Postcolonialism is a book that examines the influence of postcolonial theory in critical geographical thought and scholarship. Aimed at advanced-level students and researchers, the book is a lively, stimulating and relevant introduction to ‘postcolonial geography’ that elaborates on the critical interventions in social, cultural and political life this important subfield is poised to make.
The book is structured around three intersecting parts – Spaces, 'Identity'/hybridity, Knowledge – that broadly follow the trajectory of postcolonial studies since the late 1970s. It comprises ten main chapters, each of which is situated at the intersections of postcolonialism and critical human geography. In doing so, Postcolonialism develops three key arguments. First, that postcolonialism is best conceived as an intellectually creative and practical set of methodologies or approaches for critically engaging existing manifestations of power and exclusion in everyday life and in taken-as-given spaces. Second, that postcolonialism is, at its core, concerned with the politics of representation, both in terms of how people and space are represented, but also the politics surrounding who is able to represent themselves and on what/whose terms. Third, the book argues that postcolonialism itself is an inherently geographical intellectual enterprise, despite its origins in literary theory.
In developing these arguments and addressing a series of relevant and international case studies and examples throughout, Postcolonialism not only demonstrates the importance of postcolonial theory to the contemporary critical geographical imagination. It also argues that geographers have much to offer to continued theorizations and workings of postcolonial theory, politics and intellectual debates going forward. This is a book that brings critical analyses of the continued and omnipresent legacies of colonialism and imperialism to the heart of human geography, but also one that returns an avowedly critical geographical disposition to the core of interdisciplinary postcolonial studies.
1. Postcolonial Theory and Geography
2. A Brief History of Postcolonial Geography
PART I: SPACES
3. Orientalism, The Geographical Imagination and Postcolonial Spatialities
4. Imperial, Colonial and Postcolonial Cities
5. Nature, Postcolonialism, Environmentalism
PART II: ‘IDENTITY’/HYBRIDITY
6. ‘Identity’, Interstitiality, Hybridity
7. Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism, Planetarity: The Challenge of Living Together
PART III: KNOWLEDGE
8. Subaltern Studies and Geography
9. Responsibility, Geography, Knowledge
10. Coda. Postcolonial Futures in the Shadow of the Anthropocene
'Postcolonialism offers a detailed and accessible examination of the relationships between geography and postcolonial literary theory from Orientalism to the Anthropocene. As well as a valuable primer on a vital body of theory and a rich array of existing work, Tariq Jazeel sets out a manifesto and a methodology for future postcolonial geographies.' - Miles Ogborn, Queen Mary University of London, UK
'Tariq Jazeel is one of the most important interlocutors of urban theory today. From him, comes this decisive contribution which meticulously and creatively demonstrates the necessary relationship between postcolonial thought and geographical inquiry. This book will reshape research, theory, and pedagogy.' - Ananya Roy, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
'A thought-provoking introduction to postcolonial perspectives in geography. Tariq Jazeel presents postcolonialism as a set of critical methods that help to expose the profoundly geographical politics of representation.' - Felix Driver, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK