How to Write Postcolonial Histories of Empire?
This chapter states that postcolonial scholarship begins with the assumption that postcolonial histories of empire originate in modes of consciousness and critique developed during the anticolonial struggles of the early 20th century and the bloody processes of mid- and late 20th-century decolonization in European colonies across the globe. Postcolonial scholarship recognizes varied intellectual and cultural debts, in effect extending and complicating the lessons learned by anticolonial nationalists in the early 20th century. This chapter also explains that the limits of the theorists of the Enlightenment were the limits of thought in their historical moment, just as the tensions between different strands of argument were interrelated with the world brought into view by merchants and colonists who accompanied them.
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