What Was Postcolonialism?

Author(s): Vijay Mishra and Bob Hodge Reviewed work(s): Source: New Literary History, Vol. 36, No. 3, Critical and Historical Essays (Summer, 2005), pp. 375-402 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20057902 . Accessed: 04/11/2011 15:45
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Postcolonialism?* and Bob Hodge

Vijay Mishra

I. Introduction
WE WISH the THIS WERE tale. NOT We A MATTER wish we OF RETURN, were not of of a past




moment come back always Jacques Derrida's totally other," the "only as principle,
do move on, and

it. And we wish the repetition didn't by repeating to itself (which it does) as if, with Sigmund Freud (in we were always "haunted by something reading), "other" that always comes back, like the pleasure that which has not truly come back."1 Yet things also
as we look again at the paradoxical as usually was marginals."2 a situation of

not many come other

we are moved
the have

"end been of

all to insist on its pastness. We
postcolonialism," announced, the in vain. ends Still

of so less

to announce movements

do we want
afterword consciousness

to deny
to his of

the value of what Edward
work minorities, Orientalism, and

Said declared,

in the 1994
in the Said

magisterial women,


said nothing about postcolonialism work nevertheless scholars provided
address and interpret both Orientalist,

in his original 1979 edition, the to with many registers with which
self-serving, colonial discourses

a European to confine the (within which are embedded compulsion and the highly indeed agonistic, discourses of adventurous, other) anticolonial In the 1994 afterword, Said also located struggles. though, in the past (to a point) Ella postcolonialism by approvingly quoting concerns Shohat's that postcolonialism itself with "continu suggestion
ities and discontinuities practices" and ... not on on a the new modes Said and noted, forms of the old let us colonialist "beyond."3 correctly

the links between and postcolonialism, but was postmodernism to point out that in the hands of the early postcolonial scholars quick C. L. R. James, and Frantz Fanon among and artists (Chinua Achebe, or a grand narrative of them) the historical imperative, postcolonial add,
regeneration and completion, is always present. History is not some

* This paper

is for our


and nonfoundational
Slemon, postcolonial scholar.





New Literary History, 2005, 36: 375-402

the "the dawning to decipher may present of a new in it the heralding also world."). sense has been too The trouble is that the historical invoked sweepingly even in postcolonial where very often "pedagogical theory." should as our to Foucault's Before take. postcolonialism a difference and defines itself as an attitude of modernity. We need from Marx a comprehen sive framework in are which always forms grounded of culture in material and life consciousness processes. in a present and future increasingly constituted in The mode of interrogation.376 has real." the how the present may be represented "the present as writes a may had been hitherto as belonging to a be interrogated in Second. signaled in the title of our paper and implicit in Said. a a departure. has an older history. but with respect the modern attitude as a largely sense It implicitly the ignores European historical the pastness event of (which the Enlightenment incorporates itself was)." signs of a forthcoming point of transition "the way Foucault. a way a ("Enlightenment . nor an entirely event different: signs an it is neither are perceived. way out. WTien Immanuel Kant posed his famous question "what is Enlightenment?" his influential to the Question: letter to the editor Answer WTiat Is Enlighten ("An the generic register as well as the form that such an established ment?") argument may The own be seen key present. handled. of considering the difference "today introduces with respect to yester an Put in this fashion." attitude of modernity. to yesterday. event. foundational value in the lives of the NEW LITERARY HISTORY recently emancipated. We take Kant's essay and Foucault's response together as a guide to redefine introduces premodern." toward Kant poses era the question to which one of Aufkl?rungis belongs. onerous task. expediency" (after Masao Miyoshi) triumphs over localized and rigorous "political and economic scrutiny. introduced may be deemed the difference day."4 present locked We indeed into an argue that in Said's ever more a postcolonialism. an attempt Third.6 is the necessity how Kant's of reflection responding on the to "one's is present different. terms.. a world nor whose the dawning release of an accomplishment" is man's release (97). Our also our affirmation of its more of postcolonialism uses. of the pastness of releases to maintain energies and extend other its scope.5 own Michel point response discussing of Foucault's response to Kant's proposal departure.. Via Karl Marx (rather than Kant) we insist on the fresh productive of historical examination those postcolonialism has opened archives. while of we postcolonialism also depart from Marx's "materialist" legacy by finding ways in which . certain era Foucault First. of the summarizes "present world. and those to which it has been blind. its discursive form. It is instead exit." be analysed "Now. that have been recognition own project.

after a certain moment of high the wake of it. .8 But called for "a frantically he felt must surely exist for many theorists. life-worlds and continue. the is crucial to the power of postcolonialism ambiguity we have outlined to which the and locates it in a much larger field of critical thinking. too. as a mode of supposed is best to be summed its up negation. its status in her present. "Post(-) colonialism" including a hyphen) is a slippery term. Within difficult to define. but it is also something a of "Englishness. postcolonial postcolonial filmmakers (not to be confused displacement. We went back to the text to follow up these Naficy. On this basis we make two observations. precisely because of We exilic functions illustrate the way the set of terms around "postcolonial(ism)" in current critical discourse from a typical text."10 by Emily As Apter. (hereafter. pivoting as it does around forever.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 377 challenging the closures of modern premodern ism. context. inflected by it?it is what it is because something new. a book on film critic Hamid and diasporic filmmaking by Iranian-American It has in the index: postcolonial entries the following and cinema. for which than being survives postcolonialism the the center present of a provides perspective In our her attention. in his before."12 \et diversity. is after a certain kind of colonialism. with for a in portmanteau cultural analysis transnational quality. yet it is notoriously that potent Indeed.13 terms and establish a corpus. It is that attitude of modernity attitude of modernity that leads It Stuart Hall to declare." considers postcolonialism reading highly intelligent in which the culture of colonialism "code for the state of undecidability continues mobile who to resonate in what was metaphor. from without that is barely twenty-five years old." which somewhere in the gaudy supermarket. in the shadow of imperialism and colonial occupation?in else has happened it. postcolonial theory. identity filmmakers. postcolonial is not the end of colonisation. countries."9 And Simon Gikandi. postcolonialism. postcolonial strategy. "So. what John it may be symptomatic Erickson that Apter's at into has called center is located in urgent issues and terms. whether viewed up close. In the Beginning Was the Word its other substantive forms. the as rather postcolonial past. II. or from a within a field it names it seems to have existed the field it is so omnipresent distance."11 suited singularly the analysis this "cultural of literary/cultural m?tissage.7 secret handbook for post-colonial critics. Marxism. discovers value postcolonialism it a "locomotive. postcolonial postcolonial and identity filmmakers). Terry Eagleton hyphen. is crucial. with postcolonial postcolonialism.

" from be the recovered Latin colonia from and the root words themselves. to the alternatives taking discourses advantage of the of new colonial conditions era. stay (in a place). and living in a place. root. to cultivate. From this usage it drifted was primary meaning to refer to a settler in a foreign place. of or the people country." ism" itself." course the "culture" and of hence "colonial from which to review "postcolonialism. apply " to many other is rarely used on its own. dependency marginalized. Less "colony" is also given obvious comes the the date is from source the a of strangeness rich and etymology. dwell. and of embedded too obvious the in the entry to need As Webster colo. a "colonist" in the modern sense. the term is one of two or most commonly a loose "third world" or "postmodern" (establishing the term itself is losing its force through semantic Second. a configuration of capture seemingly unique and insights. formed. from company col?re. and to worship the and hence metaphorically "culture. colonies dwell. kshiyati). the spirits of the land. notes. is unsurprising. honoring so its Colonus."16 country to a remote parent province state: as. "to dwell.378 which more NEW LITERARY HISTORY would terms "postcolonial "postcolonial" equivalence). That transnational name. The and ideology source. which here comes we the via argue may word French "colony." How gods. an inhabitant or farmer." its base meaning Parasmaipada: to inhabit it. itwith another word) . hopes and dreams arising from a hitherto experiences silenced for part of the world. in the modern meanings of could all this hang together For an answer we turn to WTiite and Riddle's Latin dictionary "colony"? (1876). important surprisingly. one who is the subject of col. working its gods. a set of related meanings: to work (the earth). to cultivate it developed to work the mind or soul. It normally (ism) that overlap and support each other: First."14 to "search an creating altogether future. (the need to collocate and and adjective. but there in is the an terms intrinsic connection between the land."17 From this meaning it "to abide. Webster's from subject 1905 dictionary their to mother the jurisdiction defined of the it as "A transplanted remaining of America. . as often the texts in this field. diverse premodern meanings in which these for a modern were mindset. These are world. it isweakened. as a theoretical formation used only one-tenth as to is a neologism "Postcolonialism" that grew out of older elements a moment in world history. The different the past and the vantage point has termed "a situation?what (after James Clifford) Apter a fact of interdisciplinary life"15?demanded everyday name it Embedded claimed in was it is of "postcolonial. "Colony" colonus. farmer. which. comment. derived from this complex. They report that it is akin to the Sanskrit root kshi (class 2 and 6 also in Latin: ksheti.

