptions and discursive maneuvers of postcolonialism’ (p. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 3 First. For example. or does it contribute something to the ‘supple forms in which injustice and inequality often articulate themselves’ (p. Finally. ‘Directions and Dead Ends in Postcolonial Studies’. Is it merely discursive. It works to expose the interdependence of binarisms. xiii). a conversation with Homi Bhabha and an essay by Spivak. to unsustained argument and. It is perhaps surprising then that the collection opens by repeating the dominant discursive detour of postcolonial studies via an interview with Edward Said.

she concludes. disability (Ato Quayson and Rosemarie Garland Thomson) and linguistics (Laura Wright and Jonathan Hope).4 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Such ‘sanctioned occlusions’. in her ground-breaking reading of Jane Eyre. In short. 69). they do so in order to consider their implications for contemporary debate. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY fiction. For example. Marxism. As a whole the volume makes an important contribution to the current revisioning of postcolonialism. 106).) More generally within the collection. this collection emerges from a conference panel called ‘Rethinking Marxism’ held at Amherst. Edited by Crystal Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus. (See Hesse for a brilliant reading of Spielberg’s Amistad in this context. she notes that: PAGE 4 OF 17 . While some of the essays re-examine traditional concepts. Questioning the commonsense notion that the rise of multiculturalism in France in the late 1990s subverts racism. the accent on ambivalence at the expense of opposition. Anne Laura Stoler explores some of the complexities and contradictions at stake in contemporary racist formations in Provence. In making her case for the collection. While some will find the volume’s lack of structure and theoretical or thematic coherence unhelpful. she also notes the tendency to neglect distinctions between ‘the ornamental and determinate function of empire within texts’ (p. In separate essays. This call is taken up in many of Relocating Postcolonialism’s subsequent papers. In her introductory essay. she asks us to attend to ‘historical evidence [that] suggests how smoothly those cultural hybridities can be folded back within racialized societies and social formations’ (p. Parry argues that critics have subsequently made a fetish of colonial tropes so slavery has become a dematerialized metaphor for domestic oppression in Brontë’s novel. The dismissal of politics and economics which these omissions reflect is a scandal’ (p. metropolitan over local languages. 1). Bartolovich perhaps overstates these differences. such as digital technologies (Olu Oguibe). from magazines to music hall. Anne Bailey and Barnor Hesse explore the relationship between history. Spivak proceeds by locating a proto-feminist novel within imperial discourse. ‘are a debilitating loss to thinking about colonialism and late imperialism. memory and slavery. avant-garde over realist modes of representation. Other essays in the collection focus on new and overlooked aspects of postcoloniality. there is a significant effort to move beyond the conventional sites of postcolonial debate. Marx and John Stuart Mill) in order to consider their implications for the emergence and development of the nation-state. 78). Bartolovich notes the shared convictions of the contributors ‘that Marxism and “postcolonial studies” have something to say to each other—and that there might be more productive ways of dealing with their differences than have been exhibited hitherto’ (p. Benita Parry is also suspicious of the emphasis on diasporic writing over resistance literature. Modernity and Postcolonial Studies is a recent addition to the excellent Cultural Margins series (Cambridge UP). others will regard the absence of a prescriptive or preferred postcolonialism and the ‘conversational’ (rather than consensual) feel of the collection both valuable and refreshing. such as gifting (see Ahluwalia and Ma-Rhea). In ‘Racial Rule’. If. Benita Parry calls for a material relocation of postcolonial metaphors. David Theo Goldberg historicizes two dominant traditions in racial theorizing (the naturalist tradition associated with Hobbes and Carlyle and the historicist tradition associated with Locke.

3) and the disavowed (post-)colonial heritage in the Marxist world. There is not space here to examine all the contributions. the journal editors make a ‘wholesale flight’ from political economy—so characteristic of postcolonial studies today: Does it really never occur to the editors of that journal to explore Benetton’s labour practices. 3) True. and to imagine that these material forces might have something to do with Benetton’s ‘semiotic’ success? (p. (p. respectively. Modernity and Theory. Neil Lazarus looks at ‘The Fetish of “the West” in Postcolonial Theory’. Within this context. Rejecting the economism of Marxism in favour of a ‘semiotic’ reading. to Marxism. Next. caricature. What about Said’s use of Gramsci. that it PAGE 5 OF 17 . or the economic colonization of everyday life demonstrated by the exhibit. “the West”. Bartolovich and the other contributors are surely right in noting the high level of ‘oversimplification. so we will focus our attention on the opening section. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 5 [U]nquestionably (as a metropolitan disciplinary formation. in their dominant forms. deconstruction. ‘Eurocentrism. the volume aims to reactivate the ‘disavowed Marxist heritage in the theorization of the (post-)colonial world’ (p. deconstruction (Spivak). and the World’. Lacanianism (Bhabha)—have also been profoundly influenced by Marxism. Bartolovich cites a recent issue of the international journal Postcolonial Studies and its analysis of Benetton advertising. 5) Bartolovich goes on to demonstrate how advertising in the 1990s celebrates capitalist expansion through imperial tropes in a way that highlights the need for a Marxist postcolonial studies. the sources of its income. Capitalism. but. Arrighi concludes is ‘an interstitial formation of both premodern and modern times’ (p. developmental models of European capitalism. 1) present in ‘Marxist’ and ‘postcolonialist’ accounts of one another. In what is a compelling account of Eurocentrism. But the three theorists barely concealed behind these theoretical protocols— Foucauldian discourse analysis (Said). This is part of a broader insistence in the opening chapter and section of the book that Marxism is not simply a Eurocentric discourse (as postcolonial theory tends to argue). Eurocentrism. that it is also an anti-imperialist discourse which has had a major impact on anti-colonialist activity outside the West. Marxism.COLONIAL DISCOURSE. for example? Having said this. Lacanianism—which are not merely indifferent. Bartolovich is not trying to silence the European dimension of Marxism in her ‘Introduction’ (she argues that a telling similarity between Marxism and postcolonial studies is its Eurocentrism). Giovanni Arrighi begins with an illuminating historical account of East Asia that unsettles discrete. Bhabha’s use of Althusser and Spivak’s use of Marx. actively and explicitly hostile. at least) this field [postcolonial studies] has been deeply and constitutively informed by theoretical protocols and procedures—Foucauldian discourse analysis. and trivialization’ (p. In order to illustrate what she regards as the banality of mainstream postcolonial studies today. Lazarus argues the West has no singular or unified referent. rather she is insisting that Marxism is a mobile discourse that is irreducible to Europe. 42). Modernity and Postcolonial Studies is divided into three sections focusing on.

