A Woefully Brief and Limited Intro to Post-Colonial

A Woefully Brief and Limited Intro to Post-Colonial

A Woefully Brief and Limited Intro to Post-Colonial Theory Announcements: Gentle reminder that The Reading Responses have a HUGE impact on your grade. Essay 2 is on its way. If you turned in Essay 1 late, your essay will be graded AFTER the on-time Essay 2 essays are graded. Dont forget, you should finish reading Brave New World by Tuesday, May 10!

Postcolonialism Postcolonialism (post-colonial theory or post-oriental) is a term that applies to more than just the study of literatureit also refers the theoretical and critical observations of former colonies of the Western powers and how they relate to, and interact with, the rest of the world. When discussing it as a literary theory, it focuses on the reading and writing of literature written in previously or currently colonized countries. In this case it is called Postcolonial Theory. Postcolonial theory seeks to critically investigate what happens when two cultures clash and one of them ideologically fashions itself as superior and assumes dominance and control over the other.

These theories are reactions to the cultural legacy of colonialism. Post Colonial Theory Continued It investigates the literature written in colonial countries and by their citizensespecially when it has colonized people as its subject matter. Similar to the ways in which feminist critics often focus on writing by women that has been historically ignored or thought unimportant, postcolonial critics often focus on writing by people from colonized cultureseither during or after colonizationand examine the (often destructive) ways in which the colonizing or dominating culture influenced or erased the colonized culture.

Colonized people who managed to gain access to education and upward mobilityespecially from colonies in the British Empireoften attended British universities. Their access to education, still unavailable in the colonies, created a new criticism - mostly literary, and especially in novels. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union during the late 20th century, its former republics became the subject of this study as well. Terms: Post-Colonial/Postcolonial The hyphenated term (-) Postcolonial implies the

effects of colonialism on cultures after the end of colonialism, such as the legacy of Eurocentric modernity. Gandhi, Leela .1998. Postcolonial Theory: An Introduction The run-on term Postcolonial refers to the effects of colonialism on cultures from the beginning of colonialism to the present date. Ashcroft et. al (1989) Empire Writes Back Key Terms Imperialism-extending the control or authority over

foreign entities as a means of acquisition and maintenance of empires, either through direct territorial control or through cultural control. Alterity-lack of identification with some part of ones community, differentness, otherness. Diaspora-refer to any people or ethnic population forced or induce to leave their homelands, being dispersed throughout other parts of the world. Key Terms Eurocentrism-the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures.

Hybridity-referring to the integration of cultural signs and practices from the colonizing and colonized cultures. The 3 Major Foundational Authors in Postcolonial Theory 1. Edward W. Said 2. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak 3. Homi K. Bhabha Edward Said Probably the most important figure for the rise of postcolonial studies and theory.

Born in 1935 in Jerusalem and died in 2003 Palestinian-American scholar, critic, and writer Said, raised as an Anglican (Church of England), attended a British school in Cairo then at Princeton and Harvard, he became an academic literary critic. From 1963 until his death he was a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York. Edward Said continued His 1978 book Orientalism reevaluated an entire historical tradition of European-American thought, examining the relation of political

power to the representation of the world, and generated an entire field of cultural and postcolonial studies as well as informing the thinking of scholars in every area of cultural, social and historical work. It describes the academic and cultural discourse about the East constructed by the West and the problems inherent in that. Other significant books include The Question of Palestine (1979), Covering Islam (1981), The World, the Text and the Critic (1983), Culture and Imperialism (1993), The Politics of Dispossession (1994), Representations of the Intellectual (1994), Peace and Its Discontents (1995), The End of the Peace Process (2000), Reflections on Exile (2000) and Humanism and Democratic Criticism (2004).

Orientalism Illustrates Asian and Islamic Cultures during European imperialism and Europes goals of maintaining power and domination of non-Europeans He argued that Europe used the Orient and imperialism as a symbol of its strength and superiority. Said suggested that Orientalists are treated as othersin this case, Muslims and Asiansand as objects defined not in terms of their own discourses, but solely in terms of standards and definitions imposed on them from outside. Among the influences underlying these definitions was, in Said's view, a long-standing Western concern with presenting Islam as opposed to Christianity.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak was born in 1942 Is thought of as one of the three co-founders of postcolonial theory. Her main work on the postcolonial theory was her Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (1999) Her work combines Marxist Criticism, Feminist Criticism, and Deconstruction. Homi K. Bhabha He wrote the Nation and Narration (1990) This considers how to conceptualize the nation

under colonialism and, by default, in postcoloniality. Here he takes issue with the anthropologist Benedict Anderson's view of the relationship between imperialism and its resistance in Imagined Communities (1991). Places that produce literature often examined in Postcolonial Studies Latin America Africa East and Southeast Asia South Asia Caribbean

Polynesia United States Postcolonial Examples: Books: - Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart - Wole Soyinka, The Lion and the Jewel - Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea - Giannina Braschi, United States of Banana Films: - Gandhi (1982) --India(colonizedbytheBritish) - Sugar Cane Alley

