Search This Blog

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Introduction to Postcolonial Studies

Introduction to Postcolonial Studies

The field of Postcolonial Studies has been gaining prominence since the 1970s. Some would date its rise in the Western academy from the publication of Edward Said's influential critique of Western constructions of the Orient in his 1978 book, Orientalism. The growing currency within the academy of the term "postcolonial" (sometimes hyphenated) was consolidated by the appearance in 1989 of The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Since then, the use of cognate terms "Commonwealth" and "Third World" that were used to describe the literature of Europe's former colonies has become rarer. Although there is considerable debate over the precise parameters of the field and the definition of the term "postcolonial," in a very general sense, it is the study of the interactions between European nations and the societies they colonized in the modern period. The European empire is said to have held sway over more than 85% of the rest of the globe by the time of the First World War, having consolidated its control over several centuries. The sheer extent and duration of the European empire and its disintegration after the Second World War have led to widespread interest in postcolonial literature and criticism in our own times.
The list of former colonies of European powers is a long one. They are divided into settler (eg. Australia, Canada) and non-settler countries (India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka). Countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe which were partially settled by colonial populations complicate even this simpledivision between settler and non-settler. The widely divergent experiences of these countries suggest that "postcolonial" is a very loose term. In strictly definitional terms, for instance, the United States might also be described as a postcolonial country, but it is not perceived as such because of its position of power in world politics in the present, its displacement of native American populations, and its annexation of other parts of the world in what may be seen as a form of colonization. For that matter, other settler countries such as Canada and Australia are sometimes omitted from the category "postcolonial" because of their relatively shorter struggle for independence, their loyalist tendencies toward the mother country which colonized them, and the absence of problems of racism or of the imposition of a foreign language. It could, however, be argued that the relationship between these countries to the mother country is often one of margin to center, making their experience relevant to a better understanding of colonialism. The debate surrounding the status of settler countries as postcolonial suggests that issues in Postcolonial Studies often transcend the boundaries of strict definition. In a literal sense, "postcolonial" is that which has been preceded by colonization. The second college edition of The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "of, relating to, or being the time following the establishment of independence in a colony." In practice, however, the term is used much more loosely. While the denotative definition suggests otherwise, it is not only the period after the departure of the imperial powers that concerns those in the field, but that before independence as well.
The formation of the colony through various mechanisms of control and the various stages in the development of anti-colonial nationalism interest many scholars in the field. By extension, sometimes temporal considerations give way to spatial ones (i.e. in an interest in the postcolony as a geographical space with a history prior or even external to the experience of colonization rather than in the postcolonial as a particular period) in that the cultural productions and social formations of the colony long before colonization are used to better understand the experience of colonization. Moreover, the "postcolonial" sometimes includes countries that have yet to achieve independence, or people in First World countries who are minorities, or even independent colonies that now contend with "neocolonial" forms of subjugation through expanding capitalism and globalization. In all of these senses, the "postcolonial," rather than indicating only a specific and materially historical event, seems to describe the second half of the twentieth-century in general as a period in the aftermath of the heyday of colonialism. Even more generically, the "postcolonial" is used to signify a position against imperialism and Eurocentrism. Western ways of knowledge production and dissemination in the past and present then become objects of study for those seeking alternative means of expression. As the foregoing discussion suggests, the term thus yokes a diverse range of experiences, cultures, and problems; the resultant confusion is perhaps predictable.
The expansiveness of the "postcolonial" has given rise to lively debates. Even as some deplore its imprecision and lack of historical and material particularity, others argue that most former colonies are far from free of colonial infuence or domination and so cannot be postcolonial in any genuine sense. In other words, the overhasty celebration of independence masks the march of neocolonialism in the guise of modernization and development in an age of increasing globalization and transnationalism; meanwhile, there are colonized countries that are still under foreign control. The emphasis on colonizer/colonized relations, moreover, obscures the operation of internal oppression within the colonies. Still others berate the tendency in the Western academy to be more receptive to postcolonial literature and theory that is compatible with postmodern formulations of hybridity, syncretization, and pastiche while ignoring the critical realism of writers more interested in the specifics of social and racial oppression. The lionization of diasporic writers like Salman Rushdie, for instance, might be seen as a privileging of the transnational, migrant sensibility at the expense of more local struggles in the postcolony. Further, the rise of Postcolonial Studies at a time of growing transnational movements of capital, labor, and culture is viewed by some with suspicion in that it is thought to deflect attention away from the material realities of exploitation both in the First and the Third World.
Major Issues
Despite the reservations and debates, research in Postcolonial Studies is growing because postcolonial critique allows for a wide-ranging investigation into power relations in various contexts. The formation of empire, the impact of colonization on postcolonial history, economy, science, and culture, the cultural productions of colonized societies, feminism and postcolonialism, agency for marginalized people, and the state of the postcolony in contemporary economic and cultural contexts are some broad topics in the field.
The following questions suggest some of the major issues in the field:
How did the experience of colonization affect those who were colonized while also influencing the colonizers? How were colonial powers able to gain control over so large a portion of the non-Western world? What traces have been left by colonial education, science and technology in postcolonial societies? How do these traces affect decisions about development and modernization in postcolonies? What were the forms of resistance against colonial control? How did colonial education and language influence the culture and identity of the colonized? How did Western science, technology, and medicine change existing knowledge systems? What are the emergent forms of postcolonial identity after the departure of the colonizers? To what extent has decolonization (a reconstruction free from colonial influence) been possible? Are Western formulations of postcolonialism overemphasizing hybridity at the expense of material realities? Should decolonization proceed through an aggressive return to the pre-colonial past (related topic: Essentialism)? How do gender, race, and class function in colonial and postcolonial discourse? Are new forms of imperialism replacing colonization and how?
Along with these questions, there are some more that are particularly pertinent to postcolonial literature: Should the writer use a colonial language to reach a wider audience or return to a native language more relevant to groups in the postcolony? Which writers should be included in the postcolonial canon? How can texts in translation from non-colonial languages enrich our understanding of postcolonial issues? Has the preponderance of the postcolonial novel led to a neglect of other genres?
Major Figures
Some of the best known names in Postcolonial literature and theory are those of Chinua Achebe, Homi Bhabha, Buchi Emecheta, Frantz Fanon, Jamaica Kincaid, Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. A more comprehensive although by no means exhaustive list follows.

LITERATURE: Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Peter Abrahams, Ayi Kwei Armah, Aime Cesaire, John Pepper Clark, Michelle Cliff, Jill Ker Conway, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Anita Desai, Assia Djebar, Marguerite Duras, Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah, Amitav Ghosh, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Merle Hodge, C.L.R. James, Ben Jelloun, Farida Karodia, Jamaica Kincaid, Hanif Kureishi, George Lamming, Dambudzo Marechera, Rohinton Mistry, Ezekiel Mphahlele, V. S. Naipaul, Taslima Nasrin, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Flora Nwapa, Grace Ogot, Molara Ogundipe-Leslie, Gabriel Okara, Ben Okri, Michael Ondaatje, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Allan Sealy, Shyam Selvadurai, Leopold Senghor, Vikram Seth, Bapsi Sidhwa, Wole Soyinka, Sara Suleri, M.G.Vassanji, Derek Walcott, etc.
FILM: Shyam Benegal, Gurinder Chadha, Claire Denis, Shekhar Kapoor, Srinivas Krishna, Farida Ben Lyazid, Ken Loach, Deepa Mehta, Ketan Mehta, Mira Nair, Peter Ormrod, Horace Ove, Pratibha Parmar, Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ousmane Sembene, etc.
THEORY: Aijaz Ahmad, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Bill Ashcroft, Homi Bhabha, Amilcar Cabral, Partha Chatterjee, Rey Chow, Frantz Fanon, Gareth Griffiths, Ranajit Guha, Bob Hodge, Abdul JanMohamed, Ania Loomba, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Vijay Mishra, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Arun Mukherjee, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Benita Parry, Edward Said, Kumkum Sangari, Jenny Sharpe, Stephen Slemon, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Aruna Srivastava, Sara Suleri, Gauri Viswanathan, Helen Tiffin, etc.
Postcolonial and Transnational Theories
"Postcolonial" (or post-colonial) as a concept enters critical discourse in its current meanings in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but both the practice and the theory of postcolonial resistance go back much further (indeed to the origins of colonialism itself). Thus below I list a number of writers who were "postcolonial" avant la lettre, including figures like Frantz Fanon and Albert Memmi, the Caribbean "negritude" writers, and some US critics whose work also presages some of the positions now labeled postcolonial. The term means to suggest both resistance to the "colonial" and that the "colonial" and its discourses continue to shape cultures whose revolutions have overthrown formal ties to their former colonial rulers. This ambiguity owes a good deal to post-structuralist linguistic theory as it has influenced and been transformed by the three most influential postcolonial critics Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Homi Bhabha. Many genealogists of postcolonial thought, including Bhabha himself, credit Said's Orientalism as the founding work for the field. Said's argument that "the Orient" was a fantastical, real material-discursive construct of "the West" that shaped the real and imagined existences of those subjected to the fantasy, set many of the terms for subsequent theoretical development, including the notion that, in turn, this "othering" process used the Orient to create, define, and solidify the "West." This complex, mutually constitutive process, enacted with nuanced difference across the range of the colonized world(s), and through a variety of textual and other practices, is the object of postcolonial analysis.
Both the term and various theoretical formulations of the "postcolonial" have been controversial. I have included works below which take very different approaches to what broadly can be labeled postcolonial, and I have included works which offer strong critiques of some of the limits of the field as practiced by some of it most prominent figures.
I have also included a separate section on North American postcolonial studies. This is meant both to suggest affinities and differences. In the context of American Studies the work of figures like C.L.R. James, and W.E.B. DuBois, and more recently H.L. Gates, Jr., Gloria Anzaldúa, Lisa Lowe, and José David Saldívar, to name only a few, have anticipated, drawn from, critiqued and applied postcolonial theory to this continent. Part of that work emerges out of traditions in US ethnic studies that have traced diasporic links between home countries and new worlds for several decades. Another part of that work has included decentering the "United States" from its claim on the term "America," a move that connects the hemispheres, points toward the history of the US as an imperial power, and underscores the contemporary fact of intensified transnationalization and globalization of cultures. The term "transnationalism" is the most often used critical term to denote the complex new flow of culture (in all directions, though hardly equally) resulting from the current mobility of people, capital, and ideas across national boundaries. Strong efforts are underway within the American Studies community to locate the field-imaginary of American Studies within more complicated trans- and post-nationalisms, without underplaying the continuing power of nationalisms.

