postcolonialism and postcolonial studies is the study of postcolonialistes theories born in the 1980s (in the US, much later in Europe) within the discourse postmodern , in response to the legacy culture left by colonization. postcolonialism is not one theory but rather a set of theories with a critical perspective in common.
As a literary theory, or critical stance, Postcolonialism deals with literature produced in countries that were or are still colonies of other countries. It also analyzes the effects of the knowledge produced in the colonizing countries on the colonized countries, or their inhabitants. Postcolonial theory was part of the critical tools of the 1980s. It deals with many aspects of societies that have suffered from colonialism : the dilemma of constituting a national identity upon awakening from the colonial yoke, the way in which writers from colonized countries try to articulate and even celebrate their cultural identities and reclaim them from the colonizers, the ways in which the knowledge of the colonizing countries has contributed to the elaboration of a certain subjectivity in the colonizers (the perpetuation of the images of the colonized as inferior beings), but also the way in which this knowledge has also generated anti-colonial revolts .
The former colonies that interest Postcolonialism mainly include the countries that were part of the former French , British , Spanish and Portuguese empires , namely the countries of Africa , India , the countries of the former French Indochina , the Caribbean and the countries of Latin America. . Works produced in Canada , New Zealand and Australiacan also be characterized as postcolonial, especially with regard to the literature of their indigenous populations. Postcolonial studies do not aim to create a dichotomy between colonial and postcolonial spheres, but do make a distinction between settlements, such as Quebec, and the colonial histories of countries or regions of Africa, Asia. , the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The wide range of nations, peoples, forms of writing, languages, themes and issues raised that form the postcolonial literature give it an invaluable resource.
The adjective “postcolonial”, which refers to the theories and writings of postcolonialism, is not to be confused with the term “post-colonial”, used to signify a period subsequent to colonization.
Here you can find a list of notable Postcolonialism thinkers and introductions to their theories and books.