(1984) Martinique(colonizedbytheFrench) - Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) Australia,colonizedbytheBritish - Whale Rider (2004) NewZealand,colonizedbytheBritish - The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) Ireland,colonizedbytheBritish American Multiculturalism A Critical Theory of Cultural Studies American Multiculturalism Since its beginnings, America as a nation has been home to many peoples from many different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Many of these groups came willingly, as did (most) immigrants

from Europe and other places, while othersAfrican slaves in particulardid NOT. America is diverse and multiethnic, and as a result it isand should bemulticultural. American multiculturalism has grown out of the idea that America was built on and is composed of not ONE American culture, but is of MANY, and that all are equally valuable. Multicultural Critics Say What? One of the first and foremost goals of multicultural critics has been to increase the visibility of the literature produced by members of minority groups in the United States. Another goal has been to create a critical and academic environment in which these works can be properly understood

and appreciated (and taken seriously!) Due to the marginalization of minority cultures, many works by minority authors were written out of a set of assumptions and worldviews different from those of the dominant culture and therefore not fully understood or taken seriously in academic circles. American Multiculturalism Often Focuses On the Works Of: 1. African American Writers 2. Latina/o Writers 3. American Indian Literatures 4. Asian American Writers Henry Louis Gates

uses the word race only in quotation marks. African American Writers African American Writing often displays a folkloric conception of a humankind; a double consciousness, as W.E.B. DuBois called it, arising from bicultural identity; irony, parody, tragedy and bitter comedy in negotiating this ambivalence; attacks upon presumed white cultural superiority;

a naturalistic focus on survival and inventive reframing of language itself, as in language games like W. E. B. Du Bois, circa 1907 jiving,sounding,signifying, and rapping. African American Writers The Harlem Renaissance (1918- Langston Hughes was a prominent member of the Harlem Renaissance 1937) signaled a tremendous -- a movement during the 1920s of upsurge in black culture, with an black writers and intellectuals who

engaged in intense debate especial interest in primitivist art regarding the place of the African the so-called New Negroes. American in American life, and on the role and identity of the AfricanAmerican artist. Pictured here are Langston Hughes [far left] with [left to right:] Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher and Hubert T. Delaney, on a Harlem rooftop on the occasion of a party in Hughes' honor, 1924.

Latina/o Writers Spanish-speaking people in the United States. The majority of Mexican residents stayed in place, transformed into Mexican Americans with a stroke of the pen. One of the primary tropes in Latina/o studies has to do with the entire concept of borders-borders between nations, between cultures

and within cultures. Latina/o Writers Code-switching is a border phenomenon studied by linguists. Speakers who codeswitch move back and forth between Spanish and English, for instance, or resort to the Spanglish of border towns. Liminality, or betweeness is characteristic of postmodern experience but also has special connotations for Latina/o.

American Indian Literatures In predominantly oral cultures, storytelling passes on religious beliefs, moral values, political codes, and practical lessons of everyday life. For American Indians, stories are a source of strength in the face of centuries of silencing by Euro-Americans. For many, American Indian is often preferred over Native

American. Even betteruse specific nation/tribe names! Wendy Rose a Hopi/Miwok writer and poet Sherman Alexie grew up on the Spokane Reservation American Indian Literatures Two types of American Indian literature have evolved as fields of study. Traditional American Indian literature

includes tales, songs, and oratory. Mainstream American Indian literature refers to works written by Indians in English in the traditional genres of fiction, poetry and autobiography. Many say that N. Scott Momadays House Made of Dawn(1968), which won the Pulitzer Prize, and his memoir, The Way to Rainy Mountain(1969), began a renaissance of American Indian fiction and poetry and inspired a generation of Indian writers, poets, and artists. Asian American Writers

Edward Said has written of orientalism, or the tendency to objectify and exoticise Asians, and the countries and cultures of both the so-called near and far East. While Asian literature goes back for a millennia** , Asian American literature can be said to have begun around the turn of the 20th century, primarily with autobiographical paper son stories and confessions. **Example: The first novel, The Tale of Genji, was written by a Japanese woman, Murasaki Shikibu, in 1021

Asian American Writers Paper son stories were carefully fabricated for Chinese immigrant men to make the authorities believe that their New World sponsors were really their fathers. Asian American autobiography inherited these descriptive strategies, as Maxine Hong Kingstons The Woman Warriors: Memoirs of Girlhood Among Ghosts(1976) illustrates. Identity may be individually known within but is not always at home in the outward community.

Maxine Hong Kingston has won the National Book Critics Circle Award (for /The Woman Warrior/) Asian American Writers Chinese women make up the largest and most influential group of Asian American writers. Jade Snow Wongs female coming of age story was called Fifth Chinese Daughter. Amy Tans Joy Luck Club (1989) traces

the lives of four Chinese women immigrants starting in 1949, when they form their mah-jongg club and swap stories of life in China; these mothers vignettes alternate with Directed by Wayne Wang their daughters stories. Apply It To The Literature: An American Multicultural reading of Everyday Use by Alice Walker might choose to focus on the quilts, and the significance of such quilts in African American art and history. Such a reading might also compare Maggie and Dees relationship to that history and how they differ.

Example: African-American art has often been functionalthat is, it is meant to be used. The quilts that become the subject of contention in Alice Walkers Everyday Use are an example of this type of practical art. In fact, the title of the story is a specific reference to the functionality of homemade things that Dee wants to take from the family home and preserve. Given Dees newfound interest in African and AfricanAmerican culture and heritage, it is striking that she is unable to appreciate this fact which seems so obvious to her mother and sister.

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