"Postcolonial Literature": Problems with the Term
"Postcolonial Literature" is a hot commodity these days. On the one hand writers like Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy are best-selling authors; and on the other hand, no college English department worth its salt wants to be without a scholar who can knowledgeably discourse about postcolonial theory.
But there seems to be a great deal of uncertainty as to just what the term denotes. Many of the debates among postcolonial scholars center on which national literatures or authors can be justifiably included in the postcolonial canon. Much of the discussion among postcolonial scholars involves criticisms of the term "postcolonial" itself. In addition, it is seldom mentioned but quite striking that very few actual authors of the literature under discussion embrace and use the term to label their own writing.
It should be acknowledged that postcolonial theory functions as a subdivision within the even more misleadingly named field of "cultural studies": the whole body of generally leftist radical literary theory and criticism which includes Marxist, Gramscian, Foucauldian, and various feminist schools of thought, among others. What all of these schools of thought have in common is a determination to analyze unjust power relationships as manifested in cultural products like literature (and film, art, etc.). Practitioners generally consider themselves politically engaged and committed to some variety or other of liberation process.
It is also important to understand that not all postcolonial scholars are literary scholars. Postcolonial theory is applied to political science, to history, and to other related fields. People who call themselves postcolonial scholars generally see themselves as part of a large (if poorly defined and disorganized) movement to expose and struggle against the influence of large, rich nations (mostly European, plus the U.S.) on poorer nations (mostly in the southern hemisphere).
Taken literally, the term "postcolonial literature" would seem to label literature written by people living in countries formerly colonized by other nations. This is undoubtedly what the term originally meant, but there are many problems with this definition.
First, literal colonization is not the exclusive object of postcolonial study. Lenin's classic analysis of imperialism led to Antonio Gramisci's concept of "hegemony" which distinguishes between literal political dominance and dominance through ideas and culture (what many critics of American influence call the "Coca-Colanization" of the world). Sixties thinkers developed the concept of neo-imperialism to label relationships like that between the U.S. and many Latin American countries which, while nominally independent, had economies dominated by American business interests, often backed up by American military forces. The term "banana republic" was originally a sarcastic label for such subjugated countries, ruled more by the influence of the United Fruit Corporation than by their own indigenous governments.
Second, among the works commonly studied under this label are novels like Claude McKay's Banjo and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart which were written while the nations in question (Jamaica and Nigeria) were still colonies. Some scholars attempt to solve this problem by arguing that the term should denote works written after colonization, not only those created after independence; but that would be "postcolonization" literature. Few people understand the term in this sense outside a small circle of scholars working in the field.
Third, some critics argue that the term misleadingly implies that colonialism is over when in fact most of the nations involved are still culturally and economically subordinated to the rich industrial states through various forms of neo-colonialism even though they are technically independent.
Fourth, it can be argued that this way of defining a whole era is Eurocentric, that it singles out the colonial experience as the most important fact about the countries involved. Surely that experience has had many powerful influences; but this is not necessarily the framework within which writers from--say--India, who have a long history of precolonial literature, wish to be viewed.
For instance, R. K. Narayan--one of the most popular and widely read of modern Indian writers--displays a remarkable indifference to the historical experience of colonialism, a fact which results in his being almost entirely ignored by postcolonial scholars. V. S. Naipaul is so fierce a critic of the postcolonial world despite his origins as a descendant of Indian indentured laborers in Trinidad that he is more often cited as an opponent than as an ally in the postcolonial struggle.
In fact, it is not uncommon for citizens of "postcolonial" countries to accuse Americans and Europeans of practicing a form of neocolonialism themselves in viewing their history through this particular lens. Postcolonial criticism could be compared to the tendency of Hollywood films set in such countries to focus on the problems of Americans and Europeans within those societies while marginalizing the views of their native peoples.
Fifth, many "postcolonial" authors do not share the general orientation of postcolonial scholars toward engaging in an ongoing critique of colonialism. Nigerian writers Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka, for instance, after writing powerful indictments of the British in their country, turned to exposing the deeds of native-born dictators and corrupt officials within their independent homeland. Although postcolonial scholars would explain this corruption as a by-product of colonialism, such authors commonly have little interest in pursuing this train of thought.
Although there has been sporadic agitation in some African quarters for reparations for the slavery era, most writers of fiction, drama, and poetry see little point in continually rehashing the past to solve today's problems. It is striking how little modern fiction from formerly colonized nations highlights the colonial past. Non-fiction writers often point out that Hindu-Muslim conflicts in South Asia are in part the heritage of attempts by the British administration in India to play the two groups of against each other (not to mention the special role assigned to the Sikhs in the British army); yet Indian fiction about these conflicts rarely points to such colonial causes. A good example is Kushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan (1956) which deals directly with the partition of India from an almost exclusively Indian perspective.
Indeed, "postcolonial" writers often move to England or North America (because they have been exiled, or because they find a more receptive audience there, or simply in search of a more comfortable mode of living) and even sometimes--like Soyinka--call upon the governments of these "neocolonialist" nations to come to the aid of freedom movements seeking to overthrow native tyrants.
Sixth, "postcolonialism" as a term lends itself to very broad use. Australians and Canadians sometimes claim to live in postcolonial societies, but many would refuse them the label because their literature is dominated by European immigrants, and is therefore a literature of privilege rather than of protest. According to the usual postcolonial paradigm only literature written by native peoples in Canada and Australia would truly qualify.
Similarly, the label is usually denied to U.S. literature, though America's identity was formed in contradistinction to that of England, because the U.S. is usually viewed as the very epitome of a modern neo-colonial nation, imposing its values, economic pressures, and political interests on a wide range of weaker countries.
The Irish are often put forward as an instance of a postcolonial European people, and indeed many African writers have been inspired by Irish ones for that reason. Yet some of the more nationalist ones (like Yeats) tended toward distressingly conservative--even reactionary--politics, and James Joyce had the utmost contempt for Irish nationalism. It is not clear how many Irish authors would have accepted the term if they had known of it.
Although postcolonial theory generally confines itself to the past half-century, it can be argued that everyone has been colonized at some time or other. Five thousand years ago Sumer started the process by uniting formerly independent city-states, and Narmer similarly subjugated formerly independent Upper and Lower Egypt. Rushdie likes to point out that England itself is a postcolonial nation, having been conquered by Romans and Normans, among others.
Not only is the term "postcolonial" exceedingly fuzzy, it can also be argued that it is also often ineffective. A good deal of postcolonial debate has to do with rival claims to victimhood, with each side claiming the sympathies of right-thinking people because of their past sufferings. The conflicts between Bosnians and Serbs, Palestinians and Jews, Turks and Greeks, Hindu and Muslim Indians, and Catholic and Protestant Irish illustrate the problems with using historical suffering as justification for a political program. It is quite true that Europeans and Americans often arrogantly dismiss their own roles in creating the political messes of postcolonial nations around the world; but it is unclear how accusations against them promote the welfare of those nations. In addition, when they are made to feel guilty, countries--like individuals--are as likely to behave badly as they are to behave generously.
It may make American and European scholars feel better to disassociate themselves from the crimes of their ancestors (which are admittedly, enormously bloody and oppressive, and should be acknowledged and studied--see resources below), but people struggling for freedom in oppressed nations are more likely to draw inspiration from the quintessentially European Enlightenment concept of rights under natural law than they are to turn to postcolonial theory. Similarly, European capitalist market theory is far more attractive to most people struggling against poverty in these nations than are the varieties of socialism propounded by postcolonial theoreticians.
"Postcolonial" is also a troublesome term because it draws some very arbitrary lines. South African writers Athol Fugard and Nadine Gordimer are often excluded from postcolonial courses, although their works were powerful protests against apartheid and they have lived and worked far more in Africa than, say, Buchi Emicheta, who emigrated to England as a very young woman and has done all of her writing there--because they are white. A host of fine Indian writers is neglected simply because they do not write in English on the sensible grounds that India has a millennia-long tradition of writing which should not be arbitrarily linked to the British imperial episode.
Of those who write in English, Anita Desai is included, though she is half German. Ngugi wa Thiong'o is included even though he now writes primarily in Gikuyu. Bharati Mukherjee specifically rejects the label "Indian-American," though she is an immigrant from India, and Rushdie prefers to be thought of as a sort of multinational hybrid (though he has, on occasion, used the label "postcolonial" in his own writing). Hanif Kureishi is more English than Pakistani in his outlook, and many Caribbean-born writers living in England are now classed as "Black British." What determines when you are too acculturated to be counted as postcolonial: where you were born? how long you've lived abroad? your subject matter? These and similar questions are the object of constant debate.
In fact, postcolonial theoretician Homi Bhabha developed the term "hybridity" to capture the sense that many writers have of belonging to both cultures. More and more writers, like Rushdie, reject the older paradigm of "exile" which was meaningful to earlier generations of emigrants in favor of accepting their blend of cultures as a positive synthesis. This celebration of cultural considerably blurs the boundaries laid down by postcolonial theory.
In practice, postcolonial literary studies are often sharply divided along linguistic lines in a way which simply reinforces Eurocentric attitudes. Latin American postcolonial studies are seldom explored by those laboring in English departments. Francophone African literature is generally neglected by Anglophone African scholars. Because of these failures to cut across linguistic boundaries, the roles of England and France are exaggerated over those of the colonized regions.
It can even be asked whether the entire premise of postcolonial studies is valid: that examining these literatures can give voice to formerly suppressed peoples. This is the question asked by Gayatri Spivak in her famous essay, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" Using Antonio Gramsci's arcane label for oppressed people, she points out that anyone who has achieved enough literacy and sophistication to produce a widely-read piece of fiction is almost certainly by that very fact disqualified from speaking for the people he or she is supposed to represent. The "Subaltern Group" of Indian scholars has tried to claim the term to support their own analyses (a similar project exists among Latin American scholars), but the nagging question raised by Spivak remains.
It is notable that whenever writers from the postcolonial world like Soyinka, Derek Walcott, or Rushdie receive wide recognition they are denounced as unrepresentative and inferior to other, more obscure but more "legitimate" spokespeople.
This phenomenon is related to the question of "essentialism" which features so largely in contemporary political and literary theory. Usually the term is used negatively, to describe stereotypical ideas of--to take as an example my own ancestors--the Irish as drunken, irresponsible louts. However, protest movements built on self-esteem resort to essentialism in a positive sense, as in the many varieties of "black pride" movements which have emerged at various times, with the earliest perhaps being the concept of "négritude" developed by Caribbean and African writers living in Paris in the 1930s and 40s. However, each new attempt to create a positive group identity tends to be seen by at least some members of the group as restrictive, as a new form of oppressive essentialism.
Faced with the dilemma of wanting to make positive claims for certain ethnic groups or nationalities while simultaneously acknowledging individualism, some critics have put forward the concept of "strategic essentialism" in which one can speak in rather simplified forms of group identity for the purposes of struggle while debating within the group the finer shades of difference.
There are two major problems with this strategy, however. First, there are always dissenters within each group who speak out against the new corporate identity, and they are especially likely to be taken seriously by the very audiences targeted by strategic essentialism. Second, white conservatives have caught on to this strategy: they routinely denounce affirmative action, for instance, by quoting Martin Luther King, as if his only goal was "color blindness" rather than real economic and social equality. They snipe, fairly effectively, at any group which puts forward corporate claims for any ethnic group by calling them racist. Strategic essentialism envisions a world in which internal debates among oppressed people can be sealed off from public debates with oppressors. Such a world does not exist.
Similarly, "strategic postcolonialism" is likely to be a self-defeating strategy, since most writers on the subject publicly and endlessly debate the problems associated with the term. In addition, the label is too fuzzy to serve as a useful tool for long in any exchange of polemics. It lacks the sharp edge necessary to make it serve as a useful weapon.
However, those of us unwilling to adopt the label "postcolonial" are hard put to find an appropriate term for what we study. The old "Commonwealth literature" is obviously too confining and outdated as well as being extremely Eurocentric. "Anglophone literature" excludes the many rich literatures of Africa, for instance, written in European languages other than English, and taken in the literal sense, it does not distinguish between mainstream British and American writing and the material under discussion. "New literature written in English" (or "englishes" as some say) puts too much emphasis on newness (McKay is hardly new) and again excludes the non-English-speaking world. "Third-world" makes no sense since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist "second world." "Literature of developing nations" buys into an economic paradigm which most "postcolonial" scholars reject.
The more it is examined, the more the postcolonial sphere crumbles. Though Jamaican, Nigerian, and Indian writers have much to say to each other; it is not clear that they should be lumped together. We continue to use the term "postcolonial" as a pis aller, and to argue about it until something better comes along.
Edward Said's evaluation and critique of the set of beliefs known as Orientalism forms an important background for postcolonial studies. His work highlights the inaccuracies of a wide variety of assumptions as it questions various paradigms of thought which are accepted on individual, academic, and political levels.
The Terms
The Orient signifies a system of representations framed by political forces that brought the Orient into Western learning, Western consciousness, and Western empire. The Orient exists for the West, and is constructed by and in relation to the West. It is a mirror image of what is inferior and alien ("Other") to the West.
Orientalism is "a manner of regularized (or Orientalized) writing, vision, and study, dominated by imperatives, perspectives, and ideological biases ostensibly suited to the Orient." It is the image of the 'Orient' expressed as an entire system of thought and scholarship.
The Oriental is the person represented by such thinking. The man is depicted as feminine, weak, yet strangely dangerous because poses a threat to white, Western women. The woman is both eager to be dominated and strikingly exotic. The Oriental is a single image, a sweeping generalization, a stereotype that crosses countless cultural and national boundaries.
Latent Orientalism is the unconscious, untouchable certainty about what the Orient is. Its basic content is static and unanimous. The Orient is seen as separate, eccentric, backward, silently different, sensual, and passive. It has a tendency towards despotism and away from progress. It displays feminine penetrability and supine malleability. Its progress and value are judged in terms of, and in comparison to, the West, so it is always the Other, the conquerable, and the inferior.
Manifest Orientalism is what is spoken and acted upon. It includes information and changes in knowledge about the Orient as well as policy decisions founded in Orientalist thinking. It is the expression in words and actions of Latent Orientalism.
Earlier Orientalism
The first 'Orientalists' were 19th century scholars who translated the writings of 'the Orient' into English, based on the assumption that a truly effective colonial conquest required knowledge of the conquered peoples. This idea of knowledge as power is present throughout Said's critique. By knowing the Orient, the West came to own it. The Orient became the studied, the seen, the observed, the object; Orientalist scholars were the students, the seers, the observers, the subject. The Orient was passive; the West was active.
Image: French harem fantasy with a black eunuch servant. The link between popularized orientalism and libidinization is obvious. "Les petits voyages de Paris-Plaisirs."--Paris Plaisir, Feb. 1930. (Image and text from Jan Nederveen Pieterse's White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture. New Haven: Yale UP, 1992)
One of the most significant constructions of Orientalist scholars is that of the Orient itself. What is considered the Orient is a vast region, one that spreads across a myriad of cultures and countries. It includes most of Asia as well as the Middle East. The depiction of this single 'Orient' which can be studied as a cohesive whole is one of the most powerful accomplishments of Orientalist scholars. It essentializes an image of a prototypical Oriental--a biological inferior that is culturally backward, peculiar, and unchanging--to be depicted in dominating and sexual terms. The discourse and visual imagery of Orientalism is laced with notions of power and superiority, formulated initially to facilitate a colonizing mission on the part of the West and perpetuated through a wide variety of discourses and policies. The language is critical to the construction. The feminine and weak Orient awaits the dominance of the West; it is a defenseless and unintelligent whole that exists for, and in terms of, its Western counterpart. The importance of such a construction is that it creates a single subject matter where none existed, a compilation of previously unspoken notions of the Other. Since the notion of the Orient is created by the Orientalist, it exists solely for him or her. Its identity is defined by the scholar who gives it life.
Contemporary Orientalism
Said argues that Orientalism can be found in current Western depictions of "Arab" cultures. The depictions of "the Arab" as irrational, menacing, untrustworthy, anti-Western, dishonest, and--perhaps most importantly--prototypical, are ideas into which Orientalist scholarship has evolved. These notions are trusted as foundations for both ideologies and policies developed by the Occident. Said writes: "The hold these instruments have on the mind is increased by the institutions built around them. For every Orientalist, quite literally, there is a support system of staggering power, considering the ephemerality of the myths that Orientalism propagates. The system now culminates into the very institutions of the state. To write about the Arab Oriental world, therefore, is to write with the authority of a nation, and not with the affirmation of a strident ideology but with the unquestioning certainty of absolute truth backed by absolute force." He continues, "One would find this kind of procedure less objectionable as political propaganda--which is what it is, of course--were it not accompanied by sermons on the objectivity, the fairness, the impartiality of a real historian, the implication always being that Muslims and Arabs cannot be objective but that Orientalists. . .writing about Muslims are, by definition, by training, by the mere fact of their Westernness. This is the culmination of Orientalism as a dogma that not only degrades its subject matter but also blinds its practitioners."
Said's Project Said calls into question the underlying assumptions that form the foundation of Orientalist thinking. A rejection of Orientalism entails a rejection of biological generalizations, cultural constructions, and racial and religious prejudices. It is a rejection of greed as a primary motivating factor in intellectual pursuit. It is an erasure of the line between 'the West' and 'the Other.' Said argues for the use of "narrative" rather than "vision" in interpreting the geographical landscape known as the Orient, meaning that a historian and a scholar would turn not to a panoramic view of half of the globe, but rather to a focused and complex type of history that allows space for the dynamic variety of human experience. Rejection of Orientalist thinking does not entail a denial of the differences between 'the West' and 'the Orient,' but rather an evaluation of such differences in a more critical and objective fashion. 'The Orient' cannot be studied in a non-Orientalist manner; rather, the scholar is obliged to study more focused and smaller culturally consistent regions. The person who has until now been known as 'the Oriental' must be given a voice. Scholarship from afar and second-hand representation must take a back seat to narrative and self-representation on the part of the 'Oriental.'
Post-colonial literature From Wikipedia,
Postcolonial literature is a branch of Postmodern literature concerned with the political and cultural independence of peoples formerly subjugated in colonial empires.
Post-colonial literary critics re-examine classic literature with a particular focus on the social "discourse" that shaped it. For instance, in Orientalism, Edward Said analyzes the works of Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire and Lautréamont, exploring how they were both influenced by and helped to shape a societal fantasy of European racial superiority. Post-colonial fictional writers interact with the traditional colonial discourse, but modify or subvert it; for instance by retelling a familiar story from the perspective of an oppressed minor character in the story.
Other important authors in postcolonial theory
Joseph Conrad and Charlotte Brontë are not "post-colonial" authors per se, but are of specific interest within postcolonial theory in part because postcolonial authors such as Chinua Achebe and Jean Rhys (among others) engage and rework their novels. Shakespeare's The Tempest has a colonial setting and his Othello has a racial dynamic, and both of these are frequent points of reference for post-colonial authors.

Post-colonialism (also known as post-colonial theory) refers to a set of theories in philosophy and literature that grapple with the legacy of colonial rule. As a literary theory or critical approach it deals with literature produced in countries that were once, or are now, colonies of other countries. It may also deal with literature written in or by citizens of colonizing countries that takes colonies or their peoples as its subject matter. Postcolonial theory became part of the critical toolbox in the 1970s, and many practitioners take Edward Said's book Orientalism to be the theory's founding work.
Post-colonialism deals with many issues for societies that have undergone colonialism: the dilemmas of developing a national identity in the wake of colonial rule; the ways in which writers from colonized countries attempt to articulate and even celebrate their cultural identities and reclaim them from the colonizers; the ways knowledge of colonized people have served the interests of colonizers, and how knowledge of subordinate people is produced and used; and the ways in which the literature of the colonial powers is used to justify colonialism through the perpetuation of images of the colonized as inferior. The creation of binary oppositions structure the way we view others. In the case of colonialism, distinctions were made between the oriental and the westerner (one being emotional, the other rational). This opposition was used to justify a destiny to rule on behalf of the colonizer, or 'white man's burden'.
Colonized peoples responded to the colonial legacy by writing back to the center. This came about as indigenous peoples became educated, and began to write their own histories, their own legacy, using the colonizers' language (usually English) for their own purposes. [1].
Attempts at coming up with a single definition of postcolonial theory have proved controversial, and some writers have strongly critiqued the concept, which is embedded in identity politics.
As suggested by its name, postcolonialism is about dealing with the legacy of colonialism. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly the most prominent form this has taken to date has been in the cultural realm, especially with respect to identity politics and literary studies. Thus, the most common way the term has been used is in reference to a genre of writing and cultural politics, usually by the authors from the countries which were previously colonised. All postcolonialist theorists admit that colonialism continues to affect the former colonies after political independence.

