By V. Andreotti
Andreotti illustrates how postcolonial thought is utilized within the contexts of academic research/critique and in pioneering pedagogical initiatives. She offers an available and important review and comparability of theoretical debates relating to evaluations of Western/Northern hegemony.
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Ashcroft et al. (2000) point out that mimicry exposes a crack in the certainty of the colonizer of the validity of the right to control of the behavior of the colonized Other: “Mimicry reveals the limitation in the authority of colonial discourse, almost as though colonial authority inevitably embodies the seeds of its own destruction” (140). In dealing with the fear created by mimicry, according to Bhabha, colonial authority is essentially dependent on the notion of “fixity” in the ideological construction of Otherness, a process that defines racial differences and produces the colonized as entirely knowable, unchangeable, and predictable.
She argues that globalization is a continuation of this process, and that “the subaltern woman is now to a rather large extent the support of production” (Spivak 1999a, 67). She emphasizes the role of the cultural dimension of imperialism in the creation of the Third World— a process of cultural production and domination she calls “worlding of the West as world” in which Western interests are universalized and naturalized in the rest of world (Spivak 1990). Kapoor (2004) points out that “for Spivak, the epistemic violence of imperialism has meant the transformation of the ‘Third World’ into a sign whose production has been obfuscated to the point that Western superiority and dominance are naturalized” (629).
285) Double Bind of the Subaltern: Critique of Voice and Representation Spivak suggests that a baggage of sanctioned ignorances, as well as one’s institutional positionings, always mediate the representations and engagements with the Third World subaltern. In her critique, she shows that attempts to speak for the subaltern, to enable the subaltern to speak, or even to listen to the subaltern can very easily end up silencing the subaltern. ” (1988), draws on the example of the British intervention, and the local reaction, in relation to the practice of widow sacrifice (sati) in India to demonstrate how both colonial and “native” representations of the oppressed are similarly problematic.
Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education by V. Andreotti