The term postcolonial studies may be preferred for this reason. Postcolonialism encompasses a wide variety of approaches, and theoreticians may not always agree on a common set of definitions. On a simple level, it may seek through anthropological study to build a better understanding of colonial life from the point of view of the colonized people, based on the assumption that the colonial rulers are unreliable narrators. On a deeper level, postcolonialism examines the social and political power relationships that sustain colonialism and neocolonialism , including the social, political and cultural narratives surrounding the colonizer and the colonized.
This approach may overlap with contemporary history and critical theory , and may also draw examples from history , political science , philosophy , sociology , anthropology , and human geography. Sub-disciplines of postcolonial studies examine the effects of colonial rule on the practice of feminism , anarchism , literature and Christian thought. The independent Institute of Postcolonial Studies in Melbourne, Australia, established in , publishes the leading journal in the field Postcolonial Studies.
As an epistemology the study of knowledge, its nature and verifiability , as an ethics moral philosophy , and as a politics affairs of the citizenry , the field of postcolonialism addresses the politics of knowledge—the matters that constitute the postcolonial identity of a decolonized people, which derives from: i the colonizer's generation of cultural knowledge about the colonized people; and ii how that Western cultural knowledge was applied to subjugate a non—European people into a colony of the European mother country, which, after initial invasion, was effected by means of the cultural identities of 'colonizer' and 'colonized'.
Postcolonialism is aimed at destabilizing these theories intellectual and linguistic, social and economic by means of which colonialists "perceive", "understand", and "know" the world. Postcolonial theory thus establishes intellectual spaces for subaltern peoples to speak for themselves, in their own voices, and thus produce cultural discourses of philosophy, language, society and economy, balancing the imbalanced us-and-them binary power-relationship between the colonist and the colonial subjects. Colonialism was presented as "the extension of civilization", which ideologically justified the self-ascribed racial and cultural superiority of the Western world over the non-Western world.
That such a divinely established, natural harmony among the human races of the world would be possible, because everyone has an assigned cultural identity , a social place, and an economic role within an imperial colony. The regeneration of the inferior or degenerate races, by the superior races is part of the providential order of things for humanity.
Regere imperio populos is our vocation. Pour forth this all-consuming activity onto countries, which, like China, are crying aloud for foreign conquest. Turn the adventurers who disturb European society into a ver sacrum , a horde like those of the Franks, the Lombards, or the Normans, and every man will be in his right role.
Nature has made a race of workers, the Chinese race, who have wonderful manual dexterity, and almost no sense of honour; govern them with justice, levying from them, in return for the blessing of such a government, an ample allowance for the conquering race, and they will be satisfied; a race of tillers of the soil, the Negro; treat him with kindness and humanity, and all will be as it should; a race of masters and soldiers, the European race.
Let each do what he is made for, and all will be well. From the mid- to the late-nineteenth century, such racialist group-identity language was the cultural common-currency justifying geopolitical competition amongst the European and American empires and meant to protect their over-extended economies. Especially in the colonization of the Far East and in the late-nineteenth century Scramble for Africa , the representation of a homogeneous European identity justified colonization.
Hence, Belgium and Britain, and France and Germany proffered theories of national superiority that justified colonialism as delivering the light of civilization to unenlightened peoples. Notably, la mission civilisatrice , the self-ascribed 'civilizing mission' of the French Empire, proposed that some races and cultures have a higher purpose in life, whereby the more powerful, more developed, and more civilized races have the right to colonize other peoples, in service to the noble idea of "civilization" and its economic benefits.
Decolonized people develop a postcolonial identity that is based on cultural interactions between different identities cultural, national, and ethnic as well as gender and class based which are assigned varying degrees of social power by the colonial society. The neocolonial discourse of geopolitical homogeneity relegating the decolonized peoples, their cultures, and their countries, to an imaginary place, such as "the Third World ", an over-inclusive term that usually comprises continents and seas, i.
Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. The postcolonial critique analyzes the self-justifying discourse of neocolonialism and the functions philosophic and political of its over-inclusive terms, to establish the factual and cultural inaccuracy of homogeneous concepts, such as "the Arabs " and "the First World ", " Christendom " and "the Ummah ", actually comprise heterogeneous peoples, cultures, and geography, and that accurate descriptions of the world's peoples, places, and things require nuanced and accurate terms.
