Postcolonial Criticism and Postmodernism (and it's ties to African American Theories)
last revised 3/12/09
What does it mean to be colonized?
List any place or people you think have been colonized:
|Spanish and Portuguese Colonialism||Mayan cultures
Aztecs/Mexico (and then think of Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands, her subjectivity crossed by so many cultures/languages/colors--more than a double consciousness)
|British Colonialism||North America
Africa (colonized by many groups)
|French Colonialism||Indochina (Vietnam)
|China||Hong Kong (is less free now, though, after Brit's pulled out?)|
|Japan||Korea (Kyung Cha)
|Russia and The Soviet Union||Japan
Yugoslavia (and then the ethnic clensing after the Soviets pulled out)
And then what happens after the colonizers leave? Utopia? True Columbian or Indian or Mexican experiences and identities return? A cleansing of all things from "the man" including his white, sterile, master narratives? Freedom?
If people like bell hooks or Gloria Anzaldua or Henry Louis Gates are "denaturalizing" race (Queer Theory 77), or "engaging decolonization" or undercutting the idea of a coherent subject or a black or Latina experience, then what/who is the postcolonial subject? What becomes their "master" narrative? hooks says one must deal with the loss of grounding (even though...
And what about Trin Min Ha's ideas that "identity" is not a fixed thing, not an absolute, not a simple matter of difference or division (which is actually a much more freeing idea).
Postcolonial Literature is currently typically focused on:
|Postcolonial Theory||African American Theory|
|"understand the operations and themes of
colonialist and anti-colonialist ideologies/texts" (Tyson)
the way history can be rewritten where the narratives from previous margins are brought to the center--
|--looks at Black racist (unequal power relations) and racialist (belief in racial superiority) ideologies
in all institutions and texts in/from the U.S. (Tyson)
--early themes from Victorian and earlier ideology where one had to prove one's humanity and normalcy, one's "civilation" through the creation of literature and art (Gates), vs. Natural Science's attempt to classify race, and eventually essentialize and hierarchalize (ha) race (racialism)
|--Analyze/Deconstruct the politics of subjugation and of resistance to oppression|
|Double Consciousness (torn between oppositions)
--borders are never neat, clean, or orderly (there is weaving, leaking, drift)
--colonizers who "go native"
|What identity does one go back to after the colonizers leave?|
|Colonials/Dominant Ideology is racists and racialist and privileges whiteness and westerness/Eurocentrism (creating the damage of "natural" hierarchies)|
|White/Light vs. Black/Dark
Cultured vs. Primitive
Christian vs. Other
Catholic vs. Protestant (1500's)
publishable vs. unpublishable (hooks' concern)
|These hierarchies are often reversed to privilege the other side like what happened during the Black Aesthetic movements (but this still buys in to the hierarchy)|
--British "Invasion" of the 1960's
--American Capitalist pop culture "invading" or dominating almost everywhere?
|Passing--mimicry (Hong Kingston's Monkey see
Signifyin(g) Monkey (Gates)