Some relevant British writers
Conrad, Joseph Dinesen, Isak (Karen Blixen) Forster, E.M. Kipling, Rudyard
Notable critics
• Homi Bhabha
• Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
• Edward Said
• Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Abiola Irele
Notable authors
Achebe, Chinua
Allende, Isabel
Cesaire, Aimee
Coetzee, J.M.
Gordimer, Nadine
Kincaid, Jamaica
Kureishi, Hanif
Lorde, Audre
Naipaul, V.S.
Ondaatje, Michael
Rhys, Jean
Roy, Arundhati
Rushdie, Salman
Seth, Vikram
Walcott, Derek
• Chinua Achebe
• Mariama Ba
• Dionne Brand
• Michelle Cliff
• J.M. Coetzee
• Maryse Condé
• Hamid Dabashi
• Tsitsi Dangarembga
• Anita Desai
• Buchi Emecheta
• Brian Friel
• Athol Fugard
• Edouard Glissant
• Jorge Majfud
• Nadine Gordimer
• Patricia Grace
• Mohsin Hamid
• Jamaica Kincaid
• Rudyard Kipling
• Ahmadou Kourouma
• Hanif Kureishi
• Earl Lovelace
• Gabriel García Márquez
• Rohinton Mistry
• Bharati Mukherjee
• V. S. Naipaul
• R. K. Narayan
• Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
• Pramoedya Ananta Toer
• Jean Rhys
• Arundhati Roy
• Salman Rushdie
• Shyam Selvadurai
• Léopold Senghor
• Bapsi Sidhwa
• Zadie Smith
• Derek Walcott
• Sam Selvon
• Akin Adesokan
• Martin Espada
• Wole Soyinka
• Wilbur Smith
• Margaret Atwood
• James Joyce
• Kareen Fleur Adcock
• Meena Alexander
• Isabel Allende
• Julia Alvarez
• Yehuda Amichai
• Anita Rau Badami
• Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen
• Eavan Boland
• Aime Cesaire
• Vikram Chandra
• Michelle Cliff
• J. M. Coetzee
o Apartheid
• Jill Ker Conway
o The Road from Coorain
• David Dabydeen
• Leon Damas
• Tsitsi Dangarembga
o Zimbabwe's Struggle for Liberation
• Edwidge Danticat
• Ruben Dario
• Kamala Das
• Assia Djebar
• Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
• Roddy Doyle
• Buchi Emecheta
o Yoruba Women and Gelede
• Brian Friel
• Amitav Ghosh
• Yasmine Gooneratne
• Romesh Gunesekera
o The Politics of Sri Lanka and Reef
o Reef as a Bildungroman
• Bessie Head
• Merle Hodge
• Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
• Vincente Huidobro
• Keri Hulme
o Maori Culture and Myths
• Tahar Ben Jelloun
• Raj Kamal Jha
• Sahar Khalifeh
• Ayub Khan-Din
• Abbas Kiarostami
• Jamaica Kincaid
• Hanif Kureishi
• Jhumpa Lahiri
• George Lamming
• Lee Young Lee
• Audre Lorde
• Mahasweta Devi
• J. Nozipo Maraire
o Zenzele
• Ian McEwan
• Medbh McGuckian
• Deepa Mehta
• Rohinton Mistry
• Shani Mootoo
• Bharati Mukherjee
• Ngugi wa Thiongo
• V. S. Naipaul
• Mira Nair
o Salaam Bombay!
• Taslima Nasrin
• Pablo Neruda
• Flora Nwapa
• Michael Ondaatje
• Ruperake Petaia
• Charles Portis
• Attipat Krishnaswami Ramanujan
• Arundhati Roy
o Caste & The God of Small Things
o Christianity in India
o Communism in India
o Divorce in The God of Small Things
o Kathakali
o Kerala
• Salman Rushdie--Biography
o Grimus
o Rushdie's Female Characters
o Glossary to The Moor's Last Sigh
• Nawal el Saadawi
• Olive Schreiner
• Simone Schwarz-Bart
• Shyam Selvadurai
o Funny Boy
• Ousmane Sembene
• Vikram Seth
• Huda Shaarawi
• Bapsi Sidhwa
• Leslie Marmon Silko
o Ceremony
• Zadie Smith
• Wole Soyinka
• Shashi Tharoor
• Mario Vargas Llosa
• M. G. Vassanji
• Abraham Verghese
• Derek Walcott
• Albert Wendt
• William Butler Yeats & Postcolonialism
• Theodor Adorno
• Benedict Anderson
• Partha Chatterjee
o On women and the Indian Nation
• Kuan-Hsing Chen
• Rey Chow
• Frantz Fanon
• Murray Gell-Mann
• Paul Gilroy
• Chen Kaige
• Octave Mannoni
• Albert Memmi
• Ashis Nandy
• Rex Nettleford
• Cecil Rhodes
• Nawal el Saadawi
• Renata Salecl
• Mrinalini Sinha
• Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
• Ngugi wa Thiongo
• Slavoj Zizek
Terms & Issues
• African American Studies and Postcolonialism
• Apartheid
• Apartheid Literature
• Arranged Marriages, Matchmakers, and Dowries in India
• Art, Postcolonial
o Jean-Michel Basquiat
• The Booker Prize
o See also, The Nobel Prize in Literature
• The Caste System in India
• Chicana Feminism
• Christianity in India
• Colonial & Postcolonial Architecture
• Colonial Education
• Commodity
• Communism in India
• Cricket
• Divorce in India
• Essentialism
• Field Day Theatre Company
• Filipino-American Literature
• Gandhi's March to Dandi
• Gender and Nation
• A Glossary of Key Terms in Gayatri Spivak's Work
• Hegemony in Gramsci
• Hindi Film & Women
• Homophobia and Postcolonialism
• Hybridity & Postcolonial Music
• The Ilbert Bill
• Jews in India
• Kathakali
• Language
o Indian Languages
• Magical Realism
• Mapping
• Maps and Colonialism
• Metafiction
• Mimicry, Ambivalence & Hybridity
• Museums and Colonial Exhibitions
o Human Exhibitions
• Myths of the Native
• Nationalism
o Banal Nationalism and the Internet
o Theories of Nationalism
• The Nobel Prize in Literature
• The Novel
• Nuclear Proliferation in the Third World
• Orientalism
• Partition, Indian subcontinent
• Performance & Installation Art
• Public and Private Realms
• Representation
• Sepoy Mutiny (1857)
• Spice Trade in India
• Third World/Third World Women
• Transnationalism
• The Veil, Hijab
• Victorian Women Travelers in the 19th Century
• Writers from the Indian Subcontinent
• Yeats & Postcolonialism
• Yoruba Women and Gelede
• Zimbabwe's Struggle for Liberation

Oscar Zeta Acosta
Rudolfo Anaya
Gloria Anzald?>
Ana Castillo
Rosemary Catacolos
Lorna Dee Cervantes
Denise Chavez
Lucha Corpi
Angela De Hoyos
Monserrat Fontes
Erlinda Gonzales Berry
Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales
Maria Herrera Sobek
Rolando Hinojosa
Pat Mora
Americo Paredes
Cecile Pineda
Mary Helen Ponce
Estela Portillo Trambley
Tey Diana Rebolledo
Tino Villanueva
Bernice Zamora

The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures
Bill Ashcroft, School of English, University of New South Wales; Gareth Griffiths, Department of English, University of Western Australia; Helen Tiffin, Department of English, University of Queensland
What are post-colonial literatures?
We use the term 'post-colonial'... to cover all the culture affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day. This is because there is a continuity of preoccupations throughout the historical process initiated by European imperial aggression. We also suggest that it is most appropriate as the term for the new cross-cultural criticism which has emerged in recent years and for the discourse through which this is constituted. In this sense this book is concerned with the world as it exists during and after the period of European imperial domination and the effects of this on contemporary literatures.
So the literatures of African countries, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Caribbean countries, India, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Pacific Island countries, and Sri Lanka are all post-colonial literatures. The literature or the USA should also be placed in this category. Perhaps because of its current position of power, and the neo-colonizing role it has played, its post-colonial nature has not been generally recognized. But its relationship with the metropolitan centre as it evolved over the last two centuries has been paradigmatic for Post-colonial literatures everywhere. What each of these literatures has in common beyond their special and distinctive regional characteristics is that they emerged in their present form out of the experience of colonization and asserted themselves by foregrounding the tension with the imperial power, and by emphasizing their differences from the assumptions of the imperial centre. It is this which makes them distinctively post-colonial.
Ngugi wa Thiong'oWikipedia, the free
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o signs copies of his new book 'Wizard of the Crow'. In London at the Congress Centre in central London. A first book in 20 years following 22 years of exile due to his highly political work (including the bestselling novel Petals of Blood).
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (born January 5, 1938) is a Kenyan author, formerly working in English and now working in Gĩkũyũ. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, essays and scholarship, criticism and children's literature. He is the founder and editor of the Gikuyu-language journal, Mutiiri. Ngugi went into self-imposed exile following his release from a Kenyan prison in 1977; living in the United States, he taught at Yale University for some years, and since has also taught at New York University, where he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Languages, with a dual professorship in Comparative Literature and Performance Studies.
Ngũgĩ was born in Kamiriithu, near Limuru in Kiambu district, of Kĩkũyũ descent, and baptised James Ngugi. His family was caught up in the Mau Mau rebellion; he lost his stepbrother, and his mother was tortured. While attending mission school, he became a devout Christian. He received a B.A. in English from Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda, in 1963; during his education, a play of his, The Black Hermit, was produced in Kampala in 1962.
He published his first novel, Weep Not, Child, in 1964, which he wrote while attending Leeds University in England. It was the first novel in English to be published by an East African. His second novel, The River Between (1965), has as its background the Mau Mau rebellion, and described an unhappy romance between Christians and non-Christians.
His novel A Grain of Wheat marked his embrace of Fanonist Marxism. He subsequently renounced English, Christianity, and the name James Ngugi as colonialist; he changed his name to Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and began to write in his native Gĩkũyũ and Swahili. The uncensored political message of his 1977 play Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want) provoked then Vice President Daniel arap Moi to order his arrest. While detained in the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, he wrote the first modern novel in Gĩkũyũ, Caitaani mũtharaba-Inĩ (Devil on the Cross), on prison-issued toilet paper.
After his release, he was not reinstated to his job as professor at Nairobi University, and his family was harassed. He left Kenya on June 5, 1982, to live in self-imposed exile in London.
His later works include Detained, his prison diary (1981); Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986), an essay arguing for African writers' expression in their native languages, rather than European languages, in order to renounce lingering colonial ties and to build and authentic African literature; and Matigari (1987), one of his most famous works, a satire based on a Gĩkũyũ folktale.
In 1992 he became a professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at New York University, where he held the Erich Maria Remarque Chair. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature as well as the Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine.
On August 8, 2004, Ngũgĩ ended his exile to return to Kenya as part of a month-long tour of East Africa. On August 11, robbers broke into his apartment: they stole money and a computer, brutalised the professor, and raped his wife.
Since then, Ngũgĩ has returned to America, and in the summer 2006 the American publishing firm Random House published his first new novel in nearly two decades, "Wizard of the Crow," translated to English from Gĩkũyũ by the author. Bibliography
• The Black Hermit, 1963 (play)
• Weep Not, Child, 1964, Heinemann 1987, McMillan 2005, ISBN 1405073314
• The River Between, Heinemann 1965, Heinemann 1989, ISBN 0435905481
• A Grain of Wheat, 1967 (1992) ISBN 0141186992
• This Time Tomorrow (three plays, including the title play, "The Reels," and "The Wound in the Heart"), c. 1970
• Homecoming: Essays on African and Caribbean Literature, Culture, and Politics, Heinemann 1972, ISBN 0435185802
• Secret Lives, and Other Stories, 1976, Heinemann 1992 ISBN 0435909754
• The Trial of Dedan Kimathi, 1976, ISBN 0435901915, African Publishing Group, ISBN 0949932450 (with Micere Githae Mugo)
• Ngaahika ndeenda: Ithaako ria ngerekano (I Will Marry When I Want), 1977 (play; with Ngugi wa Mirii), Heinemann Educational Books (1980)
• Petals of Blood, (1977) Penguin 2002, ISBN 0141187026
• Caitaani mutharaba-Ini (Devil on the Cross), 1980
• Writers in Politics: Essays, 1981
• Education for a National Culture, 1981
• Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary, 1981
• Barrel of a Pen: Resistance to Repression in Neo-Colonial Kenya, 1983
• Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, 1986
• Mother, Sing For Me, 1986
• Writing against Neo-Colonialism, 1986
• Njamba Nene and the Flying Bus (Njamba Nene na Mbaathi i Mathagu),1986 (children's book)
• Matigari ma Njiruungi, 1986
• Devil on the Cross (English translation of Caitaani mutharaba-Ini), Heinemann, 1987, ISBN 0435908448
• Njamba Nene and the Cruel Chief (Njamba Nene na Chibu King'ang'i), 1988 (children's book)
• Matigari,(translated into English by Wangui wa Goro), Heinemann 1989, Africa World Press 1994, ISBN 0435905465
• Njamba Nene's Pistol (Bathitoora ya Njamba Nene), (children's book), 1990, Africa World Press, ISBN 0865430810
• Moving the Centre: The Struggle for Cultural Freedom, Heinemann, 1993, ISBN 0435080792
• Penpoints, Gunpoints and Dreams: The Performance of Literature and Power in Post-Colonial Africa, (The Clarendon Lectures in English Literature 1996), Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0198183909
• Mũrogi was Kagogo(Wizard of the Crow), 2004, East African Educational Publishers, ISBN 996625162-6
• Wizard of the Crow, 2006, Secker, ISBN 1846550343
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Introduction
While she is best known as a postcolonial theorist, Gayatri Spivak describes herself as a "para-disciplinary, ethical philosopher" though her shingle could just as well read: "Applied Deconstruction." Her reputation was first made for her translation and preface to Derrida's Of Grammatology (1976) and she has since applied deconstructive strategies to various theoretical engagements and textual analyses: from Feminism, Marxism, and Literary Criticism to, most recently, Postcolonialism.
My position is generally a reactive one. I am viewed by Marxists as too codic, by feminists as too male-identified, by indigenous theorists as too committed to Western Theory. I am uneasily pleased about this. (Post-Colonial Critic).

