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Rising Asia and postcolonial geography

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  • Anthropology


There has been much discussion recently about the future of postcolonial theory. Some suggest that it is on the wane, while others defend its continued capacity for transformative critique. This paper contributes to these debates by considering postcolonial geography's future through the prism of ‘Rising Asia’. Rising Asia presents challenges to the spatial matrices underpinning current thinking in postcolonial geography, particularly the global South/North distinction and the histories of colonialism. What is the constituency of, and the emerging collectivities around, Rising Asia? What are the tensions between past, present and future in thinking about Rising Asia? We route our response to these questions by conceptualizing postcolonial geography as a disciplinary performance that draws on its subdisciplines. The argument is developed through three conceptual hooks—field, constituency and temporality—drawn from a reading of Edward Said's works Beginnings: Intention and Method (1975) and On Late Style: Music and Literature against the Grain (2007). Ultimately we do not seek to set an agenda for postcolonial geography; instead we suggest that greater attentiveness to the indeterminacies of postcolonial theory as it passes into postcolonial geography might allow more generative responses to the questions posed by Rising Asia.

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