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Fictionalising Post-colonial Theory

The Creative Native Informant?

Anastasia Valassopoulos

How can a novel be both a Harlequin romance (the equivalent of a British Mills and Boon book) and an example of post-colonial counter-discourse? In the same stroke, how can Spivak proclaim herself not learned enough to be interdisciplinary? Surely interdisciplinariness has become an integral part of post-colonial theory and investigation and to proclaim oneself not erudite enough is to put the practice of casual interdisciplinary action into question on ethical and scholarly grounds. And yet post-colonial studies thrives on its interdisciplinary methods and we are certainly not all philosophers, social scientists or professional politicians. In fact, it is possible to argue, as I intend to do here, that postcolonial literary works can also be interdisciplinary, thereby challenging us to reveal the inherent interdisciplinary nature of the field itself. In this case, breaking rules is not difficult and, yes, much can be learned from this action. So, as well as demonstrating a post-colonial textual analysis indebted to an interdisciplinary approach, as this special issue calls for, this article will further reveal how, often, writers themselves are already involved in utilising an interdisciplinary approach in their fiction. This can make it difficult to separate the authors’ intentions; are they writing in their capacity as authors, critics or both?

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Laborers, Migrants, Refugees

Managing Belonging, Bodies, and Mobility in (Post)Colonial Kenya and Tanzania

Hanno Brankamp and Patricia Daley

This article examines the ways in which both colonial and postcolonial migration regimes in Kenya and Tanzania have reproduced forms of differential governance toward the mobilities of particular African bodies. While there has been a growing interest in the institutional discrimination and “othering” of migrants in or in transit to Europe, comparable dynamics in the global South have received less scholarly attention. The article traces the enduring governmental differentiation, racialization, and management of labor migrants and refugees in Kenya and Tanzania. It argues that analyses of contemporary policies of migration management are incomplete without a structured appreciation of the historical trajectories of migration control, which are inseparably linked to notions of coloniality and related constructions of (un)profitable African bodies. It concludes by recognizing the limits of controlling Africans on the move and points toward the inevitable emergence of social conditions in which conviviality and potentiality prevail.

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Sol Neely

Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2014), written and directed by Mi’kmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, is primarily presented as a residential school “revenge fantasy.” Some critics and reviewers of the film value it for its pedagogical possibilities, arguing that the film occasions opportunity for dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences about the legacies of the residential school system. Yet, numerous decolonial scholars and activists understand that dialogue alone cannot effect the quality of decolonial justice needed in the wake of genocide. This article approaches the film as a saturated phenomenon and examines the kinds of radical phenomenological transformation that must occur, especially among non-Indigenous audiences, for decolonial imperatives to become legible. Beyond developing a more comprehensive historical panorama of the violence and legacies of the residential school system, this article calls for a kind of translation of experience occasioned by the film, one that dramatically subverts and transforms modalities of consciousness on which coloniality is predicated.

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Policing the Post-Colonial Order

Surveillance and the African Immigrant Community in France, 1960-1979

Gillian Glaes

By the early 1960s, an increasing number of Africans migrated to France from their former colonies in West Africa. Most were men hoping to gain employment in several different industries. Their settlement in Paris and other cities signaled the start of "post-colonial" African immigration to France. While scholars have analyzed several facets of this migration, they often overlook the ways in which France's role as a colonial power in West Africa impacted the reception of these immigrants after 1960, where surveillance played a critical role. Colonial regimes policed and monitored the activities of indigenous populations and anyone else they deemed problematic. The desire to understand newly arriving immigrant groups and suspicion of foreign-born populations intersected with the state's capacity to monitor certain groups in order to regulate and control them. While not physically violent, these surveillance practices reflected the role that symbolic violence played in the French government's approach to this post-colonial immigrant population.