Despite her outsider status -- or partly, perhaps, because of it -- Spivak is widely cited in a range of disciplines. Her work is nearly evenly split between dense theoretical writing peppered with flashes of compelling insight and published interviews in which she wrestles with many of the same issues in a more personable and immediate manner. What Edward Said calls a "contrapuntal" reading strategy is recommended as her ideas are continually evolving and resist, in true deconstructive fashion, a straight textual analysis. She has said that she prefers the teaching environment where ideas are continually in motion and development. Nonetheless, the glossary of key terms and motifs that is available on this site may serve as a kind of legend to a map of her work. It is not intended as a "bluffer's guide to Spivakism" (to cite the introduction to The Spivak Reader) but rather blazes on a trail into this difficult and important body of work. Biography
Gayatri Chakravorty was born in Calcutta, West Bengal, 24 February 1942 to "solidly metropolitan middle class" parents (PCC). She thus belonged to the "first generation of Indian intellectuals after independence," a more interesting perspective she claims, than that of the Midnight's Children, who were "born free by chronological accident" (Arteaga interview). She did her undergraduate in English at the University of Calcutta (1959), graduating with first class honours. She borrowed money to go to the US in the early 1960's to do graduate work at Cornell, which she chose because she "knew the names of Harvard, Yale and Cornell, and thought half of them were too good for me. (I'm intellectually a very insecure person . . . to an extent I still feel that way)" (de Kock interview 33). She "fell into comparative literature" because it was the only department that offered her money (Ibid.). She received her MA in English from Cornell and taught at the University of Iowa while working on her Ph.D. Her dissertation was on Yeats (published as Myself Must I Remake: The Life and Poetry of W.B. Yeats [1974)]) and was directed by Paul de Man. Of her work with de Man she says, "I wasn't groomed for anything. I learnt from him. I took good notes and slowly sort of understood" (de Kock interview). "When I
was de Man's student," she adds, "he had not read Derrida yet. I went to teach at Iowa in 1965 and did not know about the famous Hopkins conference on the Structuralists Controversy in 1966" (E-mail communication). She ordered _de la grammatologie_ out of a catalogue in 1967 and began working on the translation some time after that (E-mail communication). During this time she married and divorced an American, Talbot Spivak. Her translator's introduction to Derrida's Of Grammatology has been variously described as "setting a new standard for self-reflexivity in prefaces" (editor's introduction to The Spivak Reader) and "absolutely unreadable, its only virtue being that it makes Derrida that much more enjoyable." Her subsequent work consists in post-structuralist literary criticism, deconstructivist readings of Marxism, Feminism and Postcolonialism (including work with the Subaltern Studies group and a critical reading of American cultural studies in Outside in the Teaching Machine [1993]), and translations of the Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi. She is currently an Avalon Foundation professor at Columbia. Major Publications
Translation of and introduction to Derrida's Of Grammatology (Baltimore: John's Hopkins, 1976).
"Displacement and the Discourse of Woman" in Mark Krupnik, ed. Displacement: Derrida and After. (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983) p.169-95.
In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (London: Methuen, 1987).
"Can the Subaltern Speak?" in Cary Nelson and Larry Grossberg, eds. Marxism and the interpretation of Culture. (Chicago: Uni of Illinois Press, 1988) p.271-313.
Selected Subaltern Studies. Ed. with Ranajit Guha (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1988).
The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues. Ed. Sarah Harasym. (London: Routledge, 1990).
Outside In the Teaching Machine (London: Routledge, 1993).
The Spivak Reader. Ed. Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean. (New York and London: Routledge, 1996) This book includes an extensive list of publications, including many interviews.
A Critique of Post-Colonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (Harvard UP, 1999).
Death of a Discipline. New York, Columbia University Press, 2003.
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, T.C. (born August 17, 1932, in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago), better known as V. S. Naipaul, is a Trinidadian-born British novelist of Hindu Bhumihar Brahmin heritage from Gorakhpur in Eastern U.P. and Indo-Trinidadian ethnicity. Naipaul lives in Wiltshire, England. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990. His current wife is Nadira Naipaul, a former journalist. A scion of the politically powerful Capildeo family of Trinidad, Sir Vidia is the son, older brother, uncle, and cousin of published authors Seepersad Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul, Neil Bissoondath, and Vahni Capildeo, respectively. His life and work were written about in 2002 by his long-time editor Diana Athill. Life and work
In awarding Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." The Committee added, "Naipaul is a modern philosopher, carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony." The Committee also noted Naipaul's affinity with the Polish-born British author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad: "Naipaul is Conrad's heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished."
His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. Edward Said, for example, has argued that he "allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution", promoting "colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies" (53). This perspective is most salient in The Middle Passage, which Naipaul composed after returning to the Caribbean after ten years of self-exile in England, and An Area of Darkness, a stark condemnation on his ancestral homeland of India. His supporters argue that he is actually an advocate for a more realistic development of the Third World, that he is motivated by a passionate desire for the improvement of the countries which he writes about, and that the assumptions of the likes of Said actually hold these emerging nations back. That said, Naipaul's contempt for many aspects of liberal orthodoxy is uncompromising, yet he has exhibited an open-mindedness toward some Third World leaders and cultures that isn't found in western writers. His works have become required reading in many schools within the Third World.
Though a regular visitor to India since the 1960s, he has always "analyzed" India from an arms-length distance, initially with considerable distaste (as in An Area of Darkness), later with 'grudging affection' (as in A Million Mutinies Now), and of late perhaps even with 'ungrudging affection' (most manifestly in his view that the rise of Hindutva embodies the welcome, broader civilizational resurgence of India). He has also made attempts over the decades to identify his ancestral village in India, or at least to locate the general area where his ancestors may have travelled. The greater frequency of his visits to India in recent years may, according to Naipaul-watchers, also signifies, at least in part, a yearning for 'identity'.
Writing in the New York Review of Books about Naipaul, Joan Didion said:
The actual world has for Naipaul a radiance that diminishes all ideas of it. The pink haze of the bauxite dust on the first page of Guerrillas tells us what we need to know about the history and social organization of the unnamed island on which the action takes place, tells us in one image who runs the island and for whose profit the island is run and at what cost to the life of the island this profit has historically been obtained, but all of this implicit information pales in the presence of the physical fact, the dust itself... The world Naipaul sees is of course no void at all: it is a world dense with physical and social phenomena, brutally alive with the complications and contradictions of actual human endeavor... This world of Naipaul's is in fact charged with what can only be described as a romantic view of reality, an almost unbearable tension between the idea and the physical fact...
In several of his books Naipaul has discussed Islam, and he has been criticised for dwelling on negative aspects, e.g. nihilism among fundamentalists. Naipaul's support for Hindutva has also been controversial. He has been quoted describing the destruction of the Babri Mosque as a "creative passion", and the invasion of Babur in the 16th century as a "mortal wound." He views Vijayanagar, which fell in 1565, as the last bastion of native Hindu civilisation. He remains a somewhat reviled figure in Pakistan, which he bitingly condemned in Among the Believers.
In 1998 a controversial memoir by Naipaul's sometime protegé Paul Theroux was published. The book provides a personal, though occasionally caustic portrait of the Nobel Laureate. The memoir, entitled Sir Vidia's Shadow, was precipitated by a falling-out between the two men a few years earlier.
In 1971, he became the first Person of Indian origin to win a Booker Prize for his book In a Free State. Fiction
• The Mystic Masseur - (1957)
• The Suffrage of Elvira - (1958)
• Miguel Street - (1959)
• A House for Mr Biswas - (1961)
• Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion - (1963)
• A Flag on the Island - (1967)
• The Mimic Men - (1967)
• In a Free State - (1971)
• Guerillas - (1975)
• A Bend in the River - (1979)
• Finding the Centre - (1984)
• The Enigma of Arrival - (1987)
• A Way in the World - (1994)
• Half a Life - (2001)
• Magic Seeds - (2004)
• The Middle Passage: Impressions of Five Societies - British, French and Dutch in the West Indies and South America (1962)
• An Area of Darkness (1964)
• The Loss of El Dorado - (1969)
• The Overcrowded Barracoon and Other Articles (1972)
• India: A Wounded Civilization (1977)
• A Congo Diary (1980)
• The Return of Eva Perón and the Killings in Trinidad (1980)
• Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1981)
• Finding the Centre (1984)
• A Turn in the South (1989)
• India: A Million Mutinies Now (1990)
• Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala and S. Rushdie)
• Bombay (1994, with Raghubir Singh)
• Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples (1998)
• Between Father and Son: Family Letters (1999, edited by Gillon Aitken)
• Literary Occasions: Essays (2003, by Pankaj Mishra)
Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon's relatively short life yielded two potent and influential statements of anti-colonial revolutionary thought, Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961), works which have made Fanon a prominent contributor to postcolonial studies.
Fanon was born in 1925, to a middle-class family in the French colony of Martinique. He left Martinique in 1943, when he volunteered to fight with the Free French in World War II, and he remained in France after the war to study medicine and psychiatry on scholarship in Lyon. Here he began writing political essays and plays, and he married a Frenchwoman, Jose Duble. Before he left France, Fanon had already published his first analysis of the effects of racism and colonization, Black Skin, White Masks (BSWM), originally titled "An Essay for the Disalienation of Blacks," in part based on his lectures and experiences in Lyon.
BSWM is part manifesto, part analysis; it both presents Fanon's personal experience as a black intellectual in a whitened world and elaborates the ways in which the colonizer/colonized relationship is normalized as psychology. Because of his schooling and cultural background, the young Fanon conceived of himself as French, and the disorientation he felt after his initial encounter with French racism decisively shaped his psychological theories about culture. Fanon inflects his medical and psychological practice with the understanding that racism generates harmful psychological constructs that both blind the black man to his subjection to a universalized white norm and alienate his consciousness. A racist culture prohibits psychological health in the black man.
For Fanon, being colonized by a language has larger implications for one's consciousness: "To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization" (17-18). Speaking French means that one accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of the French, which identifies blackness with evil and sin. In an attempt to escape the association of blackness with evil, the black man dons a white mask, or thinks of himself as a universal subject equally participating in a society that advocates an equality supposedly abstracted from personal appearance. Cultural values are internalized, or "epidermalized" into consciousness, creating a fundamental disjuncture between the black man's consciousness and his body. Under these conditions, the black man is necessarily alienated from himself.
Fanon insists, however, that the category "white" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest. Thus, Fanon locates the historical point at which certain psychological formations became possible, and he provides an important analysis of how historically-bound cultural systems, such as the Orientalist discourse Edward Said describes, can perpetuate themselves as psychology. While Fanon charts the psychological oppression of black men, his book should not be taken as an accurate portrait of the oppression of black women under similar conditions. The work of feminists in postcolonial studies undercuts Fanon's simplistic and unsympathetic portrait of the black woman's complicity in colonization.
In 1953, Fanon became Head of the Psychiatry Department at the Blida-Joinville Hospital in Algeria, where he instituted reform in patient care and desegregated the wards. During his tenure in Blida, the war for Algerian independence broke out, and Fanon was horrified by the stories of torture his patients -- both French torturers and Algerian torture victims -- told him. The Algerian War consolidated Fanon's alienation from the French imperial viewpoint, and in 1956 he formally resigned his post with the French government to work for the Algerian cause. His letter of resignation encapsulates his theory of the psychology of colonial domination, and pronounces the colonial mission incompatible with ethical psychiatric practice: "If psychiatry is the medical technique that aims to enable man no longer to be a stranger to his environment, I owe it to myself to affirm that the Arab, permanently an alien in his own country, lives in a state of absolute depersonalization. . . . The events in Algeria are the logical consequence of an abortive attempt to decerebralize a people" (Toward the African Revolution 53).
Following his resignation, Fanon fled to Tunisia and began working openly with the Algerian independence movement. In addition to seeing patients, Fanon wrote about the movement for a number of publications, including Sartre's Les Temps Modernes, Presence Africaine, and the FLN newspaper el Moudjahid; some of his work from this period was collected posthumously as Toward the African Revolution (1964). But Fanon's work for Algerian independence was not confined to writing. During his tenure as Ambassador to Ghana for the Provisional Algerian Government, he worked to establish a southern supply route for the Algerian army.
While in Ghana, Fanon developed leukemia, and though encouraged by friends to rest, he refused. He completed his final and most fiery indictment of the colonial condition, The Wretched of the Earth, in 10 months, and the book was published by Jean-Paul Sartre in the year of his death. Fanon died at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he had sought treatment for his cancer, on December 6, 1961. At his request, his body was returned to Algeria and buried with honors by the Algerian National Army of Liberation.
In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon develops the Manichean perspective implicit in BSWM. To overcome the binary system in which black is bad and white is good, Fanon argues that an entirely new world must come into being. This utopian desire, to be absolutely free of the past, requires total revolution, "absolute violence" (37). Violence purifies, destroying not only the category of white, but that of black too. According to Fanon, true revolution in Africa can only come from the peasants, or "fellaheen." Putting peasants at the vanguard of the revolution reveals the influence of the FLN, who based their operations in the countryside, on Fanon's thinking. Furthermore, this emphasis on the rural underclass highlights Fanon's disgust with the greed and politicking of the comprador bourgeoisie in new African nations. The brand of nationalism espoused by these classes, and even by the urban proletariat, is insufficient for total revolution because such classes benefit from the economic structures of imperialism. Fanon claims that non-agrarian revolutions end when urban classes consolidate their own power, without remaking the entire system. In his faith in the African peasantry as well as his emphasis on language, Fanon anticipates the work of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, who finds revolutionary artistic power among the peasants.
Given Fanon's importance to postcolonial studies, the obituaries marking his death were small; the two inches of type offered by The New York Times and Le Monde inadequately describe his achievements and role. He has been influential in both leftist and anti-racist political movements, and all of his works were translated into English in the decade following his death. His work stands as an important influence on current postcolonial theorists, notably Homi Bhabha and Edward Said.
British director Isaac Julien's Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996) has recently been released by California Newsreel. Weaving together interviews with family members and friends, documentary footage, readings from Fanon's work, and dramatizations of crucial moments in his life, the film reveals not just the facts of Fanon's brief and remarkably eventful life but his long and tortuous journey as well. In the course of the film, critics Stuart Hall and Françoise Verges position Fanon's work in his own time and draw out its implications for our own. Works by Frantz Fanon
Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove, 1967. Reprint of Peau noire, masques blancs. Paris, 1952.
Studies in a Dying Colonialism, or A Dying Colonialism. New York, 1965. Reprint of L'an cinq de la revolution algerienne. Paris, 1959.
The Wretched of the Earth. New York, 1965. Reprint of Les damnes de la terre. Paris, 1961.
Toward the African Revolution. New York, 1967. Reprint of Pour la revolution africaine. Paris, 1964.
Mimicry, Mimicry, Ambivalence and Hybridity

When Robinson Crusoe set foot on the island and declared it his own, a new page was inscribed in the history of colonialism. The shipwreck becomes a historical moment in this history. Defoe is able to create a textual plantation with the undaunted Robinson at its center, involved in a double (d) divine action of invention and original self-invention. The footprint, however, will unsettle his undisturbed tranquility, and fear enters the stage. Neither the bible nor his guns will bring him peace. Crusoe will undergo the painful experience of recurrent traumatic nightmares before the event. The silence is broken. The Other has already inhabited the Self prior to the uncanny encounter: anxiety invades the body and mind of the stranded hero. The "textual empire" is shaken by the unknown: "The island is full of noises." The captured absent/present utterances are therefore unbounded; authority is de-authorized (is it?), and writing hybridized.
What is hybridization?, Bakhtin asks:
It is a mixture of two social languages within the limits of a single utterance, an encounter, within the arena of an utterance, between two different linguistic consiousnesses, separated from one another by an epoch, by social differentiation, or by some other factor. (358)
When on a certain Friday, the encounter actually happens, Crusoe will demonstrate to the highest degree of perfection the noble qualities of an English tradesman-Gentleman: those of making and self-making, prowess and determination. Driven by an instinctive sense of a charitable concern for the meek, he rescues a young criolos cannibal from being devoured by other cannibals. Faithful to the already-established Spanish tradition, he names him Friday, teaches him English, the words of God, and above all, the basics of humanity; in other words, he has driven him out of utter darkness to an overwhelming whitening light.
Under these conditions, however, Crusoe paradoxically is more isolated than ever since the words he hears are his words --the very words he wanted Friday to say, to repeat. Crusoe is blinded by his narcissism. He seems, Brantlinger states, "almost to will his isolation, and to cling to it even when it is being invaded" (Brantlinger 3). Friday does not exist. Friday is a lie, an illusion created by a mad masterly imagination. He is an ever incomplete, insubstantial image, a mere inorganic shadow, a dark spot on the ground, an image. Friday is filling an empty space cynically prepared and strategically organized by the colonizer as a speaking subject. The mirror-image that Friday is striving to see reflected will be a distorted one, a neither-nor : one that is ambivalent, doubled. "It was one of the tragedies of slavery and of the conditions under which creolization had to take place," Kamau Brathwaite states,
that it should have produced this kind of mimicry; should have procduced such "mimic-men." But in the circumstances this was the only kind of white imitation that would have been accepted, given the terms in which the slaves were seen .
Nevertheless, some postcolonial critics argue that it is precisely this kind of mimicry that disrupts the colonial discourse by doubling it. For them, the simple presence of the colonized Other within the textual structure is enough evidence of the ambivalence of the colonial text, an ambivalence that destabilizes its claim for absolute authority or unquestionable authenticity. Hence, today, the term hybridity has become one of the most recurrent conceptual leitmotivs in postcolonial cultural criticism. It is meant to foreclose the diverse forms of purity encompassed within essentialist theories. Homi Bhabha is the leading contemporary critic who has tried to disclose the contradictions inherent in colonial discourse in order to highlight the colonizer's ambivalence in respect to his position toward the colonized Other.
Along with Tom Nairn, Homi Bhabha considers the confusion and hollowness that resistance produces in the minds of such imperialist authors as Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, and E. M. Forster. But while Nairn sees their colonialist grandiose rhetoric as disproportionate to the real decadent economic and political situation of late Victorian England, Bhabha goes as far as to see this imperial delirium forming gaps within the English text, gaps which are
the signs of a discontinuous history, an estrangement of the English book.They mark the disturbance of its authoritative representations by the uncanny forces of race, sexuality, violence, cultural and even climatic differnces which emerge in the colonial discource as the mixed and split texts of hybridity. If the English book is read as a production of hybridity, then it no longer simply commands authority.

