What is Post(-)colonialism? Problems with the Definitions



There is much continuing debate and disagreement among critics as to the meaning of the term Post(-)colonialism, and indeed even its spelling whether with or without the hyphen. Indeed, agreeing on one simple definition of Postcolonialism is difficult due to many reasons and the dispute over its exact meaning and precise definition seems to be unresolved.  The present article is an attempt to define Post(-)colonialism, and thus to point to its major preoccupations and areas of concern. It also aims to draw some debate about the use of the terms “Post-colonial” and “Postcolonial” in some recent publications.



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- Ahmad, Aijaz. In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures. London: Verso, 1992. p 15.

-Hall, Stuart.“When Was ‘The Postcolonial’? Thinking at the Limit”, in eds., Iain Chambers & Lidia Curti, The Post-Colonial Question: Common Skies, Divided Horizons .London: Routledge, 1996. p 253.

- Shohat, Ella. "Notes on the 'PostColonial'," Social Text 31/32 .1992. pp 99-113. http://www.jstor.org/stable/466220?origin=JSTOR-pdf . 20/04/2013.

-Gikandi, Simon. "“Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Nationalism”." CLIO 36.1 (2006): 69+. Indiana University. Web. .

- McClintock, Anne. “The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term ‘Post-colonialism”, in ed., Diana Brydon, Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts, vol. I. London and New York: Routledge, 2000. p 177.

- Ibid177.

- To use the ironical term “Coca-Colonization”, which hints at American ideological and cultural dominance and control over the rest of the world.

-Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. p 171.

- Ibid 171.

-Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffith, and Helen Tiffin, eds. The Empire Writes Back. London: Routledge, 1989.p 2.

-Ashcroft, Bill et al., Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies. London: Routledge, 1998.p186.

-Brydon. Diana. Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts.vol. I. London: Routledge, 2000.p 4.

-Childs, Peter and Patrick Williams. An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory. Harlow: Longman, 1997. p 1.

- Gilbert, Helen and Joanne Tompkins. Post-Colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics .London: Routledge, 1996. p 2.

-Kiberd, Declan. Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation. London: Vintage, 1996. p6.

-Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. London: Routledge, 1998.p 12.

-Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. p 3.

- Childes, Peter and Patrick Williams, An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory, Harlow: Longman, 1997.p 4.

-Ramazani, Jahan. “Is Yeats a Postcolonial Poet?” in ed., David Pierce, W. B. Yeats Critical Assessments. vol. 4.Mountfield, East Sussex: Helm Information, 2000. p 796.

-McClintock, Anne “The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term ‘Post-colonialism”, in ed., Diana Brydon, Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts, vol. I. London: Routledge, 2000. P 180.

- Shohat, Ella. "Notes on the 'PostColonial'," Social Text 31/32 .1992. pp 99-113. p103.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/466220?origin=JSTOR-pdf . 20/04/2013

- Dirlik, Arif. "The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism." 20- (1994): 328-56. The University of Chicago Press. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. p 329.

- Ibid 339.

- Paul Brians, ‘‘Postcolonial Literature’: Problems with the Term’. August 7, 1998, http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/anglophone/postcolonial.html


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