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Pushkar Sohoni

handling of these animals, a culture that was usually passed on through apprenticeship, an expertise which took several generations of learning. In the case of animal-supported technologies that were imported by colonial regimes, animal handlers often

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A "Safe Space" to Debate Colonial Legacy

The University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Campaign to Return a Looted Benin Altarpiece to Nigeria

Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp and Chris Wingfield

In February 2016, students at Jesus College, Cambridge voted unanimously to repatriate to Nigeria a bronze cockerel looted during the violent British expedition into Benin City in 1897. The college, however, decided to temporarily relocate Okukor to the University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This article outlines the discussions that occurred during this process, exploring how the Museum was positioned as a safe space in which uncomfortable colonial legacies, including institutionalized racism and cultural patrimony rights, could be debated. We explore how a stated commitment to postcolonial dialogue ultimately worked to circumvent a call for postcolonial action. Drawing on Ann Stoler’s and Elizabeth Edwards’s discussions of colonial aphasia, this article argues that anthropology museums risk enabling such circumvention despite confronting their own institutional colonial legacies.

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Sue Kossew

One of the most fraught and, possibly, most tricky issues, both in theory and in practice, for current literary criticism in post-apartheid South Africa is how to read and reread the texts of those now-canonical white South African writers whose reputations were made, both nationally and internationally, by their ‘writing against apartheid’, now that this particular kind of literature of resistance could be seen as passé. What is at stake here is not just a critical re-evaluation of such writers as J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and André Brink, whose voices may now be seen to be marginalised in favour of those ‘subaltern’ voices freed to speak in a post-apartheid state, but a re-situating of the very nature of their literary resistance. Inextricably tied to any such discussion is the complex nature of literary resistance itself and the debates surrounding the categorisation of ‘South African literature’ within ‘world literatures’. These debates have evolved around such questions as whether post-colonial theory and criticism have any relevance to such texts; whether ‘white’ South African literature should be regarded as part of other settler literatures (despite its obvious differences in not having just one ‘imperial centre’ and in the neo-colonial structures of apartheid); and whether even locating such a division between ‘white’ and ‘black’ writing in South Africa imposes a retrospective form of apartheid within critical practice itself. This article addresses some of these issues and considers them as part of a process of reconciling differences and moving beyond the fixed binaries that characterise both the apartheid mentality and colonialism itself.

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Michael G. Vann

André Joyeux's La Vie large des colonies ['The Colonial Good Life'] is an insider's portrait of the French colonial encounter in Southeast Asia. Published in Paris in 1912 but most likely penned in Saigon, the collection of cartoons explores the racial order of the colony. Although the artist critiques many aspects of the colony and highlights certain gross injustices, such as the coloniser's sexual predation and physical violence, he also articulates many of the bluntly racist French stereotypes of the Vietnamese, Chinese and other Asians in the colony. Joyeux, as an artist and as an art teacher, contributed to the development of cartoon and caricature as a medium in Vietnam, which would eventually be used in the anti-colonial, nationalist and communist movements. La Vie large des colonies is of importance as a primary source in the study of empire.

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Racial and Social Prejudice in the Colonial Empire

Issues Raised by Miscegenation in Portugal (Late Nineteenth to Mid-Twentieth Centuries)

Patrícia Ferraz de Matos

This article analyses the issue of miscegenation in Portugal, which is directly associated with the context of its colonial empire, from late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The analysis considers sources from both literary and scientific fields. Subsequently, aspects such as interracial marriage, degeneration and segregation as well as the changes brought about by the end of World War II and the social revolutions of the 1960s are considered. The 1980s brought several changes in the attitude towards Portuguese identity and nationality, which had meanwhile cut loose from its colonial context. Crossbreeding was never actually praised in the Portuguese colonial context, and despite still having strong repercussions in the present day, lusotropicalism was based on a fallacious rhetoric of politically motivated propaganda.

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Krista Molly O'Donnell

The French Colonial Union (Union Coloniale Française) and the German Colonial Society (Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft), two powerful imperialist lobbying associations, each began to promote white women's colonization in 1896. Their respective justifications for women's overseas settlement demonstrate the very different concerns that preoccupied French and German nationalists at the turn of the century. Strong public opposition to these campaigns also indicates the very different reactions from the French and German public to these imperialist organizations' extremist views on race, gender, and reproduction at the turn of the century.