Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask iek: SIC 10
Jamil Khader, 2017. "Concrete Universality and the End of Revolutionary Politics: A Žižekian Approach to Postcolonial Women’s Writings", Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask iek: SIC 10, Russell Sbriglia
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In this chapter, Khader enlists Slavoj Žižek’s trenchant critique of multiculturalism in order to reclaim the internationalist trajectory of postcolonial feminist literature. Khader argues that despite his criticisms of postcolonial theory’s culturalization of politics by way of an identitarian logic that focuses primarily on Western intolerance toward the Other, Žižek’s theory of the “concrete universality” of the excluded communities of the global capitalist system nonetheless offers a productive theoretical framework for understanding the internationalist trajectory of postcolonial feminist writings such as the testimonials and memoirs of Rigoberta Menchú and the fiction of Michelle Cliff. As Khader demonstrates, much like Žižek, Menchú and Cliff maintain that it is only by insisting on the concrete universality of the Rancièrean “part of no part” that a space can be cleared for the articulation of an authentic revolutionary act—one truly able to challenge global capitalism’s position as the ultimate Real of contemporary existence.