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Post-Colonialisms (II). (Post-)Colonial Identities and Strategies of Resistance. 1. Colonialism, Orientalism and Racism 3. Hybridity and the Other Postcolonial Questions. Starting Questions. Any questions about your readings?

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post colonialisms ii

Post-Colonialisms (II)

(Post-)Colonial Identities and Strategies of Resistance

1. Colonialism, Orientalism and Racism

3. Hybridity and the Other Postcolonial Questions

starting questions
Starting Questions
  • Any questions about your readings?
  • What have you learned so far re. colonialism and postcolonialism?
  • A Review and Overview
  • Colonial & Racial Identities
  • Postcolonial Identities
post colonialism a review and overview
Post-Colonialism: A Review and Overview
  • Colonialisms & Racism
    • Problems with the term “post-colonial” (textbook 4: 290-94)
    • Definitions & Their Interconnections (thru’ capitalism)
    • Cultural Imperialism (Orientalism) & examples of Colonial Other (e.g. Stedman)
    • Racism –Stereotypes; Containment and Appropriation.
    • New: Colonial Identities and their Revision
    • Race and Representation
    • Mimicry and the Subaltern

2. Post-Colonial Identities

    • Language & Literature
    • History
    • Identity Construction
      • Strategies
      • Examples of ‘identity politics’
colonial texts identities their revisions
Colonial Texts/Identities & their Revisions
  • Major Texts frequently revised:
      • The Tempest, --17th c. –usurpation and abandonment; (Caliban)
      • Robinson Crusoe– 18th c. –a colony established (Friday) – Foe by J. M. Coetzee
      • Jane Eyre, -- 19th c – a woman brought back home. (Other in the Self; Bertha) WSS
      • Heart of Darkness. --20th c.—material pursuit/spiritual disintegration (Kurtz’ Self discovery; black mistress and the intended.)
      • Mansfield Park (Sir Thomas textbook 3: 275-76) –
  • Ways of revision:
      • re-defined certain features of colonizers or colonial relations, or re-centering some ignored characters
the tempests
The Tempests
  • Contemporary revisions: (general trends)


the tempests postcolonial interpretations 1
The Tempests—Postcolonial Interpretations (1)
  • Ethnopsychiatry (D. O. Mannoni)
  • Caliban complex –that of inferiority and dependency
  • “When thou cam'st first,Thou strok'st me and made much of me; wouldst give meWater with berries in't; and teach me howTo name the bigger light, and how the less,That burn by day and night: and then I lov'd thee,And show'd thee all the qualities o' th' isle,The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place, and fertile.

. . . and here you sty meIn this hard rock,”

ethnopsychiatry caliban complex
Ethnopsychiatry: Caliban complex
  • –that of inferiority and dependency
    • Gifts with self-interest  return of love and Dependency  betrayal or demands of more gifts from the colonized (textbook 4: 278)
    • Use and abuse the language taught (281)
    • Another interpretation by F. Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth

Caliban needs to use violence --cathartic violence to cleanse him of his inferiority complex.

ethnopsychiatry 2 prospero complex
Ethnopsychiatry: (2) Prospero complex
  • –that of inferiority/superiority and escape/vocation
    • Hidden in the assumptions of the superiority of European culture
    • Inability to adapt to reality  flight from home or with a desire to travel;
    • Excessive idealism.
    • “Prospero anxiety” (over Caliban’s rebellion) and “sexual guilt” (over the possibility of incest thus feeling threatened by both Ferdinand and Caliban in their confidence in their sexual appeal.) (Zabus 22-23)
ethnopsychiatry 3 prospero complex
Ethnopsychiatry: (3) Prospero complex
  • Do you agree with this interpretation?
  • Can you find examples of people with Caliban complex or Prospero complex? (textbook 4: 279)
  • There are variations in the interpretation of these two prototypes. But Prospero—for whatever reasons—attempts to subject the Other, and the two are caught in a master-slave mutual dependency.
  • How about Ariel and Miranda?
    • Miranda, one of the two children of Prospero (280)
    • Ariel -- Intellectual Go-between (messenger)
  • Type-casting can always be limiting and simplifying, despite the truths they reveal about “some” people.
race definition textbook 4 285 86
Race: Definition (textbook 4: 285-86)
  • Constructionism: Racial attributes (e.g. what being a “Chinese” means) not seen as naturally born, but as socially acquired. (e.g. Focus, Black Like Me)
  • The classification (biological) of humans into races is now widely regarded as arbitrary from a biological viewpoint because actual genetic differences between racial groups are trivial.