a monosyllabic sentence. 6) In the book’s opening chapters. Chapters 1 and 2 situate Spivak’s work within the context of deconstruction and post-structuralist theory in order to illustrate how her aphoristic prose resists the notion of the subaltern subject as something that can be captured transparently or straightforwardly ‘represented’. as well as the release of the second edition of Ashcroft et al. In addition to these scholarly contributions. Lazarus ultimately challenges the notion that Marxism is Eurocentric by situating it within a global framework. feminism (Chapter 4) and postcolonialism (Chapter 6). I will give you. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY is an ideological rather than a geographic site. allow her to move beyond the limitations of classic Marxism. Spivak’s rhetorical strategies. he offers careful justification for a body of writing that Terry Eagleton once famously called ‘obscurantist’.6 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. and I say okay. The disavowal of Marxism within postcolonial studies is misguided. More significantly. In the remaining chapters. and you’ll see that you can’t rest with it. 9). Other valuable contributions to the volume include Joe Cleary’s lucid reassessment of the relationship between Ireland and postcolonial studies and Timothy Brennan’s fascinating exploration of the pre-history of ‘theory’ in the interwar period. Stephen Morton takes on the unenviable task of writing the first book-length critical introduction to Spivak. Modernity and Postcolonial Studies helps to further both postcolonial and Marxist theoretical debates. feminism and nationalism. Like the chapters by August Nimtz and Pranav Jani that follow. The second chapter goes on to challenge the idea that Spivak’s relationship to deconstruction runs counter to her political commitment: ‘[a]gainst the charge that Spivak’s work is opaque and inaccessible. postcolonial critics have turned Europe into a fetish. Morton provides a memorable quotation from Spivak speaking in defence of her style: [W]hen I’m pushed these days with the old criticism—‘Oh! Spivak is too hard to understand!’—I laugh. Morton might be understating things a little when he says in the opening pages that students encountering Spivak for the first time ‘may’ find her prose initially difficult. One of the most helpful chapters for PAGE 6 OF 17 . however. However. Politics and the Question of Style’ and ‘Setting Deconstruction to Work’. it contributes to our understanding of the relationship between them.’s foundational textbook. ‘Theory. In the Routledge Critical Thinkers series. As a whole. In the opening chapter. The Empire Writes Back. Morton suggests. Morton effectively elaborates on the issues raised by this passage in what emerges as a confident and convincing reading of Spivak’s style. just for your sake. through a nuanced critique of Dipesh Chakrabarty. My monosyllabic sentence is: We know plain prose cheats. The result is that the West is reduced to a dematerialized alibi. Morton offers more specific discussions of Spivak’s work and her critical engagement with subaltern studies (Chapter 3). Lazarus argues. (p. Marxism. In forwarding anti-Eurocentric projects. this chapter considers how Spivak has changed the emphasis of deconstruction by focusing her critical attention on contemporary political concerns such as globalization and the international division of labour’ (p. ‘Why Spivak?’. 2002 saw the publication of number of new introductions.

POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 7 critics already familiar with Spivak’s work is Chapter 5 on ‘Materialism and Value’. 248). Northern Ireland. Even when literary texts are cited. While he does acknowledge there are others. thematic focus might have allowed Talib to capture and maintain the reader’s attention more effectively. for example. transnationalism and diasporic identities are among the main themes of the postcolonial journals this year. In an essay entitled ‘Postcolonial Studies and the Anxiety of Interdisciplinarity’ (Postcolonial Studies 5:iii[2002] 245–75). Talib’s The Language of Postcolonial Literatures: An Introduction. While acknowledging the oversimplification inherent in such work. Talib tries to do too much and ends up not doing enough in this text. it is disappointing that The Language of Postcolonial Literatures takes English alone as the language of postcolonial writing. In trying to be comprehensive. Journals Interdisciplinarity. This ubiquitous signposting has the effect of fragmenting rather than sharpening the chapters. it is odd that a book on the ‘language of postcolonial literature’ has so little to say about literary texts themselves. By focusing on the themes and issues raised by a selected range of postcolonial texts. Critics such as Aijaz Ahmad in In Theory (Verso [1994]) and Ella Shohat in ‘Notes on the Post-Colonial’ (Social Text 31:ii[1992] 99–113) have accused the discipline of a ‘tacit imperialism [in] its own critical and theoretical practice’ (p. Graham Huggan engages with some of the current questions raised about interdisciplinarity in postcolonial studies. before he even gets to what he calls the ‘Third World’. Francophone and Hispanic literatures and theories within postcolonial paradigms. New Zealand. England. The book’s plodding narrative is punctuated by subheadings that have been allowed to proliferate to the extent that they appear after almost every other paragraph. Scotland. the Anglophone focus misses a valuable opportunity to redress the marginalization of. Huggan argues for the usefulness of recent debates in the field of Comparative Literature for postcolonial theories of interdisciplinarity. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is likely to attract both undergraduate and academic readers. Links are suggested in Charles Bernheimer’s edited collection of PAGE 7 OF 17 . Australia.COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Including an account of the impact of Spivak’s work and a detailed annotated bibliography. The Language of Postcolonial Literatures makes too many superficial generalizations about too many histories and locations. Canada. Indeed. the book would have been able to demonstrate its key terms and ideas more engagingly and thoroughly. its intellectual bearings and methodological validity. Talib’s accounts of them tend to be descriptive rather than analytical. which are likely to seem pedestrian to the student reader at which the book is aimed A more selective. Finally. A less successful introductory text book published this year is Ismail S. South Africa and America. Starting with the Roman invasion of England and covering Wales. This chapter draws on some of Morton’s specialist research interests to tease out the frequently neglected significance of Marx for Spivak and Spivak for Marx. for example. 2. Postcolonialism is often accused of a lack of definitional specificity and unexamined cultural bias based on the English language materials that often form the object of its study.

Nevertheless. Huggan then focuses on three areas in the ‘problem’ of interdisciplinarity: questions about the validity of postcolonialism’s historical and historiographical insights. However. MLA [1992] pp. PAGE 8 OF 17 . multipurpose concept-metaphor certainly risk compromising the very historical specificity upon which postcolonial critiques of imperial practice are ostensibly based. ‘bearing witness to the unequal and uneven forces of cultural representation involved in the contest for political and social authority in the modern world order’ (‘Postcolonial Criticism’ in S. anthropology’s criticism of postcolonialism’s use of an interchangeable ‘discourse of the Other’. and Wilson Harris’ relatively neglected ideas envisioning the transcendence of disciplinarity itself. is taken as encompassing postcolonialism too—offers a point of conjunction with Comparative Literature. Said and Spivak offer standard fare here. occultist approach. Spivak’s ‘commitment to the disciplinary transformation of university based English literary studies and to a “transnational study of culture”’(p. because less familiar. Huggan’s lengthy essay offers a valuable overview of the issues at stake in interdisciplinary postcolonial studies.8 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Similarly. Huggan mentions the proliferation in recent years of interdisciplinary postcolonial journals. 268). 263) There are. Harris’ holistic. For instance. Both forms reject totalizing or exclusivist viewpoints in favour of an often previously submerged multiplicity of perspective. the professed oppositionality of cultural studies—which. Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism (JHUP [1995]). although the resolution of controversies—and a fixed definition of interdisciplinary postcolonialism itself—of course remain as elusive as ever. Public Culture and Postcolonial Studies. ‘through the reinvention of the humanities as a creative outlet for the transformative energies of an intuitively apprehended. offers the most interesting instance of fertile interdisciplinarity. Huggan elaborates three possible models of ‘empowering postcolonial interdisciplinarity’ (p. Gunn. for the purposes of Huggan’s argument. in Homi Bhabha’s words. such as Interventions. He concedes that: on-going attempts to deploy ‘imperialism’ as an overarching. of course. examples here can be found in the work of James Clifford and Arjun Appadurai. Huggan advocates a combination of synoptic and discursive models of interdisciplinarity with practical and empirical forms of collaborative research. Redrawing the Boundaries: the Transformation of English and American Studies. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY essays. Similarly. educational claims to the effectivity of postcolonial studies as an oppositional ‘border pedagogy’ often seem to rely on strategically generalised understandings of the ‘imperialistic’ tendencies of the traditional disciplinary apparatus. unavoidable tendencies to generalization and a degree of utopian idealism involved in any interdisciplinary practice. (p. 264): Said’s eclectic and sometimes contradictory methodologies. intersubjectively conceived “cross-cultural imagination”’ (p. 266). and one would have liked more on this. 437–65). Greenblatt and G. and their politicized aim of. eds. In the last part of the essay. and the oft-advanced claim that postcolonialism is challenging ‘disciplinary imperialism’ in traditional knowledge systems.

POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 9 Completely different in tone is Jeremy Seabrook’s impressionistic pen-picture of the phenomenological impact of globalization on the lives of migrant workers in South Asia. Yet his focus is on the mental. In his introductory essay. 17–32). Despite these potential shortcomings. as much as the material. Brandon Hamber. 61–8) and Phil Scraton. has. v). the abuses of erstwhile despotic and dictatorial regimes. He observes how the activities of such commissions can be consistent with the current hegemony of the Western liberal powers. truth commissions do offer a forum for the narratives of the formerly oppressed—‘So the new world order is not the end of the story. Kundani views Home Secretary David Blunkett’s much-heralded ‘oath of allegiance’ and language tests for immigrants as examples of a policy of blaming the victims which can now be seen as a step on the road to the ‘death of multiculturalism’. 33– 60). The most substantial of these is ‘The Death of Multiculturalism’ (43:iv[2002] 67–72). Arun Kundani. Race and Class has an edition devoted to studying the various truth commissions that have been a phenomenon of the last decade or so—the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission being the most celebrated example. For many the end of conflict represents merely a new phase in the struggle for justice’ (p. This is the bedrock of the idea of a global culture of human rights. as announced in Kundani’s title. each of which was entrusted with the task of bringing to light. The perceived privileging of cultural difference and accompanying ‘moral relativism’ characteristic of preceding attitudes to immigrants. but also the spread of a powerful discourse that there is a much more “reasonable” way of going about politics’ (p. Although beginning with Indian experience. Seabrook’s piece is unabashedly and refreshingly subjective. vi). ‘Reconciliation in Guatemala: The Role of Intelligent Justice’ (pp. making connections and recognizing that many of the psychological and affective upheavals it describes apply equally to global capitalism in its Western lairs. and in their perceived tactical silence about the involvement of Western governments in underpinning repressive regimes in Chile and South Africa. Seils. has assembled a cast of contributors who focus on truth commissions in Guatemala and Chile as well as South Africa. composed of anecdotal interweavings and shot through with what is perhaps. ‘Lost Lives. Rolston comments that globalization means ‘not just the supremacy of the market. entitled ‘Truth?’ (Race and Class 43:i[2002] i–vi). which examines the British government’s response to the summer riots of 2001 in the northern towns of Britain. an unconvincing pastoral nostalgia. The editor. has two pieces in the journal this year.COLONIAL DISCOURSE. in-built demands come with their own psychic and social losses as well as a concomitant environmental rapacity. However. Contributors to the volume include Robert Bacic. One of the editors of Race and Class. through the personal narratives of those involved. Hidden Voices: “Truth” and Controversial Deaths’ (pp. ‘Dealing with the Past: Chile—Human Rights and Human Wrongs’ (pp. the essay spirals out. at times. drawn from the country to the city by the promise of higher wages to meet the necessities of existence (‘The Soul of Man under Globalism’ Race and Class 43:iv[2002] 1–25). Bill Rolston. Rolston—like several other postcolonial critics—expresses some misgivings about the universalization of this notion. impact of patterns of movement spawned by globalization. both in the implication that such abuses only take place ‘over there’ in the ‘less developed’ world. 107–18). Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa’ (pp. It is clear that material acquisitiveness and capitalism’s unending. it is PAGE 9 OF 17 . ‘“Ere their Story Die”: Truth. Paul F.

The community leaders he maligns would surely have been unlikely to have kept their places for long had they not been effective to some degree in articulating the aspirations and grievances of those they represented. masquerading as a legitimate cultural tradition. In Kundani’s view. 68) Thus. and that its radicalism was watered down by mainstream political assimilation. managed and reified. Is Kundani suggesting that this desire was somehow inauthentic. can political rights and cultural rights be separated in this fashion? Nevertheless. been discarded in the name of that ‘Cultural Cohesion’ that was the professed aim and title of the official report into the riots. they were to cover up and gloss over black community resistance in return for free rein in preserving their own patriarchy’ (p. Kundani describes how ‘ethnic fiefdoms’ were created in local and national politics. which has formed the orthodoxy since the inner city unrest of the early 1980s. ‘un-black’? Continuing in a similar vein. is in the process of being abandoned. Matters were. apparently. As will be clear from the above. we are confronted by more tendentious assertions. hindering rather than helping the fight against race and class oppressions’. where it could be institutionalised. Yet. This essentially ‘colonial arrangement’ worked to dampen down radicalism. According to the author. in the classroom and on the television. he correctly identifies the PAGE 10 OF 17 . such as that multicultural ‘laissez-faire’ policies helped cement the grip of a conservative patriarchal culture within the Asian community. When he returns to the overview. One doubts that this wholesale complicity was ever the case (any more than was the wholesale radicalism he has earlier attributed to black identity). In this way. for example. Black culture was thus turned from a living movement into an object of passive contemplation. inherently oppositional. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY argued. Is this true? Indeed. As for those alleged comprador sell-outs … for every Paul Boateng there must presumably have been a Bernie Grant. Kundani is more persuasive when arguing a more specific line. multiculturalism has meant: Taking black culture off the streets—where it had been politicised and turned into a rebellion against the state—and putting it in the council chamber. Kundani gives no actual examples. ‘the concept of culture became a straitjacket.10 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. wherein ‘A new class of “ethnic representatives” entered the town halls … [and] entered into a pact [sic] with the authorities. (p. something to be ‘celebrated’ rather than acted on. 69). 69). it became innately conservative in ideology and practice. The riots of 2001 and the terrorist attacks of 11 September that year represent milestones in this process. made worse when ‘postmodern theories of hybridity’ began to be privileged in academia and cultural difference turned from an expression of revolt into a trendy identity option. This reading is dependent on Kundani’s view that multiculturalism was always really a mode of controlling those second generation non-whites who had begun to assert themselves on the streets of Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. the old ‘multiculturalist settlement’. prior to multiculturalism. that ‘identity politics’ within multiculturalism has ‘diverted the energies of black communities into the channel of cultural rights’ (p. Yet is this necessarily the case? The desire for assimilation was also strong in the black community until it became clear that police and politicians had other ideas. this interesting polemical interpretation relies rather heavily on the assumption that black identity was. In fact.