The three suffixes "-ism. But how is that shadow. The trouble is that this very make it a verb." to refer It also primarily its lost to deep invasive roots in premodern elements ways of life. over the course of fifteen contradictory legacy then underwent shift in the stock of words of modern years an amnesiac languages. especially are still present in religion. habitual meaning there are actions two performed on depends qualities strands of meaning in relation of of to its headword. to a kind refers of agent In this who heterogeneous makes whatever it is happen. whose form and meaning is only strong long the now-past originary form? "Post" has marginality and guaranteed by built in. in which the takes . describing set of morphemes have been applied over two thousand productive to form a bewildering years variety of words in many languages. and "-Ism" is harder to track. not to "Colony" a neutral came "dwelling. different modalities of invasion: living in (and dominating) new gods?all it by work. the attributes and attitudes associated with one. and bringing that "improving" strategies in the five hundred powers employed years of European European colonization. as well "-ist" as modern usually European languages. prefix "post-" though still with complex effects. But itmatters what kind ofthing ismade to happen: a thing a colony) or an adjective a So "colonists" make (like (like colonial)." One to the kinds of in a general sense. to the It is now less rich." its English the headword. Greek and set Latin of words. part of the ideological work it did to justify and legitimate a new land. to actions or behaviors. what "colonialists" whereas reflect the colony happen by they do. less adequate as well as the past. of which it is the shadow. attested at least as early as 1680 in the OED." and "-ize" all event derive from the Greek to is added to a noun or adjective -izein.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 379 are Yet this drift was not innocent. and postmodern forms. both its classic (colonial). "-Ism" still has a reference. of the present complexities missing surprising connections and contradictions that are still current. qualities of a colony. obvious or latent. The (postcolonial) realities have not changed. and in the Latin the other meanings still active. referring "postcolonial" done in a postcolonial situation. In all its compounds it gestures toward a time just after some main that defines its existence." "-ist. which a related action. The other strand has a things typically long tradition. This hundred European settlements. We will argue forms of that all these in contemporary colonization. "Postcolonialism" emerges from this complex history with two potent to an adjectival form in "-al". relevant to As with "-ist. "Postcolonialism" obsolescence is not immune to this fate. but meaning has slowly seeped out of the term over two millennia. The affixes attached in front and behind is relatively easy to understand. "-ism" In modern "postcolonalism.

" Does it refer to creating the inexhaustibly ambivalence open rich set of possible actions and states that can flourish Or is it the militant (after) colonialism? tendency "postcolonial (theory). present at the high in the world.) noting Colonial: British the use "Of.18 reason (evident in the subtext of many citations). produced for any language finest dictionary Sir James of the formidable of imperialism under the editorship point than any other the imperialist better This text exemplifies Murray. which does not appear in the second edition of the "postcolonialism. "1957 Listener 1 Aug. 159/1: backward classes the ism' is the commonest term of abuse nowadays throughout more than half An tions. The Marginalization of "Postcolonialism" also The past fifty years. a rhetoric calling for action (real or tenets are not to be questioned? of a cause whose the in this sense is postcolonial thought without not as theory but as dogma." an "-ism" as in "dogmatism. Colonialism: as and or "The colonies. .") ideology but at of instrumental least the two reason terms to govern these defini continues such luck with No get defined. derogatory. the world." "alleged. arguably the condition.a). .b word is given as follows: "With adj." as the word does not occur as a headword! Even so you need to of this class of hyphenated the definition (after Al. usage always coexist. unstated From and in its first tension." is its and semantic which of the marginalization seepage signs To track this we begin with the OED. sense. Now freq. of had their a theory. theory postcolonial through dangerous blinkers." the "-ism" you need to go to the prefix OED (1989). and and in contemporary around confusion usages the word. To locate itwithout "post-. negative differences or practice. the scene of the triumph of "postcolonialism." in the shadow of from stemming notable more for energy than subtlety on behalf imagined) "Postcolonialism" thought. "postcolonialism. of "colonial" and "colo We cite here parts of the OED's definitions show nialism. logic of instrumental with participants who seem well aware of the link between language and the imperialist project. where go to Bl." sense of colonial system or principle. Or formed from post + a L." {spec. "frequently" to a relating colony. or Gr. ." 'Colonial OED cites. of or qualifications to. III. used in the derogatory an alleged policy of exploitation of backward or weak peoples by a large the hostility on the part of the colonized (As if to underline power. looking following at its object or originality. or such belonging .380 headword appearance These two NEW LITERARY HISTORY refers this strands to a doctrine. sb. Now freq.

b." They colonizers (by themselves." Hits on Google and citations from the OED are crude indicators.' than 1974 . . It is here form the basis of the OED's *Post-colonial. 'It "1934 WEBSTER following: was probably that India.d (which gives textual citations of all the words given under Bl. i/5 'Behind the imposing Asia. and c) to find citations that that we get the definition. Moore sketch: who throws herself this last entry reminds us of of woman on you and tears your to clothes off with Pete." at sources at 2. between G. hits. Both of these are dwarfed by "globalization. some history." the meaning of words with the prefix "post" citations of the first occurrences research skills.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 381 Many of these are self-explaining." other that this us. important thing they your off. "postcolonialism. . . I like the rancid they're one sort Somewhat flippantly. . . as with formed an adjectival for . Also . "Postcolonialism" (by 1989 at any rate) never made it even that far.20 reference has only hits for 27. It may seem perverse for us to track this word at the colonial center.900 postmodern there ten percent of the hits for "postmodernism. should fear that association with the America in troubles which were little to do with involve her unnecessarily might 15 Sept p. sensuality." To is "obvious. [examples obvious meaning. no-longer or nameable colonial the power. as of like.000. Black "colonialism" knows what and he doesn't process. good.' 1969 Times (Uganda Suppl. for about the two terms not "ours. and get personal many by way ending. The OED recognizable registers out from under "postcolonial" at the metropolitan semantic tide going center. 12 Dec 6/2. (as our friend Stephen Slemon pointed out to are 228. this pair else's accept someone whereby words. Yes.000 274. Black' Golden Cockatrice iii. 'G. those names with definition. . but. and under all differences this certainty. it's post rampant colonial dictatorship.a. in the first flush of postcolonial inevitable find of that period sensitivity. "post-colonial" to collapse "their" terms Behind have The already been this is the sign of an interesting handed no 1974) over longer describe the colonized. quite will do. You the headword (under "post-") requires advanced need to go through the examples given under Bl.) as one of the is a mind that has been described physical presence shrewdest 'If there's in post-colonial one thing worse Africa. Of aren't they? the I think you're referring is that "rampant tear sensuality. others of esp. 1959 Daily Tel.'" the Peter Cook/Dudley Dud. given] all you follow]." Dud.19 Like Dud. because [examples That is post-colonial. . Either clothes course.57: colonialism . and neglect adding However.650.000 Google hits for "postcolonial").

"postcolonialism" set is still useable. sufficiently important of words and of their times. still part (though small) of a common "Postcolonial" to think with. The writings. words in profusion. sphere the is far advanced of in Bhabha's Far come in which to drifted productive relation between colonizers "postmodernism. term for But both none areas. from repeat semantic where this the being old slippage it has a of "postcolonialism" into the alliance." Alex Callinicos says. in what we will complexes call the contemporary archive. from his Marxist on Bhabha's work. of this move." each colonized effectively into the others in an endless play of almost sameness. IV. "postcolonialism" politan term and last refuge is appropriated itsmetropolitan to legitimate and exploited the metro theorists. Gikandi. with Callinicos takes the work of Bhabha as emblematic reason we feel. We begin with Homi Bhabha (already present in the critical discourses of Hall." the humble adjec tive on which competes with it is based. Our discussion will focus on postcolonial a small number of texts from this archive. "postmodernism. The Rather than stay with Specter words in of "Hybridity" lexicons we want to move on to ideas as they function in texts. our times. we feel that the picture they give is basically sound. and Robert Young). "globalization" has as far more the cover currency. "Postcolonialism" has not disappeared. global . flourish and in this sea of words still "postcolonial" still has meaning." "Postcolonial. and hardly anyone notices it. yet and enclosed the open space of "afterness. but lags well behind its dominant partner. Apter. because his work is central to an understanding of current idioms of postcolonialism. in new media like the Internet." "Postcolonialism" of "goods has already nearly gone. but is withering.382 NEW LITERARY HISTORY drawing on other evidence. closing morphing around a single theme and a single version of history in the name of plurality. of them Outside the imperial pages of the OED. circulates. sufficiently diverse to do some to use as signs justice to the diversity of the field.21 We would not in a critique focused standpoint or all forms of as severely as dismiss either Bhabha postmodernism we feel that in current theory a trinity of "posts" has Callinicos does. Bhabha rejects foundationalist (postmodern) on the grounds that the postcolonial (with its present historiographies In the flows and hybrid identity politics) finds them attenuating." has relationship and colonized. given Bhabha's hallowed position in the dominant good school of postcolonialism. "Postcolonial thought is the of postmodernism.