His analysis, which is largely based on the Lacanian conceptualization of mimicry as camouflage focuses on colonial ambivalence. On the one hand, he sees the colonizer as a snake in the grass who, speaks in "a tongue that is forked," and produces a mimetic representation that "... emerges as one of the most elusive and effective strategies of colonial power and knowledge " (Bhabha 85). Bhabha recognizes then that colonial power carefully establishes highly-sophisticated strategies of control and dominance; that, while it is aware of its ephemerality, it is also anxious to create the means that guarantee its economic, political and cultural endurance, through the conception, in Macaulay's words in his "Minute on Indian Education" (1835),"of a class of interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern --a class of persons Indian in blood and colour but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect"--that is through the reformation of that category of people referred to by Frantz Fanon in the phrase, "black skin/white masks," or as "mimic men" by V.S.Naipaul.
On the other hand, Bhabha immediately diverts his pertinent analysis by shifting the superlative certainty of the colonizer and the strategic effectiveness of his political intentions into an alarming uncertainty. Macaulay's Indian interpreters along with Naipaul's mimic men, he asserts, by the very fact that they are authorized versions of otherness, "part-objects of a metonymy of colonial desire, end up emerging as inappropriate colonial subjects...[who], by now producing a partial vision of the colonizer's presence (88), de-stabilize the colonial subjectivity, unsettle its authoritative centrality, and corrupt its discursive purity. Actually, he adds, mimicry repeats rather than re-presents....(author's emphases ), and in that very act of repetition, originality is lost, and centrality de-centred. What is left, according to Bhabha, is the trace, the impure, the artificial, the second-hand. Bhabha analyses the slippages in colonial political discourse, and reveals that the janus-faced attitudes towards the colonized lead to the production of a mimicry that presents itself more in the form of a "menace " than "resemblance"; more in the form of a rupture than consolidation.

Hybridity, Bhabha argues, subverts the narratives of colonial power and dominant cultures. The series of inclusions and exclusions on which a dominant culture is premised are deconstructed by the very entry of the formerly-excluded subjects into the mainstream discourse. The dominant culture is contaminated by the linguistic and racial differences of the native self. Hybridity can thus be seen, in Bhabha's interpretation, as a counter-narrative, a critique of the canon and its exclusion of other narratives. In other words, the hybridity-acclaimers want to suggest first, that the colonialist discourse's ambivalence is a conspicuous illustration of its uncertainty; and second, that the migration of yesterday's "savages" from their peripheral spaces to the homes of their "masters" underlies a blessing invasion that, by "Third-Worlding"the center, creates "fissures" within the very structures that sustain it.
Gayatri Chakravorty SpivakWikipedia,
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (born February 24, 1942) is a literary critic and theorist. She is best-known for the article "Can the Subaltern Speak?", which is considered a founding text of postcolonialism, and also for her translation of Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology. Spivak currently teaches at Columbia University in addition to giving lectures around the world.
Spivak was born Gayatri Chakravorty, in Calcutta, India, 24 February 1942, to a middle class family. She received an undergraduate degree in English at the University of Calcutta (1959), graduating with first class honours. After this, she completed her Master's in English from Cornell University, and then pursued her Ph.D. while teaching at University of Iowa. Her dissertation was on W.B. Yeats, directed by Paul de Man, titled Myself Must I Remake: The Life and Poetry of W.B. Yeats. At Cornell, she was the first woman elected to membership in the Telluride Association.
It was her subsequent translation of Derrida's Of Grammatology which brought her to prominence, after which she carried out a series of historical studies (as a member of the "Subaltern Studies Collective") and literary critiques of imperialism and international feminism. She has often referred to herself as a "Marxist-feminist-deconstructionist", seeing each of these fields as necessary but insufficient by themselves, yet productive together. Her overriding ethico-political concern has been the tendency of institutional and cultural discourses/practices to exclude and marginalize the subaltern, especially subaltern women.
Her recent work, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, published in 1999, explores how major works of European metaphysics (e.g., Kant, Hegel) not only tend to exclude the subaltern from their discussions, but actively prevent non-Europeans from occupying positions as fully human subjects.
Spivak coined the term "strategic essentialism", which refers to a sort of temporary solidarity for the purpose of social action. For example, the attitude that women's groups have many different agendas makes it difficult for feminists to work for common causes. "Strategic essentialism" is about the need to temporarily accept an "essentialist" position in order to be able to act.
• Myself, I Must Remake: The Life and Poetry of W.B. Yeats (1974).
• Of Grammatology (translation, with critical introduction, of Derrida's text) (1976)
• In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987).
• Selected Subaltern Studies (edited with Ranajit Guha) (1988)
• The Post-Colonial Critic (1990)
• Outside in the Teaching Machine (1993).
• The Spivak Reader (1995).
• A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present (1999).
• Death of a Discipline (2005).
• Other Asias (2007).
• Imaginary Maps (translation with critical introduction of three stories by Mahasweta Devi) (1994)
• Breast Stories (translation with critical introduction of three stories by Mahasweta Devi) (1997)
• Old Women (translation with critical introduction of two stories by Mahasweta Devi) (1999)
• Song for Kali: A Cycle (translation with introduction of story by Ramproshad Sen) (2000)
• Chotti Munda and His Arrow (translation with critical introduction of the novel by Mahasweta Devi) (2002)
• Red Thread (forthcoming)
Homi BhabhaWikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Homi K. Bhabha (born 1949) is a postcolonial theorist, currently teaching at Harvard University, where he is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language.
Bhabha was born into a Parsi family from Mumbai, India. He is an alumnus of St. Mary's High School (ISC,1967-68), Mazagoan, Mumbai . He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Mumbai (Elphinstone College) and a M.A. and D.Phil. from Christ Church, Oxford. After lecturing in the Department of English at the University of Sussex for over ten years, he received a senior fellowship at Princeton University where he was also made Old Dominion Visiting Professor. He was Steinberg Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where he delivered the Richard Wright Lecture Series. At Dartmouth College he was a faculty fellow at the School of Criticism and Theory. From 1997 to 2001 he served as Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He has been the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard University since 2001.
While at Oxford, he met his wife, Jacqueline Bhabha; they have three children: Ishan, Satya and Leah.
He was featured in David Lauer's Newsweek article "100 people for the new century".
Bhabha was key note speaker at the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge Colloquium on Research and Higher Education Policy, Paris, France, 1-3 December 2004
In 2001-02, he served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at University College, London. He has been invited to deliver lectures around the world, including the Clarendon Lectures at the University of London, 2001-2002; the Presidential Lecture at Stanford University, 2000; the W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard, 1999; the Annual Interdisciplinary Lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, 1995.
Bhabha's work in postcolonial theory is heavily influenced by poststructuralism, most notably the writings of Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault. In his book Nation and Narration (1990) Bhabha challenges the tendency to treat post-colonial countries as a homogeneous block. This leads, he argues, to the assumption that there is/was a shared identity amongst ex-colonial states.
Bhabha argues that our sense of nationhood is discursively constructed: it is narrativized. One of his contributions to postcolonial studies is the identification of ambivalence in colonial dominance. In Location of Culture (1994), Bhabha deploys concepts -- mimicry, interstice, hybridity -- influenced by semiotics and Lacanian psychoanalysis. He argues that cultural production is most productive when it is also most ambivalent.
In The Location of Culture, Bhabha argues for a fundamental realignment of the methodology of cultural analysis away from ontology toward the "performative" and "enunciatory present" (p.178). Such a shift, he claims, provides a basis for the negotiation of cultural difference rather than its automatic repression or negation in the face of irreconcilable oppositions. Bhabha's emphasis on the enunciative production of meaning places the emphasis of critical inquiry on issues of representation or signification, thereby producing "a temporality that makes it possible to conceive of the articulation of antagonistic or contradictory elements" (p.25).
This argument attacks the Western production of binary oppositions, traditionally defined in terms of centre and margin, civilised and savage, enlightened and ignorant. Bhabha questions the easy recourse to consolidated dualisms by repudiating fixed and authentic centres of truth, suggesting that cultures interact, transgress and transform each other in a much more complex manner than typical binary oppositions allow.
According to Bhabha, hybridity and "linguistic multivocality" have the potential to intervene and dislocate the process of domination through the re-interpretation and re-deployment of received discourse, thus re-focusing critical attention towards the "agonistic space" (181) which exists on the borders of difference, along the edges of alterity, where cultures meet. Bhabha celebrates cultural heterogeneity and the "subversive effects of hybridisation".
Prose style
Bhabha has been criticized for using "indecipherable jargon" and dense prose. In 1998 the journal, Philosophy and Literature, awarded Bhabha second prize in its "Bad Writing Competition", which "celebrates bad writing from the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles". Bhabha was awarded the prize for a sentence in his the Location of Culture (Routledge, 1994), which reads:
If, for a while, the ruse of desire is calculable for the uses of discipline soon the repetition of guilt, justification, pseudo-scientific theories, superstition, spurious authorities, and classifications can be seen as the desperate effort to “normalize” formally the disturbance of a discourse of splitting that violates the rational, enlightened claims of its enunciatory modality.
The sentence prompted the National Post to ask "Why do so many academics write such gobbledegook? In part, it's snobbery. By writing in a complex language only specialists can understand, they exclude the rest of us. Some of it is mental laziness. These writers haven't worked their own ideas through, but by dressing up weak arguments in bombast and scholarly jargon, they hide the fact that they don't know what they mean, either."[1]
Bhabha and his fellow postcolonial critics (e.g., Gayatri Spivak) have countered that the "postcolonial condition" requires novel concepts and formulations to capture the increasingly complex postcolonial world we live in. Bhabha is a popular lecturer, and is regularly invited to speak at universities across North America, Europe and Asia.
• Nation and Narration (1990) ISBN 0-415-01483-2
• Edward Said Continuing the Conversation [edited] (2005) ISBN 0-226-53203-8
• The Location of Culture (1994) ISBN 0-415-05406-0
• Identity: The Real Me ISBN 0-905263-46-4
Black Skin White Masks -- Orality as a Function of Both Domination and Resistance
Itself an assemblage of angry polemic and experiental, mytho-poetic personal vignettes, Frantz Fanon's Black Skin White Masks situates language and the body at the center of the black predicament of marginalization, pathologization, and servitude. "A man who has a language," Fanon suggests, "consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language." Foreshadowing somewhat Michel Foucault's coupling of knowledge and power, Fanon argues that language becomes an index of both cultural difference and power imbalance. "What we are getting at becomes plain: Mastery of language affords remarkable power" (18) In the context of the French-Algierian war, Fanon laments the fact that the French language assumed a certain privilege over the "jabber" of native dialects. The native bourgeoisie, as Fanon argues, undermines the workings of revolution by covetting the agency or subjectivity ensured by the ability to speak the language of the colonial bourgeoisie. "We are trying to understand," Fanon asks, "why the Antilles Negro is so fond of speaking French" (27). To Fanon the assimilation and valorization of the french language underscores the native intellectual's complicity with the "mother" country that uses language as a discursive instrument to subordinate colonized subjects and legitimate its comparative privilege.
And yet, in The Post-colonial Studies Reader, Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin suggest the possibility that "orality" empowers the colonial subject with a mode of resistance. As they argue in the passage below, despite the subordination of "oral traditions" in Western modernity, spoken performances often reject the discursive subordination as a result not only of colonization but academic conceptualizations of colonization:
In 'modern' societies the oral and the performative continues to exist alongside the written but is largely ignored or relegated to the condition of pretext in many accounts, represented as only the beginning or origin of the written. Yet in many postcolonial societies oral, performative events may be the principle present and modern means of continuity for the pre-colonial culture and may also be the tools by which the dominant social institutions and discourses can be subverted or repositioned, shown that is to be constructions naturalised within a hierarchised politics of difference. (322)
How, as Randall Bass asks in terms of Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day, might these competing notions of "orality" bear upon the function of language and utterance in liturature? With regards to Fanon's investment in the Algiers-France conflict, how might depictions of language articulate themselves in relation to each other along the lines of race and gender? Consider Camus, for instance, not forgetting Gide or Genet -- all of whom might be considered to challenge, in different ways, the status quo that shapes colonial dominance and coercion in Algierian literature.
Edward Wadie Said (November 1, 1935 – September 25, 2003; Arabic: إدوارد سعيد‎) was a well-known Palestinian-American literary theorist, critic, and outspoken Palestinian activist. He was a University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and is regarded as a founding figure in post-colonial theory.[1]
Said was born in Jerusalem (then in the British Mandate of Palestine) on November 1, 1935. His father was a wealthy Christian Palestinian businessman and an American citizen, while his mother was born in Nazareth of Christian Lebanese and Palestinian descent.[2] His sister was the historian and writer Rosemarie Said Zahlan. According to Said's autobiographical memoir, Out of Place (excerpted in London Review of Books article "Between Worlds"), Said lived "between worlds" in both Cairo and Jerusalem until the age of 12. In 1947, he attended the Anglican St. George's Academy when he was in Jerusalem, but his extended family ("my entire family") became (in his word) "refugees" in 1948 during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War because that family home was in the affluent quarter of Talbiya in the western part of Jerusalem that was annexed by Israel:
I was born in Jerusalem and had spent most of my formative years there and, after 1948, when my entire family became refugees, in Egypt. All my early education had, however, been in élite colonial schools, English public schools designed by the British to bring up a generation of Arabs with natural ties to Britain. The last one I went to before I left the Middle East to go to the United States was Victoria College in Cairo, a school in effect created to educate those ruling-class Arabs and Levantines who were going to take over after the British left. My contemporaries and classmates included King Hussein of Jordan, several Jordanian, Egyptian, Syrian and Saudi boys who were to become ministers, prime ministers and leading businessmen, as well as such glamorous figures as Michel Shalhoub, head prefect of the school and chief tormentor when I was a relatively junior boy, whom everyone has seen on screen as Omar Sharif.[3]

