The Name of Two People Essay

845 Words Dec 10th, 2011 4 Pages
Definition of Postcolonialism
Postcolonialism is the study of the legacy of the era of European, and sometimes American, direct global domination, which ended roughly in the mid-20th century, and the residual political, socio-economic, and psychological effects of that colonial history. Postcolonialism examines the manner in which emerging societies grapple with the challenges of self-determination and how they incorporate or reject the Western norms and conventions, such as legal or political systems, left in place after direct administration by colonial powers ended. Ironically, much early postcolonial theory, with its emphasis on overt rejection of imposed Western norms, was tied to Marxist theory, which also originated in Europe.
…show more content…
In fact, many critics propose that modern colonialism was not a discrete occurrence and that an examination of premodern colonial activities will allow for a greater and more complex understanding of modern structures of power and domination, serving to illuminate the operation of older histories in the context of both modern colonialism and contemporary race and global political relations.
Works of literature that are defined as postcolonial often record racism or a history of genocide, including slavery, apartheid, and the mass extinction of peoples, such as the Aborigines in Australia. Critical response to these texts is often seen as an important way to articulate and negotiate communication between writers who define themselves as postcolonial and critics who are not part of that experience. In her introduction to Post-Colonial and African American Women's Writing, published in 2000, Gina Wisker notes that the indictment present in many postcolonial texts tends to produce guilt or feelings of inherited complicity in many readers. Also, although writing about these texts may raise the level of awareness of both the texts and their writers, some postcolonial writers see reflected in this activity an arrogant assumption about the need for

Related Documents