e.g. Up from Slavery, Black Like Me, Focus

2. However, racial groups are real in a sociological sense insofar as people with different skin colour, etc., are commonly positioned and treated differently. (

  • In other words, race is now not ‘essentially’ defined, but more of a social-historical construction.  strategic use of essentialism or ethnicity. (textbook 4: 298-99)
race different definitions
Race: Different definitions
  • new racism -- involves the belief that the races are inherently different from one another in a cultural and behavioural sense, and problems result when they try to live together.
  • Different definitions of race in different nations; e.g. race related to nationality in UK and in Taiwan, but not in the U.S.
  • Subtler forms of racism: containment and appropriation.
race anti essentialist definition vs literary appropriation
Race: Anti-Essentialist Definition vs. Literary Appropriation
  • The problematic argument of “authenticity” (TEXTBOOK 4: 288)
    • What do you think about a white writer’s pretending to be of another racial group in order to win a literary prize?
    • The Education of Little Tree (by by Asa Earl Carter under the pseudonym Forrest Carter)
  • What do you think about the presentation of the aborigines in mainstream American/Taiwanese texts? (e.g., 流浪神狗人, Obasan’s inclusioDances with Wolvesn of Rough Lock Bill?) (TEXTBOOK 4: 296-97)
race anti essentialist definition vs literary appropriation14
Race: Anti-Essentialist Definition vs. Literary Appropriation
  • Different Responses:
    • Appropriation of “Indian Mythology” (Lee Maracle)  falsehood and mythologizing.
    • OK if done with caution(Atwood)
    • the problem of speaking position and marketability
    • The issue of tokenism (speaking as, representability)  the dominant group determining what is visible and marketable and thus what gets represented.
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding – always imperfect (300) [more later]
colonial identities 1 mimicry textbook 5 464
Colonial Identities (1) : Mimicry (textbook 5: 464-)
  • Orientalism – The colonized “fixed” or simplified as Other.
  • Between the colonizer and the colonized:

-- Self defined in terms of the Other: the two are thus inseparable and mutually dependent;

-- Uncertainty of the colonizers

    • Stereotyping as “fetishism” -- revealed through their repetition, which is also a process of "recognition and disavowal of racial/cultural/historical differences"
    • Undermined by mimicry (which is all the same but not quite).  Hybrid
    • Two possible critiques of this view:
      • armchair theory, not realistic;
      • too general and abstract.
mimicry theory examples
Mimicry: Theory & Examples
  • (See textbook chap 5: 469)
  • Ambivalence between producing a “reformed, recognizable Other” and insisting on difference
  • Ambivalence between avowal and disavowal of castration
    • e.g. Taiwanese Imitation of Madonna;
    • E.g. Michael Jackson
  • “The Man Who Would be King”
colonial identities mimicry and the subaltern
Colonial Identities: Mimicry and the Subaltern

The Subaltern cannot speak (Spivak).




