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The Post-Colonial Studies Reader is the most comprehensive selection of key texts in post-colonial theory and criticism yet compiled. This collection covers a huge range of topics, featuring nearly ninety of the discipline's most widely read works.
The Reader's 90 extracts are designed to introduce the major issues and debates in the field of post-colonial literary studies. This field itself, however, has become so varied that no collection of readings could encompass every voice which is now giving itself the name "post-colonial." The editors, in order to avoid a volume which is simply a critical canon, have selected works representing arguments with which they do not necessarily agree, but rather which above all stimulate discussion, thought and further exploration.
Post-colonial "theory" has occurred in all societies into which the imperial force of Europe has intruded, though not always in the official form of theoretical text. Like the description of any other field the term has come to mean many things, but this volume hinges on one incontestable phenomenon: the "historical fact"of colonialism, and the palpable consequences to which this phenomenon gave rise. The topic involves talk about experience of various kinds: migration, slavery, suppression, resistance, representation, difference, race, gender, place, and reaction to the European influence, and about the fundamental experiences of speaking and writing by which all these come into being. In compiling this reader, the editors have sought to stimulate people to ask: "How might a genuinely post-colonial literary enterprise proceed?"
The fourteen sections include: Issues and Debates; Universality and Difference; Textual Representation and Resistance; Postmodernism and Post-Colonialism; Nationalism; Hybridity; Ethnicity and Indigenity; Feminism and Post-Colonialism; Language; The Body and Performance; History; Place; Education; and Production and Consumption.
Contributors include many of the leading post-colonial theorists and critics--such as Franz Fanon, Chinua Achebe, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Homi Bhabba, Derek Walcott, Edward Said, and Trinh T. Minh-ha--in addition to a number of the discourse's newer voices. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader will prove an authoritative compilation, representing an invaluable contribution to the study of post-colonial theory and criticism.
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Bill Ashcroft and Gareth Griffiths teach at the University of New South Wales. Helen Tiffin teaches at Queensland University. Together they are the authors of The Empire Writes Back (Routledge 1989).
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