The Origins Of Post-colonism And Colonialism

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The origin of Postcolonial criticism was marked, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, by critics’ efforts to “undermine the text of colonial authority as well as to install a distance from the concepts of anticolonialist theory” (Parry, 2004: 67). It was referred to as ‘colonial discourse analysis’. Postcolonial criticism emerged with Edward W. Said’s Orientalism, it acquired the name ‘postcolonialism’ in the late 1980s. It is concerned with historical, political, cultural and textual outcomes of the encounter between the West and East. Initially it aimed at reviewing critically the conditions of colonialism and its aftermath.
Postcolonial criticism analyses the relationship between coloniser and colonised, from the initial encounter of the
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Moreover, he lists a number of aims adopted by the postcolonial criticism: initially, to reconsider the perspective of the colonised in the colonial historiography; secondly, to assess the impacts of colonialism political, economical, or cultural, and on the two sides: coloniser and colonised; and principally, to examine the process of decolonisation.
Postcolonial criticism’s origins can be traced to Said’s Orientalism according to Milner and Browitt (2002). Said portrays the Eurocentric universalism which admits the superiority of what is Western and the inferiority of what is not, he states that “there are Westerners, and there are non-westerners. The former dominate; the latter must be dominated” (Said 1994: 36). For him, Orientalism was a ‘discourse’ in the Foucauldian sense of the term: ‘an enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage—and even produce—the Orient ....during the post-Enlightenment period’ (Said 1994:
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In addition, it can be noticed that Said was preceded by other anti-colonial assessments of the Eurocentrism of colonial discourse which were an essential part the decolonisation struggles. The originality of postcolonial criticism can be sum up in two facts; primarily, the fact that it was anti-colonial and critical of Eurocentrism as well as critical of the governing elite of previously colonised nations; Secondly, the use of poststructuralist theories by postcolonial critics to draw attention to the position of the text within power

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