Limits, Transformations, Prospects

By Anjali Prabhu

Subjects: African Studies
Series: SUNY series, Explorations in Postcolonial Studies
Paperback : 9780791470428, 204 pages, March 2007
Hardcover : 9780791470411, 204 pages, March 2007

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Table of contents

1. Introduction. Hybridity in Contemporary Postcolonial Theory: Examining Agency
2. Hybridity in La Réunion: Monique Boyer’s Métisse and the Nation as Necessity
3. Theorizing Hybridity: Colonial and Postcolonial La Réunion
4. On the Difficulty of Articulating Hybridity: Africanness in Mauritius
5. Ethnicity and the Fate of the Nation: Reading Mauritius
6. Interrogating Hybridity: Subaltern Agency and Totality Through Edouard Glissant’s Poétique de la Relation
7. Narration in Frantz Fanon’s Peau noire masques blancs: Some Reconsiderations for Hybridity
Afterword: Why Hybridity Now?
Works Cited

Critical reevaluation of the concept of hybridity within postcolonial studies.


This critical engagement with some of the most prominent contemporary theorists of postcolonial studies reevaluates recent theories of hybridity and agency. Challenging the claim that hybridity provides a site of resistance to hegemonic and homogenizing forces in an increasingly globalized world, Anjali Prabhu pursues the ways in which hybridity plays out in the Creole, postcolonial societies of Mauritius and La Réunion, two small islands in the Indian Ocean, and offers an introduction to the literature and culture of this lesser-known region of Francophonie. She also reconsiders two major theorists from the Francophone context, Edouard Glissant and Frantz Fanon, through a provocatively Marxian framing that reveals these two writers shared more in common about agency and society than has previously been recognized.

Anjali Prabhu is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Wellesley College.


"This remarkable contribution to debates about the relations between hybridity and society in postcolonial studies will make a dramatic impact on the field. Nowhere have the notions of hybridity and diaspora been discussed so thoroughly. It will be very useful as both a productive theoretical resource and an instrument for teaching and should be of interest to scholars and students in literary studies, anthropology, history, and social theory." — Ato Quayson, author of Calibrations: Reading for the Social

"While the field of postcolonial studies is by no means new, and varying readings and interpretations of its core concepts of hybridity and métissage have been added to the literature over time, few have done so in such length, breadth, and depth, problematizing competing sets of current approaches to critical theory and drawing on the resulting conclusions to stage new readings of fiction and criticism from a variety of geographical locations. The caliber of the writing and the analysis make this book a welcome and necessary addition to the canon of postcolonial criticism." — Adlai Murdoch, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign