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The Postcolonial EnlightenmentEighteenth-Century Colonialism and Postcolonial Theory$
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Daniel Carey and Lynn Festa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199677597.001.0001

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Reading Contrapuntally

Reading Contrapuntally

Robinson Crusoe, Slavery, and Postcolonial Theory

(p.105) 3 Reading Contrapuntally
The Postcolonial Enlightenment

Daniel Carey

Oxford University Press

This chapter expresses that postcolonial scholarship has been attuned to the disjunction in the period between politics of liberation and autonomy, which coincides at the same time with imperial expansion and the subjugation of native peoples, and new ethics of equality that nonetheless occurs in an era of slavery unprecedented in its scale and brutality. Sorting out the relationship to historical events and injustices has led to alternative accounts of subjectivity, agency, and power, and new narratives describing the ostensible rise and progress of civilization and reason. This chapter also takes into account the exemplary narratives that allegorize history, restraining the signifying potential of literature and surplus of meaning which constitutes its resourcefulness and political potential.

Keywords:   postcolonial scholarship, liberation, autonomy, imperial expansion, slavery, narratives

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