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A Colonized People


Persian Hegemony, Hybridity, and Community Identity in Ezra-Nehemiah


David Janzen

postcolonial lens to read Ezra-Nehemiah in light of the Achaemenid royal inscriptions, a textual dialogue that has really not yet been pursued in any detailed way, in an attempt to discover how the narrative constructs the identity of the community, particularly in terms of its use of the Persian imperial

Postcolonial Postmortems

Crime Fiction from a Transcultural Perspective

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Edited by Christine Matzke and Susanne Mühleisen

Recent crime fiction increasingly transcends national boundaries, with investigators operating across countries and continents. Frequently, the detective is a migrant or comes from a transcultural background. To solve the crime, the investigator is called upon to decipher the meaning(s) hidden in clues and testimonies that require transcultural forms of understanding. For the reader, the investigation discloses new interpretive methods and processes of social investigation, often challenging facile interpretations of the postcolonial world order.
Under the rubric 'postcolonial postmortems', this collection of essays seeks to explore the tropes, issues and themes that characterise this emergent form of crime fiction. But what does the 'postcolonial' bring to the genre apart from the well-known, and valid, discourses of resistance, subversion and ethnicity? And why 'postmortems'? A dissection and medical examination of a body to determine the cause of death, the 'postmortem' of the postcolonial not only alludes to the investigation of the victim's remains, but also to the body of the individual text and its contexts.
This collection interrogates literary concepts of postcoloniality and crime from transcultural perspectives in the attempt to offer new critical impulses to the study of crime fiction and postcolonial literatures. International scholars offer insights into the 'postcolonial postmortems' of a wide range of texts by authors from Africa, South Asia, the Asian and African Diaspora, and Australia, including Robert G. Barrett, Unity Dow, Wessel Ebersohn, Romesh Gunesekera, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sujata Massey, Alexander McCall Smith and Michael Ondaatje.

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Edited by Anke Bartels, Lars Eckstein, Nicole Waller and Dirk Wiemann

Postcolonial Justice addresses a major issue in current postcolonial theory and beyond, namely, the question of how to reconcile an ethics grounded in the reciprocal acknowledgment of diversity and difference with the normative, if not universal thrust that appears to energize any notion of justice. The concept of postcolonial justice shared by the essays in this volume carries an unwavering commitment to difference within and beyond Europe, while equally rejecting radical cultural essentialisms, which refuse to engage in “utopian ideals” of convivial exchange across a plurality of subject positions. Such utopian ideals can no longer claim universal validity, as in the tradition of the European enlightenment; instead they are bound to local frames of speaking from which they project world.

Postcolonial Translocations

Cultural Representation and Critical Spatial Thinking

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Edited by Marga Munkelt, Markus Schmitz, Mark Stein and Silke Stroh

The sites from which postcolonial cultural articulations develop and the sites at which they are received have undergone profound transformations within the last decades. This book traces the accelerating emergence of cultural crossovers and overlaps in a global perspective and through a variety of disciplinary approaches. It starts from the premise that after the ‘spatial turn’ human action and cultural representations can no longer be grasped as firmly located in or clearly demarcated by territorial entities. The collection of essays investigates postcolonial articulations of various genres and media in their spatiality and locatedness while envisaging acts of location as dynamic cultural processes. It explores the ways in which critical spatial thinking can be made productive: Testing the uses and limitations of ‘translocation’ as an open exploratory model for a critically spatialized postcolonial studies, it covers a wide range of cultural expressions from the anglophone world and beyond – literature, film, TV, photography and other forms of visual art, philosophy, historical memory, and tourism.
The extensive introductory chapter charts various facets of spatial thinking from a variety of disciplines, and critically discusses their implications for postcolonial studies. The contributors’ essays range from theoretical interventions into the critical routines of postcolonial criticism to case studies of specific cultural texts, objects, and events reflecting temporal and spatial, material and intellectual, physical and spiritual mobility. What emerges is a fascinating survey of the multiple directions postcolonial translocations can take in the future.
This book is aimed at students and scholars of postcolonial literary and cultural studies, diaspora studies, migration studies, transnational studies, globalisation studies, critical space studies, urban studies, film studies, media studies, art history, philosophy, history, and anthropology.
Contributors: Diana Brydon, Lars Eckstein, Paloma Fresno-Calleja, Lucia Krämer, Gesa Mackenthun, Thomas Martinek, Sandra Meyer, Therese-M. Meyer, Marga Munkelt, Lynda Ng, Claudia Perner, Katharina Rennhak, Gundo Rial y Costas, Markus Schmitz, Mark Stein, Silke Stroh, Kathy-Ann Tan, Petra Tournay-Theodotou, Daria Tunca, Jessica Voges, Roland Walter, Dirk Wiemann.

