Has postcolonial literary criticism been affected by the postcritical antihistoricist turn? The short answer is no. It is hard to imagine what an antihistoricist postcolonial literary criticism might look like, since any investment in the term postcolonial assumes a simultaneous commitment to history and politics. While the term from its inception has been subject to criticism, it continues to hold its own despite more recent terms like global and world. While they may signal a post-postcolonial turn, a term initially used by Erin O’Connor (2003) to critique postcolonial analyses of Victorian novels, the use of and engagement with the postcolonial still provide a methodological challenge to modes of criticism advanced under the global and the world. Postcolonial literary criticism remains attuned to questions of aesthetics and ethics, and key theorists like Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Edward W. Said, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak continue to have an impact...
Sangeeta Ray is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Maryland. She is president of the American Comparative Literature Association and on the supervisory board of the English Institute. She is author of two books, Engendering India (2000) and In Other Words: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (2008). She has coedited A Companion to Postcolonial Studies (2000) as well as the three-volume Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies (2017). Her forthcoming book is tentatively titled Form-Fitted: Postcolonial Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics.
Sangeeta Ray; Postcolonially Speaking?. Modern Language Quarterly 1 December 2020; 81 (4): 553–566. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-8637963
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