Writes Bhabha: way to the vox populi: to a relatively unspoken the pagus?colonials. presence disrupts received definitions as the the hybrid. It is strange this word since in biology hybrids are .WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 383 by Bhabha. sively mimicked metropolitan colonial elites who function domination exiles and and migrants whose who current are English stylists. the colonized's equal in its various registers: when asked what he thought of proficiency the Mahatma is reputed to have replied. postcolonials. with fashioned a difference. then. struggle repeated the same. where that alienates has the frontiers become as of the modern nation. S.22 This move iswhat he calls it). sterile. prac Theorists happens. an original new historiography tice repeats. For Bhabha. without in those nation need of exemplification. anticolonial metropolitan nationalist nationalism." At the level of the aesthetic the decisive writer was of course V. and whose of the nation. migrants. Lazarus's hybridity. since it is invested with the same bureaucratic and semiotically it is a says. "I think it Western civilization would be a very good idea. This is a little uncanny. mobile of diaspora?"the transnational subject translational"23?is the exemplary postcolonial who stands ambivalently against atavistic nationalism. But the "colonialist itself. within but are the Heim themselves of the national of a its unisonant the marks shifting boundary term "hybrid" Bhabha's postcolonial theory. as Bhabha a compulsive kind of return of the repressed. subject. of The the colonized struggle subject is thus bound a prior to mimic (the grand presupposes metropolitan narrative) in doing script" and can only exist so it undermines. style of discourse of its singularity and power undercuts its dominance by demonstrating. nowhere states where the postcolonial is also a diasporic has conquered the field so effortlessly. "At this point I must give tradition of the people of minorities?wandering peoples culture who and will not be contained discourse. but one to repetition in the (il) logic of having been which one desires to return to participate there narrative this often agree struggle would is the only model of nationalist a metropolitan nationalism in the domain of anticolonialism: a difference but within a space that is with (an ambivalence) of bourgeois For Bhabha anticolonial it seems this before. whose early social comedies discur postcolonialism and. hence. in a condition in Neil of ambivalent words. Bhabha's subjects are the around the edges of the colonial frame of avatars at once are here the and of people elsewhere the diaspora. a redemptive it functions sign that affirms further the agency of the postcolonial more so than subject."24 recent the mantra of much an archeseme. suggestively indeed parodically (slymimicry is fundamentally colonial deprives in that Bhabha's textualist. because juridical systems. Naipaul.

It therefore becomes important for postcolonialism to bear witness to the distinctions so that one can see. It is on this point of the prevailing restructuring own widely circulated Fanon" dis that Bhabha's essay "Remembering Fanon 's world revolutionary order. in fact "brings as for (79). because.25 Our difficulty with these proposi in postcolonial (often used uncritically theory) is that the transfor a particular mation takes place only inside discourse." mounted tions historical experiences that require narration in postcolonialism but a cates the definition particular culture from epistemological an epistemological to stance (although function he shifts the "subject practice"26) of to an enunciative that arises out of the initial project Lazarus's references the of bourgeois of anticolonial historical nationalism."28 interlocutions and oppression." becomes substance transnationality "contemporary postcolonial Bhabha declares signifies because it "translational. life-worlds life-worlds as and exclu of a systemic process of imperialist domination being part sion. the and authority. offer a materiality as memory further critical corrective of to Bhabha. knowledge and subversion. Bhabha's between history intense of positions and fantasy. unhappy under capitalism." the mission. schizophrenic. (ideally the migrant and ex exilic.384 Bhabha's postcolonial NEW LITERARY HISTORY as migrant of color). specialist discourse at that." is always because an unre (mis)reads "'social' solved power surveillance of antagonistic ensemble and poverty. is often argument so that it is not divergent from the "sign of postcoloniality. misses WTiat textualism . into a powerful gets transformed ploited subject of His history of "cultural displacement it is] [whether (post) modernity. the 'middle passage' However. A proper. often profoundly dispossessed. between with imperialist that and anti-imperialist anticolonial movements nationalism Fanon. "soaa/(ist)" anticolonialism consolidation" that leads to decolonization into question" is one project class capitalism the postcolonial demand for radically national a (78). is also culture." compli of culture itself. of the "subversive as Bhabha slippage of identity him. Historical bearing experiences social effects"27 (the Marxist ) are materi understanding "consciousness of postcolonial sociality. The illusion of power (in a new translational cultural episteme) from power as it operates in a wide is achieved by a radical separation of discourses and practices. in commitment favor of a reading to a that radically locates altered him as a avows postcolonial theorist for Fanon. of which the 'voyage out' of the civilizing discourses. This is not a matter of relating ally constitutive but of seeing in terms of lived experiences. the postcolonial theorist in range leaving In effect Bhabha's the end as sole beneficiary. bourgeois invariably effected "neocolonial nonbourgeois the future of Fanon. indenture. that is built around a rather than a "fundamental transformation mere social order" (79). of of slavery and the this experience.

native informant has been rejected (the ideology of imperialism was based on this fact of rejection. great merit in being "unaccusing. the occluded the absence be defined. themes ranging Spivak's the Critique of and develops subaltern to the new multinational world order. and of value in delivering For our argument Spivak's book has value in that it locates its thesis in the heart of the project of the Enlightenment itself and critiques that from a postcolonial the presencing of a difference) perspec legacy (as reason the bourgeois male tive. of social and so institutions on.31 (81). Third. Spivak hopes to graft the native woman on to (native) informant. She does this through a deconstructive which reading."29 It is clear longer turned in upon that Bhabha's theorization cannot address the uneven and discrepant histories of colonial struggle in many parts of the world. Second. she advances by/in the native informant Insofar as the as the foreclosed history. through which the "native "property" relations is a discursive can informant" .50 text of the archive. and the native or transformable is the transformed universal potential Man) subject who could then enter history. relation" (6). attentive. Against (the subject of instrumental subject subaltern of imperialism) woman subject. or at least arrived at the idea of rejection not long to Indophobia. not the struggles of First Nation peoples. sign of the foreclosed She defines the native informant as "that mark of expulsion from the name of Man?a out the impossibility of the ethical mark crossing are significant at work here. is well documented32). The work isolates the diaspora silenced figure "foreclosed [woman] native informant" as the absolutely as texts of Europe and in colonial discourses in the master philosophical to her has well. after colonization had set in: the move from Indophilia for instance. remains the un theorized he/she subject of postcolonialism. First. Recovering Our Postcolonial the "Postcolonial Subject" Gayatri from first substantive Reason. and certainly V.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 385 of decolonization the past may be as a process that through heralds a new a is Fanon new nation 's understanding in which state. unexcusing. There compressions "Man" is also the Enlightenment/imperial (as subject. though only in the terms laid down by this "the impossibility of ethical relation" also presup narrative. situationally productive meanings through otherwise dismantling" foreclosed. a number of things: the impossibility of justice (on the natives' poses own terms). redeemed scansion of literary history seen in the tales of the postcolonial storytell ers (inheritors of the age-old oral tradition) where the "present is no itself but spread out for all to see. the absence of foundational absolutes that underpin justice.

