chapter
POST-COLONIAL FUTURES
Pages 14

Because post-colonial theory was an invention of literary study, given particular importance by the development of English as a vehicle of cultural propaganda (The Empire Writes Back 2-3) it has therefore been at the cutting edge of developments in that discipline. Literary studies have been in crisis for some time as their methodologies and assumptions have been challenged by both cultural studies and post-colonial theory. The debate continues to revolve around the Raymond Williams inspired distinction between culture as ‘art’ or as ‘way of life’ (1989: 311). Post-colonial cultural discourse of all kinds problematizes this distinction and indeed problematizes the concept of culture itself. For when decolonizing countries appropriate imperial cultural discourse they must either appropriate its universalist assumptions – including the assumption that their own culture is unimportant – or appropriate it in a way that confirms all intellectual and artistic discourse as aspects of the way of life, strands of the cultural texture, intimately and inextricably connected in the textual fabric of the society.