There is a crisis in contemporary postcolonial theory: while an enormous body of challenging research has been produced under its auspices, severely critical questions about the validity and usefulness of this theory have also been raised. This Reader is positioned at the juncture where it can address these contestations. It makes available some of the 'classics' of the field; engages with the issues raised by contemporary practitioners; but also offers several of the arguments that strongly critique postcolonial theory. Although postcolonial theory purports to be inter-disciplinary and frequently anti-foundationalist, traces of disciplinary formations and linearity have continued to haunt its articulations. This Reader, on the other hand, offers a uniquely inter-disciplinary mapping. It is concerned with three main areas: definitional problems and contests including the current challenges to postcolonial theory; the 'disciplining of knowledge', where the multiple resonances of the word 'disciplining' are all engaged; and the location of practice where the relations between intellectual practice and historical conditions are explored. Finally, since the guiding principle of this Reader is simultaneous attention to the enabling and constraining mechanisms of historical realities and institutional practices, the commentary problematizes the writing of histories, the formations of canons, and indeed the production of Readers.

chapter |18 pages


part One|128 pages

Shifting Terrains

chapter 1|17 pages

Edward Said

From Orientalism *

chapter 2|18 pages

Homi Bhabha

The Other Question*

chapter 3|17 pages

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial?*

chapter 4|12 pages

Stephen Slemon

Unsettling the Empire: Resistance Theory for the Second World*

chapter 5|26 pages

Benita Parry

Resistance Theory/Theorising Resistance or Two Cheers for Nativism*

chapter 6|12 pages

Stuart Hall

Cultural Identity and Diaspora*

chapter 7|25 pages

Rey Chow

Where Have All the Natives Gone?*

part Two|128 pages

Disciplining Knowledge

chapter 8|10 pages

Barbara Christian

The Race for Theory*

chapter 9|14 pages

Biodun Jeyifo

The Nature of Things: Arrested Decolonization and Critical Theory*

chapter 10|26 pages

Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses*

chapter 11|25 pages

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Poststructuralism, Marginality, Postcoloniality and Value*

chapter 12|25 pages

Dipesh Chakrabarty

Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History: Who Speaks for ‘Indian’ Pasts?*

chapter 13|27 pages

Paul Gilroy

‘The Whisper Wakes, the Shudder Plays’: ‘Race’, Nation and Ethnic Absolutism*

part Three|108 pages

Locating Practice

chapter 14|18 pages

Aijaz Ahmad

The Politics of Literary Postcoloniality*

chapter 15|27 pages

Arif Dirlik

The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism*

chapter 16|14 pages

Ella Shohat

Notes on the ‘Post-Colonial’*

chapter 17|12 pages

Sara Suleri

Woman Skin Deep: Feminism and the Postcolonial Condition*

chapter 18|18 pages

Ruth Frankenberg and Lata Mani

Crosscurrents, Crosstalk: Race, ‘Postcoloniality’ and the Politics of Location*

chapter 19|18 pages

Rosemary Jolly

Rehearsals of Liberation: Contemporary Postcolonial Discourse and the New South Africa*