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Postcolonial Studies LibGuide by Kyle Brooks: Postcolonial Studies

Postcolonial Studies

What is Postcolonial Studies?

"Although there is considerable debate over the precise parameters of the field and the definition of the term 'postcolonial,' in a very general sense, it is the study of the interactions between European nations and the societies they colonized in the modern period. The European empire is said to have held sway over more than 85% of the rest of the globe by the time of the First World War, having consolidated its control over several centuries. The sheer extent and duration of the European empire and its disintegration after the Second World War have led to widespread interest in postcolonial literature and criticism in our own times." - Deepika Bahri


Graduate Librarian for the Humanities & Social Sciences

Nashieli Marcano, PhD's picture
Nashieli Marcano, PhD
Sturgis Library 318

How To Use This LibGuide

How To Use This LibGuide

A Few Examples To Get You Started

Key Theories in the Field

  • Panafricanism
  • African/African Diaspora Studies
  • Decolonization/Anti-Colonialism
  • Coloniality (of Power)
  • Modernity
  • Globalization
  • Globalized Capitalism
  • Imperialism
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Intersectionality
  • Negritude
  • Black Marxism
  • Whiteness
  • Afro-Feminism
  • Philosophy/Theology of Liberation
  • Latin American/Caribbean Studies
  • Latin American/Caribbean Philosophy

Popular Topics/Regions in Discussion

  • Prison Industrial Complex
  • School-to-Prison-Pipeline
  • Police Brutality
  • Structures and Institutions of Race/Class/Gender/Ability
  • Military Industrial Complex
  • Globalized Capitalism
  • Corporatism
  • Development/Underdevelopment
  • U.S. Interventionism
  • Western Hegemony
  • Eurocentrism
  • Nuclearism
  • Climate Change
  • Ecocriticism/environmental philosophy
  • Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex
  • Geopolitics in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia
  • Socioeconomics of Race, Class, and Gender
  • Struggles in the Global South


What is Intersectionality?

"Intersectionality is a framework for conceptualizing a person, group of people, or social problem as affected by a number of discriminations and disadvantages. It takes into account people’s overlapping identities and experiences in order to understand the complexity of prejudices they face...intersectional theory asserts that people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other identity markers. Intersectionality recognizes that identity markers (e.g. “female” and “black”) do not exist independently of each other, and that each informs the others, often creating a complex convergence of oppression." - YW Boston

Crucial Works

INTERSECTIONALITY: Mapping the Movements of a Theory by Carbado, Devon WCrenshaw, Kimberlé WilliamsMays, Vickie MTomlinson, Barbara, DOI:10.1017/S1742058X13000349

Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color (1994) by Crenshaw, K. (2005), DOI: 10.2307/1229039

Toward a Field of Intersectionality Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis by Sumi Cho and Kimberle W. Crenshaw, DOI:10.1086/669608

Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System by Maria Lugones, DOI: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2007.tb01156.x

Politics, Power and Ethics: A Discussion Between Judith Butler and William Connolly, ISSN: 1092-311X

The Future of Sexual Difference: An Interview with Judith Butler and Drucilla Cornell by Pheng Cheah, Elizabeth Grosz, Judith Butler and Drucilla Cornell

The Faces of Intersectionality



What is Pan-Africanism?

"What constitutes Pan-Africanism, what one might include in a Pan-African movement often changes according to whether the focus is on politics, ideology, organizations, or culture. Pan-Africanism actually reflects a range of political views. At a basic level, it is a belief that African peoples, both on the African continent and in the Diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny. This sense of interconnected pasts and futures has taken many forms, especially in the creation of political institutions." - Minkah Makalani, Rutgers University

The Faces of Pan-Africanism



What is Coloniality?

"The coloniality of power is a concept interrelating the practices and legacies of European colonialism in social orders and forms of knowledge, advanced in postcolonial studies and Latin American subaltern studies, most prominently by Anibal Quijano. It identifies and describes the living legacy of colonialism in contemporary societies in the form of social discrimination that outlived formal colonialism and became integrated in succeeding social orders. The concept identifies the racial, political and social hierarchical orders imposed by European colonialism in Latin America that prescribed value to certain peoples/societies while disenfranchising others. Maria Lugones expands the definition of coloniality of power by noting that it imposes values and expectations on gender as well, in particular related to the European ranking of women as inferior to men. The concept was also expanded upon by Ramón Grosfoguel, Walter Mignolo, Sylvia Wynter, and Nelson Maldonado-Torres." - Wikipedia

The Faces of Coloniality


Philosophies of Liberation/Liberation Philosophy

What is Liberation Philosophy?

"The philosophy of liberation aims to think about the distinct world historical character of Latin America, using what are argued to be autochthonous intellectual resources, from out of a situation of economic, cultural, political dependency. It has a practical aim: liberation. In very general terms, the philosophy of liberation defines itself as a counter-philosophical discourse, whether it be as a critique of colonialism, imperialism, globalization, racism, and sexism, which is articulated from out of the experience of exploitation, destitution, alienation and reification, in the name of the projects of liberation, autonomy and authenticity. That is, the philosophy of liberation has presented itself as an “epistemic rupture” that aims to critique and challenge not only basic assumptions and themes of Euro-American philosophy, but also to make philosophy more responsible and responsible for the socio-political situation in which it always finds itself." - Eduardo Mendieta, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Faces of Liberation Philosophy


Globalized Capitalism

What Is Globalized Capitalism?

"Globalisation constitutes a qualitatively new epoch in the ongoing and open-ended evolution of world capitalism, marked by a number of qualitative shifts in the capitalist system and by novel articulations of social power...First is the rise of truly transnational capital and a new global production and financial system into which all nations and much of humanity has been integrated, either directly or indirectly...Second is the rise of a Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), a class group that has drawn in contingents from most countries around the world, North and South, and has attempted to position itself as a global ruling class...The Transnational State (TNS) is constituted as a loose network made up of trans-, and supranational organisations together with national states. The TCC attempts to organise and institutionally exercise its class power through TNS apparatuses. Fourth are novel relations of inequality, domination and exploitation in global society, including an increasing importance of transnational social and class inequalities relative to North-South inequalities." - William I. Robinson

The Faces of Capitalism Theorists/Critics