Postcolonialism offers challenging and provocative ways of thinking about colonial and neocolonial power, about self and other, and about the discourses that perpetuate postcolonial inequality and violence. Much of the seminal work in postcolonialism has been shaped by currents in philosophy, tably Marxism and ethics. Understanding Postcolonialism examines the philosophy of postcolonialism in order to reveal the often conflicting systems of thought which underpin it. In so doing, the book presents a reappraisal of the major postcolonial thinkers of the twentieth century.Ranging beyond the narrow selection of theorists to which the field is often restricted, the book explores the work of Fan and Sartre, Gandhi, Nandy, and the Subaltern Studies Group, Foucault and Said, Derrida and Bhabha, Khatibi and Glissant, and Spivak, Mbembe and Mudimbe. A clear and accessible introduction to the subject, Understanding Postcolonialism reveals how, almost half a century after decolonisation, the complex relation between politics and ethics continues to shape postcolonial thought.
Jane Hiddleston is Lecturer in French at University of Oxford and Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.