Introduction: Deleuze and the postcolonial: Conversations, negotiations, mediations

Simone Bignall

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The collection of essays assembled in this volume constructs a series of conversations between Deleuzian philosophy and postcolonial theory, canvassing the relationship between Deleuze's concepts, the phenomena of the postcolony and the project of decolonisation. As an act of engagement, a ‘conversation’ may take various forms, including ‘speaking with’, ‘speaking to’, ‘speaking about’ and ‘speaking for’. In different ways, the contributions participate in each of these aspects of conversational interaction. The starting premise for this collection, also defining the rationale for its production, concerns the problematic lack of mutuality, or else the mutual disregard, which previous scholarship has highlighted as characteristic of the relationship between Deleuze and the postcolonial. Deleuze does not directly ‘speak with’ the thinkers and writers of the postcolony, and postcolonial theory seldom engages with Deleuzian philosophy in a sustained or comprehensive way, despite the abundance of Deleuzian motifs in postcolonial discourse. When theorists have directly considered postcolonial influences of/upon Deleuzian philosophy, they have usually done so in a critical and dismissive fashion. For some, his failure to relate expressly to postcolonial issues does not simply suggest a careless lack of concern on Deleuze's part, but also the more worrying possibility that his silence on colonialism conceals a certain Eurocentric self-interest, a neo-imperial motivation or a hidden or unacknowledged desire to deflect attention away from the political concerns of the postcolony. Deleuze is accordingly condemned for his lack of explicit engagement with the body of postcolonial thought and with colonialism as a problematic site of analysis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDeleuze and the Postcolonial
    PublisherEdinburgh University
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9780748637010
    ISBN (Print)9780748636990
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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