Post-Colonialism & Provincializing Europe Introduction • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwOA8Af eHM4&feature=player_embedded • Lecture looks at: – The demise of European imperialism – Post-colonialism & ‘provincializing Europe.’ • States • The internet Decolonization • India in 1947 to Hong Kong & Macau in late 1990s. • Reasons – Imperial decline – Rise of nationalism • Period of uncertainty – Which nation? Whose nation? Decolonizing the Mind • Post-colonialism – Roots in politics and economics • Post-colonialism and culture – Language & Ngugi wa Thiong’o • http://www.ngugiwathion go.com/writings/writings- home.htm Decolonizing the Mind Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world. How people perceive themselves affects how they look at their culture, at their politics and at the social production of wealth, at their entire relationship to nature and to other beings. Language is thus inseparable from ourselves as a community of human beings with a specific form and character, a specific history, a specific relationship to the world. Orientalism • Edward Said – http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=xwCOSkXR_ Cw • Post-colonial studies Provincializing Europe • Historians & post- colonialism – To what extent is the practice of history informed by the imperial past? – Subaltern Studies • Approach • Methodology Provincializing Europe • Provincializing Europe – ‘Political modernity’ • State • Bureaucracy • Capitalism – The paradox: • Produced by a distinctive moment of European history • Assumed to be universal Provincializing Europe • ‘We hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ US Declaration of Independence • If self-evident, how do we explain absence & difference? Provincializing Europe • James Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed – Zomia • Highland S & SE Asia Provincializing Europe • North East Africa – Shifta War 1963-7 – Somali irredentism or opposition to state- building? – Ongoing weakness of states in region Provincializing Europe • Populations of areas like Zomia depicted as ‘pre-modern’ – Use of internet • ‘Indigenous people’ • http://ogiek.org/ – The internet as part of history of technological innovation dating back to Scientific Revolution? – Or best understood as part of history of escape from state control? • Wikileaks, Twitter etc Conclusion • To what extent is the modern world ‘post- colonial’? • To what extent can the professional discipline of history be understood in the terms of post- colonial critics? • Can we see traits of what Said warned against in our own work? • Is it possible to write a history of the modern world without modernity?
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