Postcolonial Perspectives on the Cultures of Latin America and Lusophone Africa

Postcolonial Perspectives on the Cultures of Latin America and Lusophone Africa

Postcolonial Perspectives on the Cultures of Latin America and Lusophone Africa

Postcolonial Perspectives on the Cultures of Latin America and Lusophone Africa

Synopsis

This volume surveys the range of texts, authors and topics from the literary and non-literary cultures of Latin America and Lusophone Africa, adopting a set of perspectives that are grounded in the discipline of postcolonial studies. Using comparative and contrastive methods, Postcolonial Perspectives reinterprets cultural landmarks and traditions of Latin America and Lusophone Africa.

Excerpt

The eight essays collected in this volume are conceived as a set of interventions in a rapidly expanding and often contentious field of debate. the diverse objects of their attention represent the cultures of the former colonial territories that belonged to the historic empires of Spain and Portugal in Latin America and parts of Africa. the uniform designation of those areas as colonies would be uncontroversial, were it not for a polemical study of 1992/95 in which Jorge Klor de Alva denied the proposition that ‘(Latin) American experience’ (sic) stretching over more than three centuries after Columbus's landfall in 1492 could be usefully described in terms of colonialism. Contesting that view, the essays that make up this volume assume that considerations to do with colonialism and colonialist discourse are indeed Germane to Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa. Furthermore, they unite in considering the cultures of Latin America and Lusophone Africa through a set of critical paradigms, issues and perspectives which began to develop around the mid-1980s, largely outside the parameters of Latin American and Luso-Brazilian studies.

The apparent marginalization of these specialisms within the relatively new subject of postcolonial studies has often been noted and could easily be backed up by a quantitative survey of the few items that have made their way into landmark publications such as the readers compiled by Ashcroft, Griffith and Tiffin (1989 and 1995) and by Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman (1993). Yet, from a number of viewpoints, that marginalization, attributable as it may be to the vagaries and partialities of academic taste, is unjustified and in need of interrogation. By the time those readers . . .

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