This is a guide to the often complex area of postcolonial theory and literature from its historical origins to contemporary critical thinking and issues. Postcolonialism as a critical approach and pedagogic practice has informed literary and cultural studies since the late 1980s. The term is heavily loaded and has come to mean a wide, and often bewildering, variety of approaches, methods, politics and ideas. Beginning with the historical origins of postcolonial thought in the writings of Gandhi, Cesaire and Fanon, this guide moves on to Edward Said's articulation into a critical approach and finally to postcolonialism's multiple forms in contemporary critical thinking, including theorists such as Bhabha, Spivak, Arif Dirlik and Aijaz Ahmed. Written in jargon-free language and illustrated with examples from literary and cultural texts, this book addresses the many concerns, forms and 'specializations' of postcolonialism, including gender and sexuality studies, the nations and nationalism, space and place, and history and politics.
It explains the key ideas, concepts and approaches in what is arguably the most influential and politically edged critical approach in literary and cultural theory today. "Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Pramod K. Nayar is Assistant Professor in English at the University of Hyderabad, India. His most recent books include Packaging Life: Cultures of the Everyday (Sage 2009), Postcolonial Literature: An Introduction (Pearson, 2008), A Short History of English Literature (Cambridge, India, 2000) and English Writing and India, 1600-1920 (Routledge, 2008).
Preface; Introduction: Postcolonial Thought; 1. Colonial Cultures; 2. Nation and Nationalism; 3. Space and Place; 4. Gender and Sexuality; 5. Cosmopolitanisms; 6. New Concerns; Further Reading; Bibliography; Index.