Imatge de l'autor

Robert J. C. Young

Autor/a de Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction

11+ obres 718 Membres 4 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Robert J. C. Young is Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University.

Inclou també: Robert Young (3)

Obres de Robert J. C. Young

Obres associades

African Literature: an anthology of criticism and theory (2007) — Col·laborador — 23 exemplars
African Athena: New Agendas (Classical Presences) (2011) — Col·laborador — 10 exemplars
The Concept in Crisis: Reading Capital Today (2017) — Col·laborador, algunes edicions9 exemplars


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A great and refreshing reminder, keeping me grounded, relevant, inspired, and thinking. Chock full of brilliant thought provoking knots. Relevant to razor's edge of critical academia and to the children who grow up in refugee camps without any formal education whatsoever.
magonistarevolt | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Apr 30, 2020 |
Robert Young draws from leading postcolonialism thinkers (primarily Chakravorty Spivak, Fanon, Bhabha, and Said) and presents postcolonialism in a collage of case-studies. Some highlights include the anti-establishment music genre Rai as an exemplar of postcolonial creation, Islamic veils and the western response to them, feminism in the postcolonial era, Gandhi's misogyny and Mirabehn's environmentalism, and towards the end, a stimulating chapter on translation and linguistics as a vessel for postcolonial activism.

Reading other GR reviews of this, there seems to be a consensus that the presentation wasn't loyal to the spirit of postcolonialism. I don't know about that, but this book introduced me to a PoMo-style politics that leaves me both hopeful and shaken. Hopeful because it allows me to imagine a future where this train of thought forces leaders from imperial countries, like Emmanuel Macron of France, to come forward and acknowledge their country's colonial crimes. At the same time it unsettles me because it forces me to see privileges that I've might've been abusing without being conscious of them.

And for me, that's enough to warrant this book four stars.
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pod_twit | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Mar 30, 2020 |
Not really well-named, but then, this isn't a short introduction to anything in particular. It's more like a selection of only the most outrageous stories from thirty years worth of the Guardian Weekly. So if you're young and want to get all hep up about bombing and racism, and are more or less unaware that, e.g., the 'problems' of Iraq are more or less the result of imperial/colonial/Western stupidity, this book will blow your mind. If you thought that 'postcolonial theory' was anything in particular, and wanted to learn about it, you'll be disappointed. Young says he won't be writing about a theory, and there is no one theory, and everything else that you're meant to say. He also has sections that read like manifestos: Postcolonialism is x. It is y. It is not z, for z is insufficiently good. And once you get to the end of all the things that postcolonialism is, and the two or three that it is not, you will be enlightened, believe me. What is postcolonialism, at the end of the day? It "seeks to turn difference from the basis of oppression into one of positive, intercultural social diversity." It is, in other words, slightly pumped up, color-blind liberalism. Postcolonialism is the good side of The Force.
Quoting Mao will not win it any new fans, I assume and hope; nor will borderline moronic statements like "fatty beef is not necessarily the healthiest thing to be eating in an era of BSE and animals pumped with growth hormones. Why do people always grow taller in the United States? Think about it." Uh... better nutrition? Oh, no, I get it, it's because they've all been eating beef pumped with growth hormones. Never mind that the chapter on feminism is mainly about Gandhi, or that the problems with nationalism are traced, perversely, to "the German Romantic account of the nation, developed at state level in Europe by Nazi Germany" - yes, the Hitler-bomb!- and not to, say, the inevitably exclusionary and elitist results of the idea of a nation.

So his good intentions don't really help you. Nice as it is that he is writing this 'from below,' (below what? below the *third* floor of Wadham College?), and nice as it is that he doesn't use theory as a battering ram to cave in your skull, some rigor and selectivity would have been nice.

PS: A few weeks later, I think I've decided that this is a Very Short Introduction to the Historical Reasons that People Like the Theories of Postcolonialism. Nothing wrong with that I guess.
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1 vota
stillatim | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Dec 29, 2013 |
Despite having a very Marxist/Socialist perspective, this book has some valuable information. I learned a lot from it and I'm glad I read it.
kathleen586 | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Mar 30, 2013 |


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