Political Science 2231E Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Adrienne Rich

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PostColonialism
©Nigmendra Narain
South Asian, African, & South American scholars Homi Bhabha, Franz
Fanon, Edward Said
Response to Colonialism, Southern Nationalist and Leftist movements
failure, on-going oppression in the various Southern communist states
Focus:
o How domination/resistance has shaped identity in the the post-
colonial world -- Mazrui: ‘who has the power to represent us’
o Examine the actions/resistances of oppressed peoples -- Natives,
peasants, lower castes -- in the South, especially resistances to
globalization
o Broad critique of European/Western ways of knowing (science,
rationalism, universalism)
Imperialism:
o Crucial to understanding global politics, especially the experience
of the South -- Achebe: most important thing since the slave trade
o Imposed Western systems of government and political organization
(the state), e.g. ‘international community of states’
Culture:
o Basis for Orientalist view of world West vs. East; the ‘Other’
1. ‘Separate, unequal, and hierarchical spheres of
civilizations’
2. Defending the West against the lesser civilizations
3. Pursue assimilation towards Western civilization
o Represents the conflict to us civilizing mission, freedom, etc.
o Relies on ‘constructing’ the essentials of the Other natives,
colonized, etc.
Power = culture = Western framework as arbiter of proper, correct,
moral/ethical, scientific knowledge
o Agree with Postmodernist critique of the State & Knowledge
o Proxy wars = okay because not Great Power conflict Cold War
Peace
o Valid political organization or knowledge can be from non-Western
framework or interests
o Argue ‘modern state’ is an alien & imposed construct, privileging
Western political organization enforced through colonial
structures + cause of many conflicts (Rwanda, South Asia, Canada)
o Race = construction of differences & identities for the people of the
South, e.g. ‘Negro’ or ‘colonial’
Need different tools to take apart the Master’s house (Adrienne Rich)
cannot challenge, take part or re-build institutions built through Western
framework, interests, etc.
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