As a contemporary-history term, postcolonialism occasionally is applied temporally, to denote the immediate time after colonialism, which is a problematic application of the term, because the immediate, historical, political time is not included in the categories of critical identity-discourse, which deals with over-inclusive terms of cultural representation, which are abrogated and replaced by postcolonial criticism. As such, the terms postcolonial and postcolonialism denote aspects of the subject matter, which indicate that the decolonized world is an intellectual space "of contradictions, of half-finished processes, of confusions, of hybridity , and of liminalities".
The term post-colonialism —according to a too-rigid etymology—is frequently misunderstood as a temporal concept, meaning the time after colonialism has ceased, or the time following the politically determined Independence Day on which a country breaks away from its governance by another state. A theory of post-colonialism must, then, respond to more than the merely chronological construction of post-independence, and to more than just the discursive experience of imperialism. The term post-colonialism is also applied to denote the Mother Country's neocolonial control of the decolonized country, effected by the legalistic continuation of the economic, cultural, and linguistic power relationships that controlled the colonial politics of knowledge the generation, production, and distribution of knowledge about the colonized peoples of the non—Western world.
In The Wretched of the Earth , the psychiatrist and philosopher Frantz Fanon analyzed and medically described the nature of colonialism as essentially destructive. Its societal effects—the imposition of a subjugating colonial identity—are harmful to the mental health of the native peoples who were subjugated into colonies. Fanon wrote the ideological essence of colonialism is the systematic denial of "all attributes of humanity" of the colonized people.
Such dehumanization is achieved with physical and mental violence, by which the colonist means to inculcate a servile mentality upon the natives. For Fanon the natives must violently resist colonial subjugation. As postcolonial praxis, Fanon's mental-health analyses of colonialism and imperialism, and the supporting economic theories, were partly derived from the essay Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism , wherein Vladimir Lenin described colonial imperialism as a degenerate form of capitalism, which requires greater degrees of human exploitation to ensure continually consistent profit for investment.
Cultural critic Edward Said is considered by E. San Juan, Jr. Said's concept which he also termed "Orientalism" is that the cultural representations generated with the us-and-them binary relation are social constructs , which are mutually constitutive and cannot exist independent of each other, because each exists on account of and for the other.
Notably, "the West" created the cultural concept of "the East", which according to Said allowed the Europeans to suppress the peoples of the Middle East, of the Indian Subcontinent, and of Asia, from expressing and representing themselves as discrete peoples and cultures. Orientalism thus conflated and reduced the non—Western world into the homogeneous cultural entity known as "the East".
Therefore, in service to the colonial type of imperialism, the us-and-them Orientalist paradigm allowed European scholars to represent the Oriental World as inferior and backward, irrational and wild, as opposed to a Western Europe that was superior and progressive, rational and civil—the opposite of the Oriental Other.
Madhavan said that "Said's passionate thesis in that book, now an 'almost canonical study', represented Orientalism as a 'style of thought' based on the antinomy of East and West in their world-views, and also as a 'corporate institution' for dealing with the Orient. In concordance with the philosopher Michel Foucault , Said established that power and knowledge are the inseparable components of the intellectual binary relationship with which Occidentals claim "knowledge of the Orient".
That the applied power of such cultural knowledge allowed Europeans to rename, re-define, and thereby control Oriental peoples, places, and things, into imperial colonies. To the extent that Western scholars were aware of contemporary Orientals or Oriental movements of thought and culture, these were perceived either as silent shadows to be animated by the Orientalist, brought into reality by them, or as a kind of cultural and international proletariat useful for the Orientalist's grander interpretive activity.
Nonetheless, critics of the homogeneous "Occident—Orient" binary social relation, said that Orientalism is of limited descriptive capability and practical application, and proposed that there are variants of Orientalism that apply to Africa and to Latin America. Said replied that the European West applied Orientalism as a homogeneous form of The Other , in order to facilitate the formation of the cohesive, collective European cultural identity denoted by the term "The West".
