In the late 1990's, Postcolonial Studies risked imploding as a credible area of academic enquiry. Repeated anthologization and an overemphasis on the English-language literatures led to sustained critiques of the field and to an active search for alternative approaches to the globalized and transnational formations of the post-colonial world. In the early twenty-first century, however, postcolonial began to reveal a new openness to its comparative dimensions. French-language contributors to postcolonial debate (such as Edouard Glissant and Abdelkebir Khatibi) have recently risen to greater prominence in the English-speaking world, and there have also appeared an increasing number of important critical and theoretical texts on postcolonial issues, written by scholars working principally on French-language material. It is to such a context that this book responds. Ackwledging these shifts, this volume provides an essential tool for students and scholars outside French departments seeking a way into the study of Francophone colonial postcolonial debates. At the same time, it supplies scholars in French with a comprehensive overview of essential ideas and key intellectuals in this area.
David Murphy is Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the University of Stirling and President of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies.