In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures
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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Languages of Class Ideologies of Immigration
of Otherness and the National
Postmodern Migrancy and
Ambivalence and Metropolitan
Notes towards the Definition of
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academic American anti-colonial archive Asian bourgeois British canonical capitalist century Chapter colony and empire constituted counter-canon course criticism cultural nationalism decolonization Delhi discourse dominant economy emergence emphasize English essay Europe European fact formation Foucault Fredric Jameson fundamental global Guha idea ideology immigration imperialism imperialist India Indian Literature individual intellectual intelligentsia Islam issue Jameson kind knowledge language Left liberation linguistic literary theory Maoist Marx Marx's Marxism metropolitan countries Midnight's Children modern movements narrative national allegory national bourgeoisie nationalist Nehru novel Orientalism Orientalist origin Pakistan particular period political positions post-colonial postmodernism postmodernist poststructuralism poststructuralist professional question radical Ranajit Guha reading regimes Revolution revolutionary Rushdie Rushdie's Said's Salman Rushdie Sanskrit sense Shame simply social socialist society Soviet Union speak structure texts textual theoretical theorists Third World Literature Third-Worldist Three Worlds Theory tion tradition Urdu Western whole words writing Zhou En Lai
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