With this described binary logic, the West generally constructs the Orient subconsciously as its alter ego. Therefore, descriptions of the Orient by the Occident lack material attributes, grounded within land. This inventive, or imaginative interpretation subscribes female characteristics to the Orient and plays into fantasies that are inherent within the West's alter ego. It should be understood that this process draws creativity, amounting an entire domain and discourse. In Orientalism , Said mentions the production of "philology [the study of the history of languages], lexicography [dictionary making], history, biology, political and economic theory, novel-writing and lyric poetry" p.
Therefore, there is an entire industry that exploits the Orient for its own subjective purposes that lack a native and intimate understanding. Such industries become institutionalized and eventually become a resource for manifest Orientalism, or a compilation of misinformation about the Orient. The ideology of Empire was hardly ever a brute jingoism; rather, it made subtle use of reason, and recruited science and history to serve its ends.
These subjective fields of academia now synthesize the political resources and think-tanks that are so common in the West today. Orientalism is self-perpetuating to the extent that it becomes normalized within common discourse, making people say things that are latent, impulsive, or not fully conscious of its own self. In establishing the Postcolonial definition of the term subaltern , the philosopher and theoretician Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak cautioned against assigning an over-broad connotation.
She argues:. Now, who would say that's just the oppressed? The working class is oppressed. It's not subaltern. They are the least interesting and the most dangerous. I mean, just by being a discriminated-against minority on the university campus; they don't need the word 'subaltern' […] They should see what the mechanics of the discrimination are. They're within the hegemonic discourse, wanting a piece of the pie, and not being allowed, so let them speak, use the hegemonic discourse.
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They should not call themselves subaltern. Spivak also introduced the terms essentialism and strategic essentialism to describe the social functions of postcolonialism. The term essentialism denotes the perceptual dangers inherent to reviving subaltern voices in ways that might over simplify the cultural identity of heterogeneous social groups and, thereby, create stereotyped representations of the different identities of the people who compose a given social group. The term strategic essentialism denotes a temporary, essential group-identity used in the praxis of discourse among peoples.
Furthermore, essentialism can occasionally be applied—by the so-described people—to facilitate the subaltern's communication in being heeded, heard, and understood, because a strategic essentialism a fixed and established subaltern identity is more readily grasped, and accepted, by the popular majority, in the course of inter-group discourse.
The important distinction, between the terms, is that strategic essentialism does not ignore the diversity of identities cultural and ethnic in a social group, but that, in its practical function, strategic essentialism temporarily minimizes inter-group diversity to pragmatically support the essential group-identity. Spivak developed and applied Foucault's term epistemic violence to describe the destruction of non—Western ways of perceiving the world and the resultant dominance of the Western ways of perceiving the world.
Conceptually, epistemic violence specifically relates to women, whereby the "Subaltern [woman] must always be caught in translation, never [allowed to be] truly expressing herself", because the colonial power's destruction of her culture pushed to the social margins her non—Western ways of perceiving, understanding, and knowing the world.
As a subaltern woman, Francisca repressed her native African language, and spoke her request in Peninsular Spanish, the official language of Colonial Latin America. As a subaltern woman, she applied to her voice the Spanish cultural filters of sexism , Christian monotheism, and servile language, in addressing her colonial master:. I, Francisca de Figueroa, mulatta in colour, declare that I have, in the city of Cartagena, a daughter named Juana de Figueroa; and she has written, to call for me, in order to help me.
Once given, I attest to this. I beg your Lordship to approve, and order it done. I ask for justice in this. Moreover, Spivak further cautioned against ignoring subaltern peoples as "cultural Others", and said that the West could progress—beyond the colonial perspective—by means of introspective self-criticism of the basic ideals and investigative methods that establish a culturally superior West studying the culturally inferior non—Western peoples. Bhabha argued that viewing the human world as composed of separate and unequal cultures, rather than as an integral human world, perpetuates the belief in the existence of imaginary peoples and places—"Christendom" and "The Islamic World", "The First World", "The Second World", and "The Third World".
To counter such linguistic and sociologic reductionism, postcolonial praxis establishes the philosophic value of hybrid intellectual spaces, wherein ambiguity abrogates truth and authenticity; thereby, hybridity is the philosophic condition that most substantively challenges the ideological validity of colonialism. In , on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of India's Independence, Santiniketan: The Making of a Contextual Modernism was an important exhibition curated by R.
