Postcolonial literature - Wikipedia


definition of postcolonial literature

Oct 09,  · Lesson Summary. Post-colonialism is simply a lens through which we study literature that is set in colonized countries or deals with post-colonial issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, issues of identity, culture, politics, and economics. Postcolonial literature is the literature of the underdog. All those people who were brutalized and exploited for decades by European colonizers, finding their voices and standing up for themselves—that's what postcolonial literature is all about. What does postcolonial mean? postcolonial is defined by the lexicographers at Oxford Dictionaries as Occurring or existing after the end of colonial rule. DICTIONARY THESAURUS.

Postcolonial | Definition of Postcolonial by Lexico

Postcolonial literature often addresses the problems and consequences of the decolonization of a country, especially questions relating to the political and cultural independence of formerly subjugated people, and themes such as racialism and colonialism.

It addresses the role of literature in perpetuating and challenging what postcolonial critic Edward Said refers to as cultural imperialism. Migrant literature and postcolonial literature show some considerable overlap. However, not all migration takes place in a colonial setting, and definition of postcolonial literature all postcolonial literature deals with migration. A question of current debate is the extent to which postcolonial theory also speaks to migration literature in non-colonial settings.

The significance of the prefix "post-" in " postcolonial " is a matter of contention. It is difficult to determine when colonialism begins and ends, and therefore to agree that "postcolonial" designates an era "after" colonialism has ended. It is also difficult to determine the postcolonial status of settler colonies such as Australia and Canadaor that of pre-colonial-era colonies such as Ireland. Before the term "postcolonial literature" gained currency, "commonwealth literature" was used to refer to writing in English from countries belonging to the British commonwealth.

Even though the term included British literature, it was most commonly used for writing in English produced in British colonies. Scholars of commonwealth literature used the term to designate writing in English that dealt with colonialism's legacy. They advocated for its inclusion in literary curricula, hitherto dominated by the British canon.

However, the succeeding generation of postcolonial critics, many of whom belonged to the post-structuralist philosophical tradition, took issue with the Commonwealth label for separating non-British writing from "English" literature produced in England.

Other terms used for the writing in English from former British colonies include terms that designate a national corpus of writing such as Australian or Canadian Literature; "English Literature Other than British and American", "New Literatures in English", "International Literature in English"; and "World Literatures". These have, definition of postcolonial literature, however, been dismissed either as too vague or too inaccurate to represent the vast body of dynamic writing emerging from the colonies both during and after colonial rule.

The term "colonial" and "postcolonial" continue to be used for writing emerging during and after colonial rule respectively, definition of postcolonial literature. The consensus in the field is that "post-colonial" with a hyphen signifies a period that comes chronologically "after" colonialism.

Arguments in favor of the hyphen suggest that the term "postcolonial" dilutes differences between colonial histories in different parts of the world and that it homogenizes colonial societies, definition of postcolonial literature.

Postcolonial fiction writers deal with the traditional colonial discourseeither by modifying or by subverting it, or both. He pioneered the branch of postcolonial criticism called colonial discourse analysis. Another important theorist of colonial discourse is Harvard University professor Homi K. Bhabhaborn He has developed a number of the field's neologisms and key concepts, definition of postcolonial literature, such as hybriditythird-spacemimicrydifferenceand ambivalence.

The succeeding generation of postcolonial critics focus on texts that " write back " definition of postcolonial literature the colonial center. The sense of identification with a nation, or nationalismfueled anti-colonial movements in the aftermath of colonialism.

Language and literature were factors in consolidating this sense of national identity to resist the impact of colonialism. With the advent of the printing pressnewspapers and magazines helped definition of postcolonial literature across geographical barriers identify with a shared national community, definition of postcolonial literature.

This idea of the nation as a homogeneous imagined community connected across geographical barriers through the medium of language became the model for the modern nation. As depicted in Salman Rushdie 's novels for example, the homogeneous nation was built on European models by the exclusion of marginalized voices.

Frantz Fanon —a Martinique -born Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer, was one of the proponents of the movement. His works are influential in the fields of postcolonial studies, critical theoryand Marxism.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. However, Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa. The philosophy came to be known as Garveyism. Against advocates of literature that promoted African racial solidarity in accordance with negritude principles, Frantz Fanon argued definition of postcolonial literature a national literature aimed at achieving national liberation.

Rather, he argued that black cultural forms—including literature—were diasporic and transnational formations born out of the common historical and geographical effects of transatlantic slavery. The "anti-conquest narrative" recasts the indigenous inhabitants of colonized countries as victims rather than foes of the colonisers.

In her book Imperial Eyes, Mary Louise Pratt analyzes the strategies by which European travel writing portrays Europe as a secure home space against a contrasting representation of colonized outsiders. She proposes a completely different theorization of "anti-conquest" than the ideas discussed here, one that can be traced to Edward Said.

Instead of referring to how natives resist colonization or are victims of it, Pratt analyzes texts in which a European narrates his adventures and struggles to survive in the land of the non-European Other. This different notion of anti-conquest is used to analyze the ways in which colonialism and colonization are legitimized through stories of survival and adventure that purport to inform or entertain.

Pratt created this unique notion in association with concepts of contact zone and transculturationwhich have been very well received in Latin America social and human science circles. Postcolonial feminism emerged as a response to the Eurocentric focus of feminism. It accounts for the way that racism and the long-lasting political, economic, and cultural effects of colonialism affect non-white, non-Western women in the postcolonial world.

The Pacific Islands comprise 20, to 30, islands in the Pacific Ocean. Depending on the context, it may refer to countries and islands with common Austronesian origins, islands once or currently colonized, or Oceania.

