Postcolonial Studies and Beyond

Postcolonial Studies and Beyond

Book Pages: 512 Illustrations: 5 b&w photos, 2 figures Published: June 2005

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies

An interdisciplinary collection of essays designed to map out a wide-ranging and productive future for postcolonial studies, this volume assesses the current state of the field and points toward its most promising new developments. In addressing questions about the definition and relevance of postcolonial scholarship, many of the essays consider its relation to the study of globalization. While some contributors offer broad reflections on the existing two-way influence between postcolonial theory and established university disciplines such as literary criticism and history, others forge ahead into some vital, if nascent, areas for postcolonial research such as media studies, environmental studies, religious studies, and linguistic and semantic analysis.

The contributors represent many of the fields altered by postcolonial studies over the past two decades, including literary studies, history, anthropology, Asian and African studies, and political science. They model diverse applications of postcolonial theory to Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Postcolonial Studies and Beyond propels the field forward. It showcases scholars coming from intellectual precincts usually considered outside the purview of the postcolonial finding new ways to deploy classic techniques of postcolonial analysis, and scholars strongly associated with postcolonial studies offering substantial critiques designed to challenge the field’s most fundamental assumptions.

Contributors. Tani E. Barlow, Ali Behdad, Daniel Boyarin, Timothy Brennan, Matti Bunzl, Antoinette Burton, Laura Chrisman, Jean Comaroff, Frederick Cooper, Vilashini Cooppan, Jed Esty, James Ferguson, Peter Hulme, Suvir Kaul, Neil Lazarus, Ania Loomba, Florencia E. Mallon, Nivedita Menon, Rob Nixon, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, David Scott, Ella Shohat, Kelwyn Sole, Robert Stam, Rebecca L. Stein


“The editors of this wide-ranging collection invite the reader to speculate on other sorts of ‘beyond’ into what lies further away, beside, over, and above the comforts of narrow disciplinization and canonization. In so doing they remind us that the promise of postcolonial studies has always resided in our recognition of it as a point not of comfortable arrival but of restless departure into what is beyond the range of our current sight.” — Deepika Bahri, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East

“The links between postcolonial studies and multiculturalism (and also diaspora) are raised in a number of essays, all of a consistently high standard, collected in the Ania Loomba et al edited Postcolonial Studies and Beyond.” — Vijay Mishra, Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Studies

“There are stimulating, accessible pieces in this volume. . . . The writers are also learned and smart, they make useful critiques of the largely conservative and neo-conservative regimes of knowledge that enabled colonialism and imperialism past and present, and they look sincerely for the future of their field.” — Bruce Avery, Shakespeare Studies

“This is an unqualifiedly enthusiastic review of a book that could not be more welcome. The essays that comprise Postcolonial Studies and Beyond are balanced—that is, among disciplinary approaches, thoughtful—that is, responsive to alternate ideas, and thankfully, lucidly written.” — Nancy R. Cirillo, symploke

"[An] intelligent collection that boldly puts its very foundations on trial, and is a must for anyone with a stake in the production and perception of postcolonial studies. . . . [T]he last section is a fitting finale for a project designed to raise questions." — Robyn Schwartz, Altar Magazine

"This is a substantial and thoughtful collection of essays, suggesting many provocative and productive strands still to be mined within the postcolonial and hinting at a few strands that might lie beyond." — Denise deCaires-Narain, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"This is a timely and immensely thought-provoking collection which will hopefully point the discipline in new directions and towards a renewed political purposefulness." — Russell West-Pavlov, Wasafiri

Postcolonial Studies and Beyond will have a place in reviewing and defining the development of postcolonial studies similar to that which Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture had for cultural studies.” — David Lloyd, coeditor of The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital

“What truly distinguishes this volume is its attempt to find for postcolonial studies a real critical vocation at a time when the issue of Empire is once again a global subject of debate. Rich in scholarship and in the diversity of views represented here, this book will help renew the questions it addresses.” — Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Ania Loomba is Catherine Bryson Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Suvir Kaul is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Matti Bunzl is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Antoinette Burton is Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, Department of History, University of Illinois.

Jed Esty is Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Beyond What? An Introduction / Ania Loomba, Suvir Kaul, Matti Bunzl, Antoinette Burton, and Jed Esty 1

Part 1. Globalization and the Postcolonial Eclipse

Beyond the Straits: Postcolonial Allegories of the Globe / Peter Hulme 41

On Globalization, Again! / Ali Behdad 62

The Ruins of Empire: The National and Global Politics of America’s Return to Rome / Vilashini Cooppan 80

The Economic Image-Function of the Periphery / Timothy Brennan 101

Part 2. Neoliberalism and the Postcolonial World

The End of History, Again? Pursuing the Past in the Postcolony / Jean Comaroff 125

A Flight from Freedom / Elizabeth A. Povinelli 145

Decomposing Modernity: History and Hierarchy after Development / James Ferguson 166

“The Deep Thoughts the One in Need Falls Into”: Quotidian Experience and the Perspectives of Poetry in Postliberation South Africa / Kelwyn Sole 182

Between the Burqa and the Beauty Parlor? Globalization, Cultural Nationalism, and Feminist Politics / Nivedita Menon 206

Part 3. Beyond the Nation-State (and Back Again)

Environmentalism and Postcolonialism / Rob Nixon 233

Beyond Black Atlantic and Postcolonial Studies: The South African Differences of Sol Plaatje and Peter Abrahams / Laura Chrisman 252

Pathways to Postcolonial Nationhood: The Democratization of Difference in Contemporary Latin America / Florencia E. Mallon 272

Traveling Multiculturalism: A Trinational Debate in Translation / Robert Stam and Ella Shohat 293

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: Israeli Leisure, Palestinian Terror, and the Post/colonial Question / Rebecca L. Stein 317

Part 4. Postcolonial Studies and the Disciplines in Transformation

Hybridity and Heresy: Apartheid Comparative Religion in Late Antiquity / Daniel Boyarin 339

Eugenic Woman, Semicolonialism, and Colonial Modernity as Problems for Postcolonial Theory / Tani E. Barlow 359

The Social Construction of Postcolonial Studies / David Scott 385

Postcolonial Studies and the Study of History / Frederick Cooper 401

The Politics of Postcolonial Modernism / Neil Lazarus

Bibliography 439

Contributors 479

Index 483
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3523-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3511-5
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