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Canon Fire

Decolonizing the Curriculum

Andrew Sanchez

) had recently declared that race was a social and not biological object ( American Anthropological Association 1998 ), and during my studies I learned about post-colonialism, subaltern studies and the crisis of ethnographic authority. I believed that I

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Nash

Appropriating Siberia for the Russian Empire

Claudia Weiss

Siberia is more than a region of Russia; it is also an integral part of how Russians understand themselves. This cultural historical article examines the process by which Russians incorporated Siberia through the ideology of nash (ours; female nasha, neuter nashe), a possessive term that has deep roots in Russian literary and philosophical traditions. The author argues that it is important for us to understand the 'mental appropriation' of Siberia in order to understand its place in Russia today.

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Paula Montero

When compared to the extensive historiography on missionary activity, the anthropology of missions is a relative newcomer, emerging as such in the context of the recent critique of the colonial system. In view of the importance of historiographical literature in outlining the subject, on the one hand, and of the impact of the decolonization of the African continent on anthropology, on the other hand, my purposes in this essay are, firstly, to examine how the historiography of colonial America and of African colonialism has handled the subject of missions; secondly, to describe the role of missionary activity in the historiographical debate in the context of the crisis of colonialism; and, lastly, to analyze how post-colonial critique has given rise to a new anthropology of missions.

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Between Structural Violence and Idioms of Distress

The Case of Social Suffering in the French Caribbean

Raymond Massé

Structural violence has become a central concept in critical medical anthropology. It emphasises the importance of structural health determinants such as poverty, political violence and other collateral aspects of globalization. Diseases and epidemics are viewed as being pathologies of power. The goal of anthropology is no longer to analyse the influence of culture on illness and disease, but rather to engage in pragmatic efforts to remedy social inequalities that express themselves through ill-health. Such opposition between culture and politics may not be consistent with the need for a comprehensive anthropology that emphasizes the subtle and complex articulations between the multiple dimensions of health. Based on an analysis of depression and social suffering in postcolonial Martinique (French Caribbean), a plea is made for a new understanding of the relationship between local idioms of distress on the one hand and intermediate social, political and economical factors on the other. There is also a discussion of some of the pitfalls related to an exclusive focus on the political economy of health.

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Chris McCourt and Chris Peters

Dangerous Motherhood: Insanity and Childbirth in Victorian Britain. By Hilary Marland. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 304 pp. ISBN 1-4039-2038-9 (hardback).

A View from the Tower and the Township Post colonialism, Feminism & Religious Discourse. Edited by Laura Donaldson and Kwok Pui-Lan. London: Routledge, 2002. 220 pp. ISBN 0-41592-888-5 (paperback).

‘Letting Them Die’: Why HIV/AIDS Prevention Programmes Fail. By Catherine Campbell. Oxford: James Currey, 2003. 214 pp. ISBN 0-85255-868-6 (paperback).

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The Poetry of Cities

On Discovering Poems in Istanbul, Sarajevo, and Bratislava

Daniel Xerri

This article discusses how poetry allowed a first-time traveler to three different cities to explore each place and his identity as a traveler. Focusing on Istanbul, Sarajevo, and Bratislava, the article describes the experience of using a poem the traveler finds in each city to serve as a guide to its spirit. By referring to issues related to anthropology, post-colonialism, politics, history, the social sciences, and cultural studies, this article discusses the transformation experienced by the traveler as a result of both a physical and inner journey.

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Global Narratives

Globalisation and Literary Studies

Liam Connell

One of post-colonialism’s enduring projects has been the attempt to describe or understand the discursive component of Empire. Founding texts such as Edward Said’s Orientalism, argued that a complementary and necessary culture of imperialism existed alongside the economic and political structures of colonisation. The claim of such work was that this culture discursively produced ideas about difference that justified the European subjugation of other races and made possible the political expansion of the European states. The attempts to extend this analysis to describe a current culture of globalisation have been limited and in some ways unsuccessful. Without repudiating the methods of post-colonialism, it is necessary to recognise that changes to the structures of international relations have seen an attendant shift in the accompanying patterns of discourse. While, undoubtedly, many of the discourses that animated colonisation remain in place, the disavowal of a continuity between globalisation and earlier imperialist or colonising phases of modernity is one of globalisation’s characteristic movements. It is, therefore, insufficient to simply identify the persistence of imperialist discourses, ‘without significant challenge’, in ways that are insensitive to new cultural formulations brought about by structural changes in international relations.

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Julie Fette

In societies coming to terms with historical injustices, public apology has recently emerged as a potent trend. This is particularly true of France, where the state served as a catalyst for a wave of public apologies for acts of intolerance committed during the Second World War. Following Jacques Chirac's 1995 official apology for Vichy's anti-Semitic policies, various groups in civil society publicly atoned for their particular Vichy roles in discrimination against Jews: the medical profession, the law bar, the Catholic Church, and the police. How does public apology, as distinct from court trials, historical commissions, and reparations, affect contemporary France's reconciliation with its past? This article also analyzes how apologizing for Vichy has created demand for an official French apology for the Algerian War. By 2006, the politics of memory in French society decidedly shifted attention from Vichy to post-colonialism: in both cases, the apology turn imposes new dynamics of remembering and forgetting.

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Editorial

Post-colonial Interdisciplinarity

Liam Connell

The concern of this issue on post-colonial interdisciplinarity is with the apparent need for interdisciplinary approaches in post-colonial analyses: analyses that take textuality as their object but which are framed around wider social or political questions of power. By necessity such analyses take the critic into territories that until the end of the 1960s were not considered the property of literary studies. Yet, however necessary this expansion of the critic’s focus has been in order to allow literary criticism to comment on the social functions of representation, it has exposed post-colonialism to a range of criticisms, many of which seem to arise from a perceived weakness in its interdisciplinary approach. For instance, as the gaze of the critic has been cast increasingly widely, many conservative commentators have come to lament the loss of the text. This concern has perhaps been less hotly contested in Britain than in the U.S., where the socalled ‘Canon Wars’ split departments. Nevertheless it seems especially problematic for post-colonial studies because even its fairly modest project of opening up the canon to writers from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East has been predicated on a fundamentally political concern with wider forms of inequality, of which Eurocentric reading practices are only one facet.

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Urooj Akailvi

.4324/9780203816240 Young , Robert . J.C. Post Colonialism: A Very Short Introduction . OUP Oxford , 2003 . 10.1093/actrade/9780192801821.001.0001