In "early September 1951," when he was fifteen years old, his parents (who immediately returned to the Middle East) "deposited him" in the Mount Hermon School, a private preparatory high school, in Massachusetts, where he recalls a "miserable year" feeling "out of place" ("Between Worlds").
Said earned a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he won the Bowdoin Prize. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1963 and served as a professor of English and Comparative Literature for several decades. In 1977 Said became the Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia and subsequently became the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities. In 1992 he attained the rank of University Professor, Columbia's most prestigious academic position. Professor Said also taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Yale universities. He was fluent in Arabic, English and French. In 1999, after his earlier election to second vice president and following its succession policy, Said served as president of the Modern Language Association.
Said was bestowed with numerous honorary doctorates from universities around the world and twice received Columbia's Trilling Award and the Wellek Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. His autobiographical memoir Out of Place won the 1999 New Yorker Prize for non-fiction. He was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Royal Society of Literature, and the American Philosophical Society.[1]
Said's writing regularly appeared in The Nation, The Guardian, the London Review of Books, Le Monde Diplomatique, Counterpunch, Al Ahram, and the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat. He gave interviews alongside his good friend, fellow political activist, and colleague Noam Chomsky regarding U.S. foreign policy for various independent radio programs.
Said also contributed music criticism to The Nation for many years. In 1999, he jointly founded the West-East Divan Orchestra with the Argentine-Israeli conductor and close friend Daniel Barenboim.
In January 2006, anthropologist David Price obtained 147 pages of Said's 238-page FBI file through a Freedom of Information Act request. The records reveal that Said was under surveillance starting in 1971. Most of his records are marked as related to "IS Middle East" ("IS" = Israel) and significant portions remain "Classified Secrets."[4]
Edward Said died at the age of 67 in the early morning of September 25, 2003, in New York City, after a decade-long battle with chronic myelogenous leukemia.[5]
In November 2004, Birzeit University renamed its music school as the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in his honor.[6]
Controversy over Said's early life
In 1999, Justus Reid Weiner, a scholar at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, conducted a study in which he asserts that Edward Said's family did not permanently reside in Talbiya and did not live there during the final months of the British mandate, and thus they could not be considered refugees. Said's parents never owned a house in Jerusalem, says Weiner, the house in Talbiya belonged to Edward Said's aunt, and Edward Said's family visited Jerusalem only occasionally. "On his [Edward Said's] birth certificate, prepared by the ministry of health of the British Mandate," Weiner further states, "his parents specified their permanent address as Cairo, and, indicating that they maintained no residence in Palestine, left blank the space for a local address." According to Weiner, Said grew up in Cairo and attended Gezira Preparatory School there and probably never attended the St. George's Academy in Jerusalem except during his family's brief stays in that city. Weiner argues that Said's name does not appear on the school registry and that David Eben-Ezra, whom Said mentioned as his classmate, has no recollections of him.[7]
In response to Weiner's wide-publicized article, several respondents defend Said. For example, Christopher Hitchens writes, in The Nation, that schoolmates and teachers of Said confirmed Said's stay at St. George's School in Jerusalem, and also quotes Said as stating as early as "1992 [sic]" [actually 1989] that he had spent a large part of his youth in Cairo.[8] In an article entitled "Defamation, Zionist-style" published in Al-Ahram Weekly, Edward Said himself responds to Weiner by clarifying that "the family house was in fact a family house in the Arab sense, which meant that our families were one in ownership" and explaining that his name is not and could not be listed on the St. George's School registry because those school records terminated in 1946, whereas he attended St. George's School only in 1947, a year later.[9] In a September 1999 commentary posted by editors Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair in Counterpunch, Haig Boyadjian is quoted as confirming that he had been Said's classmate at St. George's in 1947 and seriously calls into doubt the credibility and ethics of Weiner's attack on Said.[10] In another published interview conducted by Amritjit Singh in 2000, Said is quoted as saying: "I was born in Jerusalem, my family is a Jerusalem family. We left Palestine in 1947. We left before most others. It was a fortuitous thing. . . . I never said I was a refugee, but the rest of my family was. My entire extended family was driven out. . . ."[11] The question of Said's credibility on this issue, then, depends on whether the natural meaning of "my entire family" becoming refugees includes Said and his immediate family.
Said is best known for describing and critiquing "Orientalism," which he perceived as a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the East. In Orientalism (1978), Said described the "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture."[12] He argued that a long tradition of false and romanticized images of Asia and the Middle East in Western culture had served as an implicit justification for Europe and America's colonial and imperial ambitions. Just as fiercely, he denounced the practice of Arab elites who internalized the American and British orientalists' ideas of Arabic culture.
In 1980 Said criticized what he regarded as poor understanding of the Arab culture in the West:

So far as the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Moslems and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world. What we have instead is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.[13]

The argument
Orientalism has had a significant impact on the fields of literary theory and cultural studies, and to a lesser extent on those of History and Oriental Studies. Taking his cue from the work of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault (acknowledging the influence of the latter, but not the former[14]), and from earlier critics of western Orientalism such as A. L. Tibawi[15], Anouar Malek-Abdel[16], Maxime Rodinson[17], and Richard William Southern[18] (whose influence also went unacknowledged), Said argued that all Western writings on the Orient, and the perceptions of the East purveyed in them, are suspect, and cannot be taken at face value. According to Said, the history of European colonial rule and political domination over the East distorts the writings of even the most knowledgeable, well-meaning and sympathetic Western ‘Orientalists’ (a term which he transformed into a pejorative epithet). He argues that their claims to objective knowledge of the Orient are simply claims to power:

I doubt if it is controversial, for example, to say that an Englishman in India or Egypt in the later nineteenth century took an interest in those countries which was never far from their status in his mind as British colonies. To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact – and yet that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism. (Said, Orientalism 11)

Said’s contention was that Europe had dominated Asia politically so completely for so long, that in Orientalist writings a very considerable bias exists in even the most outwardly objective of texts, a bias which most Western scholars would not even be able to recognise, because it is part of their cultural make-up too. His contention was that the West has not only conquered the East politically, but that Western scholars have appropriated the exploration and interpretation of the Orient’s languages, history and culture for themselves. They have written Asia’s past and constructed its myriad modern identities from a perspective which takes Europe as the norm from which the "exotic," "inscrutable" Orient deviates. Said concludes that Western writings about the Orient invariably depict it as an irrational, weak, feminised "Other", contrasted with the rational, strong, masculine West. Western writings are about creating "difference" between West and East, a difference which is attributed to the existence of certain immutable "essences" in the Oriental make-up. In 1978, when the book was first published, with memories of the Yom Kippur war and the OPEC crisis still fresh, Said argued that these attitudes still permeated the Western media and academia. Having thus stated his central thesis, the remainder of Orientalism consists mainly of examples from Western texts designed to illustrate it.
Said’s book attracted both adulation and criticism from the very outset. Historians and anthropologists such as Ernest Gellner[19] argued that Said's contention that the West had dominated the East for over 2,000 years (since the composition of Aeschylus’s The Persians) was simply unsupportable. Until the late 17th century the Ottoman Empire had posed a serious threat to Europe. Furthermore, Said had chosen to concentrate largely on the Middle East, Palestine and Egypt, where his own roots lay, and these were areas that came under European control only for a relatively short period in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. Said devoted much less attention to the British Raj in India, by far the lengthiest and most successful example of European hegemony in the Orient, and entirely ignored Russia’s dominions in Asia, some critics have argued, because Said was more interested in making polemical points about the Middle East.[20] Others pointed out that even at the height of the Imperial Era, European power in the East was never absolute, and remained heavily dependent on local collaborators and local forms of knowledge, which were frequently subversive of Imperial aims.[21] The Syrian philosopher Sadiq Jalal al-ʿAzm also expressed reservations about Said's polemicism and his tendency to essentialize the West.[22]
Criticism from Orientalists
Strong criticism of Said's critique of "Orientalism" has come from academic Orientalists, some of whom were of Eastern backgrounds themselves. Albert Hourani, Robert Graham Irwin, Nikki Keddie, Bernard Lewis, and Kanan Makiya, address what Keddie retrospectively calls "some unfortunate consequences" of Said's Orientalism on the perception and status of their scholarship.[23] Bernard Lewis is among scholars whose work Said questioned in Orientalism and subsequent works. The two authors came frequently to exchange polemics, starting in the pages of the New York Review of Books following the publication of Orientalism. Lewis's article "The Question of Orientalism" was followed in the next issue by "Orientalism: An Exchange." Other scholars, such as Maxime Rodinson, Jacques Berque, Malcolm Kerr, Aijaz Ahmad, and William Montgomery Watt also regarded Orientalism as a deeply flawed account of Western scholarship.[24]
Some of Said's academic critics argue that Said made no attempt to distinguish between the writings of poets such as Goethe (who never even travelled in the East), novelists such as Flaubert (who undertook a brief sojourn in Egypt), discredited mavericks such as Ernest Renan, and serious scholars such as Edward William Lane who were fluent in Arabic and produced work of considerable value: their common European origins and attitudes, according to Said, overrode such considerations.[25] Irwin (among others) points out that Said entirely ignored the fact that Oriental studies in the 19th century were dominated by Germans and Hungarians, from countries which, inconveniently for Said's purposes, did not possess an Eastern Empire.[26] Such critics accuse Said of creating a monolithic ‘Occidentalism’ to oppose to the ‘Orientalism’ of Western discourse, arguing that he failed to distinguish between the paradigms of Romanticism and the Enlightenment, that he ignored the widespread and fundamental differences of opinion amongst western scholars of the Orient; that he failed to acknowledge that many Orientalists (such as Sir William Jones) were more concerned with establishing kinship between East and West than with creating "difference", and had frequently made discoveries which would provide the foundations for anti-colonial nationalism.[27] More generally, critics argue that Said and his followers fail to distinguish between Orientalism in the media and popular culture (for instance the portrayal of the Orient in films such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) and academic studies of Oriental languages, literature, history and culture by Western scholars (whom, it is argued, they tar with the same brush).[28]
Finally, Said's critics argue that by making ethnicity and cultural background the test of authority and objectivity in studying the Orient, Said drew attention to the question of his own identity as a Palestinian, and as a "Subaltern." Ironically, given Said's largely Anglophone upbringing and education at an elite school in Cairo, the fact that he spent most of his adult life in the United States, and his prominent position in American academia, his own arguments that "any and all representations… are embedded first in the language and then in the culture, institutions and political ambience of the representer . . . [and are] interwoven with a great many other things besides the 'truth', which is itself a representation" (Orientalism 272) could be said to disenfranchise him from writing about the Orient himself. Thus these critics claim that the excessive relativism of Said and his followers trap them in a "web of solipsism"[29], unable to talk of anything but "representations", and denying the existence of any objective truth.
Supporters of Said and his influence
Said’s supporters argue that such criticisms, even if correct, do not invalidate his basic thesis, which still holds true for the 19th and 20th centuries and in particular for general representations of the Orient in Western media, literature and film.[30] His supporters point out that Said himself acknowledges limitations of his study's failing to address German scholarship (Orientalism 18-19) and that, in the "Afterword" to the 1995 edition of Orientalism, he, in their view, convincingly refutes his critics such as Lewis (329-54). Apart from his continuing importance in the fields of literary criticism and cultural studies, his work has also particularly influenced various scholars studying India, such as Gyan Prakash[31], Nicholas Dirks[32], and Ronald Inden[33], and literary theorists such as Homi Bhabha[34] and Gayatri Spivak.[35]
Prominent leftist intellectuals such as journalist Alexander Cockburn and academic Mohamed Rabie have also been close friends with Said.
Both supporters of Edward Said and his critics acknowledge the profound, transformative influence which his book Orientalism has had across the spectrum of the Humanities; but whereas his critics regret his influence as limiting, his supporters praise his influence as liberating.[citation needed]
Pro-Palestinian activism
As a pro-Palestinian activist, Said campaigned first for a creation of an independent Palestinian state and later for a single Jewish-Arab state.[citations needed] From 1977 until 1991, Said was an independent member of the Palestinian National Council who tended to stay out of factional struggles.[36] He supported the two-state solution and voted for it in Algiers in 1988. He quit the PNC over the decision by Yasser Arafat and the PLO to support Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War, a decision he considered disastrous to the interests of Palestinian refugees living in Arab League member states who supported the American-led coalition. Thereafter, Said became critical of the role of Arafat in the process leading up to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, feeling that the Oslo terms were unacceptable and had been rejected by the Madrid round negotiators. He felt that Oslo would not lead to a truly independent state and was inferior to a plan Arafat had rejected when Said himself presented it to Arafat on behalf of the US government in the late 70's. In particular, he wrote that Arafat had sold short the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in pre-1967 Israel and ignored the growing presence of Israeli settlements. Said's relationship with the Palestinian Authority was once so bad that PA leaders banned the sale of his books in August 1995, but improved when he hailed Arafat for rejecting Barak's offers at the Camp David 2000 Summit. Ultimately, Said came to prefer and to support the binational solution—the creation of one state in the entirety of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and pre-1967 Israel, in which Arabs and Jews would have equal rights, over a two state solution with a Palestinian state on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.[citations needed]
On July 3, 2000, Said was videotaped lobbing a symbolic rock towards an Israeli watchtower on the Israeli-Lebanese border. "One stone tossed into an empty space scarcely warrants a second thought," he later said, responding to criticism that he had aimed the rock at people less than 30 feet away.[37] In June 2002, Said, along with Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Ibrahim Dakak, and Mustafa Barghouti, helped establish the Palestinian National Initiative, or Al-Mubadara, an attempt to build a third force in Palestinian politics, a democratic, reformist alternative to both the established Palestinian Authority and to Islamist militant groups such as Hamas.
In Al-Ahram Weekly, in April 2002, Said observes:

Above all we must, as Mandela never tired of saying about his struggle, be aware that Palestine is one of the great moral causes of our time. Therefore, we need to treat it as such. It's not a matter of trade, or bartering negotiations, or making a career. It is a just cause which should allow Palestinians to capture the high moral ground and keep it.[38]

In August 2003, in an article published online in Counterpunch, Said summarizes his position on the contemporary rights of Palestinians vis-à-vis the historical experience of the Jewish people:

I have spent a great deal of my life during the past 35 years advocating the rights of the Palestinian people to national self-determination, but I have always tried to do that with full attention paid to the reality of the Jewish people and what they suffered by way of persecution and genocide. The paramount thing is that the struggle for equality in Palestine/Israel should be directed toward a humane goal, that is, co-existence, and not further suppression and denial.[39]

Said's books on the issue of Israel and Palestine include The Question of Palestine (1979), The Politics of Dispossession (1994) and The End Of The Peace Process (2000).
• Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (1966)
• Beginnings: Intention and Method(1975)
• Orientalism (1978)
• The Question of Palestine (1979)
• Orientalisme (1980)
• Literature and Society (editor) (1980)
• Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World (1981)
• The World, the Text and the Critic (1983)
• After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives (1986) [with photographs by Jean Mohr]
• Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question (1988) [contributor and co-editor with Christopher Hitchens]
• Yeats and Decolonization (1988)
• Musical Elaborations (1991)
• Culture and Imperialism (1993)
• The Politics of Dispossession (1994)
• Representations of the Intellectual: The Reith Lectures (1994)
• The Pen and the Sword: Conversations with Edward W. Said (1994) [Conversations with David Barsamian]
• Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process (1996)
• Entre guerre at paix (1997)
• Acts of Aggression: Policing "Rogue States" (with Noam Chomsky and Ramsey Clark)(1999)
• Out of Place (1999) (a memoir)
• Henry James: Complete Stories, 1884-1891 (Editor) (1999)
• The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After (2000)
• Reflections on Exile (2000)
• The Edward Said Reader (2000)
• Power, Politics and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said (2001)
• CIA et Jihad, 1950-2001: Contre l'URSS, une désastreuse alliance (2002), with John K. Cooley
• Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward W. Said (2003) [Interviews by David Barsamian]
• From Oslo to Iraq and the Road Map (Collection of Essays) (2003)
• Humanism and Democratic Criticism (2005)
• On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (will be published posthumously April 2006)
• Criticism in Society (year of publication unknown)
• Edward Said: A Critical Reader (year of publication unknown)
• Freud and the Non-European (year of publication unknown)
• Jewish Religion, Jewish History (Introduction) (year of publication unknown)
• Nationalism, Colonialism, and Literature (year of publication unknown)
• Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (with Daniel Barenboim) (year of publication unknown)
The Rage of Derek Walcott: Introduction
Heather M. Bradley, Washington and Lee University
"The rage of Achille at being misunderstood" mirrors Derek Walcott's frustration with his divided heritage (298). Walcott's ancestral ties to Africa and Britain force the poet to straddle the cultural divide that results from the union of the captive and the captor. "A Far Cry from Africa," a poem published in 1962, focuses on Walcott's racial and cultural consternation. The poem highlights the paradoxical problem of recognizing the individual cultural components of one's heritage without compromising the singular identity that their mixture creates. In the epic poem, Omeros (1990), Walcott continues to struggle with his hybridity and attempts to pacify the different cultural forces commanding his loyalties. The main vehicle in the poet's search for identity appears in the figure of Achille. Achille's relationship with Helen and the conflicts which stem from it provide a means for Walcott to resolve his questions about the correct expression of a hybrid identity. The quests of Achille and the "I" allow Walcott to contemplate his African and British inheritances, respectively. Walcott writes an "epic of the dispossessed" which celebrates the Caribbean culture and at the same time resolves the questions that plague the poet in "A Far Cry from Africa" (Hamner 143). Walcott looks for a common ground between the African and the British cultures which are not united in his identity.

