200 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Oct 2020
Very Short Introductions


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  • Introduces postcolonialism in both its historical and contemporary manifestations
  • Analyses the political, social, and cultural realities of the colonial experience, and of decolonization
  • This new edition contains updated material on race, slavery, and gender in the postcolonial discussion
  • Draws on situations, experiences, and testimony taken from all over the world
  • Examines the key strategies that postcolonial thought has developed to engage with the impact of sometimes centuries of western political and cultural domination

Postcolonialism explores the political, social, and cultural effects of decolonization, continuing the anti-colonial deconstruction of western dominance. This Very Short Introduction discusses both the history and key debates of postcolonialism, and considers its importance as a means of changing the way we think about the world.
Robert J. C. Young examines the key strategies that postcolonial thought has developed to engage with the impact of sometimes centuries of western political and cultural domination. Situating the discussion in a wide cultural and geographical context, he draws on examples such as the status of indigenous peoples, of those dispossessed from their land, Algerian rai music, and global social and ecological movements. In this new edition he also includes updated material on race, slavery, and postcolonial gender politics. Above all, Young argues that postcolonialism offers a political philosophy of activism that contests the current situation of global inequality, which in a new way continues the anti-colonial struggles of the past and enables us to decolonize our own lives in the present.


1:Subaltern knowledge
2:History and power, from below and above
3:Space and land
5:Postcolonial feminism
6:Globalization from a postcolonial perspective

About the author: 

Robert J.C. Young is Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University. He writes in the fields of cultural and political history, literature, literary theory and philosophy, photography, psychoanalysis, and translation studies, with a particular focus on colonial history and postcolonial theory. His most recent book is an edition of uncollected and unpublished work by Frantz Fanon, Écrits sur l'aliénation et la liberté (Paris: La Découverte, 2016; English translation, Alienation and Freedom, London: Bloomsbury, 2018).

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