Jessie Chu
Research and Bibliography
Postcolonial Theory
  • definitions of Postcolonial theory
      1. the post-war upsurge in literary creativity in the colonies
      2. the persistence of colonial, neo-colonial or imperial influence in the modern world
      3. using theories of post-structuralism and postmodernism challenges the monolithic or universal claims
  • history of postcolonial theory
    1. In the 1800 Western powers claimed 35% of the earth's surface. (Said 8)
    2. By 1878 Western powers claimed 67% of the earth's surface. (Said 8)
    3. By 1914 Western powers claimed 85% of the earth's surface. (Said 8)
    4. The metropolitan left-wing response to the 'Third-World' struggles of 1950s onwards.
    5. The first school of Commonwealth Literature was founded at Leeds University in 1964. (Commonwealth literature includes six nations which were Britain colonies, India, Africa, West Indies, Canada, New Zealand, Australia. )
    6. Post-war period of de-colonization: national identity
      1. The Third World intellectuals pursue national and cultural identity in their native land.
      2. The Third World intellectuals pursue national and cultural identity from the metropolitan center.
  • important critics of postcolonialism

  • A. Frantz Fanon Black Skin, White Masks (1952, trans. London: Pluto Press, 1986)

    B. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart (London: Heinemann, 1958)

    C. Edward Said

      1. Orientalism:
    1. The definition of Orientalism
    1. It is an academic study.
    2. It is based on ontological and epistemological distinction of the Orient and the Occident.
    3. Orientalism is a western style for dominating, reconstructing, and has authority over the Orient. (Introduction 2-3)
    1. Said's focus of research
    1. the distinction of pure knowledge and political knowledge
    2. the methodological question
    3. the personal dimension
      2. Culture and Imperialism
      1. Said unravels the discourse of imperialism in 19th century British texts.
      2. The third world intellectuals reflects the spirit and movement of de-colonization in their texts, i.e. Salman Rushdie, Gabrial Garcia Marquez, Sara Suleri, to name a few.
      3. the inevitability of cultural hybridity
    D. Aijaz Ahmad: Orientalism and After (1992)
    1. Ahmad approves the influence of Said¡¦s Orientalism. Ahmad praises Said to points out the controversy of Western cultural hegemony.
    2. Ahmad criticizes that Said somehow essentializes the Orient.
    E. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak ¡§Can the Subaltern Speak?¡¨ (1988)
    1. subaltern studies group
    2. subject-effects
    3. subaltern consciousness
    G. Homi Bhabha

    1. Do you think the Third World intellectuals can have double or multiple identities without being used or being dominated the system of Western cultural hegemony?
    2. Do you think Spivak¡¦s anti-universal is a position? How can an intellectual without position define herself?
    3. Could you find any values or ideas hybridized in Taiwan¡¦s culture?
  • Under the overwhelming influence of American and Japanese cultural hegemony, what position will you take as an intellectual?
  • Works Cited
    Ahmad Aijaz. "Orientalism and After: Ambivalence and Metropolitan Location in the Work of Edward Said."  In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures. London: Verso, 1992. 159-219.
    Bhabha, Homi. "The Other Question: Stereotype, discrimination and the discourse of colonialism."¨ The Location of Culture. Lodon: Routledge, 1994, 66-84.
    Said, Edward, W. "Introduction" to Orientalism. Orientalism. London: Penguin, 1995. 1-28.
  • - - .  "Introduction" to Culture and Imperialism. Culture and Imperialism.

  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography."¨ Ed. Selected Works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. New York: Routledge, 1996. 203-235.
    Walder, Denis. "Postcolonial Theory."  Reclaiming the Boundaries. Ed.  Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn. New York: MLA, 1992. 159-69.