The author anatomizes the nature and history of these developments. thereby creating alternatives to simplistic religious coordinates of belonging. 79). Nevertheless. in a manner reminiscent of the suspicious attitude to West Indians in the 1970s. as when he points out how the official rhetoric around racism has insidiously shifted. However. linking the ideological and the material. used to refer to those seeking sanctuary in sacred places such as temples. This is most visible in the anxious official attitude to Britain’s Muslim community. Kundani links such tensions to the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ that has fuelled anti-Islamic feeling and has even gone as far as to drive more extreme—and perhaps less politically perspicacious—elements of the Sikh community into a very ‘unholy alliance’ indeed with the British National Party. Also to blame is an ‘unthinking and often tokenistic approach to “minority representation”’ (p. 79) in official circles. later taken on by the city-states of the Middle Ages. a part of the British establishment’s attempts to manage race relations’ (p. Religion and Communalism’ (Race and Class 44:ii[2002] 71–80) he investigates rising communal tensions between Hindu. while also reminding us how. Beneath the indiscriminate canopy of multiculturalism. Those in transit. so that ‘Racism itself is to be understood as an outcome of cultural segregation. which traces the history of asylum from the term’s roots in the Greek word ‘asylos’. 70). Schuster places moral arguments about asylum in the post-Reformation political context from which they evolved.COLONIAL DISCOURSE. And segregation is now seen as self-imposed’ (p. is perfectly compatible with antiimmigrant populism’ (p. an avowedly ‘multicultural’ Labour government was beginning a relentless attack on asylum seekers—‘Multiculturalism. at the same time. is the concern of two essays in particular this year. in some ways. The pressing need now is to develop and maintain strategies to give young Asians a greater sense of empowerment. leaders of communalist groups are sometimes accepted as authentic representatives of Asian culture and invited to join in the ‘multicultural hobnobbing that is. The idealism of the French Revolution took the notion of the fight of asylum to a new level by introducing the PAGE 11 OF 17 . strengthened Islamic identity and political awareness. these days. The function of granting asylum was. as Kundani concludes. 70). and the pressure they exert of national self-definition. one may disagree with Kundani’s view of the history of ethnic identities as one of a radicalism that has been ‘bought off’. with the result that reactionary elements gain undue influence. Kundani’s other offering is also concerned with the predicament of Britain’s Asian communities. within this altered topography the decline of the multicultural consensus might carry potential benefits for anti-racists in opening up a space for a more radical critique. in the future. including the rise of the sovereign nation-states we recognize today. at the very same moment. The first is Liza Schuster’s ‘Asylum and the Lessons of History’ (Race and Class 44:ii[2002] 40–56). ‘that which may be seized or violated’. Sikh and Muslim youths of the kind which burst out into violence in Bradford in 2001. his diagnosis of the current situation feels alarmingly accurate. noting how persecution has. whose youth is often nowadays implicitly characterized as potentially criminal. In the end. In ‘An Unholy Alliance? Racism. much common ground between Asians in Britain has been stripped away and replaced by reinforced faith identifications. not its cause. it transpires. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 11 Lawrence Inquiry—and the acceptance of the existence of institutional racism—as watershed events. in Europe. However.

where moral conflict and ideologies about national character are likewise called into question. and suggests that it is indicative of a hardening global attitude regarding citizenship post-11 September 2001. Dispossession and material expropriation are linked to the falsification of Africa’s history and the psychic damage and sense of exile it causes. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY concept of certain inalienable ‘rights of man’ and of citizenship. as workers were needed to service the requirements of the industrial revolution. In a volume of Public Culture on ‘New Imaginaries’ (14:i[2002] 239–73). edited by Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar and Benjamin Lee. Suvendrini Perera in ‘A Line in the Sea’ (pp. Achille Mbembe laments what he sees as the failure to materialize of an integrated methodology adequate to account for the modern African subject as it has been presented in writing. These events have resulted in a loss of familiarity with the self. Interestingly. National and transnational questions of identity are also addressed in the journals. carrying 400 asylum seekers. a period of economic decline. 49–50). culminating in the 1905 Aliens Act (pp. 26). 38) and of contesting the contraction of the idea of Australia. and ‘nativist’ ideas of African identity based on membership of ‘the black race’—that is. narratives and representations’ (p. Schuster informs us that entry into Britain was relatively unrestricted until the late nineteenth century. such imperial echoes are the result of the same urge to control and delimit mobility that characterized the business of empire. Mbembe blames two dominant intellectual currents for the failure of an adequate mode of self-writing to appear: ‘instrumentalist’ Marxism.12 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Against this. He blames this absence of an adequate mode of enquiry on the historical matrix formed by slavery. 23–39) recounts the tale of Australia’s forcible removal of the Norwegian container ship Tampa. The other response to African disfranchisement took the form of myths of authentic African-ness read through blackness. from its national waters in late 2001. dependent on a nationalist-oriented rhetoric of resistance. She argues that ‘The phobias and hatreds that have emerged in Australian public life … open the door to a much older storehouse of images. alienation and a state of objecthood. and flowered in the related ideas of Negritude and PanPAGE 12 OF 17 . based on a metaphysics of difference. particularly. colonization and apartheid. Perera urges the necessity of ‘challenging the stereotypes that would exclude certain groups from full citizenship in the public sphere’ (p. ideologically mapped out but also geographically incarnate in the detention camps on off-shore territories such as Narru and Christmas Island—that ‘Not-Australia’ through which the Anglo-Australian political establishment defines itself in paranoia. Essentially. She describes the incident as marking a shift in the notion of acceptable behaviour and responsibility towards refugees. Mbembe sees the Marxism characteristic of many post-World War II African nationalist strategies as requiring the quasi-sacramental surrender of the individual to a collective utopian future born out of the destruction of all opposing structures. coinciding with an influx of immigrants from eastern Europe—many of them Jews—led to a rise in xenophobia and a cry of ‘England for the English’. Schuster carries the story into the twentieth century: an era of massive upheavals on an unprecedented scale and the creation of the League of Nations (later United Nations) High Commission for Refugees in an attempt to manage the problem. Bringing the story uncomfortably into the present. However. Perera links these contemporary debates to those raised by Joseph Conrad in novels such as Heart of Darkness (Penguin [1973]) and. Lord Jim (Penguin [1989]).