prepared by culture. If in her reading of as a subject outside of culture and the law is foreclosed native informant cannot and purposes (33). the of labor that distinguish and shadow the new divisions modern North and the South. texts of the this she goes on to argue that in the foundational and Marx. F. "the last Three Wise Men of the G. opening Kant the dominant. [presence of the reflexive judgment. native infor foreclosed tradition" Continental (111)?the (European) From mant is necessary for the construction of the European norm: "In Kant he as the example for the heteronomy is needed [the native informant] to set off the autonomy of different law] of the determinant. leads Spivak which. W. restoring plurality and tension. the "raw man") in Kant." and invites Europe Kantian) it criticism doing what analysis here shows deconstructive Spivak's of the the discourses does best: interrupting. up intervening. call sublime presents as terrible" (Spivak 12-13). "naturally itself to man in that which we. Being outside culture they are speech The and cannot think the final purpose.33 sublime experience outside exclusion quences. in Kant signifies as well the The implicit necessity of the native Other of her from the category of the sublime. as figures who cannot be the subject of are presented native Others. should if we After exist" we cast our or the inhabitants of Tierra thoughts by chance on the New Hollanders These examples of absolute rawness. in as evidence of the spirit's movement from the unconscious to Hegel the bestows normativity in Marx as that which consciousness. The sublime does not come alien to it." he has enormous the conse subject of raw is not understand and hence legislation morality he is outside also of John Rawls's theory of justice "to be global legislator. which is a figurative exclusion trope that draws us to the fundamental laws of reason and morality. or judgment in the third Critique. upon thus summarized narrative of the modes of production" (6). This is the raw [dem rohenMenschen] merely indeed an exceptionally astute postcolonial reading of Kant." Kant writes: "Without development of moral ideas.386 construct colonialist no less in supposedly emancipatory NEW LITERARY HISTORY narratives than in classic forms. which allows freedom for the rational will. to people who are to justice. the recognition of which trace. (Rawls is remarkably . Hegel. the irredeemable del Fuego)" (26). And the figure of the poorest woman of the South native informant is the "typecase of the foreclosed today" (6). because to isolate an important only as a anthropological moment it surfaces had been considered by Kantian unimportant that men it is necessary rhetorical question "why parenthesis: "(a question which is not easy to answer scholars. of Since the the raw man man from is not the sublime "man. West?Kant. The moves are not simply a matter of historical they inhabit the periodization. Kant's get a (that is.

not go another But outside its foundational remains discover internal or philosophical to dominant connect with an texts. She presents the or native informant as the diasporic the marginalized subject. a "cover story" that does not change anthro fundamental of the dominant power relations.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 387 sees the native her reading of Hegel informant already texts. discourses. A Hegel. simply grow Spivak to lay claim to this Other. migrant indeed the postcolonial. Working in his own canonical from the great text of marginalized Hindu high culture. absent Other for the essential Occident/Orient binary. Writes "Let me point beyond the Spivak: to suggest here that an unquestioning of the argument privileging also turn out to be a figure of the effacement of the native migrant may in all her singularity remains informant" (18). appropriate VI. excluded to It the move as this "postcolonial reality. The Ambiguous Legacy of Marx the third European Marx. that is. the Bhagavadgita. and Hegel's reading of it. exposing it as a ruse. Postmodern has ethnography as mediator the idea of the anthropologist and decoder of critiqued foreclosed cultures. hovering in Hegelian space and time. In Spivak's celebration. philosopher Spivak tackles. to disrupt the power of the Fathers becomes tactic that seemingly aimed a trick to it. who is her own creation. Hegel had reserved the sublime specifically for those cultures that had moved of fantastic symbolism. different He is global and political in a relationship the others were not. between the class own reading of it. In Spivak's account the native informant is simultaneously crucial but inWestern does not thought. waiting to connect with a new moment of the Geist. He has been used so extensively by anticolonial way revolutionaries that processes of decolonization cannot be read apart . subject" (rethought are actors on the colonized [female] "native informant") and her history a stage of world history as grand as in and just as specious. The of the Sanskrit classic and Hegel's presumptions is best seen in an Indian nationalist ethos that writes its grand complicity in the shadow of Hegelian narratives history and in so doing excludes as the colonizer had the native subaltern informant quite as dramatically done. them to Spivak has skillfully "native folded informant" back one part of colonialist discourse?the pology?into disrupt does both. Spivak of reason. The "native informant" outside space and time. away from the mystical overcodings As the underdeveloped the the native informant again becomes Spirit. exposes an act of complicity between the two. Yet this part of the exposition uses this discursive move out of the deconstruction. part. has a very to postcolonialism.

said that in idealist in the can be same way. Spivak must summarizes be sublated as follows: "Capitalism class-struggle through to transform on its way to universal self-determination" the possibil (80). It surely makes us conscious of the complicity between ruling classes in both North and South. But the spirit of Marx. There is a Hegelian for cultures narrative creates at work class here that which difference. connection specters or of Marxism Marx35 ) ever more difficult. we would add. in the absence because of a class as Marx had in mind. in its own interest" (97). from feudal to capitalist. The crucial and divisions matter him of in Marx's the into native a legacy should informant. We believe that this paradox and dilemma are crucial issues for both Marxism and postcolonial theory. the AMP can justify the economic struggle exploitation globalization removed of the South. especially can be seen as a means in favor of a boundaryless by United by which economic States. before the native can become in a larger program of class struggle led Marx to revolutionary the Asiatic Mode write about of Production. Marx's Asiatic Mode of Production in the service of (AMP) functions the older imperial narrative of other global capitalism. Our concern in this essay is with postcolonialism. footnotes Yet it is also the case that Marxism has found it extremely to difficult account centrally for postcolonial as over have unfolded processes they the last 150 years. [bourgeois] lines in that Derrida's history. the that nation-state a true and postcolonial thus produce must order precisely work the towards? resistances In this from resistance within are . but left to ity its own resources it is also that which blocks that operation" (83). is also elsewhere. \et not be underestimated.388 from Marxist commentaries all commentaries. Marx himself was remarkably Hegelian in his reading of history and believed in the need for colonized to be peoples "awakened postcolonialism reconnection by with the has force evolved of along (or. the him makes revolutionary. about which we offer the can reestablish vital links with Marx that unless postcolonialism proposition ism it will not survive nor deserve to survive long into the twenty-first century. reconfirming ness detected in Kant and Hegel. for the instance. necessity Marx for celebrates capital On to move."34 make terms. a residual AMP may be order under the sign of In Spivak the AMP is "a stasis that must be interrupted world capitalism. "It produces of the operation of the dialectic that will produce socialism. NEW LITERARY HISTORY thinking. In this respect. It sees the native informant take up the (Marx's revolutionary) dam project in India or struggle of demonstrating against the Narmada of rivers by toxic waste produced in sweat shops against the pollution run With Spivak we can ask: could globalization shock by multinationals. seen as in philosophy all postcolonialism to Marx. a the Conversely. are footnotes even It has been to Plato: the bad ones.

do we get the kinds of with and respect for systematic theory that Lazarus declares engagement essential in what are currently seen as cognate fields. attuned of class. or altered. Referring theory in postcolonial Lazarus writes: "The fact that postcolonial studies should have studies. of a single complex social. and cultural whole. the tensions the native and of the local and the global. status whose obviously specific poses a investments special and tend to remain unrecognised and undervalued stockpiles of knowledge in the field" (13). Neil Lazarus's and engaging Nationalism and Cultural Practice in thePostcolonial scholarly to the serious absence of Marxist World. A thoroughgoing our claim in for the the next importance text (and a of Marx text which is made has with uncommon already of Bhabha) from our archive. The belated arrival of the tradition of modernity to .WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 389 the multifaceted and a embedded the linear. political. past. Parry. scholarship" as Lazarus reads issue for both Marxism and postcolonialism ismodernity." assurance but not without acknowledging the specters of Marx. such as multicultural.36 and others is to questions like her. itself as an arena of scholarly production constituted within which informed critique Marxism problem occupies for Marxist a very readers marginal and writers. to be able to (after Adorno) hate it properly and to "mobilize its enough own protocols. with aspects Lazarus without to historical and diaspora studies. but which surely deal postcolonial. Perhaps only struggle and emptied from which ideology in the essays of Benita both struggle is challenged. one's people access well a sense memory tradition. this kind. This past procedures. We believe Lazarus is right that postcolonialism. Lazarus's book declares the end of postcolonial theory because the theory has aestheticized and the aesthetic itself as formations invoked. intellectual investment of an order often missing from post requires colonialism A central them because of its "idealist and dehistoricizing (1). The The imperative Imperative holds of Marxism the key to the question?"what is addresses. and grand and narratives dialogism VII. She locates the postcolonialism?"?that Spivak ultimately in the past and answers it in exactly the same way that Foucault question felt Kant did when he answered the question "what is Enlightenment?": she teases over the matter of the difference in that "today introduces of Marxism respect to yesterday. stresses the of the need for cannot a return redeem to know to historical their one's memory: To a gain past one needs present. here called postcolonial suffers because it lacks a systematic theory of studies. and interior logic against it" (7). the nationalist. minor monologism. narrative.

