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Postcolonial Studies : A Materialist Critique - Benita Parry

Postcolonial Studies

A Materialist Critique

Hardcover Published: 15th April 2004
ISBN: 9780415335997
Number Of Pages: 256

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This volume presents a powerful selection of reprinted and new essays by one of the most important critics in postcolonial studies. It constitutes a trenchant critique of the textualism that has dominated the field and proposes alternative critical and reading practices more attentive to historical circumstances and socio-material conditions.
In the opening chapter, Benita Parry outlines the historical and personal contexts from which her work has emerged and points to 'directions and dead ends' in the field she has helped to shape. This is followed by a series of essays that vigorously challenge colonial discourse theory and postcolonialism as we have known them. Parry then turns to literature with a series of detailed textual and contextual readings of well-known texts. These not only demonstrate her theoretical position at work, but also give new dimensions to widely studied texts by Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells and E. M. Forster. While acknowledging the significance of much work done under the emblem of postcolonial studies, Parry argues throughout that the material impulses of colonialism, its appropriation of physical resources, exploitation of human labour and institutional repression have too long been allowed to recede from view.
What then is the future of postcolonial theory? Parry concludes with the compelling argument that theoretical work must strive to join remembrance of the material past with a critique of the contemporary condition, remaining unreconciled to the past and unconsoled by the present. "Postcolonial Studies: A Materialist Critique" offers an invaluable framework upon which to build such a future.

"'There are many signs that the style of postcolonial studies practised in the 1980s and 1990s is evolving towards more materialist, historically circumstanced sorts of inquiry - a kind of inquiry to which Benita Parry has consistently drawn our attention. This collection is certain to play a key role in the transformation of the field.'-Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota, USA"

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Directions and Dead Ends in Postcolonial Studiesp. 1
Beginnings, Affiliations, Disavowalsp. 3
Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discoursep. 13
Resistance Theory/Theorizing Resistance or Two Cheers for Nativismp. 37
Signs of the Timesp. 55
Liberation Theory: Variations on Themes of Marxism and Modernityp. 75
Internationalism Revisited or in Praise of Internationalismp. 93
The Imperial Imaginaryp. 105
Reading the Signs of Empire in Metropolitan Fictionp. 107
The Content and Discontents of Kipling's Imperialismp. 119
Narrating Imperialism: Beyond Conrad's Dystopiasp. 132
Tono-Bungay: the Failed Electrification of the Empire of Lightp. 148
Materiality and Mystification in a Passage to Indiap. 162
Codap. 177
Reconciliation and Remembrancep. 179
Notesp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415335997
ISBN-10: 041533599X
Series: Postcolonial Literatures
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 15th April 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.28 x 16.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1