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New Developments in Postcolonial Studies

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Edited By Malgorzata Martynuska and Elzbieta Rokosz-Piejko

This book analyses the applicability of postcolonial theories and contemporary issues, and also revisits previously tackled cultural, social and literary phenomena. The contributions examine contemporary social, economic and cultural processes. The authors look back at older cultural texts, coming from either former colonies or former colonisers. They furthermore refer to the fact that theories of postcolonialism are currently more frequently applied to study countries originally not classified as colonial. They attempt to define and explain the experiences of the native peoples of colonial territories in various historical situations of dependence.

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Sharing Space with Others: Re-Thinking the Multicultural Encounter (Anna Branach-Kallas)

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Anna Branach-Kallas

Sharing Space with Others: Re-Thinking the Multicultural Encounter

Abstract: The article is an attempt to discuss selected theoretical propositions in English and French responding to the dilemma of how to share postcolonial space with the Other. The author adopts postcolonial trauma theory to analyse Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio’s Révolutions, Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss and Caryl Phillips’s The Nature of Blood.

Key words: trauma studies, postcolonial studies, Otherness, multiculturalism.

The title of my paper refers to the fundamental existential dilemma connected with the postcolonial encounter in the multiracial and multicultural context, encapsulated by Mary Pratt’s concept of the contact zone as

the space of imperial encounters, the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations… . A ‘contact’ perspective emphasizes how subjects get constituted in and by their relations to each other. It treats the relations among colonizers and colonized, or travellers and ‘travelees’, not in terms of separateness, but in terms of co-presence, interaction, interlocking understandings and practices, and often within radically asymmetrical relations of power. (Pratt 2008, 8)

One might say that postcolonial scholars since the publication of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952) in its English translation (1967) and Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) have been preoccupied with the contact zone and have placed it in various historical and philosophical configurations. However, in the introduction to Postcolonial...

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