Postcolonial Studies: The critical analysis of the history, culture, literature, and modes of discourse that are specific to the former colonies of England, Spain, France, and other European imperial powers.  These studies have focused especially on the Third World countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean islands, and South America.  Some scholars, however, extend the scope of such analyses also to the discourse and cultural productions of such countries as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, which achieved independence much earlier than the Third World countries.  Postcolonial studies sometimes encompass also aspects of British literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, viewed through a perspective that reveals the extent to which the social and economic life represented in the literature was tacitly underwritten by colonial exploitation.


From M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, 6th ed., p. 236. [more]




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