Consumer Culture and Postmodernism by Mike Featherstone

The term ‘postmodernism’ “is more strongly based on a negation of the modern, a perceived abandonment, break with or shift away from the definitive features of the modern, with the emphasis firmly on the sense of the relational move away” (3).

“The French use of modernite points to the experience of modernity in which modernity is viewed as a quality of modern life inducing a sense of the discontinuity of time, the break with tradition, the feeling of novelty and sensitivity to the ephemeral, fleeting and contingent nature of the present” (4).

Jameson: “the transformation of reality into images and the fragmentation of time into a series of perpetual presents” (5). Identifies (1984b) two basic features of postmodernism as (1) the transformation of reality into images and (2) a schizophrenic  fragmentation of time into a series of perpetual presents” (42).

We should “focus upon the actual cultural practices and changing power balances of those groups engaged in the production, classification, circulation and consumption of postmodern cultural goods´(5).

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Decolonising the Mind by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Decolonising the Mind by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is a collection of essays that discusses the influence of colonization on African (and applicable to other decolonized nations’) literature, theater, and fiction. It proposes various ways in which decolonized nations, especially Kenya (and Africa) can take their literary works and arts back from the influence of the colonizer. The text also proposes the importance of African languages and there is a constant reference to Chinua Achebe.

Introduction

A “misleading stock interpretation of the African realities has been popularized by the western media which likes to deflect people from seeing that imperialism is still the root cause of many problems in Africa” (1).

Thiong’o looks at the African realities as “they are affected by the great struggle between two mutually opposed forces in Africa today: an imperialist tradition on one hand, and a resistance tradition on the other” (2).

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Disourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire

Discourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire is one of the most important texts in terms of the Negritude Movement and postcolonialism.

This work traces different definitions of colonization and how historical accounts have affected colonialism. Europe is the villain and there are accounts of the brutality of colonialism. European civilization has given rise to to problems: “the problem of the proletariat and the colonial problem” (9).

“What is serious is that ‘Europe’ is morally, spiritually indefensible” (10).

What is colonization? “To agree on what it is not: neither evangelization, nor a philanthropic enterprise, nor a desire to push back the frontiers of ignorance, disease, and tyranny, nor a project undertaken for the greater glory of God, nor an attempt to extend the rule of law” (10). The decisive actors in colonization are: “the adventurer and the pirate,  the wholesale grocer and the ship owner, the gold digger and the merchant, appetite and force, and behind them, the baleful projected shadow of a form of civilization which, at a certain point in its history, finds itself obliged, for internal reasons, to extend to a world scale the completion of its antagonistic economies” (10-11).

Christianity=civilization, paganism=savagery” (11).

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