In his catalogue essay, Kumar introduced the term Contextual Modernism, which later emerged as a postcolonial critical tool in the understanding of Indian art , specifically the works of Nandalal Bose , Rabindranath Tagore , Ramkinkar Baij and Benode Behari Mukherjee. Santiniketan artists did not believe that to be indigenous one has to be historicist either in theme or in style, and similarly to be modern one has to adopt a particular trans-national formal language or technique.
Modernism was to them neither a style nor a form of internationalism. In the postcolonial history of art, this marked the departure from Eurocentric unilateral idea of Modernism to alternative context sensitive Modernisms. The brief survey of the individual works of the core Santiniketan artists and the thought perspectives they open up makes clear that though there were various contact points in the work they were not bound by a continuity of style but buy a community of ideas. Which they not only shared but also interpreted and carried forward.
Thus they do not represent a school but a movement. Barlow 's Colonial modernity have been used to describe the kind of alternative modernity that emerged in non-European contexts. Those European modernities, projected through a triumphant British colonial power, provoked nationalist responses, equally problematic when they incorporated similar essentialisms. In Provincializing Europe , Dipesh Chakrabarty charted the subaltern history of the Indian struggle for independence, and countered Eurocentric, Western scholarship about non-Western peoples and cultures, by proposing that Western Europe simply be considered as culturally equal to the other cultures of the world, that is, as "one region among many" in human geography.
Derek Gregory argues the long trajectory through history of British and American colonization is an ongoing process still happening today. In The Colonial Present , Gregory traces connections between the geopolitics of events happening in modern-day Afghanistan, Palestine , and Iraq and links it back to the us-and-them binary relation between the Western and Eastern world. Building upon the ideas of the other and Said's work on orientalism, Gregory critiques the economic policy, military apparatus, and transnational corporations as vehicles driving present day colonialism.
Emphasizing ideas of discussing ideas around colonialism in the present tense, Gregory utilizes modern events such as the September 11 attacks to tell spatial stories around the colonial behavior happening due to the War on Terror.
Acheraiou argues that colonialism was a capitalist venture moved by appropriation and plundering of foreign lands and was supported by military force and a discourse that legitimized violence in the name of progress and a universal civilizing mission. This discourse is complex and multi-faceted.
2018 NeMLA CFP- Disability Studies and Postcolonial Literary Space
It was elaborated in the 19th century by colonial ideologues such as Joseph-Ernest Renan and Arthur de Gobineau , but its roots reach far back in history. In The Politics, he established a racial classification and ranked the Greeks superior to the rest. Ancient Rome was a source of admiration in Europe since the enlightenment. In France, Voltaire was one of the most fervent admirers of Rome. He regarded highly the Roman republican values of rationality, democracy, order and justice.
In early-eighteenth century Britain, it was poets and politicians like Joseph Addison and Richard Glover — who were vocal advocates of these ancient republican values. It was in the mid-eighteenth century that ancient Greece became a source of admiration among the French and British. This enthusiasm gained prominence in the late-eighteenth century. These scholars and poets regarded ancient Greece as the matrix of Western civilization and a model of beauty and democracy.
In the nineteenth century when Europe began to expand across the globe and establish colonies, ancient Greece and Rome were used as a source of empowerment and justification to Western civilizing mission. At this period, many French and British imperial ideologues identified strongly with the ancient empires and invoked ancient Greece and Rome to justify the colonial civilizing project. He advised the French colonists in Algeria to follow the ancient imperial example. The Romans established in almost all parts of the globe known to them municipalities which were no more than miniature Romes.
Among modern colonizers, the English did the same. Who can prevent us from emulating these European peoples? The incorporation of ancient concepts and racial and cultural assumptions into modern imperial ideology bolstered colonial claims to supremacy and right to colonize non-Europeans. As a literary theory , postcolonialism deals with the literatures produced by the peoples who once were colonies of the European imperial powers e.