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Jeremy Punt

In Postcolonial biblical interpretation Jeremy Punt reflects on the nature and value of the postcolonial hermeneutical approach, as it relates to the interpretation of biblical and in particular, Pauline texts. Showing when a socio-politically engaged reading becomes postcolonial, but also what in the term postcolonial both attracts and also creates distance, exegesis from a postcolonial perspective is profiled. The book indicates possible avenues in how postcolonial work can be helpful theoretically to the guild of biblical scholars and to show also how it can be practiced in exegetical work done on biblical texts.

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Edited by Violeta Kelertas

Emerging from the ruins of the former Soviet Union, the literature of the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is analyzed from the fruitful perspective of postcolonialism, a theoretical approach whose application to former second-world countries is in its initial stages. This groundbreaking volume brings scholars working in the West together with those who were previously muffled behind the Iron Curtain. They gauge the impact of colonization on the culture of the Baltic states and demonstrate the relevance of concepts first elaborated by a wide range of critics from Frantz Fanon to Homi Bhabha. Examining literary texts and the situation of the intellectual reveals Baltic concerns with identity and integrity, the rewriting of previously blotted out or distorted history, and a search for meaning in societies struggling to establish their place in the world after decades - and perhaps millennia - of oppression. The volume dips into the late Tsarist period, then goes more deeply into Soviet deportations to the Gulag, while the main focus is on works of the turning-point in the late 1980s and 1990s. Postcolonial concepts like mimicry, subjectivity and the Other provide a new discourse that yields fresh insights into the colonized countries’ culture and their poignant attempts to fight, to adapt and to survive. This book will be of interest to literary critics, Baltic scholars, historians and political scientists of Eastern Europe, linguists, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, working in the area of postcommunism and anyone interested in learning more about these ancient and vibrant cultures.

Commodifying (Post)Colonialism

Othering, Reification, Commodification and the New Literatures and Cultures in English

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Edited by Rainer Emig and Oliver Lindner

Since its inception in the 1980s, postcolonial theory has greatly enriched academic perspectives on culture and literature. Yet, in the same way that colonial goods and services have long contributed to economic and political growth, postcolonial topics have also become a profit-generating commodity. This is highly apparent in the success of the postcolonial novel or in the ability of film to cross over from Asia, Africa and elsewhere to paying audiences in Europe and America.
The contributions in this volume, in their various ways, take a critical look at artistic responses to the commodification of colonial and postcolonial histories, peoples, and products from the eighteenth century to the present. They explore, in particular, what literary and cultural texts have to say about commodification after the end of colonialism and how the Western culture industry continually capitalizes on representations of the postcolonial Other.
Contributors: Samy Azouz, Lars Eckstein, Rainer Emig, Wolfgang Funk, Jens Martin Gurr, Birte Heidemann, Sissy Helff, Graham Huggan, Stephan Laqué, Oliver Lindner, Ana Cristina Mendes, Sabine Nunius, Carl Plasa, Katharina Rennhak, Ksenia Robbe, Cecile Sandten.

Postcolonial Gateways and Walls

Under Construction

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Edited by Daria Tunca and Janet Wilson

