Deleuze and the Postcolonial

Deleuze and the Postcolonial

Deleuze and the Postcolonial

Deleuze and the Postcolonial


This is the first collection of essays bringing together Deleuzian philosophy and postcolonial theory. Bignall and Patton assemble some of the world's leading figures in these fields - including Reda Bensmaïa, Timothy Bewes, Rey Chow, Philip Leonard, Nick Nesbitt, John K. Noyes, Patricia Pisters, Marcelo Svirsky and Simon Tormey - to explore rich linkages between two previously unrelated areas of study.

They deal with colonial and postcolonial social, cultural and political issues in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Palestine. Topics include colonial government, nation building and ethics in the contemporary context of globalisation and decolonisation; issues relating to resistance, transformation and agency; and questions of 'representation' and discursive power as practiced through postcolonial art, cinema and literature.

This book constitutes a timely intervention to debates in poststructuralist, postcolonial and postmodern studies. It will be of interest to students in cultural studies, cinema and film studies, languages and literature, political and postcolonial studies, critical theory, social and political philosophy.


The collection of essays assembled in this volume constructs a series of conversations between Deleuzian philosophy and postcolonial theory, canvassing the relationship between Deleuze’s concepts, the phenomena of the postcolony and the project of decolonisation. As an act of engagement, a ‘conversation’ may take various forms, including ‘speaking with’, ‘speaking to’, ‘speaking about’ and ‘speaking for’. In different ways, the contributions participate in each of these aspects of conversational interaction. The starting premise for this collection, also defining the rationale for its production, concerns the problematic lack of mutuality, or else the mutual disregard, which previous scholarship has highlighted as characteristic of the relationship between Deleuze and the postcolonial. Deleuze does not directly ‘speak with’ the thinkers and writers of the postcolony, and postcolonial theory seldom engages with Deleuzian philosophy in a sustained or comprehensive way, despite the abundance of Deleuzian motifs in postcolonial discourse. When theorists have directly considered postcolonial influences of/upon Deleuzian philosophy, they have usually done so in a critical and dismissive fashion.

For some, his failure to relate expressly to postcolonial issues does not simply suggest a careless lack of concern on Deleuze’s part, but also the more worrying possibility that his silence on colonialism conceals a certain Eurocentric self-interest, a neo-imperial motivation or a hidden or unacknowledged desire to deflect attention away from the political concerns of the postcolony. Deleuze is accordingly condemned for his lack of explicit engagement with the body of postcolonial thought and with colonialism as a problematic site of analysis. Furthermore, certain Deleuzian concepts-nomadology in particular-are seen to appropriate and intellectualise indigenous experience and ways of life, extracting . . .

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