What Is a World?: On Postcolonial Literature as World Literature
Pheng Cheah is Professor of Rhetoric and Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of
Postcolonial Openings: How Postcolonial Literature Becomes World Literature
This chapter suggests that decolonization has to be understood in terms of its temporal structure and argues that its teleological time has given way to reassertions of multiple precolonial temporalities because of the failure of the promises of decolonization in postcolonial capitalist globalization. It offers a critical assessment of theories of heterotemporality and alternative modernities and suggests that the inhuman dimension of the opening of the world by the coming of time is more fundamental as a force of transformation in contemporary globalization.