Africa, India and the Postcolonial: Notes Towards a Praxis of Infliction. - Arena Journal

Africa, India and the Postcolonial: Notes Towards a Praxis of Infliction.

By Arena Journal

  • Release Date - Published: 2003-01-01
  • Book Genre: Religion & Spirituality
  • Author: Arena Journal
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Africa, India and the Postcolonial: Notes Towards a Praxis of Infliction. Arena Journal read online review & book description:

Is Africa contributing efficiently and sufficiently to the growing and monstrously disparate body of knowledge we all now refer to as postcolonial theory? (1) Judging from current reflection and discussion among specialists, it would seem that initial anxieties about the relevance and applicability of postcolonial theory to African literatures (and postcoloniality to the African condition) are now compounded by even more troubling anxieties about the quality of Africa's contribution to the field. (2) Participants in Anglophone and Francophone African scholarly circuits do not experience this unease in the same way. Since postcolonial theory has an essentially Anglo-Saxon provenance, the problem in Anglophone Africa is more about the slow pace of African contribution to the major sites of high-tension postcolonial theorizing. In Francophone Africa, however, the issue is about a near total African absence, a point that is usually related to the reluctance of French and Francophone studies in general to embrace postcolonial theory. (3) With regard to Anglophone Africa, Adebayo Williams' engaging reflections in his essay 'The Postcolonial Flaneur and Other Fellow-Travellers: Conceits for a Narrative of Redemption', and Pal Ahluwalia's stringent critique of Williams in his Politics and Postcolonial Theory: African Inflections, share the merit of drawing attention to a very interesting dimension of the question: India. (4) The overwhelming presence of Indian thinkers in the field, the centrality of their thought to postcolonial discursive formations, and the concomitant production of India as the major subject/ object of postcolonial theorizing, all serve to underscore the question of African presence and participation. I will return to this question as teased out by Williams and Ahluwalia and its overall implications for African knowledge production.

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