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Post Colonialism Essay

1124 words - 5 pages

By Patricia Waugh
Summarized by Syed Saad Mukhtar M.Phil English Literature 1st Semester The Islamia University of Bahawalpur

An academic discipline and theory featuring the methods of intellectual discourse that analyze, explain and respond to legacies of colonialism and imperialism, to the human consequences of controlling a country and establishing settlers for economic exploitation of native people and their land. The term postcolonialism addresses itself to historical, political, cultural and textual branches of colonial encounter between West and Non-West dating from 16th century to present day. Postcolonialism is thus a name for a critical theoretical approach in ...view middle of the document...

And thirdly, a strand whcih is regarded possibly less dominant nowadays, yet continues to be important, is influence of form-giving concepts derived from so-called postcolonial or Third World literature since 1950s, and of the critical frameworks initially designated ’Commonwealth’ through which they have been read. With increasing momentum after the end of World War II, anti-colonial nationalist movements took a more confrontational, no-compromise approach to
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decolonization than had their founders and predecessors. The demand was for complete independence.

Frantz Fanon
In his tripartite schema or ’panorama on three levels’ of anticolonial struggle, Frantz Fanon outlines how the first level of colonial assimilation will almost inevitably lead the politicized native on to a second phase of ’disturbance’. This second phase involves the reconstitution of identity through the reclamation of local cultural tradition. And from this stage, might eventually emerge a third or ’fighting phase’. In this last phase the native intellectual, to whom Fanon’s theory mainly applies, ’after having tried to lose himself in the people... will on contrary shake the people’. This theory of the three progressive stages of liberatory activism has been influential in the work of postcolonial critics, chief among them Edward Said. His crucial contribution was to point out that under colonial conditions the objective realm of material oppression involves the subjective realm (of being made to feel inferior). Fanon’s most controversial contribution to postcolonial theory is his argument concerning revolutionary violence as the most effective mode of opposition to the violence of colonial oppression.

Postcolonial nationalism and nations
The antinomies of postcolonial nationalist thinking highlight the fact that nationalism is itself an essentially contradictory political formation. It is what the political theorist Tom Naim has called Janus-faced: it looks bothto the past and to the future. The postcolonial nation has in practice, politically independent yet economically dependent ’new’ colony. The Indian writer-activist Arundhati Roy writes: ’Independence came (and went), elections come and gone, but there has been no shuffling of the deck’. Independence, far from offering food and freedom, has in fact presented people with a ’wooden loaf’.

Leading 20th Century Postcolonial thinkers
Nationalist developments after 1945 were profoundly important in shaping representations of the postcolonial world; Edward Said’s ground-breaking study, Orientalism (1978), marked the beginning of postcolonial studies. In the wake

work of Said, this has perhaps ben one of the definitive characteristics of postcolonialism criticism.

those postcolonial agenda has not diminished....

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