Students in a range of disciplines, whether they are studying in Lagos or London, New Delhi or New York, are increasingly confronted with the term 'postcolonial'. At a conference organized in New York in May 1991 titled 'Critical Fictions', Ama Ata Aidoo commented on the 'postcolonial': Perhaps the concept was relevant to the United States after its war of independence, and to a certain extent to the erstwhile imperial dominions of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, beginning with the very term 'postcolonial' and continuing to the cross disciplinary critiques that are included under it, a vast range of different and often conflicting interests and concerns jostle for attention. In a whole host of academic disciplines, attention shifted towards the fluid, contested modes, whereby textual and disciplinary authority was constructed. This 'turn to language' problematized the nature of representation itself and of an assumed linguistic transparency that gave access to a 'reality' that lay outside.