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From Post-Colonial to Post-Imperial The Case of Europe. Paulo de Medeiros Seminar on Postcolonial Europe. Sweeping historical considerations o Imperialism and colonialism o Modern imperialism and colonialism

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from post colonial to post imperial the case of europe

From Post-Colonial to Post-ImperialThe Case of Europe

Paulo de Medeiros

Seminar on Postcolonial Europe


Sweeping historical considerations

        • o Imperialism and colonialism
        • o Modern imperialism and colonialism
          • Atlantic expansion towards Asia and America (Portugal and Spain)
          • 19th Century scramble for Africa
        • o Decolonisation after WWII
          • Passing of imperial mantle from Europe to USA
          • Late decolonisation (NL, PT) and colonial wars
      • Before Postcolonial Theory
        • o Frantz Fanon
        • o Amílcar Cabral
      • Breaking points
        • o Leeds Center for Commonwealth Literature
        • o Edward Said
          • Orientalism
          • Foucault, Althusser, Gramsci as models
          • Implication of academic studies in the political sphere
          • Criticisms
        • o After ’68: Derrida and feminist theories
      • Spivak and Bhabha
        • o Subaltern, Voice, Hybridity, Mimicry
      • Against postcolonial theory
        • o Arlik and Ahmahd
      • Re-thinking Postcolonial Theory
        • o McClintock and “The Angel of Progress”
        • o Huggan and “The Postcolonial Exotic”
      • From Postcolonial Theory to Post-Imperial Studies: The Question of Europe


Function: noun

1:imperial government, authority, or system

2: the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly: the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence



Function: noun

1: the quality or state of being colonial

2: something characteristic of a colony

3 a: control by one power over a dependent area or people b: a policy advocating or based on such control



Function: noun

: the economic and political policies by which a great power indirectly maintains or extends its influence over other areas or people

Merriam-Webster OnLine



  • Two views:
      • Chronological, that is, after independence
      • Theoretical, that is, as anti-colonial

“For Fanon, being colonized by a languagehas larger implications for one's consciousness: "To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization" (17-18). Speaking French means that one accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of the French, which identifies blackness with evil and sin. In an attempt to escape the association of blackness with evil, the black man dons a white mask, or thinks of himself as a universal subject equally participating in a society that advocates an equality supposedly abstracted from personal appearance. Cultural values are internalized, or "epidermalized" into consciousness, creating a fundamental disjuncture between the black man's consciousness and his body. Under these conditions, the black man is necessarily alienated from himself.”

Source: 1996. Jennifer Poulos.


“The value of culture as an element of resistance to foreign domination   lies in the fact that culture is the vigorous manifestation on the ideological or idealist plane of the physical and historical reality of the society that is dominated or to be dominated. Culture is simultaneously the fruit of a people’s history and a determinant of history, by the positive or negative influence which it exerts on the evolution of relationships between man and his environment, among men or groups of men within a society, as well as among different societies. Ignorance of this fact may explain the failure of several attempts at foreign domination--as well as the failure of some international liberation movements.”

Source: Amílcar Cabral. 1970 (Syracuse University). “ History is a Weapon: National Liberation and Culture”.