Postcolonialism refers to the time after the colonization (military occupation) of a territory is over hence the expression post (after)

Postcolonialism refers to the time after the colonization (military occupation) of a territory is over hence the expression post (after).   Postcolonial literature refers to literature produced by the colonized people (people whose land was conquered) after or even during colonization of their lands. Postcolonialism is based on the premise that the colonizer does not only exert control over the land but also over ideas, cultural values, and minds of the colonized people. This control over values of the colonized people extends beyond the time of colonization. These values include ones that put utmost value on the culture of the colonizer and dehumanize the colonized people and their cultures casting these values and ways of thinking as inferior.  The colonizer is the one who writes history.

In other words, the conqueror of the land imposes new values that are held in the highest esteem while the values of the conquered people are looked upon as inferior to those of the colonizer. This can happen in an overt way or in a covert, implied way. This point of view can be internalized by the conquered people where they start to look down upon their own values and start to glorify the values of the colonizer even after colonization is over. In other words, when the land occupation ends, the colonization does not end. 

Postcolonial scholars study issues related to racism and exploitation. They offer a narrative that counters the narrative of the powerful colonizer. Postcolonialists study the political, social, economic and cultural oppression of the colonized or previously colonized people. They study the results of colonization which have direct effects on identities of the colonized as they feel in-between cultures, or have a sense of exile or feel that they are unvalued, left in the margins, lost or removed from culture.

Famous postcolonial theorists include Edward Said (an Arab American scholar who coined the term “orientalism” to refer to the way that the West viewed and constructed an imaginative image of the Arab World), Homi K  Bahbha, Gayatri Spivak, Frantz Fanon.

The Arab World was under European rule from the period after WWI when European powers drew the borders between Arab countries. This European rule continued from 1918 until the 1940s. In some instances, the occupation of the lands extended for longer periods of time. The French occupation of Algeria, for example, lasted more than 100 years (1830 and 1960).

 

 

Analyze Burns’ poem from a postcolonial perspective? (read about the postcolonial perspective in lesson 3  and review questions in blue below)

 

  1. Are there colonizers and colonized people in this text (explicitly or implicitly?
  2. Is this work pro/anti colonialism?
  3. Does the text resist or reinforce colonial ideas and values?
  4. What does the text tell us about post-colonial identities? Anything about the struggle to situate oneself within cultures?  Any issues regarding hybrid identities? How are these identities like and and how are they treated?
  5. Who, in the text, is described as “the other”/ “diiferent”/ “stranger”? How is the “other” represented?
  6. What does the text tell us about the resistance to colonialism?

 

 

 

 

2 -Read June Jordan’s “Report from the Bahamas” course link provided below

Pat Mora’s poem “Fences”   http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182465

 

Read  June Jordan’s “Report from the Bahamas” as well as the short poem by Pat Mora “Fences” and analyze both from a post-colonial perspective (links are provided below). Before responding to the question, find some information about both authors on the internet to get some context then analyze both texts:

  • Are there colonizers and colonized people in this text (explicitly or implicitly?
  • Is this work pro/anti colonialism?
  • Does the text resist or reinforce colonial ideas and values?
  • What does the text tell us about post-colonial identities? Anything about the struggle to situate oneself within cultures?  Any issues regarding hybrid identities? How are these identities like and and how are they treated?
  • Who, in the text, is described as “the other”/ “different”/ “stranger”? How is the “other” represented?
  • What does the text tell us about the resistance to colonialism?

 

 

 

 

Q3: Reflection on Reading of choice:

Literature and non-fiction:

  • Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart, 1958
  • Ngugi wa Thiong’o – The River Between, 1965
  • Patrick Chamoiseau – Texaco, 1997

List https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/722/10/

 

Introduction to Postcolonial Theory

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/722/10/

 

 

1-   Based on the link “Intro to postcolonial theory” why does the author object to the terms “first world”, “third world”, etc?

 

2- Read an excerpt from any of the texts under link 4 (pick your choice of any of these resources in Pfau library or online). Read an excerpt of at least 10 pages.

As you read as in no. 2 above, ask yourself the questions I listed under the lesson overview as well as the questions in the “intro” link/ Explore a few of these questions in relation to the reading and write down your reflection/ analysis.