and both are disavowal are crucial for a postcolonial program. For (or bourgeois) Lazarus there is a double challenge. or ones" 'Western (25). out of the resolutely Euro-American to prise modernity bias of though. In his view the current discourse realizing of the Utopian discourses of postmodernism (and by extension a romanticized upon hybridity) simply predicated postcolonialism the globality .390 the noncapitalist. proper outside of the universe of modernity" "unthinkable (4). time since the field of postcolonialism but Marxists Lazarus wants to stop rendering modernity and capitalism as purely Western neously terized that we ideas. for the right reasons. so that for postcolonialism the central as a common for experience Referring to foundational theorists such as Fanon and Aim? C?saire and writers such postcolonial as Achebe and Salman Rushdie. non-Western (third) world NEW LITERARY HISTORY needs to be acknowledged. It is important. imperative designated epistemopolitical to make his own complex case for "Marx's paradigmatic insistence on the formation" of capitalism as an historical (29). are all 'modern^' is universally capitalism are "all modern subjects. Marxism challenges postcolonialism. specifically European category of imperialism may be both Western and non-Western invoked selves. should not reject postcolonialism (as Aijaz Ahmad outright for the first has done38 ). subjectivity. canon existing humanist the European and respect for (or bourgeois) an equally extraordinary (and critical endorse knowledge alongside social projects. declare to delink that since modernity from Westernization systemic which and and is not simulta charac to say we by unevenness. Against to in the Grundisse had referred of globalization (Marx proclamations he critiques the the idea of a "world market" as internal to capitalism) is ultimately idea that the "drive towards universalization incapable of itself on its own terms" (44). and historical of other cultural works. the necessary consideration canon" soil of the European the provincial (8). Lazarus uses Ranajit Guha (who read universal capital not simply as an that but as predicated inevitable process of expansion upon limitations to break Marx itself could not overcome) (and modernity) away capital from its European locale both as a circumscribed nineteenth-century and as a hyperreal Western (Foucault) sign of an phenomenon "Europe" (Dipesh Chakrabarty). Lazarus writes: "WTiat is striking about as these the cultural and critical practice of such writers and intellectuals to the 'philosophical discourse of is their simultaneous commitment their extraordinary command of and to its unique modernity' critique. ment) experi on of which cannot be accomplished ences.37 Both acknowledgement and and also disavowed. to break Adorno 's identity between modernity and a classic Marxism. but rather engage with it on its own grounds was instituted in the early 1980s.

are mentioned once each."39 This is the third term. Lazarus's them and postmodernism of poststructuralism phobia leads him to create an absolute binary interchangeably) (he uses between of of the Enlightenment the project (and the incomplete project of histories found in contempo and the radical rereading modernity) rary poststructuralist Lyotard. in the past the future. Both Derrida and Jean-Fran?ois for instance. That current radical narratives consciousness of either is not postcolonialism to be found by adherence It will to the emerge or Marxism. David Harvey calls the "postmodern to break the impasse to the other two. tendencies that colonial .WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 391 mode of misrecognizes a social We this order can theme agree while the complex that capitalism most with remaining of operation critique that of the global in of its own and justifies interest. myths. in the make true the marginalized context struggle of capitalist subaltern is to colo moder liberationist "historical nity" (124). in so doing. sense) Yet Lazarus in favor is of right term modernity" cannot even understand that postcolonialism its own object if it dispar of resistance discourses the and. that cannot be explained in totally modern but which are nevertheless terms. The past with those engagement instrumentalism (and countermodern) sys excised under the sign of the rational "man" (whose Other tematically was der roheMensch. colonized Into the Marxism we believe is peoples). postcolonialism maintaining itself cannot be concerned establishing tense may to it needs premodern contemplating into still continue a serious orthodoxy. To dispense with history in favor of a postcolonial present marked is to miss the by global flows and hybrid identity politics fundamental lesson of Marxist historiography: the past can be redeemed only through a radical consciousness of it. Only by postcolonialism accommodate includes in which doctrines. Both form of Marxism provides ately recognizable of what the diversity and unpredictability traditions are challenged by condition. as Lazarus is Marxism that would insists. which not reducible is needed between a colonizing Marxism and an overelaborated postcolonialism. religions. "late To resist the is to of postcolonialism and the new global order subtle and systematic than it is in the hands of resolve (in Harvey's "postmodern" issues "in words" only. on immedi continues Lazarus's to create unconvinced postcolonialism a return to any an easy solution. we need also to to an understanding of postcolonialism foundational factor those life-worlds of spirits. but only in passing. indeed of poetry. thought.40 That denial has its ground: relevance of the anticolonial and liberationist bourgeois struggles were both elitist and therefore not susceptible relevant. The Marxist critique needs to be even more Lazarus. only out of a struggle solely with preserving difference. denies ages nationalist heroic past.41 nialism what to analysis But.

Meals on Wheels through Although Viswanathan does not make the claim. Seen primarily as acts of incorporation into or Islam. Viswanathan to show its worldly isolates a key symbolic aspect of religion. Religion arguably one that touches more than most. Gauri Viswanathan's Outside theFold}2 Awareness of life-worlds. in postcolonial movements has Such moves societies.392 (as sites of a contramodernity) so essential for NEW LITERARY HISTORY a proper postcolonial reconstruction. for instance). Even subaltern the primacy given to the colonial and the studies. at symbolically towards. finds theory's investment in the secular and materialist (xiv). sphere. especially those forms of religion by which subjects define this with remarkable their identity. to Christianity centers of power (converts that her book locates conversion hidden vert" is often read as an aberration agenda converts of most into an fundamentalist earlier religion. The Challenge of Premodernity is a key lived experience. personal the secular activity" affair. Cultural as Viswanathan declares early in her theory. to engage with religion it difficult because of cultural book. What these moves fail to address is the degree the level of the individual. as a transcendental belief. we want to suggest as an its symbolic forms) religion (especially essential component of the incomplete project of modernity. in bringing The difficulty back into culture lies in the religion enlightened latter modernity was a is seen are state's separation as primarily out played a in of the secular and the religious. A book that examines salience and scholarly verve is the next text in our archive. modes of self-expression that are essentially her book. while the Where in the great domain. social and political function. This shift (away from forced conversions or conversions for the . class. very much where the of passions once religion vanguard "knowledge-producing and of social and political change. to which voluntary form. which has questioned has on the whole failed to consider belief systems as legitimate modern. it is now a transcendental absolute with little in the public the needs of the poor value beyond serving. modes of cultural self-empowerment and political intervention. defining it. sex and in culture. correcting. and homes of shelter. Religion has been permeates premodern. been to again The "recon locate once in the realm of collective and uncritical communal systems of religion as the state itself would have it. but more conversions (at importantly at the level or of a movement) were gesturing and are intentional inequities acts of aimed race. referred to as an instance of the pathological in culture and hence not a critical practice. conversion. VIII.

the conversion Ambedkar. politician Viswanathan Bhimrao argues. They are Hindus. hierarchy. in India such a process of absorption did not take place in It raises the questions institutions. They are the monstrous Other of the Hindu him self. condemned to scheduled be carriers of the dead and cleaners of latrines. but also a conversion subversion of secular power (3). the latter's own "filthy image. yet are kept separate even when the Hindu body upon contact. a dalit. reading of a singular case. Ambedkar turned to an originating moment in Indian history?the of Buddhism?to reclaim a spread cultural identity. remain at the bottom. social exclusion. yet cannot enter Hindu they worship Hindu temples.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 393 true as it was) forces us to recall not the sake of material advancement. as they gain high office. redemptive or harijans) are so anomalous The dalits (the untouchables that they Most cultures work from principles of defy any logical explanation. In doing his options) self to an earlier religion of the dalits (and Hindus) from corporeal before Brahmanism reestablished itself. converted not to Islam or Christianity Ambedkar. was never an achievable goal. But they have mobility. not only for dalits but for all Indians (232). because were in Britain. of precise historical moments reading The colonial (instrumental enlightenment) project. gods." reminding of his own disgraceful past and present. Ramji per suasively strong we think. yet outside the four varnas that make up the legitimate children of the gods. they contaminate souls they have no hope of salvation and never move out of the abject cycle. but the dalit case is exceptional. to Buddhism father of the of the dalit Indian Indian constitution. they are Indian citizens with equal voting rights. Henry to that Ambedkar's to the conversion conversion to the earlier to Buddhism religion bears (Catholi resemblance cism) Newman by John turned Newman in 1845. such spite of the nation's democratic as why religion has not been a matter to be debated and why its role in unlike the We nation want has to not take been up examined Viswanathan's more critically. (more common so he returned but to Buddhism. entrepreneurial can take them to the top of the Indian commercial The dalits. after some twenty years of critical . In much the same way the that pre-Reformation Catholicism to recover founda tional structure of Englishness. where religious minorities incorporated into the state. Working toward his conversion (he converted just before his death. castes as they are called. Other castes too marry among their own kind and live karmic skills among themselves socially. "statistic" but Viswanathan the underlying historicizes social and political "not only as resonances a spiritual of the act. in a political activity" (xvii). aimed at creating or non-Hindu Muslims citizens who were non-Muslim Hindus (5) or even perhaps non-animist animists. a conscious and effects of the act.

