The postcolonial condition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The notion of the postcolonial gained currency as a category of experience in the Western academy during the 1980s, roughly two decades after decolonization in Africa, in the wake of Edward Said’s seminal work Orientalism (1978). Said’s impressive survey of Western representations of the Orient inspired critics and theorists across many fields because of the way he linked up the politics of institutions and discursive formations with the cultural use of power and knowledge. This English literature professor of Palestinian origin helped initiate a paradigmatic shift away from criticism narrowly focused on texts and their formal aspects to the study of literature in its multiple contexts. This broadening of the critic’s scope to allow for a consideration of the dynamics of empire was consolidated over the next decade with a number of collaborative efforts of which The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (1989) by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin stands out as a noteworthy example. Rhetorical features of postcolonial discourse such as mimicry and hybridity proposed in The Empire Writes Back were subsequently expanded and refined by critics such as Homi Bhabha in The Location of Culture (1994). Bhabha and the authors of The Empire Writes Back were also professors of English, which signals how important English departments were in shaping the emergence of postcolonial studies, but it is also useful to remember that French post-structuralism provided much of the theoretical basis from which they developed their common project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to: The African Novel
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages209-226
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781139002608, 9780521855600
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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Rhetoric
Criticism
Decolonization
Orient
Postcolonial Studies
Paradigmatics
Discursive Formation
Poststructuralism
Hybridity
Theorists
English Literature
Postcolonial Literature
Mimicry
1980s
Palestinians
Africa
Orientalism
Discourse
Currency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Taoua, P. . (2009). The postcolonial condition. In The Cambridge Companion to: The African Novel (pp. 209-226). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521855600.013

The postcolonial condition. / Taoua, Phyllis -.

The Cambridge Companion to: The African Novel. Cambridge University Press, 2009. p. 209-226.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Taoua, P 2009, The postcolonial condition. in The Cambridge Companion to: The African Novel. Cambridge University Press, pp. 209-226. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521855600.013
Taoua P. The postcolonial condition. In The Cambridge Companion to: The African Novel. Cambridge University Press. 2009. p. 209-226 https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521855600.013
Taoua, Phyllis -. / The postcolonial condition. The Cambridge Companion to: The African Novel. Cambridge University Press, 2009. pp. 209-226
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