There is a crisis in contemporary postcolonial theory: while an enormous body of challenging research has been produced under its auspices, severely critical questions about the validity and usefulness of this theory have also been raised. This Reader is positioned at the juncture where it can address these contestations. It makes available some of the 'classics' of the field; engages with the issues raised by contemporary practitioners; but also offers several of the arguments that strongly critique postcolonial theory. Although postcolonial theory purports to be inter-disciplinary and frequently anti-foundationalist, traces of disciplinary formations and linearity have continued to haunt its articulations. This Reader, on the other hand, offers a uniquely inter-disciplinary mapping. It is concerned with three main areas: definitional problems and contests including the current challenges to postcolonial theory; the 'disciplining of knowledge', where the multiple resonances of the word 'disciplining' are all engaged; and the location of practice where the relations between intellectual practice and historical conditions are explored. Finally, since the guiding principle of this Reader is simultaneous attention to the enabling and constraining mechanisms of historical realities and institutional practices, the commentary problematizes the writing of histories, the formations of canons, and indeed the production of Readers.