were non-Indian simultaneously religious and cultural change an intervention was important Conversion thus offered "an alternative and ethical for a national foundation community" epistemological act that underlined of the importance (213). the use of the lions on the Ashokan dharma and so on. political terms [a new demographic more so in terms of creating solutions into a form of not simply in but distinct from Hinduism] constituency a new mythology around which the political (212). IX.394 NEW LITERARY HISTORY and thinking about Buddhism: the conversion itself was a writing on the day with him). not: the enduring in culture and its value as a mode force of religion into political laws are transformed rights. His through which moral a historical awareness decision encoded (in 1956) that the postcolonial Ambedkar what project remains incomplete. The incomplete is therefore not simply a matter of working within project of modernity and so on) but protocols (legislative. in general has recognized postcolonialism Wisely. his conversion was less a isViswanathan's of political rejection than a rewriting of Such intervention. emancipatory return to the felt-life forms of the subject as also an intentional religions) but constituted ideologies Viswanathan's not Hindu. This complex instance sustains Viswanathan's a critical discourse of should unlock thesis: the culture of modernity or postcolonialism. This was a performative act as a mode of postcolonial the religious intervention. rights" own It is the failure of "secular (215) that is at the heart of return to religion. asks: what is the political payoff here? This Viswanathan take: "I shall argue that. "Mahatmaji. The In our attempt Incomplete tense. I have no country" [219]) the dalit solution lay in their effortless absorption into a seamless Hinduism. belief. of dalits converted collective act. juridical. we find Project the of Modernity as a matter already present to relocate postcolonialism to us in the past idea of an incomplete project . so that dalits would be middle between (madhyamaka) path Indian (Christianity and Islam... in Buddhism Ambedkar found Indian religion of antiquity) the (an these two. he felt. pillar at Sarnath as the national emblem. as thousands to add important Buddhist Ambedkar managed (and hence some would into India's key postcolonial icons: the Buddhist argue dalit) motifs cakra on the Indian flag. economic. Just as we now speak of critical multiculturalism to liberal cultural that is not opposed there should be critical belief a cultural persistence at the level of lived but exemplifies practice experience. modes by premodern to extend full political thesis and Ambedkar's of belief. For Gandhi (to whom identity of dalits could be mobilized" Ambedkar had said in 1931.

generally of a (received) historicism. a the word trace of modernity "alternative" or a in which here not to place in to the postcolonialist to. "the in 1957-58."43 J?rgen we reading an of modernity alternative space as an in the discourses project.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 395 Habermas's want to introduce valuable. radical rewrite of the project of (Enlightenment) modernity. a deferral We of the project use of. "and asked for forgive If we . grounds or those life-practices historicities surface. manifest features would nevertheless (since it came with colonization). A modernity that does not logic that inheres in (European) cleanse itself of the world of demons. in which a man who had absconded times written down") to the Fiji Stevedores with a large sum of money Union belonging a tabua (a whale's avoided being charged because he presented tooth. as within supplement opposition reason and Postcolonialism and from margins. We can to the not uncommon way of settling disputes among indigenous forgiveness) Fijians. has been an a proactive and radically from the anticolonial of theory of silence and articulation position as we take it back in the and we do not put that in question exclusion. produced nation Indians (Fiji Indians) appropriated Western historicism and the idea of the transcendental modern subject. replete with postcolonial forms. requires hitherto silenced by (colonial) look at the Pacific island state of Fiji we find a historical process races rather differently of colonization and that indeed that affected not generalist but discrepant In this multiracial narratives.45 a nonrational nativism. In an early study the R. since it cannot be explained the prior by historicism. Nayacakalou cited an argument in the Fijian anthropologist columns of the Fijian weekly Volagauna correspondence (literally. and gods. out of which grew the great discourses of social and matrix analytic has to be located in a The pastness of postcolonialism political justice. had In collected hitherto this been under the consigned a subaltern performative we to what political against call may the that pedagogic. processes of the rational and the mystical. A key text with which we wish to explore this theme is the final text in our archive. spirits. R.^ For Chakrabarty of historicism necessitates the rehistoricizing ("the postcolonialism the of the political" secular-institutional [12]) to blast asunder logic and let newer. albeit modern argument consciousness. "Unfinished Echoing Project. follow this with reference (or seeking which when ritualistically presented symbolizes to the general meeting and much else besides) a plea for forgiveness. subaltern. that seems not to accept the incommensurability us to think through historical historicism. Any history of Fiji will have to address the varying (and exclusive) of the reception of colonial modes ideology by these two races. but native Fijians defined reason (even of the instrumental postcolonial variety) in very different terms. but modernity. Dipesh Chakrabarty's Provincializing Europe. that echo a contramodernity.

the premodern had to be because it inhibited colonial eradicated ideals of individual altogether ism and democracy and made them instruments of colonial capitalism. thus is not project of modernity a matter off completely of breaking with a premodern past. Chakrabarty are always in excess argues of that histories "abstract labour. prepolitical a new historicism (which we read as part of the argument Chakrabarty's to rethink attempt postcolonial should be able to accommodate means accepting an incommensurable the incomplete project of modernity) even if it this seeming contradiction. this is part of a critical postcolonialism that would see the ritual of tabua a modern as and would (or expression) political mode of empowerment not dismiss it for being In (and hence antimodern). of money and the and the In both of description the installation tiated political of a chief?premodern reason permeate modern practices colonial insinuating culture. as native informant there are many moments the writer in as dominates book on Fijian academic. Patel." of "life-processes" because capitalism) the disciplinary could sub?ate processes neither of the factory the master-slave (the symbol relationship of classic nor those of being human often "acted out in manners expressive not lend themselves to the production of the logic of capital" forms that do (66). recognized to extract from peoples "the capitalist mode of production managed a homogeneous and histories that were all different and common unit for measuring capital's human activity" (50) (50). . justice. D. but of as a significant and the latter inhere in modernity making empowering trace (for the subject is ignored in the grand narrative of abstract labor in Marx). as so manifestly observed by Fiji's most astute political activist and thinker. centrality instances?the In one of the case of these moments tabua ceremony of embezzlement the installation of a chief are discussed in great detail. A. the book carries the ethnographic of Raymond methods Firth Although and eschews dialogic narrative and Bronislaw Malinowski in favor of the single point text when the of view the of writer the anthropologist. Marx's (nontotalizing) thought. again.47 a This argument needs to be spelled out as a major tension between dominant narrative. which Chakrabarty calls the universalist narrative of and a second narrative that arises out of capital (a totalizing category). a differen And. For the Fiji Indians.396 ness. though under the Enlightenment ideals of citizenship. In this reading a contramodernity thus lay with the indigenous Fijians and not with the Indians."46 The presentation of the tabua is discussed NEW LITERARY HISTORY at some length in to Nayacakalou's leadership largely because he wished link traditional Fijian practices with Fijian encounters with modernity. life-world knowledges. fracture between the pedagogic The incomplete and the performative. and Hegelian pinned by in his central category of "abstract labour" how historicism.

