Postcolonial Theory: 125 Texts

 Richard Wright at Bandung, Indonesia

Richard Wright at Bandung, Indonesia

 
 

The following books are the top 100 books in postcolonial theory (plus 25 honorable mentions).
The list is subjective and idiosyncratic, and, quite possibly, completely wrong.

The list is in alphabetical order by author. The list is the grounding for an annotated and curated online bibliography under the auspices of Oxford University Press (coming soon).

The Top 100

Abu-Lughod, Janet. Before European Hegemony. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Achebe, Chinua. “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,” in Chinua Achebe, Hopes and Impediments. 1988.

Afzal-Khan, Fawzia and Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, eds. The Pre-occupation of Postcolonial Studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.

Ahmad, Aijaz. In Theory. New York: Verso Press, 2008 [1992].

Ahmed, Sara. Strange Encounters. London: Routledge, 2000.

Al-e-Ahmad, Jalal. Occidentosis: A Plague from the West. Berkeley, CA: Mizan Press, 1983.

Amin, Shahid. Event, Metaphor, Memory. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995.

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. New York: Verso Press, 1983.

Appadurai, Arjun. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” Theory Culture Society 7 (1990), pp. 295-310.

Appadurai, Arjun and Carol Breckenridge. “Why Public Culture?” Public Culture, No. 1, Vol. 1. (1988): 5-9.

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. In My Father’s House. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Aravamudan, Srinivas. Tropicopolitans. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.

Arondekar, Anjali. For the Record. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009.

Asad, Talal. Formations of the Secular. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003.

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffins, and Helen Tiffin. The Empire Writes Back. London: Routledge, 2002 [1989].

Baucom, Ian. Specters of the Atlantic. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

Benhabib, Seyla. Another Cosmopolitanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Benitez-Rojo, Antonio. The Repeating Island. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994.

Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994.

Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Brennan, Timothy. At Home in the World: Cosmopolitanism Now. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Cabral, Amilcar. “National Liberation and Culture,” Transitions. No. 45 (1974), pp. 12-17.

Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on Colonialism. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2001 [1950].

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007 [2000].

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” Critical Inquiry 35 (Winter 2009), pp. 197-222.

Chatterjee, Partha. The Nation and its Fragments. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Cheah, Pheng and Bruce Robbins, eds. Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.

Clifford, James and George Marcus, eds. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1986.

Comaroff John and Jean Comaroff. Of Revelation and Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991-1997 (two volumes).

Devji, Faisal. The Impossible Indian. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.

Dirlik, Arif. “The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism,” Critical Inquiry 20 (Winter 1994), pp. 328-356.

Fabian, Johannes. Time and the Other. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014 [1983].

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 2005 [1961].

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. New York: Grove Press, 2008 [1952].

Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: An Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Gandhi, Leela. Affective Communities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006.

Gandhi, Leela. The Common Cause. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Gandhi, M.K. and Anthony Parel (ed.). Hind Swaraj. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2009.

Gaonkar, D. (ed.) (2001). Alternative Modernities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Glissant, Édouard. The Poetics of Relation. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Goldberg, D.T., Quayson, A., eds. Relocating Postcolonialism. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2002.

Guha, Ranajit, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, eds. Selected Subaltern Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Hall, Stuart. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora,” in Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, eds. Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, pp. 227-237.

Harlow, Barbara and Mia Carter, eds. Archives of Empire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

Hook, Derek. A Critical Psychology of the Postcolonial. London: Routledge, 2012.

James, C.L.R. Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth University Press, 2001 [1953].

James, C.L.R. The Black Jacobins. New York: Vintage, 1989 [1936].

Lamming, George. The Pleasures of Exile. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1992 [1960].

Lazarus, Neil. The Postcolonial Unconscious. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. London: Routledge, 2005 [1998].

Loomba, Ania, Suvir Kaul, Matt Bunzl, Antoinette Burton, Jed Etsy, eds. Postcolonial Studies and Beyond. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

Lowe, Lisa. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018 [1997].

Mahmood, Saba. Politics of Piety. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011 [2004].

Mani, Lata. Contentious Traditions. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.

