Postcolonialism : Theory, Practice or Process?

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This important new book provides a critical introduction to the rapidly expanding field of postcolonial studies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 216 pages
  • 157 x 226 x 12mm | 342g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745617131
  • 9780745617138
  • 1,047,697

Back cover copy

This important book is a critical introduction to the rapidlyexpanding field of postcolonial studies. Adopting aninterdisciplinary approach, the author draws on literary criticism, philosophy, anthropology, history and politics to develop adistinctive account of postcolonialism.

Quayson discusses key debates in the field, including theimplications of various forms of interdisciplinarity forpostcolonial studies, the relationship between indigenous knowledgeand contemporary historiography, the links between postmodernismand postcolonialism and the insights of feminism for postcolonialtheory. He explores the relevance of these debates for cultural, literary and political criticism. Throughout the text, he stressesthe importance of seeing postcolonialism as a process of analysiswhich does not simply refer to another stage after colonialism, butto a continuing struggle against colonialism and its effects. Heencourages the reader to think through the issues that are raisedby postcolonial theory and to relate these to political practicetoday. This practical application of postcolonial theory allows theauthor to develop dynamic new perspectives on aspects ofcontemporary culture, history and literature. He discusses the workof Rushdie, Morrison, Achebe, Soyinka and Okri, amongst others;many of his examples are drawn from African cultures, an area whichhas been hitherto neglected by postcolonial theory. Quayson alsodevelops postcolonial approaches to the literary canon, showing howthis perspective can shed new light on some of the classical worksof English literature, such as those of Shakespeare.

This book will be essential reading for students of literature, history, anthropology and cultural studies, as well as all thoseconcerned with debates about postcolonial theory and its politicalfunctions.
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Table of contents

1. Instrumental and Synoptic Dimensions of Interdisciplinarity.

2. Postcolonial Historiography and the Problem of Local Knowledge.

3. Literature as a Politically Symbolic Act.

5. Feminism, Postcolonialism and the Contradictory Orders of Modernity.

6. Postcolonialism and Postmodernism.

7. Parables from the Canon: Postcolonializing Shakespeare.



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Review quote

'Quayson's summary of the essence of the debate between Marshall Sahlins and Gannath Obeyesekere will be welcomed for its conciseness and its accuracy.' Research in African Literatures
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About Ato Quayson

Ato Quayson is Lecturer in English and Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge.
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