chapter
WHO IS POST-COLONIAL?
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The question: Who is post-colonial? may be misleading and we raise the issue here in order to suggest the kinds of problems post-colonial theorists can create for themselves. The very idea of a boundary between the post-colonial and the not-really-post-colonial is a notion that has arisen as a consequence of the controversy surrounding the term. There have been innumerable attempts to draw boundaries around such words, boundaries designed to include or exclude various groups (Irish/ settlers/ Americans/ African Americans/ Indigenes, etc. The disputes have been a vital part of the attempt to define the field. But the idea of cultural fixity which these boundaries promote have seemed to some people to contradict the nature of the post-colonial enterprise. To these critics the post-colonial experience is, in a sense, only perceivable when such boundaries are brought into conscious and critical scrutiny (Slemon 1990; 1994).