of the possibility of multiple ways of being human. The phenom deployed seemingly object enon he is looking at does not make sense from the vantage of the after nor even from the colonial. question cultures of that a heterogeneous category mediating arises history is missing. (but unproblematically to the there is a disruption in the historical narrative. heterogeneous history.' whose various it can temporalities find a place cannot in be enclosed narrative in the of . . Other alike: forces and processes narratives. The labor (the artisan. as Chakrabarty says. the politics acutely aware of this difference. production an element only as a Derridean that constantly trace of that which from within cannot capital's challenges commodity's?and (92-93). their competing that is required of postcolonialism on outside that continue both. . those elided. as a because The act of in non-European as distinct barter from generalized labor model is offered of by exchange. These insert into the logic of global capital an alternative. The critical reading and colonialism . universality" translating. . agency of a multiplicity of work-forms into an abstract category of labor will also of work carry with it traces of its own prior corporeality. We would therefore suggest that if the "real" must refer to ways of being that are linked to nonmaterialist modes (the practice then the translation of gods and spirits in our lives. belongs universalist to a world heterogeneity sign 'history. Even created. With respect we are confronted with of postcolonialism incomplete narrative/project of a mediating the absence may be by which principle oppositions reduced. historicism. equally elided by now needs to be conscious of of difference.48 exchange Chakrabarty of commodities radical mediated instance through of an abstract alternative It is the insightfulness of this analysis which suggests to us (though as does not say this) a crucial limitation in postcolonialism Chakrabarty on what is a core in its field. then a historical commodity be enclosed. It should pay attention an ethics and a of the world underpinned "heterotemporality" by In this heterotemporality. Abstract labor is the grand mediating category of Marx. the logic of finds Chakrabarty against abstract labor.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 397 in Marx the insinuation. in questions including the dominant traditions of Marxism (94). and also those elided in the to the dominant traditions of postcolonialism. for instance). orthodox and are Writes Marxism not some accepts that the working labour classes in a had to be of "transcultural" "If real Chakrabarty: subject . mode of even production as and to unity and by implication history's?claims to stress the importance of This leads Chakrabarty the colonial to another). It is an instance of the (post-) colonial. enterprise Because is the act transitional of translating (from one existing the family into abstract labor is not unit) or exchangeable transitional is translational). .

description. In an echo of Kant's original essay ("What Is Enlightenment?"). Eternal vigilance always conscious of the immense resilience of in matters of of the project back into the has a price. not to minimize or deny. its immediate histories and compromises. The serious study of classic . From tive challenge a discourse to construct it has constructed and site from which sublime object of the postcolonial This is an achievement subject. celebrate. Yet for many who once found postcolonialism pursue more become to generate or too less comprehensive the tension great. of productivity deployed by the usual sources and power"51 ). of colonization as (endemic "informational and class exploitation capitalism. of archives themselves from a collec the this the to to the homogeneity of the dominant narrative. Yet at the same time we need to be the bourgeoisie there is critical vigilance. Chakrabarty in which univer "a deliberative celebrates (after Iris Young) democracy academics play the role of public intellectuals with sity-based humanities the do aim not of want furthering to say the that causes this double of social aim?to justice be and true democracy. Postcolonialism diverse struggles has taken the idea of multiplicity that make up subaltern histories. aims were Conclusion and as a to Chakrabarty's to understand past present guide the future. "information new even forms when generation. In this case."49 He a specific how a form of postcolonialism. project of postcolonialism?is philosophical in the present or the past where in all the many situations especially to still use similar methods forms of the old combatants recognizable a the same goals. which build on past suspects. that price may now be postcolonialism itself. analytic and that holds sincerely to its earlier philosophical postcolonialism legacy."50 to a historical We and or valuable. organizing an to produce of could continue practice. between insight that the limitations two there." if no longer a precise is still alive and useful as a metaphor. clash between colonial sense NEW LITERARY HISTORY and of unable to make postcolonial or itself becomes its context." become the and where fun characterized processing transmission damental practices. too the system. too rigid. to remain afloat.398 moment contingent of the and eternal blurred. X. demonstrates historical to work out the "social purpose of criticism. the energy and framework. This is a dilemma. not possible. aims now too have acute Chakrabarty's once was "Postcolonial. has become Postcolonialism. Unless or routinized is likely to be incorporated postcolonialism grand narrative of historicism. capital and history. burdened by the adjective. because clearly "postmodern" globalization incor porates injustice.

Orientalism 2 348. Socrates to Freud and Beyond." that postcolonialism by Marx. that all forms are also of Otherness. "An Answer ed. . towards A postcolonial critique turns to the his own contribution concludes the words with which Foucault of the present and the debates begun by Kant: a critical interrogation as necessity of "the labor of diverse inquiries. Said."52 there were Yet 'informational to no fold essential new capitalism'] forms difference of after of globalization colonization all. a way of saw Kant's considering essay. moment) in itself. Orientalism. Murdoch University of Western University Sydney NOTES 1 Derrida. Alan Bass Jacques of Chicago (Chicago: University Edward W. Patricia Waugh Edward (London: (351). The seeds of postcolonialism always locked contradictions. to honor and used as a platform from which its achievements other scenes. Great of and often 195. is a into serious no longer the old. The Post Card: From Press. rather it energizes we have referred to as the incomplete (what keep its critical antecedent intact. and 438. historical aesthetic 5 A Reader. If in respect influenced postcolonialism yesterday. unfinished project scope) remind a us that "imperialism camouflage masks to which and the conceals the nature of its system. trans. demonstrates clearly. 89-95. difference a a that "today modernity. 3 Said. in other paradigms. which postcolonial is compounded as an by supposing category. the ahistorical essentially us away from postcolonialism. worn-out mode that would allow us to of critical endeavour. in other times. rationality' structural 'communicational [Manuel Castells's has though to resort. is still an urgent.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 399 in its initial and its "other" ("postcolonialism" colonization European if only to in that context. It was in the project of modernity does not resolve its and globalization into that premise. Orientalism. has indeed made us of This is an attitude has of of be this aware fundamental deployed to understand then its insights may be readily fact of critical continuity. It also forces us to rethink the program of project of modernity) it in ways postcolonialism. we have presented and read it. 1987). experience of sharing 349. the as departure. texts. an release. re-formulation" postcolonial colonialism" and transcendent "the always reappropriate transform it into "a new in Postmodernism: Immanuel to the Question: Kant. queathed introduces deeply us. to exit. writes then revitalize What Arnold."53 This iswhat the archive. Said. To relocate postcolonialism (as theory and as historical were sown the past does not condemn it as an otiose. the same. as mistake. Is Enlightenment?" 1992). (1979. 1994). 4 Said. a see way it as Foucault out. New York: Vintage.

regrettably. January Taken for Signs: Homi Bhabha's Postcolonialism. 17 J. Naficy. and W." Ethnicity and Lynn Worsham of New York Press. 25. our earlier Practice "What Is Enlightenment. 21 22 Neil Lazarus. Senghor. and we that Postmodernism. 230. 20. of Culture (London: Routledge. in Practice in the Postcolonial World Transfor (Cambridge: 173. 1993). C. 1996). 1994). A Latin-English Dictionary (London: Longman. The Location of Culture. Tragically I Was an Only Twin. Robert 2001) may (2003): 299-330. University 19 Peter Cook. Narrative. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Continental Drift: From National Characters of Chicago Press. NC: Duke University Press.400 NEW LITERARY HISTORY 6 7 Michel See ter cited Foucault. Olson Turn. Bhabha. 16 Webster's Dictionary. 172. There model of it will elude is also the vast field of comprehensive explanatory in many ways of some of the key the inspiration literature. The Rhetoric of Empire (Durham. postcolonial texts of postcolonialism S?dar (essays and books by Frantz Fanon. 8 Terry Eagleton. The Location 25 Bhabha. Hamid 1905)." Mishra discussion?Vijay 5 (1991): 399-414?where by suggesting and especially inWaugh. Glissant. Albert Memmi. For contestation laws. 5. The difficulty (Albany: State University as a difficulty. 1994). Empire of Words: The Press. White 330. Gikandi. 1999). 1998). Maps Columbia University 13 Princeton An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton. 15 Apter. J." John Willinsky. Stephen personal Alex Callinicos. with postcolonialism in colonialism that a itself) means (already present. Slemon. Cambridge 23 Homi University K. Bhabha (London: Routledge. Edouard and others Sartre. essentially polyphonic reading" as a site for the dissolution postcoloniality divisions that have of Postcoloniality. to Virtual Subjects (Chicago: 11 Emily Apter. William Cook (London: Century." Nation and Narration. N. see with engagement thorough of the "very classifications and Peter Hitchcock. ed. Green. 2002). "What 96-108 (hereaf Bob Hodge. Press. center) that we. NJ: Princeton Reign of the OED (Princeton. Porter (Springfield. "Wonders mation! (1995): 98. & C. of Culture. 5. Harris MA: G. Continental Drift. Jean-Paul were decisive in the creation of a "third-world" of critical difference from the language Francophone theoretical metropolitan 10 Simon do not take up in this essay. The Location . University Islam and Postcolonial Narrative 12 John Erickson. and thePostcolonial. Time. 1999). Press." "Bakhtin's also "The Genre and genre produced" New Literary History 158. NJ: Press. us. 6. ed. book Postcolonialism: "secret 9 See handbook. Rhetoric. (New of Englishness: Writing Identity in the Culture of Colonialism York: 14. Nation." and Cultural 134. (London: 2003). anticipate. 24 26 Bhabha. 1999). "beneath post-colonial Is Post(-) colonial about discussions literature lies the of and its 34 it (404). ism?" Textual the genre of might of postcoloniality the novel form" a as well. 2001). University 14 David Spurr. Young's be some such Stuart Hall's interview with Julie Drew in "Cultural Composition: Stuart Hall on and the Discursive in Race. Leopold Aim? C?saire. Nationalism 20 communication. 2004. Riddle. andj. and the Margins of the Modern "DissemiNation: Bhabha. 279. Figures of Dissent An Historical Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell. 1990). Gary A. see 18 For an account of this "imperial dictionary. in text). 136. 177. 315. ed. 1876). Mirriam." Verso. ed.

