Nicole Simek

"The Criticism of Postcolonial Critique"

Over the last decade, postcolonial criticism has evidenced growing concern for an emerging “post-post-colonial” turn or moment and the (in)adequacy of postcolonial models of critique for addressing new configurations of power in a globalizing era.  From Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (1999), Hardt and Negri’s Empire (2001) and Peter Hallward’s Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing Between the Singular and the Specific (2002) to the Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature (forthcoming, 2012), theorists have sought to take stock of postcolonial critique, tracing genealogies of its inception and, often, coming to negative conclusions about both its efficacy as critique and its very foundations.  This paper will examine growing doubts about the nature and effectiveness of postcolonial studies’ assumed political engagement.  How might postcolonial criticism be conceived in a “post-post-colonial” era?  Is the post-post-colonial post-critique?