Skip to main content
Skip to main menu


Postcolonial Studies

As Timothy Brennan argues, postcolonial studies brings together “globalizing features of world history and human societies” and “colonial practices and anticolonial challenges”. The interdisciplinary approach embraced by postcolonial studies provides a variety of academic tools and perspectives to study the social, cultural, and psychological aftermath of colonialism and the identity crisis generated in the wake of decolonization. Independence efforts in the Indian subcontinent following the World War II as well as the grassroots movements targeting colonial regimes in Northern Africa have paved the way towards a rethinking of the power dynamics by challenging Eurocentric and orientalist ways of defining the other. Postcolonial theory disrupts western cultural and political hegemony by “giving natives the permission to tell their own stories”—as Edward Said puts it. An important aspect of this critical approach is to scrutinize the dehumanization and exploitation of the native under colonial rule (Albert Memmi, Aime Cesaire), the formation of national consciousness (Bill Ashcroft et al.), and the role of violence in establishing sovereign states as well as sovereign individuals (Fanon). In addition, postcolonial studies sheds light on the complicated nature of contact zones that prepare the conditions for acculturation, interculturation, cultural synthesis and hybridity (Walcott, Brathwaite, Bhabha) and bolsters discussions about “decoloniality” (Mignolo) to complicate border studies. As postcolonial theory branches into other areas of academic investigation (such as diaspora studies, minority studies, subaltern studies, ethnic studies, etc.), it helps evaluate the shifting significations of “home”—for those who cross borders to abandon their homes of origin to adopt new ones, as well as those who remain in their “natural” homes only to witness significant transformations around them. As we enter the 21st century, postcolonial literature and theory helps reinvigorate recent debates on “world” and “global” literatures, neocolonialism, neoliberalism, decoloniliaty with an eye toward redefining humanism and secularism in new contexts. 


Associate Professor
Assistant Professor
Associate Professor

Research Spotlight

The UGA graduate program in English offers a full range of courses in American literary studies, including standard courses in literary periods, genres, and major authors, as well as topics courses; our approaches and methods are similarly diverse.  We routinely offer author seminars on major…

Support English at UGA

We greatly appreciate your generosity. Your gift enables us to offer our students and faculty opportunities for research, travel, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Support the efforts of the Department of English by visiting our giving section. 
Give Now