Postcolonial Studies: A Materialist Critique

By Benita Parry | Go to book overview

2

Problems in current theories of colonial discourse

Writing of the disparate projects that seek to establish alternative protocols in disciplinary studies, Edward Said finds their common feature to be that all work out of a secular, marginal and oppositional consciousness, posit 'nothing less than new objects of knowledge … new theoretical models that upset or at the very least radically alter the prevailing paradigmatic norms', and are 'political and practical in as much as they intend … the end of dominating, coercive systems of knowledge'. 1 The policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend, which is condensed in this ecumenical scan of contemporary dissident criticism, can act as a caution against the tendency to disown as necessarily less subversive of the established order, work done within radical traditions other than the most recently enunciated heterodoxies.

Said's own critique of Orientalism, directed at 'dismantling the science of imperialism', has fed into and augmented colonial discourse analysis, itself engendered where literary theory converged with the transgressive writings of women, blacks and anti-imperialists in the metropolitan world, and postcolonial interrogations of western canons. The construction of a text disrupting imperialism's authorized version was begun long ago within the political and intellectual cultures of colonial liberation movements, and the counter-discourse developed in this milieu which is known to western academies, read by black activists in the USA and transcribed as armed struggle in the other hemisphere, was written way back in the 1950s by Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist and polemicist, theoretician and guerrilla. Although critics now developing a critique of colonialism do invoke Fanon, this can be a ceremonial gesture to an exemplary and exceptional radical stance where the adversarial rhetoric spoken by the individual is inseparable from participation in collective action, or a theoretical engagement with writings that combine political analysis with representative psychoautobiography. It is noticeable that the address does not necessarily validate a problematic enlisting an epistemology of dialectical process, replete with notions of alienation, existential freedom and authentic human experience; nor does it invariably read the texts as discourses of emancipation.

The theoretical coordinates to Fanon's thinking were phenomenology and a left-existentialism penetrated by Marxism, and in his writings Hegelian categories are historicized and politically engaged to expose the construction and structure of colonialist ideology. By disclosing the social and cultural positioning of the preconstituted and metaphysical poles of white and black, Fanon's writing is directed at liberating the consciousness of the oppressed from its confinement in 'the white man's artefact'. To

-13-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Postcolonial Studies: A Materialist Critique
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 243

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.