Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Postcolonial Realms of MemorySites and Symbols in Modern France$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Etienne Achille, Charles Forsdick, and Lydie Moudileno

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620665

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620665.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Post and the Postage Stamp

Post and the Postage Stamp

(p.351) Post and the Postage Stamp
Postcolonial Realms of Memory

David Scott

Liverpool University Press

If, as this essay argues, the postage stamp is an exemplary place of memory, what is its status in ‘postcolonial’ guise? To what extent has the stamp been able to free itself from the framing devices (formal and thematic) that governed it in its colonial guise? Or is it, both as place of memory and as instrumental device, condemned to operate in the same way? This paper argues that there can be no ‘post–’ used as a prefix to Post. Although the Post was itself a pre-colonial invention, European imperialism very quickly came to instrumentalize the postage stamp and when the Empire wrote back it sent its messages in the same way, using the same envelopes and forms of legitimization as in colonial times. In this sense, the post-colonial becomes synonymous with ‘universal’ and the scope for subversion of internationally agreed practices is limited to the stamp’s thematic sphere which sometimes, by playing with the signs that conventionally signify ‘place of memory’, can mark a certain irony or signal a critique of the stamp as sign of imposed power or violence. This contribution investigates examples of such practice.

Keywords:   Postage stamp, Semiotics

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.