chapter  1
5 Pages

Introduction

ByJANET WILSON

The essays in this first section articulate significant shifts within postcolonial theory made in response to the persistent manifestations of empire and imperialism in the current global era; first, through expanding the concept of cosmopolitanism into a more inclusive and ethically nuanced term with implications for an improved citizenship; and, second, through supplementing and modifying current postcolonial-based theories of the global such as transnationalism and neo-liberalism. A counterpoint is provided by Patrick Williams’s emphasis on the discipline’s simultaneous ‘rerooting’ – through a reinvigorated engagement with resistance and liberation, areas that have historically constituted postcolonialism’s strength – and ‘rerouting’ into new areas of inquiry, such as postcolonial film and the ‘ethical scandal’ (92) of Palestine. Notably, such explorations reveal an emotional softening of the often strident polemic of earlier theorizations and arguments, a stress on the affective in subject formation, and a forward-looking utopianism energized by the engagement with globalization and based on praxis – producing a ‘positive pedagogy of practical, resistant, “concrete” hoping’ (94).