This enthusiasm gained prominence in the late-eighteenth century. These scholars and poets regarded ancient Greece as the matrix of Western civilization and a model of beauty and democracy. In the nineteenth century when Europe began to expand across the globe and establish colonies, ancient Greece and Rome were used as a source of empowerment and justification to Western civilizing mission. At this period, many French and British imperial ideologues identified strongly with the ancient empires and invoked ancient Greece and Rome to justify the colonial civilizing project.
He advised the French colonists in Algeria to follow the ancient imperial example. The Romans established in almost all parts of the globe known to them municipalities which were no more than miniature Romes. Among modern colonizers, the English did the same. Who can prevent us from emulating these European peoples? The incorporation of ancient concepts and racial and cultural assumptions into modern imperial ideology bolstered colonial claims to supremacy and right to colonize non-Europeans.
As a literary theory , postcolonialism deals with the literatures produced by the peoples who once were colonies of the European imperial powers e. Britain, France, and Spain and the literatures of the decolonized countries engaged in contemporary, postcolonial arrangements e. Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations with their former mother countries.
In Dutch literature, the Indies Literature includes the colonial and postcolonial genres, which examine and analyze the formation of a postcolonial identity, and the postcolonial culture produced by the diaspora of the Indo-European peoples, the Eurasian folk who originated from Indonesia; the peoples who were the colony of the Dutch East Indies ; in the literature, the notable author is Tjalie Robinson. M Coetzee 's Waiting for the Barbarians depicts the unfair and inhuman situation of people dominated by settlers. To perpetuate and facilitate control of the colonial enterprise, some colonized people, especially from among the subaltern peoples of the British Empire, were sent to attend university in the Imperial Motherland; they were to become the native-born, but Europeanised, ruling class of colonial satraps.
Yet, after decolonization, their bicultural educations originated postcolonial criticism of empire and colonialism, and of the representations of the colonist and the colonized. In the late twentieth century, after the dissolution of the USSR , the constituent soviet socialist republics became the literary subjects of postcolonial criticism, wherein the writers dealt with the legacies cultural, social, economic of the Russification of their peoples, countries, and cultures in service to Greater Russia. Postcolonial literary study is in two categories: i that of the postcolonial nations, and ii that of the nations who continue forging a postcolonial national identity.
The first category of literature presents and analyzes the internal challenges inherent to determining an ethnic identity in a decolonized nation. The second category of literature presents and analyzes the degeneration of civic and nationalist unities consequent to ethnic parochialism, usually manifested as the demagoguery of "protecting the nation", a variant of the Us-and-Them binary social relation.
Regarding sociolinguistic interpretations of literary texts through postcolonial lenses we may refer to Jaydeep Sarangi's book, "Indian Novels in English: A Sociolinguistic Study" As such, the fragmented national identity remains a characteristic of such societies, consequence of the imperially convenient, but arbitrary, colonial boundaries geographic and cultural demarcated by the Europeans, with which they ignored the tribal and clan relations that determined the geographic borders of the Middle East countries, before the arrival of European imperialists.
Most countries of the Middle East, suffered from the fundamental problems over their national identities. More than three-quarters of a century after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, from which most of them emerged, these states have been unable to define, project, and maintain a national identity that is both inclusive and representative. Independence and the end of colonialism did not end social fragmentation and war civil and international in the Middle East. In the event, "in places like Iraq and Jordan, leaders of the new sovereign states were brought in from the outside, [and] tailored to suit colonial interests and commitments.
Likewise, most states in the Persian Gulf were handed over to those [Europeanised colonial subjects] who could protect and safeguard imperial interests in the post-withdrawal phase. In the late 19th century, the Scramble for Africa — proved to be the tail end of mercantilist colonialism of the European imperial powers, yet, for the Africans, the consequences were greater than elsewhere in the colonized non—Western world. To facilitate the colonization the European empires laid railroads where the rivers and the land proved impassable. The Imperial British railroad effort proved overambitious in the effort of traversing continental Africa, yet succeeded only in connecting colonial North Africa Cairo with the colonial south of Africa Cape Town.
Upon arriving to Africa, the Europeans encountered the native African civilizations of the Ashanti Empire , the Benin Empire , the Kingdom of Dahomey , the Buganda Kingdom Uganda , and the Kingdom of Kongo , all of which were annexed by imperial powers under the belief that they required European stewardship, as proposed and justified in the essay "The African Character" , by G.