There is a burgeoning group of definition of postcolonial literature pacific writers who respond and speak to the contemporary Pasifika experience, including writers Lani Wendt YoungCourtney Sina Meredith and Selina Tusitala Marsh. Reclamation of culture, definition of postcolonial literature, loss of culture, diasporaall themes common to postcolonial literature, are present within the collective Pacific writers.

Among his works is Leaves of the Banyan Tree He is of German heritage through his paternal great-grandfather, which is reflected in some of his poems. However, definition of postcolonial literature does not explicitly deny his German heritage. Figiel's greatest influence and inspiration in her career is the Samoan novelist and poet, Albert Wendt. At the point of the first colonization, Indigenous Australians had not developed a system of writing, so the first literary accounts of aborigines come from the journals of early European explorers, which contain descriptions of first contact, both violent and friendly, definition of postcolonial literature.

While his father, James Unaipon c. For this he is known as the first Aboriginal author. Oodgeroo Noonuccal born Kath Walker, — was an Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal rights. Sally Morgan 's novel My Place was considered a breakthrough memoir in terms of bringing indigenous stories to wider notice.

The voices of Indigenous Australians are being increasingly noticed and include the playwright Jack Davis and Kevin Gilbert. Alexis Wright won the award in for her novel Carpentaria. Many notable works have been written by definition of postcolonial literature Australians on aboriginal themes.

The narrative is told from English and Aboriginal points of definition of postcolonial literature. The novel begins with two Aboriginal men watching the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Harbour on 26 January She initially wrote about her African experiences.

Lessing soon became a dominant definition of postcolonial literature in the English literary scene, frequently publishing right through the century, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in Yvonne Vera — was an award-winning author from Zimbabwe.

Her novels are known for their poetic prose, difficult subject-matter, and their strong women characters, and are firmly rooted in Zimbabwe's difficult past. Tsitsi Dangarembga born is a notable Zimbabwean author and filmmaker. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children's literature, definition of postcolonial literature.

Bate Besong — was a Cameroonian playwright, poet and critic, who was described by Pierre Fandio as "one of the most representative and regular writers of what might be referred to as the second generation of the emergent Cameroonian literature in English".

Nigerian author Chinua Achebe — gained worldwide attention for Things Fall Apart in the late s. Achebe wrote his novels in English and defended the use of English, a "language of colonisers", in African literature, definition of postcolonial literature. A titled Igbo chieftain himself, [46] Achebe's novels focus on the traditions of Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of Western and traditional African values during and after the colonial era.

His style relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, definition of postcolonial literature, and oratory. He also published a number of short stories, children's books, and essay collections. Wole Soyinka born is a playwright and poet, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature[47] the first African to be honored in that category.

Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria's political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. Inhe seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections.

In during the Nigerian Civil Warhe was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years. Much of his writing has been concerned with "the oppressive boot and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears definition of postcolonial literature. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie born is a novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer. Her themes of child slavery, motherhood, female independence and freedom through definition of postcolonial literature have won her considerable critical acclaim and honours.

Elleke Boehmer [52] [ full citation needed ] writes, "Nationalism, like patriarchy, favours singleness—one identity, one growth pattern, one birth and blood for all Gerrit Olivier notes, "While it is not unusual to hear academics and politicians talk about a 'South African literature', the situation at ground level is characterised by diversity and even fragmentation".

These cultures have all retained autonomy to some extent, making a compilation such as the controversial Southern African Literatures by Michael Chapmandifficult. Chapman raises the question:. Any definitive literary history of South Africa should, it could be argued, discuss literature produced in all eleven languages. But the only literature ever to adopt definition of postcolonial literature that can be said to be "national" is Afrikaans.

Olivier argues: "Of all the literatures in South Africa, Afrikaans literature has been the only one to have become a national literature in the sense that it developed a clear image of itself as a separate entity, and that by way of institutional entrenchment through teaching, distribution, a review culture, journals, etc.

South Africa's borders were drawn up by the British Empire and, definition of postcolonial literature with all other definition of postcolonial literature, these borders were drawn without regard for the people living within them, definition of postcolonial literature.

Therefore: in a history of South African literature, do we include all Tswana writers, or only the ones with South African citizenship? Chapman bypasses this problem by including "Southern" African literatures. The second problem with the African languages is accessibility, because since the African languages are regional languages, none of them can claim the readership on a national scale comparable to Afrikaans and English.

Sotho, for instance, while transgressing the national borders of the RSA, is on the other hand mainly spoken in the Free Stateand bears a great amount of relation to the language of Natal for example, Zulu. So the language cannot claim a national readership, while on the other hand being "international" in the sense that it transgresses the national borders.

Olivier argues that "There is no obvious reason why it should be unhealthy or abnormal for different literatures to co-exist in one country, each possessing its own infrastructure and allowing theoreticians to develop impressive theories about polysystems".

It is unrealistic to ever think of South Africa and South African literature as homogenous, now or in the near or distant future, since the only reason it is a country at all is the interference of European colonial powers, definition of postcolonial literature.


Postcolonial Literature


definition of postcolonial literature


Postcolonial literature (or Post-colonial literature, sometimes called New English literature(s)), is a body of literary writings that reacts to the discourse of colonization. Post-colonial literature often involves writings that deal with issues of de-colonization or the political and cultural independence of people formerly subjugated to colonial rule. Oct 09,  · Lesson Summary. Post-colonialism is simply a lens through which we study literature that is set in colonized countries or deals with post-colonial issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, issues of identity, culture, politics, and economics. Apr 06,  · In postcolonial literature, the nation-building project seeks to erase the colonial past by rejecting and resisting the Western constructions of the “other” as primitive, savage, demonic etc. and by seeking to retrieve a pre-colonial past that would help them .