What practices capitalist not foresee. at length by Lazarus 40 Two key modes of resistance discussed of course. slavery (for blacks) or is materially constitutive of contemporary black diaspora consciousness?is category Lazarus's of Marxist analysis?class take on diaspora theory is as social ("consciousness bearing or indenture Indian (for Indians) indenture diaspora lived experiences but domination and unit a matter in terms of of relating life-worlds sociality. the fundamental completely marginalized by Gilroy. by placing blacks "internally" grounds: aWestern on ismaintained and not a global phenomenon and. of Postmodernity: of Cultural 1989). Change (Oxford: Blackwell. This [Lazarus. who are given 34 Spurr. An Enquiry The Condition into the Origins David Harvey. (London: Verso. "Remembering and Laura Chrisman Discourse and Post-Colonial (New Theory: A Reader. See Derrida. 64 (hereafter Lazarus. Ranajit 90]. Toward a History 1999) (hereafter of the cited in see Mishra's review in of Spivak's Critique of Postcolonial Reason. R. and British India R. of Postcolonial University Reason: Press. 1997) for a fuller examination University to an (Orientalist) Indophobia. This is not only as of seeing life-worlds of imperialist process part of a systemic being exclusion. as raw man. University [Cambridge. Wheatsheaf. trans. Nationalism. is that colonialism grasped. failed to see that precolonial 27 28 cultural practices by did exploitation. Trautmann. Peggy Kamuf. a fuller Textual Practice nature can name since only those who are cooked by culture meaning the and Mr. Fanon. Rhetoric of Empire. 1993)?a book about Atlantic MA: Harvard (Cambridge. and what. Specters ofMarx: trans. introduction International. as a two formation?on modernity diasporic as in the West. and yet C. 1992). experienced preeminently of the subaltern and not via hegemony (the winning extraction) ideological for the colonial is. theory too has only latterly postcolonial was in terms of dominance (that is. Nationalism. 194. Constance The Wretched 29 Fanon. by concentrating over world racial collectivities ("[black] Atlanticism system as the preferred [capitalist] of sociohistorical analysis" [62] ). material support Guha's and without in his essay "Colonialism in South Asia: A Dominance Hegemony point Its Historiography" without Hegemony: History and Power in Colonial India (in Dominance he creatively reworks in which MA: Harvard Press. 33 In Joseph Conrad's of Darkness. James." natives. in Colonial Fanon: Self. Indophilia is foreclosed from the Heart the native. (London: Penguin. and Los Angeles: 32 See Thomas Aryans (Berkeley of the shift from an initial of California Press. are cricket and music. furthermore. second. Kurtz. of hegemony Antonio Gramsci's concepts 30 Gayatri Vanishing text). (New York: Routledge. by Bernd 1994). albeit encumbered Fanon world. Nations. 1993)." Bhabha. 38 39 In Theory: Classes. Farrington of the Earth. 1997]. . L. "Signs of Our Times: A Location of Culture. 1-99). ed. A Critique MA: Harvard Present (Cambridge. indices of high sublime: aesthetic the 35 the Work Magnus Discussion ofMourning. social and (but not premodern) 1990). Literatures See Aijaz Ahmad.WHAT WAS POSTCOLONIALISM? 401 cited in text). Patrick Williams York: Harvester 122. of course. 100." Third Text 28/29 (1994): 5-24. is a thoroughly the West establishment Cricket. it appears. to emphasize of historical the materiality memory so that effects" [64] ) as being fundamental. and Stephen of Homi and theNew Cullenberg Bhabha's The The State of the Debt. Psyche and the Colonial Condition. 31 For Chakravorty Spivak. The Black 37 Lazarus influential critiques Paul Gilroy's University Press. the presumption of modernity first. of course. reading 14 (2000): 412-21. game. enterprise) of economic in the postcolonial have survived colonial times and continue to exist. 36 See especially Benita Parry. not with sublime moment resides with Marlow the elliptical "Mistah Kurtz?he dead. and dominance.

the inverted challenged. anticolonial (Lazarus. Manuel The Rise of theNetwork Sodety (London: Blackwell. "What Is Enlightenment." African both challenges instrument). noticeable homogenization music of the Zimbabwean Graceland Paul Simon's Stella Rambisai (1986). of course. (Chicago: University once again* of Chicago Press. 10. 1998) (hereafter University Habermas. Critical Inquiry 29 (2003): 700. clear that and Chrisman. R. Foucault. nation and not that of the putative needs Outside the Fold: Conversion. 1996). And correcting cultural rules and attitudes and the principle of (black and white cricket. Princeton Press." in V." The point Chiweshe is rooted in the tradition of mbira playing African (mbira is a traditional As "world music. Nayacakalou. so it was through that needs for proper cricket and all its seeing. Europe: Political Dipesh cited in text). 41 Here. 1975). by and large. Chakrabarty. society. Castells. after Bhabha. "The End of Temporality. Viswanathan. NJ: University 45 Chakrabarty. Naipaul. moral discipline that kept it a sport apart. As for popular music. Modernity. in such immensely and packaging" successful albums as (218). 50 51 52 53 Symposium?Where Is the "Where Is the Now?" 459. cricket). 44 Gauri Princeton J?rgen liberationalist was because ideology as such. Kelly Communities: See John and Martha 47 Represented Fiji and World Kaplan. 1984). The distinctive an alternative. S. Spivak's path-breaking (inWilliams essay. to "Western its lyrics too forcibly declare resistance 17-22. 2000) (hereafter (Princeton. University Leadership D. Oxford 46 R. "Modernity versus Postmodernity. 2001). Decolonization 48 In Fijian kere kere. style of play to the hitherto carried this cricketers the game played an is acknowledged by unlikely writer. were never fighting and Belief German Peasant factored for his resistance into or a her expression the peasant West Nationalism." New (Princeton. saw it as the game through which enterprise Cricket lends itself to the logic of the camera obscura. test series against England introduced 1967-68 West Indian adventurous. 66-111) Spivak's essay makes an "elite nationalism has been. 22 NJ: Critique (1981): and Historical Provincializing Thought Difference Chakrabarty. (New York: Vintage. and so on) that the aspirations of the federalists losing graciously on the in the West Indies towards a West Indian Federation (an early move Malaysian were model) (who as captain of the ways in which Gary Sobers kept alive. S." 108. Naipaul. "Can the Subaltern Speak?" has been decisive. staid mode of English and Clive Rohan Kanhai. cited in text). V. in Fiji (Melbourne: Press. configuration" from of the everyday counter-colonial struggles of the subaltern. the act of barter is captured Critical Inquiry in the well-known custom of 49 Chakrabarty." Fredric Jameson. pop (such as that of Mory Kante) and dismantles the "ideological of Euro-American parochialism" popular music. 110) divorced or nonassimilable forms bourgeois immediate 42 43 3-14. The popular Lloyd's "counter immensely narrative resourceful Indian of liberation. The Overcrowded Barracoon See his "Cricket. "The Future of Criticism?A Now?" Critical Inquiry 30 (2004): 458. Colonial Discourse. 21n33. . Provindalizing Europe. Press.402 NEW LITERARY HISTORY Indian Marxist itself was image nuanced the colonial critic. 103.

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