Colonial Mimicry:

All the same but not quite-- Indian gentleman or Indian celebration of U.K.’s national day.

colonial identities the subaltern g spivak textbook 465
Colonial Identities: the Subaltern: G. Spivak(textbook 465)
  • Spivak focuses on racial, gender and class differences, acknowledging her position as a third-world intellectual.
  • Unlike the intellectuals, the Subaltern can not speak. –The colonized who are not given the language to speak, or whose voices are not heard, leave no mark in official history.
  • e.g. Sati and a woman killing herself at a time not proper for Sati (寡婦殉夫).
  • Possible criticism: the subaltern can speak and have been expressing themselves a lot.
postcolonial identities ii language
Postcolonial Identities —II. Language
  • “The Caliban legacy” to give up using the master’s language; to claim English as their own language and change it  englishes;
  • For Afro-Americans, Australians and Canadians, English is their only language.
postcolonial identities ii language 2 strategies
Postcolonial Identities —II. Language (2) --Strategies

1. Preserving and developing one’s mother tongues with Romanization, etc.

2. Changing or reversing or confusing the language hierarchy

e.g. the use of Taiwanese and Hakka in Taiwan 客家話; the value of Chinglish

3. mixing languages with different strategies of translation:

(Three stages of the use of colonizer’s language: Adopt, Adapt, Adept)

-- e.g. “My Man Bovanne” -- re-naming vs. Ms. Hazel’s language

postcolonial identities iii filmic literary re visioning taiwan s history
Postcolonial Identities —III. Filmic/Literary Re-Visioning Taiwan’s History
  • Signs and Spaces of Identity:
  • Japanese rule
      • 《無言的山丘》(miners and prostitutes in 金瓜石)
      • 《阿爸的情人》(14: Tanaka’s castrated identity)
      • 《戲夢人生》* (4, 5: Puppet Show)
    • 228 & White Terror –Taiwanese Perspective
        • 《好男好女》(6: 1950’s )
        • 《1947高砂百合》( traced back to the aborigines in the Japanese rule, and with Dutch missionaries 1652, see here)

3) Immigration to Taiwan -- Mainland Chinese perspectives (e.g. soldiers/immigrants)

        • 《香蕉的天堂》false identities、
        • 《淚王子》(Happy Prince and natural landscape) – air force white terror
        • 《牯嶺街少年殺人事件》--1960’s Taipei gangs, the influence of American culture
postcolonial identities iii re visioned taiwan s history postmodern autoethnography
Postcolonial Identities —III. Re-Visioned Taiwan’s History  postmodern autoethnography

As autoethnography (textbook chap 5: 471)

  • forms of self-representation by colonised others which appropriate and engage with the traditions of their colonizers
  • Ray Chow – challenges the subject/object split in the Orientalist gaze: in autoethnography 'the experience of being looked at' and the 'memory of past objecthood' is 'the primary event in cross-cultural representation'.
postcolonial identities iii re visioned taiwan s history postmodern autoethnography24
Postcolonial Identities —III. Re-Visioned Taiwan’s History  postmodern autoethnography
  • Postmodern autoethnography
    • -- Beyond autobiography and identity politics “Autoethnographic forms of representation address questions of identity, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, authenticity, elite and popular by situating the national within a transnational global traffic of mixed media and commodity capitalism. ”
  • engages with the hybridity, mediation,'contamination' and 'corruption' of postcolonial forms of expression
  • E.g. The Woman Warrior and 《1947高砂百合》
postcolonial identities iii filmic literary re visioning taiwan s history25
Postcolonial Identities —III. Filmic/Literary Re-Visioning Taiwan’s History

4) Examples of neo-colonialism, colonial mimicry and “third-world” intellectuals’ positions

  • The American Armies in Taiwan -- 《太平.天國》(our example)、
  • The Japanese〈莎優拉娜.再見〉、〈小寡婦〉、〈玫瑰玫瑰我愛你〉、 〈蘋果的滋味〉等

5) Examples of Taiwanese hybridity (next time)

postcolonial identities iii identity and strategies

Separatism (Nativism),

Integration, Active participation,


Beyond identity


Essentialist Construction



Cultural Syncreticism,

Consciously Subversive Mimicry


Postcolonial Identities —III. Identity and Strategies

Purity & Authenticity

Duality --hyphenation

Beyond Identity Politics

postcolonial identities iii hybridity different kinds
Postcolonial Identities —III. Hybridity –different kinds
  • Hybrid identity as energizing and empowering, but not derivative.

