Postcolonial African Literature African literature written in the postcolonial era by authors of African descent. Postcolonialism in Africa refers in general to the era between andduring which time many African nations gained political independence from their colonial rulers.
Postcolonial theory thus establishes intellectual spaces for subaltern peoples to speak for themselves, in their own voices, and thus produce cultural discourses of philosophy, language, society and economy, balancing the imbalanced us-and-them binary power-relationship between the colonist and the colonial subjects.
Colonialism was presented as "the extension of civilization", which ideologically justified the self-ascribed racial and cultural superiority of the Western world over the non-Western world. That such a divinely established, natural harmony among the human races of the world would be possible, because everyone has an assigned cultural identitya social place, and an economic role within an imperial colony.
The regeneration of the inferior or degenerate races, by the superior races is part of the providential order of things for humanity. Regere imperio populos is our vocation.
Pour forth this all-consuming activity onto countries, which, like China, are crying aloud for foreign conquest. Turn the adventurers who disturb European society into a ver sacrum, a horde like those of the Franks, the Lombards, or the Normans, and every man will be in his right role.
Nature has made a race of workers, the Chinese race, who have wonderful manual dexterity, and almost no sense of honour; govern them with justice, levying from them, in return for the blessing of such a government, an ample allowance for the conquering race, and they will be satisfied; a race of tillers of the soil, the Negro; treat him with kindness and humanity, and all will be as it should; a race of masters and soldiers, the European race.
Let each do what he is made for, and all will be well. Especially in the colonization of the Far East and in the late-nineteenth century Scramble for Africathe representation of a homogeneous European identity justified colonization.
Hence, Belgium and Britain, and France and Germany proffered theories of national superiority that justified colonialism as delivering the light of civilization to unenlightened peoples.
In postcolonial literaturethe anti-conquest narrative analyzes the identity politics that are the social and cultural perspectives of the subaltern colonial subjects—their creative resistance to the culture of the colonizer ; how such cultural resistance complicated the establishment of a colonial society; how the colonizers developed their postcolonial identity; and how neocolonialism actively employs the Us-and-Them binary social relation to view the non-Western world as inhabited by The Other.
The neocolonial discourse of geopolitical homogeneity relegating the decolonized peoples, their cultures, and their countries, to an imaginary place, such as "the Third World ", an over-inclusive term that usually comprises continents and seas, i.
Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. As such, the terms postcolonial and postcolonialism denote aspects of the subject matter, which indicate that the decolonized world is an intellectual space "of contradictions, of half-finished processes, of confusions, of hybridityand of liminalities".
Theory, Practice, PoliticsHelen Gilbert and Joanne Tompkins clarified the denotational functions, among which: The term post-colonialism—according to a too-rigid etymology—is frequently misunderstood as a temporal concept, meaning the time after colonialism has ceased, or the time following the politically determined Independence Day on which a country breaks away from its governance by another state.
A theory of post-colonialism must, then, respond to more than the merely chronological construction of post-independence, and to more than just the discursive experience of imperialism. Its societal effects—the imposition of a subjugating colonial identity—are harmful to the mental health of the native peoples who were subjugated into colonies.
Fanon wrote the ideological essence of colonialism is the systematic denial of "all attributes of humanity" of the colonized people. Such dehumanization is achieved with physical and mental violence, by which the colonist means to inculcate a servile mentality upon the natives.
For Fanon the natives must violently resist colonial subjugation. This is the concept that the cultural representations generated with the us-and-them binary relation are social constructswhich are mutually constitutive and cannot exist independent of each other, because each exists on account of and for the other.
Orientalism thus conflated and reduced the non—Western world into the homogeneous cultural entity known as "the East". Therefore, in service to the colonial type of imperialism, the us-and-them Orientalist paradigm allowed European scholars to represent the Oriental World as inferior and backward, irrational and wild, as opposed to a Western Europe that was superior and progressive, rational and civil—the opposite of the Oriental Other.
That the applied power of such cultural knowledge allowed Europeans to rename, re-define, and thereby control Oriental peoples, places, and things, into imperial colonies.
Therefore, descriptions of the Orient by the Occident lack material attributes, grounded within land. It should be understood that this process draws creativity, amounting an entire domain and discourse.
Therefore, there is an entire industry that exploits the Orient for its own subjective purposes that lack a native and intimate understanding. Such industries become institutionalized and eventually become a resource for manifest Orientalism, or a compilation of misinformation about the Orient.
The ideology of Empire was hardly ever a brute jingoism; rather, it made subtle use of reason, and recruited science and history to serve its ends. Orientalism is self-perpetuating to the extent that it becomes normalized within common discourse, making people say things that are latent, impulsive, or not fully conscious of its own self.
The working class is oppressed. They are the least interesting and the most dangerous. They should not call themselves subaltern.In the essay “Postcolonial Criticism” (), Homi K.
Bhabha has shown how certain cultures (mis)represent other cultures, thereby extending their political and social domination in the modern world order. Postcolonial Literature (Persepolis & Things Fall Apart) Essay There are many different critical approaches to studying literature.
With reference of both texts you have studied, show what you believe the value to be in using a particular critical approach. Postcolonial therefore refers to those theories, texts, political strategies, and modes of activism that engage in such questioning, that aim to challenge structural inequalities and bring about social Justice.
Oct 15, · Post Colonial Literature Essay Words | 5 Pages post-colonialism addresses reactions to colonialism in a context that is not necessarily determined by temporal constraints: post-colonial plays, novels, verse, and films then become textual/cultural expressions of resistance to colonization (p.2).
[In the following essay, Xie presents a review of theories surrounding postcolonialism, making a distinction between postcolonial literatures and Third World writing. Theory: The How's and Why's of Literature Postcolonialism Postcolonialism or postcolonial theory is one of the most recent theoretical approaches to literary studies, and has become one of, if not the most, important.