post colonial theory

post colonial theory

a wide-ranging body of economic, social and cultural critique that investigates the conditions arising from and pertaining to the formation of empires, the impact of colonial rule and its aftermath. Generally indicating the time after World War II when imperial rule began to crumble in colonized nations, post colonialism raised issues of nationality, cultural identity and the use of language as a means of oppression. One of the most notable writers in this field was Frantz FANON whose contribution to the debate, Black Skin, White Masks, yielded further critique from writers such as Edward SAID and Albert MEMMI. Providing psychoanalytical, historical and cultural analysis of colonial rule, they argued that imperialism produced inferior subjects by devaluing the domestic language and culture, which in turn affected both their own sense of identity and outside perception of the culture. However, as post colonial theory emerged as a growing discourse, writers such as Homi Bhabha and Stuart HALL began to question the value of promoting an essentialist vision of society when identity has evolved beyond any set idea of singular subjectivity. Here notions of‘hybridity’ and ‘syncretism’ have been developed in order to highlight the diasporic (see DIASPORA) and global nature of post-colonial culture, where the subject can make use of a myriad of identities in order to constitute a fluid self-image.
References in periodicals archive ?
This volume uses feminist and post colonial theory to examine Malay literature by Chinese peranaken authors in the Dutch East Indies between 1915 and 1940.
One interesting example Hogan uses to discredit the politics of post colonial theory concerns Bhabha's use of Jacques Lacan's description of mimicry in an epigraph to the short essay, "Of Mimicry and Man," which he observes is never discussed in this canonical essay.
Li (sociology and women's studies, Okanagan College, Canada) describes the development of the past 30 years of Asian Canadian cultural activism from within a theoretical frameworks of postmodernist cultural studies and post colonial theory, additionally informed by globalization, transnational/transcultural, and diaspora theories.