(Against Multiculturalism, or the idea of authenticity and purity)

  • Cultural Difference: with gaps and fissures in need of constant negotiation.
  • “Culture as a strategy of survival is both transnational and translational. ” (HomiBhabha)
conscious mimicry
Conscious Mimicry
  • Yong Soon Min Make Me, 1989
conscious mimicry parody
Conscious Mimicry/Parody
  • Ken Chu
  • I Need some More Hair Products (1988)
my man bonvanne
“My Man Bonvanne”
  • The setting? Beginning?
  • Old Folks: Why does Miss Hazel dance so closely with Bonvanne? What role does she play in her relationship with Bovanne? (p. 3-4 "Wasn't about tits.”; p. 5, 9-10)
  • Black Nationalists: Her children’s disagreement and Ms. Hazel’s response (Joe Lee p. 4, Elo pp. 5-6, and Task p. 6 )
  • What does the last bathing ritual mean?
my man bonvanne32
“My Man Bonvanne”
  • the Activists or intellectuals. vs. “Grass Roots” People (pp. 3, 6)
  • Identity politics  Political correctness

1. Focus too much on their cause and ignore a real contact with the ‘people’ they should care about. (3)

2. In the children’s criticism of their mother: (5-7)

-- they are fixated on their views of proper dress, proper “Black” appearance and proper things to do for the elderly, ignoring their really needs (emotional, sexual and material).

  • 3. re-naming: Nisi  Tamu

Ms. Hazel – When asked to organize a council of elders, she said: “Me? Didn nobody ask me nuthin. Tamu? You mean Nisi? She change her name?” (p. 6, also p. 8)

my man bonvanne33
“My Man Bonvanne”
  • Old Folks: personal connections with the narrator
    • blind people got a humming jones if you notice (3)  Not jammin my breasts into the man. Wasn't bout tits. Was bout vibrations. (4)
    • Bovanne – “a nice ole gent from the block” –useless for the Black Nationalists
    • Dances with him because he is ignored by the others; offering “a little Mama comfort”
  • with Elo 7-8 – “I carried that child strapped to her chest until she was nearly two” (7)
  • Self-assertive -- How come nobody ax me (6, 8)
my man bonvanne ending
“My Man Bonvanne”: Ending
  • Respect and Care for the Old Folks
      • Give him a nice warm bath with jasmine leaves in the water … (9)
      • "Cause you gots to take care of the older folks. ... Cause old folks is the nation. That what Nisi was saying and I mean to do my part" (9-10).
    • self-confirmation
      • “I surely am [a very pretty woman]” –
you have learned
You have learned . . .

A. Colonialism

  • More examples of race and Racism (e.g. Containment and Appropriation)
  • Colonial Types (Prospero complex and Caliban complex) in The Tempest
  • Mimicry and the Subaltern

2. Post-Colonial Identities

    • Language and Identity
    • Different ways of constructing Colonial History
    • Identity Construction – positions (Separatism/Nativism Active participation, Assimilation), and strategies (Re-Creation, Cultural Syncreticism, Mimicry)
    • Beyond identity politics
we will talk more about
We will talk more about . . .
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Identities in the contemporary world
  • Can the Subaltern speak? (The Piano & Buddha Bless America)
  • Essentialism vs. Constructionism
  • Globalization & “Multiculturalism”—its different forms.
  • Kseniya Simonova’s sand drawing of Ukrainian history during WWII.
    • 1941年,烏克蘭被德國法西斯佔領,
    • 1944年10月,烏克蘭全境解放。
    • 1945年10月,烏克蘭蘇維埃社會主義共和國作為一個非獨立國同蘇聯一起加入聯合國。
    • 1991年8月24日,烏克蘭脫離蘇聯,宣佈獨立,並改國名為烏克蘭。