Ashley Harris


From Edward Said’s early investigation into the politics of how theory travels (1983), to Obioma Nnaemeka’s warning that ‘theory-making should not be a unidirectional enterprise — always emanating from a specific location and applicable to every location’ (362), postcolonial scholarship has always been wary of the circuits that prescribe theory making in a global economy of knowledge. Yet, postcolonial theory has not succeeded in avoiding the trap of articulating itself across these same circuits of knowledge production, particularly when it comes to reading the texts and signs of the continent of Africa. The tools of postcolonial studies’ theoretical repertoire have, for the most part, been forged in the academic centres of the West, only encountering African cultural and aesthetic texts via the methodology of application.



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