Australia's Early Exploration and ColonizationFrom Encyclopedia Britannica, entered by Joel P. Henderson, Brown '93
1100 The issue of a "terra australis incognita" ("unknown southern land"), an issue in European thought in ancient times, is revived from the 12th century onward.
1432 Prior to documented history, there were Asian contacts. There is evidence for a Chinese landing near Darwin in 1432. Also, a southern land is mentioned in Arab and Chinese documents. [Possibly, Chinese astronomers made observations in Australia during the 6th century B.C.]
1550 [16th century] European maps show "jave la Grande," which was possibly a representation of Australia.
1567 Viceroys of Spain's American empire regularly sought new lands. One such expedition, from Peru, commanded by Alvaro de Mendana, discovered the Solomon Islands. He found gold and hoped he had found "the great southern land," and that Spain would colonize there.
1595 Mendana sails again, but fails to rediscover Solomons.
1605 [December] Pedro Fernandez de quiros, one of Mendana's officers and a man of the Counter-Reformation who desired that Catholicism should prevail in the southland, sets sail from Peru under Spain's King Philip III. De Quiros reaches the New Hebrides and returns, but Spanish officialdom is not persuaded to mount antoher expedition.
William Jansz of Amsterdam sails from Bantam to discover New Guinea. He reached Torres Straight weeks before Torre, and also names Cape Keer West on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula.
1611 Dutch ships sailing from Cape of Good Hope to Java accidentally sail too far east and hit Australia.
1616 [October 25-27] Dirck Hartog's Dutch "Eendracht" lands and leaves memorial at Shark Bay, Western Australia.
1626 [1616-1627] Pieter Nuyts, Dutch, explores about 1,000 miles of southern coast. Other Dutchmen add to knowledge of north and west.
1642 Governor General Anthony van Diemen of the Dutch East Indies commissions Abel Tasman to explore southward. he makes great circuit of the seas, spots Van Diemen's Land (latterly Tasmania), and explores New Zealand before returning to Batavia.
1644 Second expedition of Abel Tasman explores Australia's northern coast; thenceforth, New Holland was the name for the landmass. However, after this the Netherlands spend little more effort exploring.
1688 English pirate William Dampier relaxes on new Holland's northeastern coast. He publishes his Voyages and persuades the Admirality to back another venture.
1699 [1699-1700] William Dampier, on his second expedition, traverses the western coast for 1,000 miles and reported more fully than anyone previously, but in terms so critical of the land and its people that another hiatus resulted.
1750 [18th century, middle decades] There was much writing in Britain (and Europe, to a lesser extent) about the curiosities and possible commercial value of the southern seas and "terre australis incognita." The British government showed its interest by backing several voyages, and hopes flourished for a mighty empire of commerce in the eastern seas.
1768 [1768-1779] Capt. James Cook, on behalf of the British Admirality, makes three voyages. The first, the "Endeavor," sights southeastern Australia on April 20,
1770 Cook lands several times, most notably at Botany Bay and Possession Island in the north, where on August 23 he claims the land and names it New South Wales. His later voyages add only a little to Australian exploration, but are both symptom and cause of strengthening British interest in the eastern seas -- however, the voyages lead to settlement.
1772 Marion Dufresne of France skirts Tasmania and sees more of it, at least of the western coast, than Tasman had.
1775 [late 18th century] Bugis (Macassar) seamen certainly fish off Arnhem Land, in the Northern territory (and may have done so for generations). [Perhaps only effective resistance by the Aborigines against the Bugis reserves Australis for white colonization.]
1786 British government determines to settle New South Wales, with Lord Sydney (Thomas Townshend), secretary of state for home affairs, as the guiding authority. Arthur Philip serves as commander of the expedition.
1787 [May 13] First fleet of British colonists sets sail.
1788 British colonization of New South Wales begins.
Original landing at Botany Bay is disastrous due to poor soil and water. Group relocates to superb harbor of Port Jackson, which Cook had marked but not explored.
Philip immediately establishes outstation at Norfolk Island. [This station, abandoned in 1813, was revived in 1825 to provide a jail for convicts who further misbehaved in Australia.]
Convicts labor on government farms, while former convicts are given their own small plots.
Philip governs until December 1792, seeing new South Wales through its darkest days of bad land, pests, disease, poor convict workers, hostile aborigines, and shrinking supplies.
Comte de la Perouse, French, visits Botany Bay.
1791 British navigator George Vancouver traverses and describes the southern shores described by Pieter Nuys in 1626-7.
1795 George Bass, a naval surgeon, and Matthew Flinders, a naval officer (both British), become the most famous postsettlement explorers. They enter harbors near Botany Bay in 1795-6.
1797 Bass ventures further south, pushing around Cape Everard to Western port.
1798 Flinders charts the Furneaux Islands.
Flinders and Bass in the "Norfolk" circumnavigate Tasmania, establishing that it was an island.
1801 Flinders returns home, and is appointed to command an expedition that will virtually complete the charting of Australia. he commands from 1801-1804, and leaves no doubt that Australia is a single landmass. He urges that "Australia" replace "New Holland" as the name; the change receives official backing in 1817.
France sponsors expedition under Nicolas Baudin, similar to that of Flinders. French names are given to many features (including "Terre Napolean" for the southern coast), and though the expedition gathers much information, it does little completely new.
1817 Admirality expedition led by P.P King (1817-1822) helps fill in the gaps on the northern coast, from Arnhern Land to Cape York Peninsula.
"Australia" becomes official name of southern continent (rather than "New South Holland"), after the urgings of Matthew Flinders.
1838 Admirality expedition led by J.C. Wickham (1838-39) helps fills in the gaps from Arnhern Land to Cape York Peninsula. (like P.P. King, 1817).
1850 Australian Colonies Government Act.
1900 September 17. Queen Victoria proclaims Australia an independent member of the Commonwealth.
1947 Government offers to fund European immigration.
1962 Anglican Church becomes independent of the Church of England.

European discovery and the colonisation of Australia
The first records of European mariners sailing into 'Australian' waters occurs around 1606, and includes their observations of the land known as Terra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land). The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutchman, Willem Janszoon.
Between 1606 and 1770, an estimated 54 European ships from a range of nations made contact. Many of these were merchant ships from the Dutch East Indies Company and included the ships of Abel Tasman. Tasman charted parts of the north, west and south coasts of Australia which was then known as New Holland.
In 1770, Englishman Captain James Cook charted the Australian east coast in his ship HM Bark Endeavour. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of England on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming eastern Australia 'New South Wales'. The coast of Australia, featuring Tasmania as a separate island, was mapped in detail by the English mariners and navigators Bass and Flinders, and the French mariner, Baudin. A nearly completed map of the coastline was published by Flinders in 1814.
This period of European exploration is reflected in the names of landmarks such as the Torres Strait, Arnhem Land, Dampier Sound, Tasmania, the Furneaux Islands, Cape Frecinyet and La Perouse. French expeditions between 1790 and the 1830s, led by D'Entrecasteaux, Baudin, and Furneaux, were recorded by the naturalists Labillardière and Péron.
The First Fleet and a British colony
Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet, comprising 11 ships and around 1,350 people, arrived at Botany Bay between 18 and 20 January 1788. However, this area was deemed to be unsuitable for settlement and they moved north to Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, landing at Camp Cove, known as 'cadi' to the Cadigal people.
Governor Phillip carried instructions to establish the first British Colony in Australia. The First Fleet was under prepared for the task, and the soil around Sydney Cove was poor. The young colony relied upon both the development of farms around Parramatta, 25 kilometres upstream to the west, and also trading food with local Aboriginal clans.
The Second Fleet's arrival in 1790 provided badly needed food and supplies; however the newly arrived convicts were too ill, with many near to death, to be useful to the colony. The Second Fleet became known as the 'Death Fleet' - 278 of the convicts and crew died on the voyage to Australia, compared to only 48 on the First Fleet.
The colony experienced many other difficulties, including the fact that there were many more men than women - around four men for every woman - which caused problems in the settlement for many years.
Contacts and colonisation
In the winter of 1791, the process of British colonisation of Western Australia began when George Vancouver claimed the Albany region in the name of King George III. In the summer of 1801, Matthew Flinders was welcomed by Nyungar upon his arrival aboard the Investigator and various items were exchanged. On the 1802 voyage from Sydney, Flinders recruited two Aboriginal people, Bungaree, who had sailed with him on the Norfolk, and Nanbaree. The visit of Flinders and other mariners to the coast of Arnhem Land is recorded in the paintings of 'praus' and European ships at rock art sites.
Initially, relations between the explorers and the Aboriginal inhabitants were generally hospitable and based on understanding the terms of trading for food, water, axes, cloth and artefacts, a relationship encouraged by Governor Phillip. These relations became hostile as Aborigines realised that the land and resources upon which they depended and the order of their life were seriously disrupted by the on-going presence of the colonisers. Between 1790 and 1810, clans people of the Eora group in the Sydney area, led by Pemulwuy of the Bidjigal clan, undertook a campaign of resistance against the English colonisers in a series of attacks.
Law and land in New South Wales
From 1788 until 1823, the Colony of New South Wales was a penal colony. This meant that there were mainly convicts, marines and the wives of the marines although free settlers started to arrive in 1793. In 1823, the British government established a New South Wales parliament by setting up a Legislative Council as well as a Supreme Court under the New South Wales Act 1823 (UK). This Act is now seen as a first step towards a 'responsible' Parliament in Australia.
It was also intended to establish English law in the colony with the establishment of NSW criminal and civil courts. However, there were significant departures from English law when the first cases were heard in the courts. The first civil case heard in Australia, in July 1788, was brought by a convict couple. The convicts successfully sued the captain of the ship in which they had been transported for the loss of a parcel. In Britain, as convicts, they would have had no rights to bring this case forward.
The question of land ownership by Indigenous people was not dealt with by the colonisers until the mid-1830s. In 1835, John Batman signed two 'treaties' with Kulin people to 'purchase' 600,000 acres of land between what is now Melbourne and the Bellarine Peninsula. In response to these treaties and other arrangements between free settlers and Indigenous inhabitants, such as around Camden, the NSW Governor, Sir Richard Bourke issued a proclamation. Bourke's proclamation established the notion that the land belonged to no-one prior to the British crown taking possession.
To effectively over-ride the legitimacy of the 'Batman treaty' the British Colonial Office felt the need to issue another Proclamation. The Colonial Office proclamation stated that people found in possession of land without the authority of the government would be considered trespassers. This was despite and because many other people, including a report to the House of Commons in 1837, recognised that Aboriginal occupants had rights in land. Never-the-less, the law in New South Wales variously applied the principles expressed in Bourke's proclamation. This would not change until the Australian High Court's decision in the Mabo Case in 1992.
In 1861, the NSW government opened up the free selection of Crown land. The Crown Lands Acts 1861 permitted any person to select up to 320 acres on the condition of paying a deposit and living on the land for three years. The Acts also limited the use of Crown lands by Aboriginal people as until this time, pastoral lands were still able to be legitimately used by them.
As a result of Crown Land being available for selection, great conflicts between squatters and the selectors ensued. Scheming in selecting and acquiring land became widespread. The Acts had a powerful impact on the ownership of land. The Acts also affected the use of bush land across vast regions of the colony. In the view of some observers, these disputes over access to land also encouraged bushranging.
In spite of its problems, the colony of New South Wales grew, and the Port Jackson settlement is now the site of Australia's largest city - Sydney.
Establishment of other British colonies
Van Diemen's Land
The first British settlement on the island was made at Risdon in 1803 when Lieutenant John Bowen landed with about 50 settlers, crew, soldiers and convicts. The site was abandoned and in 1804 Lieutenant David Collins established a settlement at Hobart in February 1804. The colony of Van Diemen's Land was established in its own right in 1825 and officially became known as Tasmania in 1856.
Western Australia
Western Australia was established in 1827. Major Edmund Lockyer established a small British settlement at King Georges Sound (Albany) and in 1829 the new Swan River Colony was officially proclaimed. Captain James Stirling was its first Governor. The colony was proclaimed a British penal settlement in 1849 and the first convicts arrived in 1850.
South Australia
The British province of South Australia was established in 1836, and in 1842 it became a crown colony. South Australia was never a British convict colony, although a number of ex-convicts settled there from other colonies. Around 38,000 immigrants had arrived and settled in the area by 1850.
In 1851 Victoria (Port Phillip District) separated from New South Wales. The first attempt at settlement was made in 1803 by Lieutenant David Collins but the harsh conditions forced him to move on to Tasmania where he eventually settled Hobart in February 1804. It was not until the Henty brothers landed in Portland Bay in 1834, and John Batman settled on the site of Melbourne, that the Port Phillip District was officially sanctioned (1837). The first immigrant ships arrived at Port Phillip in 1839.
In 1859 Queensland separated from New South Wales. In 1824, the penal colony at Redcliffe was established by Lieutenant John Oxley. Known as the Moreton Bay Settlement, it later moved to the site now called Brisbane. Around 2,280 convicts were sent to the settlement between 1824 and 1839. The first free European settlers moved to the district in 1838 and others followed in 1840.
Northern Territory
In 1825 the area occupied today by the Northern Territory was part of the colony of New South Wales. It was first settled by Europeans in 1824 at Fort Dundas, Port Essington. In 1863 control of the area was given to South Australia. Its capital city, Darwin, was established in 1869, and was originally known as Palmerston. On January 1 1912, the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and became part of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Recognition of Australia
The name 'Australia' was first suggested by Matthew Flinders and supported by Governor Macquarie (1810-1821). At a meeting in 1899, the Premiers of the other Colonies agreed to locate the new federal capital of Australia in New South Wales, and added this section to the Australian Constitution. In 1909, the State of New South Wales surrended a portion of this territory to the Commonwealth of Australia, the site of present day Canberra.
Australia Day Anniversary
While formal dinners and informal celebrations to mark the landing of the First Fleet at Camp Cove were held on the 26 January each year, the first official celebration of English colonisation was held in 1818. During the colonial period, 26 January was called Foundation Day in New South Wales. Other colonies celebrated with their own dates of significance relating to the founding of their colonies. Western Australia, for example, celebrated Proclamation Day on 21 October each year.
Since 1901, when Australia became a federation of the six colonies, the landing of the First Fleet at Camp Cove has evolved from a small commemorative New South Wales holiday into a major national celebration, recognised as Australia Day. From 1994 all states and territories agreed to celebrate Australia Day on the actual day.
For many Indigenous Australians however, 26 January is not a day of celebration but one of mourning and protest. On the morning of the 26 January for the 1938 sesquicentennial (150th) celebrations, Aboriginal activists met to hold a 'Day of Mourning' conference aimed at securing national citizenship and equal status for Aborigines. Citizenship rights for all Aborigines were recognised following a referendum on the issue in 1967. In an attempt to heal some of the pain of Australia's past, there is now an advanced Reconciliation movement.
Ruby Langford GinibiFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To meet Wikipedia's quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup.
Please discuss this issue on the talk page, or replace this tag with a more specific message. Editing help is available.
This article has been tagged since July 2006.
Some information in this article or section has not been verified and may not be reliable.
Please check for any inaccuracies, and modify and cite sources as needed.
Ruby Langford Ginibi (b. 1934 at the Box Ridge Mission, Coraki on the NSW north coast), is a Bundjalung woman, an acclaimed author and historian.
She grew up at Bonalbo and went to high school in Casino.
At 15, she moved to Sydney where she qualified as a clothing machinist. She married young and had nine children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Like many women writers, she didn't start her writing career until later in life.
Her most well-known book is her autobiographical work, Don't Take Your Love to Town, published in 1988, which won the Australian Human Rights Award for Literature.
She received an inaugural History Fellowship from the NSW Ministry for the Arts in 1994, an inaugural honorary fellowship from the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 1995, and an inaugural doctorate of letters (Honors Causia) from La Trobe University, Victoria in 1998.
In 2005 she was awarded NSW Ministry for the Arts Special Award. She is a historian and lecturer on Aboriginal history, culture and politics. Her works are studied in Australian high schools and universities.
She recently won the 2006 Australia Council for the Arts Writers' Emeritus Award.
Dr Ginibi received the award, and prize of up to $50,000, at a ceremony during the Sydney Writers' Festival. The award recognises the achievements of writers over the age of 65.
Dr Ginibi has written four non-fiction books, plus many essays, poems and short stories. Books
• Don't Take Your Love to Town, 1988, Penguin
• Real Deadly, 1992
• My Bundjalung People, 1994, QUP
• Haunted by the Past 1999
don't know why, but, Ruby's books always seem to have an effect on me and this one is no exception.

