Poststructuralism and Postcoloniality: The Anxiety of Theory

Author: Jane Hiddleston

This book explores the relation between poststructuralist thought and postcoloniality, and identifies in that interaction the expression of a particular anxiety concerning the form of theoretical writing. Many so-called poststructuralist thinkers, such as Derrida, Cixous, Lyotard, Barthes, Kristeva and Spivak, have turned their attention at some point in their career towards questions either of postcolonialism, or of cultural domination and difference. For all these thinkers, however, a reflection on such questions has generated a sense of unease concerning the assumed neutrality of theoretical discourse, and the inevitable subjective or autobiographical investments of the writing self. The book argues that this anxiety betrays an unprecedented lucidity concerning the particular challenges of writing about ourselves and others at a time of postcolonial upheaval. ‘A thorough, well-researched and well-written piece of scholarship. Though it covers a lot of ground, and deals with six notoriously complex and prolific thinkers, the overall project is impressively focused and coherent. This is clearly an accomplished piece of work, and it will be a valuable addition to the growing literature on the topic.’ Professor Peter Hallward, Middlesex University
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