Metaphors are ubiquitously used in the humanities to bring the tangibility of the concrete world to the elaboration of abstract thought. Drawing on this cognitive function of metaphors, this collection of essays focuses on the evocative figures of the ‘gateway’ and the ‘wall’ to reflect on the state of postcolonial studies. Some chapters – on such topics as maze-making in Canada and the Berlin Wall in the writings of New Zealand authors – foreground the modes of articulation between literal borders and emotional (dis)connections, while others examine how artefacts ranging from personal letters to clothes may be conceptualized as metaphorical ‘gateways’ and ‘walls’ that lead or, conversely, regulate access, to specific forms of cultural expression and knowledge.
Following this line of metaphorical thought, postcolonial studies itself may be said to function as either barrier or pathway to further modes of enquiry. This much is suggested by two complementary sets of contributions: on the one hand, those that contend that the canonical centre-periphery paradigm and the related ‘writing back’ model have prevented scholars from recognizing the depth and magnitude of cross-cultural influences between civilizations; on the other, those that argue that the scope of traditional postcolonial models may be fruitfully widened to include territories such as post-imperial Turkey, a geographical and cultural gateway between East and West that features in several of the essays included in this collection.
Ultimately, all of the contributions testify to the fact that postcolonial studies is a field whose borders must be constantly redrawn, and whose paradigms need to be continually reshaped and rebuilt to remain relevant in the contemporary world – in other words, the collection’s varied approaches suggest that the discipline itself is permanently ‘under construction’. Readers are, therefore, invited to perform a critical inspection of the postcolonial construction site.

CONTRIBUTORS
Vera Alexander - Elisabeth Bekers - Devon Campbell–Hall - Simran Chadha - Carmen Concilio - Margaret Daymond - Marta Dvořák - Claudia Duppé - Elena Furlanetto - Gareth Griffiths - John C. Hawley - Sissy Helff - Marie Herbillon - Deepika Marya - Bronwyn Mills - Padmini Mongia - Golnar Nabizadeh - Gerhard Stilz

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Mpalive-Hangson Msiska

Soyinka’s representation of postcolonial African identity is re-examined in the light of his major plays, novels and poetry to show how this writer’s idiom of cultural authenticity both embraces hybridity and defines itself as specific and particular. For Soyinka, such authenticity involves recovering tradition and inserting it in postcolonial modernity to facilitate transformative moral and political justice. The past can be both our enabling future and our nemesis. In a distinctive approach grounded in cultural studies, Postcolonial Identity in Wole Soyinka locates the artist’s intellectual and political concerns within the broader field of postcolonial cultural theory, arguing that, although ostensibly distant from mainstream theory, Soyinka focuses on fundamental questions concerning international culture and political identity formations – the relationship between myth and history / tradition and modernity, and the unresolved tension between power as a force for good or evil. Soyinka’s treatment of the relationship between individual selfhood and the various framing social and collective identities, so the book argues, is yet another aspect linking his work to the broader intellectual currents of today.
Thus, Soyinka’s vision is seen as central to contemporary efforts to grasp the nature of modernity. His works conceptualize identity in ways that promote and modify national perceptions of ‘Africanness’, rescuing them from the colonial and neocolonial logic of cultural denigration in a manner that fully acknowledges the cosmopolitan and global contexts of African postcolonial formation.
Overall, what emerges from the present study is the conviction that, in Soyinka’s work, it is the capacity to assume personal and collective agency and the particular choices made by particular subjects at given historical moments that determine the trajectory of change and ultimately the nature of postcolonial existence itself.
Postcolonial Identity in Wole Soyinka is a major and imaginative contribution to the study of Wole Soyinka, African literature, and postcolonial cultural theory and one in which writing and creativity stand in fruitful symbiosis with the critical sense. It should appeal to Soyinka scholars, to students of African literature, and to anyone interested in postcolonial and cultural theory.

Postcolonial Past & Present

Negotiating Literary and Cultural Geographies

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Edited by Anne Collett and Leigh Dale

In Postcolonial Past & Present twelve outstanding scholars of literature, history and visual arts look to those spaces Epeli Hau’ofa has insisted are full not empty, asking what it might mean to Indigenise culture. A new cultural politics demands new forms of making and interpretation that rethink and reroute existing cultural categories and geographies. These ‘makers’ include Mukunda Das, Janet Frame, Xavier Herbert, Tomson Highway, Claude McKay, Marie Munkara, Elsje van Keppel, Albert Wendt, Jane Whiteley and Alexis Wright. Case studies from Canada to the Caribbean, India to the Pacific, and Africa, analyse the productive ways that artists and intellectuals have made sense of turbulent local and global forces.

Contributors: Bill Ashcroft, Debnarayan Bandyopadhyay, Anne Brewster, Diana Brydon, Meeta Chatterjee—Padmanabhan, Anne Collett, Dorothy Jones, Kay Lawrence, Russell McDougall, Tekura Moeka’a, Tony Simões da Silva, Teresia Teaiwa, Albert Wendt, Lydia Wevers, Diana Wood Conroy