Real Deadly is Ruby's second book. It's a collection of yarns that many people, Indigenous or otherwise, will identify with.

You'll laugh and you might even shed a tear as Ruby shares a few yarns with you from her own life, the life of her family and friends and those close to her heart.

Mother Nell, Mum Ruby Leslie, Mary from the Dairy, Ruby's children and grandchildren and Little Big Man are just some of the 'stars' of Real Deadly.

Ruby's daughter Dianne is a friend of my family so I could just picture a lot of the stories in my mind. I had a chuckle in many parts of the book including the chapter Lost Rent, where after a big night out Ruby goes to pay her rent only to find the money missing. She thinks someone has stolen it, but, months later her and her son Jeffrey are vacuuming and Jeffrey finds it underneath the bed. A simple yarn, but, one that Ruby brings to life with her own special words and sense of humour. I can just see her throwing a wobbly!

I can identify with that story and I'm sure you can too! And just like the steak knives ad.....There's more!

Reunion is probably the longest yarn in the book, but, it's a special chapter where Ruby takes you home with her to Cabbage Tree Island.

For the first time since she was a young girl, Ruby is reunited with many of her own mob. You feel her struggle to get there, the memories, both happy and sad, and her angst as she leaves her homeland to return to Sydney where she now lives.

There's lingo among the English words and the book is written the way Ruby talks, giving the book that special and personal edge.

The only thing I didn't like about Real Deadly is Ruby's use of the three letter derogatory term that starts with "A". I've never liked it because it's a term that's used to put us mob down and in my opinion I don't think we should encourage its use. I must say though that Ruby hasn't overused the term in the book and has limited it to about three references.

Real Deadly is just over one hundred pages long. It's a book that you won't want to put down and to me that's Real Deadly!

Chicana Feminism Chicana Defined
“Chicana” refers to women of Mexican descent who are born and/or raised in the United States. Although the term is widely used by Chicana activists and scholars today, many Chicana women debate the term’s origin and early connotations. Some believe that the term originated with the indigenous Mexica (Meh-sheik-a) tribes of Mesoamerica while others claim that the word was originally used by colonizers as a racial slur. During the 1960s and 1970s Chicano Nationalist Movement, Mexican-American women reclaimed the term Chicana (
Chicana Feminists: A Brief Herstory
Chicana women embrace a long and complicated political activist history, dating as early as the US-Mexico War of 1848 and the Mexican Revolution in 1910, both of which drove Mexican families to settle in U.S. colonized territories, such as El Paso, San Antonio, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara (See Mora and Del Castillo, Ruiz, and García). The Chicana Feminist Movement formally began to take shape in the 1970s during the height of the Chicano Nationalist Movement. Ironically, as Chicana women were fighting along side Chicano men in their struggle to rid U.S. political and social structures of inequalities, they began to realize the gender inequalities that existed within and outside of the movement. During this time, Chicana women found a collective voice through feminism and began to question machismo(sexist)attitudes, articulate their own criticisms and concerns involving issues of gender and sexuality, and organize around these issues (Garcia). In May, 1971, over 600 Chicana women gathered together in Houston, Texas, for The First National Chicana Conference. Yet, despite this successful gathering where several resolutions, including calls for legalization of abortion; equal access to education; the establishment of child-care centers; and the abolition of traditional marriages, passed, Chicana feminists did not find their voices quite welcome within the Chicano National Movement or the larger “White” Feminist Movement (Saldivar-Hull 31). Chicana Feminists found themselves on the border.
Border Politics and Postcolonial Discourse
Since its organization in the 1970s, the Chicana Feminist Movement has expanded to include a wide range of theoretical, literary, and activist discourses. Incorporating postcolonial theories, Chicana feminists deconstruct and challenge dominant racist, sexist, classist, and heterosexist paradigms. Chicana theorists analyze how the effects of colonialism continue to thrive within US borders in new and more complicated and invisible forms. In her pivotal work Borderlands, LaFrontera: The New Mestiza, Gloria Anzaldúa writes that dominant colonial discourse creates borders that divide geographical as well as theoretical space, placing those considered as Others on the margins. Chicana women are constantly on the border between their American and Mexican heritage. Although this border to set up by colonizers to divide, Anzaldúa reclaims the border as a transitional space where a new mestiza consciousness can be formed and enacted so that Chicana women can claim both their identity as both Mexican and American. An important process in this reclamation and recovery is the rewriting of history so that it includes Chicana women’s experiences. In The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History, Emma Pérez draws upon Michel Foucault and Homi Bhabha’s theories of silence, translation, and negotiation to create a theory of decolonial imaginary. This theory exists in the time lag between the colonial and postcolonial and offers a vital space for rethinking history in a way that makes Chicana/o agency transformative as opposed to traditional colonial histories within which the voices of Others are silenced.
Chicana Literature
Chicana literature has become vital to Chicana feminists’ efforts to challenge dominant stereotypes of Chicana culture as literature allows Chicana authors the space to share their varied experiences. Many Chicana authors have experienced success within and outside of the Chicana community. Some of the most prominent authors include Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Cherríe Moraga, and Gloria Anzaldúa. Chicana feminist literary theory has also become central within Chicano/a and literary studies. Several texts, such as Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature, Women Singing in the Snow, Chicana Ways, and Chicana Creativity and Criticism, highlight Chicana literary theory and texts

The Tomás Rivera Page (1935-1984)
Major Works
Y no se lo trago la tierra (1971) English translation by Rolando Hinojosa This Migrant Earth (1985).
Always and Other Poems (1973).
The Harvest: A Collection of Short Fiction (1989).
About Tomas Rivera
Hinojosa, Rolando, Gary D. Keller and Vernon E. Lattin eds. Tomás Rivera, 1935-1984: The Man & His Work (1988).
Olivares, Julian ed. International Studies in Honor of Tomás Rivera (1985).
Tomás Rivera from O.U.
The Oscar Zeta Acosta Page (b. 1935 - ? )
Major Works
The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo (1972).
The Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973).
About Oscar Zeta Acosta
Stavans, Ilan. Bandido: Oscar "Zeta" Acosta & the Chicano Experience (1996).
Stavans, Ilan ed. Oscar "Zeta" Acosta: The Uncollected Works (1996).
Biographical Sketch of Oscar Zeta Acosta
Oscar Zeta Acosta Collection at University of California at Santa Barbara

Modern African Literature: An Introduction
a) Geographical
1) East and Central African Literature (ECAL): ECAL embraces, among others, such countries/regions as Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Malawi, and Republic of the Congo. Some of the most important and influential writers coming from this part of the African continent include Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1938--, Kenya, novelist-short story writer-prose writer, principal works: Weep Not, Child, A Grain of Wheat, Petals of Blood, The River Between, Devil on the Cross), Nuruddin Farah (1945--, Somalia, novelist-short story writer, principal works: From a Crooked Rib, A Naked Needle, Sweet and Sour Milk, Sardines), Okot p’Bitek (1931--1982, Uganda, poet, principal works: Song of Lawino, Song of Ocol, The Horn of My Love), Shaaban Robert (1909--1962, Tanzania, prose-/story-writer & poet, principal works: Maisha Yanga/"Autobiography," Kufikirika/"The Conceivable World," Insha na Mashairi/ "Compositions and Poems"), David Rubadiri (1930--, Malawi, novelist-poet, principal works: No Bride Price, Selected Poems), Tchicaya U Tam'si (1931--1988, Congo, poet-playwright-novelist, principal works: Epitomé, Le Ventré, Les Cancrelats).
2) South African Literature (SAL): SAL embraces, among others, the Union of South Africa including Basutoland, South-west Africa, Rhodesia (southern and northern). Some of the most important and influential South African writers include Thomas Mofolo (1873--1948, Basutoland, novelist-prose writer, principal works: Moeti oa Bochabela/ "The Pilgrim of the East," Chaka the Zulu), Solomon T Plaatze (born in Bechuanaland towards the turn of this century and died in 1950, translator-novelist, principal works: Mhudi, a novel, and Native Life in South Africa, a famous political work), Peter Abrahams (1919--, novelist, principal works: Song of a City, Mine Boy, The Path of Thunder, Wild Conquest, A Wreath for Udomo), Ezekiel Mphahlele (creative writer-Africanist-critic, principal works: Down Second Avenue, a novel, and The African Image, a book of criticism).
Other more contemporary South African writers include A. C. Jordan (novelist), H. I. E. Dhlomo (novelist), B. W. Vilakazi (poet), Alex la Guma (novelist), Bloke Modisane (short story writer), Alfred Hutchinson (novelist), Lewis Nkosi (playwright), Noni Jabavu (one of the few woman-writers writing among the Xhosa people of the East Cape Province of South Africa; she is famous for her two novels called Drawn in Color and The Ochre People), Dennis Brutus (poet), and Nadine Gordimer (the Nobel-prize-winning novelist and short story writer).
3) West African Literature (WAL): Anne Tibble in African-English Literature rightly observes: "Thinking briefly, of West Africa as a self-contained literary unit--which of course it is not, though cross-currents with East and South Africa are not strong--we may say that this section of the continent began its production of a written literature latest of the three....When as late as the 1940s, West Africa did awake, the number of its writers quickly grew. Especially so was the case in Nigeria, in spite of the hundred or more indigenous languages there. The total of poets, novelists, and dramatists in West Africa as a whole quickly exceeded those in the South or East."
Some of the West African countries producing powerful writings include Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and Sénégal. And some of the most outstanding writers come from Nigeria alone--Amos Tutola (1920--, novelist-short story writer, principal works: The Palm Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle, The Brave African Huntress), Gabriel Okara (1921, poet-novelist, principal works--poetry: Were I to Choose and Other Poems; novel: The Voice), Chinua Achebe (1930--, novelist and prose writer, principal works: Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, A Man of the People, Arrow of God, Anthills of Savannah), Cyprian Ekwensi (novelist-short story writer, principal works: People of the City, Jagua Nana, Burning Grass, Beautiful Feathers), Flora Nwapa (1931-1993, novelist-short story writer, principal works: Efuru, Idu, Never Again, One is Enough, This is Lagos and Other Stories, Wives at War and Other Stories, Women are Different), Wole Soyinka (1934--, Nobel-prize-winning novelist-playwright-poet, principal works--plays: The Swamp Dwellers, Brother Jero, The Strong Breed, The Lion and the Jewel, A Dance of the Forest; novels: The Interpreters, Season of Anomy; memoir: Aké: The Years of Childhood; poetry: Idanre, Mandela's Earth and Other Poems), Elechi Amadi (1934--, novelist, principal works: The Concubine, The Great Ponds, The Slave, Sunset in Biafra), Buchi Emecheta (1944--, novelist, principal works: In the Ditch, Second Class Citizen, The Bride Price, The Slave Girl, The Joys of Motherhood, Destination Biafra, The Rape of Shavi), Ben Okri (1959--, novelist-short story writer, principal works--novels: Flowers and Shadows, The Landscapes Within, The Famished Road; short stories: Incidents at the Shrine, Stars of the New). Some of the more contemporary Nigerian poets of repute include Christopher Okigbo, Frank Aig-Imoukhuede, John Ekwere, Mabel Sagun, Michael Echeruo.
Poets in West Africa other than Nigeria include Lenrie Peters of Gambia, and the Ghanaians, George Awoonor-Williams, Efua Theodora Sutherland, Kwesi Brew, and Ellis Ayitey Komey.
Some of the important West African writers other than those in Nigeria are Abioseh Nicol (poet), William Conton (novelist), and Syl Cheney-Coker (poet) of Sierra Leone; Francis Bebey (short story writer-novelist-poet), Mongo Beti (novelist-essayist), Werewere Liking (playwright-novelist) of Cameroon; Ama Ata Aidoo (playwright-novelist-short story writer), Efua Sutherland (playwright), Kofi Anyidoho (poet) of Ghana; Mariama Ba (novelist), Nafissatou Niang Diallo (novelist), Ousmane Sembène (novelist-short story writer), Cheik Aliou Ndao (novelist-playwright) of Senegal.
According to Martin Tucker, "African writers can probably best be characterized by four broad divisions:
1. The Westerner or other non-African writer who utilizes the subject matter of Africa in a language not native to the African continent.
2. The African writer, black or white, who utilizes the subject matter of Africa in a language native to the African continent.
3. The African writer who utilizes subject matter other than Africa, but who writes in a language native to the African continent.
4. The African writer who utilizes the subject matter of Africa, but who writes in a Western language that has, by custom, become part of the African means of communication."
Tucker further observes, "using this convenient outline it may be said that African literature exists in several languages: in English (Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Wole Soyinka, to name a few); in French (Bernard Dadié, Birago Diop, André Gide, Joseph Kessel, Jean Lartéguy, Jean Malonga, Ferdinand Oyono, Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo); in German (Kurt Heuser, Janheinz Jahn); in Danish (Johannes Buchholtz); in native African languages (Thomas Mofolo, Thiong'o); in the English of South Africans ( Nadine Gordimer, Sarah Gertrude Millin, Alan Paton); and in Afrikaans (Nuthall Fula, Ernst van Heerden)."

1 comment:

  1. an excellent work.i 've been in search of my topic for a long time.i failed every time,but unfortunately i got this site. it is really helpfull. thank you