colonialism. as against Marxist and nativist criticism’s consistent undervaluing of the variety of African experience of colonial conquest. 612). 611– 15). still operating within colonialist binarisms. it might be objected that Mbembe’s effective surrender of the materialist lens as an optic for critique—and nationalism as a framework for anti(neo)colonial resistance. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 13 Africanism. entitled ‘Historical Colonialism in Contemporary Perspective’ (pp. The comparative novelty of Mbembe’s take comes when he argues for a shift of emphasis towards ‘contemporary everyday practices’ in the search for a viable African identity. 587). This is. Public Culture (14:iii[2002]) contains responses to Mbembe’s piece. in favour of a micropolitics of lived experience—is potentially disempowering. It is constituted in varying forms through a series of practices. Clearly. 603) in ‘Afro-Pessimism’s Many Guises’ (pp. a variant of the longstanding but not uncontroversial argument that Africans have been complicit in their own disempowerment. 607–10). Paul Gilroy (‘Toward a Critique of Consumer Imperialism’.COLONIAL DISCOURSE. 603–5). pp. In fact. 257). notably practices of the self’ (p. appear prematurely confident about the ‘pastness’ of active colonialism—speaks of a ‘double transformation’. splitting African identities down into evermore distinct monadic forms. lauding his attention to the present revival PAGE 13 OF 17 . is generally sympathetic to Mbembe. taking into account how African selfhood is informed by a consideration of essentials such as life expectancy and the amount of protection a society can offer its members (‘The Power of Words’. 585–8) remarks that Africans have never been able fully to shape the ways in which they are ‘denominated’. in the light of the Second Gulf War of 2003. Mbembe argues that these structures. ‘the scrambling of colonial spatializations of the world and the problematic identification of national spaces [which] has done much to call into question identities that earlier anti-colonial ideologies took for granted’ (p. 590). Ato Quayson. one has to bracket or remove the practice of neocolonial and strategic manipulation of the continent that is still ongoing. This response. of course. Frantz Fanon was saying as much 45 years ago. Moreover. Arif Dirlik—in an essay which may. but worries that he may have reduced ‘the philosophical inquiries demanded by racial slavery. there is no African identity that could be designated by a single term … African identity does not exist as a substance. apartheid and … globalisation to a choice between flight and melancholy resignation’ (p. Mbembe concludes: ‘To be sure. whereas Francoise Verges suggests a more materially informed understanding of African identity. in ‘Obverse Denominations: Africa?’ (pp. Finally. Bennetta Jules-Rosette describes Mbembe’s essay as a ‘brilliant exercise in Afro-pessimism’ (p. to accept Mbembe’s flagellation of his fellow Africans for colonial complicity in the past. Africans’ failure to control their own predatory greed and their own cruelty also led to slavery and subjugation’ (p. there is nothing very startling in the acknowledgement that no single African identity exists. but warns that ‘To change the perceptions of our backwardness … we Africans will have to attend to the material details of our nightmare at the same time as we seek better denomination’ (p. 589–91) praises Mbembe’s ‘timely rejections of identity as a unitary phenomenon’. 272). While accepting the limiting nature of those forces identified as hampering the construction of a meaningful African mode of self-writing. pp. ‘are inscribed within an intellectual genealogy based on a territorialized identity and racial geography … obscuring the fact that while the rapacity of global capitalism may be at the origins of the tragedy.

the essay offers an interesting fresh perspective on the conjunction of diaspora identity formation and new technology. Rejecting what he sees as such models’ tendency towards essentialization and fetishization of a place of origin. based on the viewer’s attraction to and simultaneous repulsion by the spectacle of the tortured body. 415). but rather as ‘a signifier of the sovereignty of an already constituted Sikh territory (qaum)’ (p. and the comment and controversy stirred by the acclaim given to J. Palestinian or Kashmiri struggles’ (p. 413). which also proposes a diasporic imaginary in relation to Indians more generally and which views the homeland–diaspora relationship in terms of a return of the repressed. In other words. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY of nativist traditions. Nevertheless. such as the police. be objected that Axel’s theory is only applicable to diasporas with identifiable and on-going experiences of persecution around which to cluster. language and race in current diaspora theories. as evidenced by the protests at the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999. he proposes what he terms ‘the diasporic imaginary’ in order to foreground ‘violence as a key means through which the features of a people are constituted’ and to help account for ‘the creation of the diaspora not through a definitive relation to place. ‘the production of the image of the tortured body constitutes the Sikh subject through gruesome spectacle. and the concomitant rise in the veneration of these martyrs (shahids) in the diaspora at large. can be identified with and can thus act as a cornerstone of Sikh diaspora identity. but through formations of temporality. The three editions of Interventions this year take as their special topics ‘Postcolonial Studies and Transnational Resistance’.14 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Axel describes the violence deployed in recent years against Sikhs in the Punjab by Indian state apparatuses. Such images work as both substitution and displacement for a history of largely concealed violence. in Public Culture (14:ii[2002] 411–28). The first of these (Interventions 4:i [2002]) is edited by Elleke Boehmer and Bart Moore-Gilbert. He uses the model of the Sikh diaspora. Axel argues against the privileging of analytical models of place as the locus of origin.M. ‘The Diasporic Imaginary’. Spivak’s recent book. Axel’s account of the resultant Sikh ‘diasporic imaginary’ clearly operates through Lacanian paradigms and as such might be related to Vijay Mishra’s well-known essay. Axel foregrounds what he calls the ‘ambivalence’ of the Khalistani Sikh subject. millennium campaigns for Third World debt relief and agitation for the rights of indigenous populations in white settler colonies. The Internet is a particularly efficacious tool for the dissemination of images of Sikh torture. ‘The Diasporic Imaginary: Theorising the Indian Diaspora’ (Textual Practice 10:iii[1996] 421–48). A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (HarvardUP [1999]). arguing that the projected Sikh homeland of Khalistan need not be thought of as a place of origin to be reclaimed and returned to. Attempting to explain the power and pervasiveness of such images. 614). responses to Gayatri C. one whose contours are quite familiar to those involved in. of course. the process of identity-oriented torture can be witnessed by proxy on Internet sites. Broadening the focus to questions of diaspora is Brian Keith Axel’s essay. It might. tradition. 412). for example. He summarizes Mbembe’s message as being a warning against that ‘Absorption with the past without recognition of transformations in the present’ (p. The issue PAGE 14 OF 17 . Coetzee’s novel Disgrace. They argue that modes of transnational resistance have come to replace nationalist models of opposition to Western capitalist hegemony. affect and corporeality’ (p.

