Contesting Postcolonialisms is a collection of essays which address the complexity of the term and its myriad meanings. They seek to define, analyse, critique and contest its meanings, its history and implications. In the process of doing so, they are compelled to confront the plurality of its origins and the essential fluidity of the term. It is not possible to draw a linear graph of the development of postcolonialism because of the complexity of the concept. The identifiable political markers are not enough; there are other less visible ones which relate to the production of knowledge and attitudes of mind. Postcolonialism has affiliations with several disciplines. Looked upon both as an emancipatory strategy and a confining one, postcolonialism has both its negative and affirmative aspects. Of the twenty-five essays in this collection, seven are exclusively on theory and theoretical positions and critique the works of major postcolonial theorists like M.K. Gandhi, Edward Said, Ashis Nandy, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Aijaz Ahmad. They debate the issues presenting counterpoints to each other. Of the rest, four are on poetry, two each on drama and non-fiction and the rest on fiction, focusing on writers like Raja Rao, P. Parthasarthy, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Arun Kolatkar among others. One essay looks at imperial postcolonialism and two others move beyond postcolonialism. Identifying major postcolonial texts like Kanthapura, Things Fall Apart and Midnights Children, the writers go on to explore the different conflictual levels and the strategies employed to resist hegemonic structures and to retrieve lost inheritances, sweeping away the residual elements of postcolonial literatures.
Publication Date: 1/1/2004