Hegel , in keeping with his philosophic opinion that cultures were stages in the course of the historical unfolding of The Absolute. See: Things Fall Apart , In postcolonial countries of Africa, the Africans and the non—Africans live in a world of genders, ethnicities, classes and languages, of ages, families, professions, religions and nations.
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There is a suggestion that individualism and postcolonialism are essentially discontinuous and divergent cultural phenomena. Cochinchina southern Vietnam was the first territory under French Control. Saigon was conquered in Then, in , the Indochinese Union Union indochinoise was established. Trinh T. Minh-ha has been developing her innovative theories about postcolonialism in various means of expression, literature, films, and teaching. She is best known for her film "Reassemblage", made in , in which she tried to deconstruct anthropology, as a "western male hegemonic ideology".
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In she wrote "Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism", where she focuses on the acknowledgement of oral tradition. Structural adjustment programmes SAPs implemented by the World Bank and IMF are viewed by some postcolonialists as the modern procedure of colonization. Structural adjustment programmes SAPs calls for trade liberalization, privatization of banks, health care, and educational institutions.
Limited to production and exportation of cash crops, many African nations acquired more debt, and were left stranded in a position where acquiring more loan and continuing to pay high interest became an endless cycle. Osterhammel's The Dictionary of Human Geography uses the definition of colonialism as "enduring relationship of domination and mode of dispossession, usually or at least initially between an indigenous or enslaved majority and a minority of interlopers colonizers , who are convinced of their own superiority, pursue their own interests, and exercise power through a mixture of coercion, persuasion, conflict and collaboration".
Developing on Aijaz Ahmad 's earlier critique of Said's Orientalism  and Sumit Sarkar's critique of the Subaltern Studies scholars  Chibber focuses on and refutes the principal historical claims made by the Subaltern Studies scholars, claims which are representative of the whole of postcolonial theory.
Postcolonial theory, he argues, essentializes cultures, painting them as fixed and static categories. Moreover, it presents the difference between East and West as unbridgeable, hence denying people's "universal aspirations" and "universal interests". He also criticized the postcolonial tendency to characterize all of Enlightenment values as Eurocentric. According to him, the theory will be remembered "for its revival of cultural essentialism and its acting as an endorsement of orientalism , rather than being an antidote to it.
The concentration of postcolonial studies upon the subject of national identity has determined it is essential to the creation and establishment of a stable nation and country in the aftermath of decolonization; yet indicates that either an indeterminate or an ambiguous national identity has tended to limit the social, cultural, and economic progress of a decolonized people. Nevertheless, Kumaraswamy and Sadiki said that such a common sociological problem—that of an indeterminate national identity—among the countries of the Middle East is an important aspect that must be accounted in order to have an understanding of the politics of the contemporary Middle East.
In an effort to understand postcolonialism through scholarship and technology, in addition to important literature, many stakeholders have published projects about the subject.
Here is an incomplete list of projects. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism. Geographies of Postcolonialism. SAGE Publications. November—December Against the Current. Beginning Postcolonialism.
Archived from the original on Retrieved CS1 maint: Archived copy as title link.
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- The Postcolonial Politics of U.S.–Indigenous Relations;
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- The Third Space of Sovereignty — University of Minnesota Press.
- Spatial Politics in the Postcolonial Novel.
- Postcolonialism - Wikipedia.
Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing Company. The Hindu. Blackwell Pub. Rethinking Postcolonialism. London: Palgrave Macmillan. The Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Greek Heritage in Victorian Britain. New Haven: Yale University Press. Paris: Flammarion. The Expansion of England Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Some Dutch writers and poets have written about Indonesia from the first year of the Company to date.
Amsterdam: Querido. Rutgers University Press. Kumaraswamy eds. London: Frank Cass, , pp. Armstrong, Editor. ProQuest Research Library. In Theory. London: Verso. Writing Social History. Oxford India. Gregory, Derek Dictionary of Human Geography. Fanon, Frantz The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press. European History Online. Hart, Jonathan; Goldie, Terrie Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 14 November Kumaraswamy, P. March Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice, or Process?
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