This book bridges the gap between the simultaneously unfolding histories of postcoloniality and the forty-five-year ideological and geopolitical rivalry between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Not only did the superpowers rely upon the decolonizing world to further imperial agendas, but the postcolony itself was shaped, epistemologically and materially, by Cold War discourses, policies, narratives, and paradigms. Ruptures and appropriated trajectories in the postcolonial world can be attributed to the ways in which the Cold War became the afterlife of European colonialism. Through a speculative assemblage, this book connects the dots, deftly taking the reader from Frantz Fanon to Aaron Swartz, and from assassinations in the Third World to American multiculturalism. Whether the Cold War subverted the dream of decolonization or created a compromised cultural sphere, this book makes those rich palimpsests visible.

chapter |21 pages


Cold War Assemblages

chapter 1|39 pages

Epistemic Bifurcations

Fanon, Gandhi, and the Failure of Theory

chapter 2|35 pages

Dying Before Their Time

Lumumba, Cabral, and Sankara

chapter 3|38 pages

Cold War Disciplinarity

Postcolonial Studies and Its Discontents

chapter 4|55 pages

The Cold War Paradigm

A Trajectory of Literary Canons

chapter |11 pages


The Postcolony Is a Cold War Ruin