Mannoni, Octave. Prospero and Caliban. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1991 [1956].

Masuzawa, Tomoko. The Invention of World Religions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Mbembe, Achille. On the Postcolony. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001.

Mbembe, Achille. Critique of Black Reason. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

McClintock, Anne. Imperial Leather. London: Routledge, 1994.

McKittrick, Katherine, ed. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

Mehta, Uday Singh. Liberalism and Empire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Memmi, Albert. The Colonizer and the Colonized. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991 [1957].

Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of the Renaissance. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2003.

Mitchell, Timothy and Anupama Rao, et. al., “Mission Statement and Responses,” Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East Vol. 33, No. 2 (2013), 135-158.

Mohanty, Chandra Tapalde. Feminism Without Borders. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

Moraña, Mabel, Enrique D. Dussel, Carlos A. Jáuregui, eds. Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

Nandy, Ashis. The Intimate Enemy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009 [1983].

Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Decolonising the Mind. London: Heinemann, 1986.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.

Perry, Benita. “Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discourse.” Oxford Literary Review Vol. 9, No. 1/2 (1987), pp. 27-58.

Povinelli, Elizabeth. The Cunning of Recognition. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London: Routledge, 2007 [1992].

Puar, Jasbir. Terrorist Assemblages. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017 [2007].

Rajan, Rajeswari Sunder. Real and Imagined Women. London: Routledge, 1993.

Robinson, Cedric. Black Marxism. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000 [1983].

Rushdie, Salman. Midnight’s Children. New York: Random House, 2006 [1981].

Said, Edward. Reflections on Exile and Other Essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Said, Edward. Humanism and Democratic Critique. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage, 1979.

Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage, 1993.

Scott, David. Refashioning Futures. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Scott, David. Conscripts of Modernity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.

Senghor, Leopold Sedar. “Negritude: A Humanism of the Twentieth-Century,” in in Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, eds. Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.        

Shohat, Ella. “Notes on the ‘Post-Colonial,’” Social Text no. 31/32, 1992.

Skaria, Ajay. Unconditional Equality. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg, eds., Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1988, pp. 271-314.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. Critique of Postcolonial Reason. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Stoler, Ann Laura. Race and the Education of Desire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995.

Trinh T. Minh-Ha. Woman, Native, Other. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009 [1989].

Wilder, Gary. Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

Williams, Eric. Capitalism and Slavery. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994 [1944].

Williams, Patrick and Laura Chrisman, eds. Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Viswanathan, Gauri. Masks of Conquest. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014 [1989].

Viswanathan, Gauri. Outside the Fold. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Young, Robert J.C. Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction. London: Blackwell, 2001.

Young, Robert J.C. Postcolonial Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Young, Robert J.C. “Postcolonial Remains,” New Literary History 43 (2012), pp. 19-42.

 

Honorable Mentions

Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large.

Balibar, Étienne. We the People of Europe?

Burton, Antoinette and Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, eds. Archive Stories.

Césaire, Aimé. Notebook of my Return to the Native Land.

Dirks, Nicholas, ed. Colonialism and Culture.

Dirlik, Arif. “Is There History After Eurocentrism?”

Gandhi, Leela. “The Pauper’s Gift”

Glissant, Éduoard. Caribbean Discourse.  

Hall, Stuart. Stranger Familiar.

Hartman, Saidiya. Scenes of Subjection.

Hartman, Saidiya. Lose Your Mother.

JanMohammed, Abdul. Manichean Aesthetics.

Kakir, Sudhir. The Colors of Violence.

Maclean, Kama and J. Daniel Elam. “Who is a Revolutionary?”

Mudimbe, V.Y., The Invention of Africa.

Reddy, Gayatri. With Respect to Sex.

Said, Edward. The World, the Text, the Critic.

Sartre, Jean Paul. Black Orpheus.

Scott, J. Barton. Spiritual Despots.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. The Death of a Discipline

Stoler, Ann Laura. Along the Archival Grain.

Taylor, Christopher. Empire of Neglect.

Wenzel, Jennifer. Bulletproof.

Wolf, Eric. Europe and the People Without History.

Young, Robert J.C. White Mythologies