chapter  3
78 Pages

Postcolonial Landscapes

The term 'postcolonial' refers rather to a set of concepts—and experiences—that were engendered after large parts of the world formerly held by European imperial powers sought independence and when a marked increase in cross-cultural migrations ensued. Postcolonialism is also a companion to terms such as 'multiculturalism' and 'globalisation'. The abolition of slavery in the mid-nineteenth century was another manifestation of the 'postcolonial', but at precisely this time, America was also ruthlessly curtailing the individual rights and cultural independence of native peoples to the point of genocide. This chapter includes 'Postcolonial Landscapes' novels by an African American and a Native American in the conviction that these texts have both been informed by postcolonial studies in 1980s and 1990s and that they have a contribution to make to furthering its insights. Postcolonial writing used to be synonymous with 'writing from the margins', as opposed to writing from the metropolitan centre, but the margins have become central.