Often associated with a growing interest in literary theory in the 1980s, postcolonial studies has long been linked with continental philosophy, most notably that of Derrida and Foucault. In recent years, however, an emerging critique of the poststructuralist forms of analysis that characterised much second-wave postcolonialism has led to a renewal of interest in different philosophies of postcolonialism. From Peter Hallward’s Badiouian critique of postcolonialism’s ‘singularity’, to Nick Nesbitt’s Spinozist analysis of the legacies of the Haitian Revolution and Neil Lazarus’s appraisal of the field via Jameson, postcolonial studies is in the midst of a radical reassessment of its own questions, concepts and modes of analysis. This project seeks to test the limits of this appraisal by drawing out and exploring the diverse philosophical perspectives that can be brought into relation with postcolonialism.
As part of this project a co-edited volume Postcolonial Literatures and Deleuze: Colonial Pasts – Differential Futures (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan), edited by Lorna Burns and Birgit M Kaiser (eds) will be published. Exploring the overlooked connections between two major schools of contemporary criticism: postcolonialism and Deleuzian philosophy, this collection brings together established scholars from the field of Deleuze studies (Gregg Lambert, Reda Bensmaia, Bruce Janz, Rosi Braidotti), some of whom explore the possibilities of Deleuze for postcolonial literatures for the first time in this volume, and established postcolonial critics (David Huddart, Nick Nesbitt, J. Michael Dash), who examine the connections between different postcolonial literary writers and the Deleuzian concepts of becoming, minor literature, singularity and the virtual. Unique in its dual focus on Deleuze and postcolonial literature this collection addresses a gap in contemporary Deleuzian and postcolonial studies, and aims to reinvigorate critical analysis in both fields.
Throughout 2011 and beyond, I hope to develop the scope and aims of this project. I welcome any notes of interest and opportunities for collaboration. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org