they do acknowledge the pioneering work that has been done on transnational forms of resistance. Abdul JanMohamed and David Lloyd’s The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse (OUP [1990]) and Robert Young’s Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (Blackwell [2001]). 66). and Ella RaissaJackson and Willy Maley write on the mutual influence of Irish and Scottish nationalist literary figures in the early years of the century in ‘Celtic Connections: Colonialism and Culture in Irish–Scottish Modernism’ (pp. blind spots and naïve idealism of some of these imagined affiliations. and intervene productively in the conceptual predicaments of the present’ (p. For instance. Angela Smith. James. which formed a powerful but often neglected undercurrent to contemporary anti-colonial struggles. such as those of Benedict Anderson and Partha Chatterjee. 53– 67).COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Pan-Africanism from Within (OUP [1973]). considers the role of Paris and the modernist avant garde as a fulcrum of intellectual activity in which artists from settler colonies forged a sense of indigenous national identity. Marcus Garvey and Recognition Politics (pp. which drew in figures such as C. Makonnen saw links between the Jewish and black diasporas. 35–52). McLeod suggests. epitomized by The Cosmopolitan and its patrons. An honourable addition to this list ought also to be Elleke Boehmer’s own recent work on cross-border women activists. McLeod draws on Makonnen’s memoir. something. Boehmer and Moore-Gilbert identify three reasons for the relative lack of critical attention to transnationalist resistance within postcolonialism: a traditional disciplinary narrowness and tendency to focus on centre–periphery (rather than periphery–periphery) dynamics. McLeod concludes that ‘the optics of transnationalism’. 68–78). such as Annie Besant and Sister Nivedita. PAGE 15 OF 17 . which looks at encounters between Pan-Africanist and other nationalist groups in Britain. affords ‘the opportunity to better situate … the specific innovatory qualities of anticolonial resistance of the time. ‘The Cosmopolitan’. such as Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic (Verso [1993]). However. For the context of this cultural crosspollination. An excellent essay that might be taken to stand as representative of the kind of approach the editors are suggesting is John McLeod’s ‘A Night at “The Cosmopolitan”: Axes of Transnational Encounter in the 1930s and 1940s’ (pp. that fuelled his own conversion to Rastafarianism where Ethiopia took on a similar psychological importance to the land of Palestine for the Jews. in ‘Fauvism and Cultural Nationalism’ (pp.R. Michael Malouf writes on the link between Sinn Fein and Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association in the years after World War I in his essay. recorded and edited by Kenneth King. in wartime Manchester. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 15 itself concentrates on examples of transnational co-operation from the first half of the twentieth century. 9). partly in response to the metropolitan identity formation they saw all around them. Despite the obvious shortcomings. and what they call ‘the hegemony of certain political-scientific models of (trans)nationalism in postcolonial cultural studies’ (p. which is historically always internationalist.L. 22–34). postcolonialism’s ambivalent relationship with Marxism. which ‘includes some valuable insights into the ways in which embryonic forms of anti-colonial nationalism were often conceived and organised through transnational encounters’ (p. ‘With Dev in America: Sinn Fein. centred on the Guyanese activist Ras Makonnen’s restaurant. George Padmore and Jomo Kenyatta. 61). In particular.

Ritu Birla in ‘History and the Critique of Postcolonial Reason’ (pp. Al-Kassim’s piece is subtle both in its reading of Spivak and in its reflection on the performative potential of such self-consciousness. She shows how Spivak is attempting to move away from the idea of a ‘homogeneous colonial other’ and a ‘universal colonial/postcolonial victim’ without losing sight of the historical fact of colonialism. while Mark Sanders. Spivak is. Finally. 173). 186–90). 205–11). ‘“By a Certain Subreption”: Gayatri Spivak and the Lever of the Aesthetic’ (pp. sati. the hero herself takes a bow. as always. 198–204) traces a move toward a socialist ethics in Spivak’s rereading of Marx’s two terms for representation. Spivak offers some impromptu and enjoyable glossing of the main themes of her work. This is a danger that Spivak’s well-known social activism may well insure her against. offer interpretations of the ANC’s submission to the Human Rights PAGE 16 OF 17 . lawless post-Apartheid South Africa. In the ‘Introduction’ (pp. 321–30) and ‘Race and Disgrace’ (pp. silence and representation in ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ She shows how Spivak’s Critique is also concerned with subalterneity through the figure of the native of Tierra del Fuego who makes a fleeting appearance in the pages of Kant’s third Critique. 170). Attridge points out how the novel has provoked a storm of comment and controversy over its portrayal of a chaotic. McDonald are responsible for the special edition of Interventions on Coetzee’s Disgrace (4:iii[2002]). McDonald and David Attwell. which attends to some of the distinctive features of Spivak’s practice of reading. vertretung— representation as ‘speaking for’—and darstellung—representation as in art or philosophy. Al-Kassim links Spivak’s postcolonial rereading of Kant with her earlier work on speech. most notably the figure of the ‘lever’: ‘that moment of textual transgression in the text or a moment of bafflement that discloses not only limits but also possibilities to a new politics of reading’ (p. Hence. In fact. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY Interventions (4:ii[2002]) contains responses to Spivak’s latest publication. alert to how ‘Elite “postcolonialism” seems to be as much a strategy of differentiating oneself from the racial underclass as it is to speak in its name’ (p. this collection … Both Peter D. In classic Spivak style.16 COLONIAL DISCOURSE. Also interesting is Forest Pyle’s piece. Derek Attridge and Peter D. the ‘Native Informant is threatened with both disappearance and representation … first as the figure of the “aboriginal” premodern so useful to the self-reflection of the enlightenment subject. collected from conference proceedings by Purushottama Bilimoria and Dina AlKassim. Thomas Keenan considers ‘The Push and Pull of Rights and Responsibilities’ (pp. and can deconstruct. such as the complacency of unself-critical human rights rhetoric. ‘The Face of Foreclosure’ (pp. 175–85) places it alongside other critiques of foundationalist history. Dealing with the chapter on history in Spivak’s Critique. In her ‘Response’ (pp. In his turn. and second by the substitution of another figure … the postcolonial critic who comes to stand in for the subaltern Native Informant’ (p. in their respective essays. even if the privileged language of post-structuralist philosophy—like the convoluted mini-Spivakisms of some of the contributors to this volume—could sometimes be argued to reinforce the divide. 191–7) and Spivak’s exploration of the metaphysical roots and uneasy conjunction of the discourses of rights and responsibilities. 187). In her essay. ‘Disgrace Effects’ (pp. 315– 20). 168–74). in ‘Representation: Reading-Otherwise’ (pp. Such an ethics can appear through the development of a ‘transnational literacy’ that recognizes. 331–41). modern patterns of global exploitation. postcolonial elitism and the future of feminism.

Postcolonialism and the Nation’ (pp. Ismail S. Here. and often the dissonance. in this respect. 176. perhaps Disgrace might be an instance of a new literary form. Bartolovich. David Theo and Ato Quayson. in contrast. Cambridge UP. and that whether it be Coca Cola’s battle with recent brands founded to appeal to Muslim consumers or military attempts to secure supplies from the world’s second largest oil field in the face of insurgency and resistance. eds. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Grant Farred’s ‘The Mundanacity of Violence: Living in a State of Disgrace’ (pp. and unconnected to the volume’s main theme. the residual racism in the attitudes displayed by the central character. 428–38). Stephen. Alison and Cheryl McEwan. 256.99 ISBN 0 4152 2934 0. 182. while being careful not to collapse all distinctions between them. pb £10. eds. Dirlik’s piece is a useful reminder that globalization is still. [2002] pp. Dirlik urges strongly that we should reconsider the relationship of colonialism and capitalism present in the forces of globalization. in ‘Not Saying Sorry. the post-postcolonial novel. the public face of the same interests which launched the colonial enterprise. Routledge. [2002] pp. Crystal and Neil Lazarus. capitalism and colonialism remain potent forces in today’s geopolitical landscape. The Language of Postcolonial Literatures: An Introduction. he suggests that nationalism should be seen as a version of colonialism in the way that it historically subsumed local identities beneath national ones. pb £18. Continuum. of these and other critical interventions reveal the potency of this particular text and the ability of Coetzee’s work more generally to confound the complacencies of celebratory or nativist theories.99 ISBN 0 4152 4019 0. 342–51) expresses concern over the treatment of women in the text and issues of bodily violence. Relocating Postcolonialism. Goldberg. Postcolonial Geographies. while. £16. [2002] pp. Marxism. Modernity and Postcolonial Studies. in essence. Talib. pb £19. 300. Lastly. 352–62) sees the novel as an accurate if uncomfortable portrayal of a country where violence has become endemic. The (not particularly original) argument here is that a preoccupation with the twin issues of colonialism and national identity has kept the relationship of modern colonialism to capitalism off the critical agenda. rather. Books Reviewed Blunt. [2002] pp. Blackwell. [2002] pp.99 ISBN 0 6312 0805 4. POSTCOLONIAL THEORY 17 Commission which was highly critical of the novel’s alleged racism—or. Not Speaking Pain: Gender Implications in Disgrace’ (pp. Arif Dirlik emerges again with an essay called ‘Rethinking Colonialism: Globalisation. Elleke Boehmer. PAGE 17 OF 17 . Routledge.99 ISBN 0 8264 6083 6. Although this charge is based on a familiar generalization about work going on in the discipline. 400. The variety.99 ISBN 0 5218 9059 4. pb £15. Morton.COLONIAL DISCOURSE. eds.

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