Introduction: The Politics of Postcoloniality

Julie McGonegal


Our introduction situates the articles in this special issue in the context of a conference call for papers aimed at extending the debate about postcolonial studies outside the field's historical home of the English Department. We discuss the sense of fatigue that currently plagues this debate, which we ascribe partly to the emergent perception of postcolonialism's imminent demise as a methodology and area of study. Without denying the limits and problems of the field, we suggest that predictions of its impending death fail to properly account for the importance of postcolonial theory and criticism as an area of study committed to contesting a global economy defined by the legacy of imperialism. We proceed to outline some of the ways that the authors of this issue articulate a future for postcolonial studies, and to chart some of their arguments for harnessing the tools of its practitioners in the interests of twenty-first century political goals and struggles.



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