Post Colonial Studies
Postcolonialism has been defined as:
Postcolonialism, like other post-isms, does not signal a closing off of that which it contains (colonialism), or even a rejection (which would not be possible in any case), but rather an opening of a field of inquiry and understanding following a period of relative closure. Colonialism is an event which can be identified, given an historical definition, through its effects and characteristics as they reveal themselves in a given nation, among different cultural and social groupings.
Such writings as Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism (1993) discuss discourse analysis and postcolonial theory as tools for rethinking forms of knowledge and the social identities of colonial systems. As a result these tools can be applied to the recognition of modernism and modernity as part of may be called the colonial project of domination.
Debates on Postcolonialism are unresolved, yet issues raised in Said's book Orientalism (1978) critique Western descriptions which produce essential representations of Non-Euro-American others, because colonialism as a discourse is based on the ability of Western to enter, examine another culture, produce knowledge, and use that power against those countries.
Post colonial studies , over the last decade has been emerged both as
Post colonialism has been seen as a 'decisive, temporal marker of the decolonizing process'. But the fundamental to it is the concept that Gayatri Chakrabarty Spivak had rised in 1985. in that year she threw a challenge to the race and blindness of the Western academy, asking "Can the subaltern speak?" her question was followed by the work by a collective intellectuals of 1980, now known as subaltern Studies group. Spivak raised the question to highlight that there exists a complicated relationship between the historian and the unknowing subjects of subaltern histories – which is very much fundamental to post-colonial studies as well as all subaltern and feministic studies.
After 1970's and 1980's , the new literature that emerged from the Commonwealth, has shattered the notions of 'centre' and 'periphery' on which post-colonial studies is (mistakenly) founded. If all nations at some point come under the sway of British E\imperialism are seen as post-colonial, then this term no longer does much useful distinguishing work.
After 1980's , the literary and cultural relativitism has shattered the "logo centric concept" of British or Western literature. Thus, there is no "centre" that can sustain post colonial studies, hence3 post colonialism has lost its meaning.
However the major points of the post colonial studies can be summarized roughly as under:
© Samir K. Dash, 2004
This article was posted on March 21, 2005