In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures

Front Cover
Verso, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 358 pages
2 Reviews
After the Second World War, nationalism emerged as the principle expression of resistance to Western imperialism in a variety of regions from the Indian subcontinent to Africa, to parts of Latin America and the Pacific Rim. With the Bandung Conference and the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement, many of Europe's former colonies banded together to form a common bloc, aligned with neither the advanced capitalist "First World" nor with the socialist "Second World." In this historical context, the category of "Third World literature" emerged, a category that has itself spawned a whole industry of scholarly and critical studies, particularly in the metropolitan West, but increasingly in the homelands of the Third World itself.

Setting himself against the growing tendency to homogenize "Third World" literature and cultures, Aijaz Ahmad has produced a spirited critique of the major theoretical statements on "colonial discourse" and "post-colonialism," dismantling many of the commonplaces and conceits that dominate contemporary cultural criticism. With lengthy considerations of, among others, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, and the Subaltern Studies group, In Theory also contains brilliant analyses of the concept of Indian literature, of the genealogy of the term "Third World," and of the conditions under which so-called "colonial discourse theory" emerged in metropolitan intellectual circles.

Erudite and lucid, Ahmad's remapping of the terrain of cultural theory is certain to provoke passionate response.
  

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Review: In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures

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read this before you fall too much in love with said and bhabha and all those Read full review

Contents

Languages of Class Ideologies of Immigration
73
of Otherness and the National
95
Postmodern Migrancy and
123
Ambivalence and Metropolitan
159
A Clarification
221
Notes towards the Definition of
243
End of a Debate
287
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Aijaz Ahmad is a renowned cultural theorist who has taught in several western and Indian universities. A frequent contributor to Frontline magazine, he currently lives in New Delhi.

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