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Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World$
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Charles Forsdick and David Murphy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319808

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date: 23 January 2018

From Colonial to Postcolonial: Reflections on the Colonial Debate in France

From Colonial to Postcolonial: Reflections on the Colonial Debate in France

Chapter:
(p.295) Chapter 24 From Colonial to Postcolonial: Reflections on the Colonial Debate in France
Source:
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World
Author(s):

Nicolas Bancel

Pascal Blanchard

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846319808.025

Postcolonial studies – or postcolonial theory – has been a firmly established discipline within the Anglophone academy. In France, however, it has gained legitimacy only in English-language contexts owing to conservatism in French universities, resistance to a school of thought that proposes a critical interpretation of universalism, and rejection of the ‘national narrative’ and republican history. Contrary to the notion that postcolonialism simply mirrors a reconfiguration of ‘Third Worldism’ or an ‘anachronistic’ resurgence of anti-colonialism, postcolonial thought is inexorably opposed to teleology. On one hand, it is associated with violence triggered by a cogent use of reason, a manifestation of which is colonialism. On the other hand, postcolonial thought highlights the conflict between a particular form of European ethics and the implementation of a set of colonial and postcolonial politics and practices characterised by excessive violence, both real and symbolic.

Keywords:   France, postcolonial studies, postcolonial theory, universities, universalism, postcolonial thought, violence, colonialism, ethics

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