Postcolonial

The word “postcolonial” refers (1) to a period or state following (that is, “post”) colonialism, and (2) to the effects of colonization upon cultures, peoples, places, and textuality. The terms most often associated with “postcolonial” are “imperialism,” which denotes the formation of an empire, and “colonialism,” which refers to the establishment of colonies by an imperial power that maintains control over them. The first usage of “postcolonial” (or “post-colonial”) identified in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) occurs in 1883 in the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (White 1883), where it denotes “occurring or existing after the end of colonial rule.” This association of the word with practices whereby history is divided into distinct periods (periodization) is sustained well into the twentieth century; for instance, the OED cites the following quotation from Gavin Black’s The Golden Cockatrice in 1975: “If there’s one thing worse than . . . rampant colonialism …

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