Posts and Pasts

A Theory of Postcolonialism

By Alfred J. Lopez

Subjects: Postcolonial Studies
Series: SUNY series, Explorations in Postcolonial Studies
Paperback : 9780791449943, 288 pages, May 2001
Hardcover : 9780791449936, 288 pages, May 2001

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Table of contents


Introduction Posts and Pasts

Chapter One
“The Other! The Other!”: Conrad,Wilson Harris, and the Postcolonial “Threshold of Capacity”

Chapter Two
Specters of the Nation: Resistance, Criollismo, and the Ambivalence of the “Neo-”

Chapter Three
Whiteness and the Colonial Unconscious

Chapter Four
“Toward a New Humanism. . . . ”: Fanon, Hegel, and the Crisis of Mastery

Chapter Five
Reason, “the Native,” and Desire: A Theory of “Magical Realism”

Magic, “Realism,” and the “Post-”




Deconstructs the field of postcolonial studies.


In Posts and Pasts: A Theory of Postcolonialism, Alfred J. Lopez argues for a formulation of postcolonial studies which diverges in three significant ways from current academic and institutional practices: 1) the postcolonial as diasporic, constituted by a series of dispersed and irregular criticisms not at all containable within a single set of parameters, whether historical, geographical, or socioeconomic; 2) the postcolonial as a distinct ontological moment in the life of a nation or people, in which it conceives itself as doubly haunted--on the one hand by the "memory in advance" of a collective national future and on the other by its colonial past; and 3) the postcolonial as a distinct phenomenological moment, a radical break in the history of a relation between lords and bonds-women and -men.

Going further than previous studies to address the postcolonial as a diasporic body of texts and discourses, it looks at a remarkable variety of writers—Joseph Conrad, Wilson Harris, Jose Marti, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Michelle Cliff, J. M. Coetzee, Franz Fanon, Gabriel Marcia Marquez, and Salman Rushdie.

Alfred J. Lopez is Assistant Professor of English at Florida International University.


"Posts and Pasts is a slim book that packs a pretty punch. The author engages in valuable polemics over postcolonialism. The book's strength lies in its elegant, textual maneuvers, and it does well to deconstruct the field of postcolonial studies. " -- Amitava Kumar, author of Passport Photos

"It is a theoretically sophisticated treatment of a wide range of writers. Lopez critiques the field itself and its own internal tensions. It's difficult to think of any single book that covers the range of texts that this one does. " -- Bruce B. Janz, Augustana University College