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Abigail Mann

on 7 October 2015

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European Colonialism
Elizabethan Exploration and Colonial Roots
Concerns of Post Colonial Studies
How does the literary text, explicitly or allegorically, represent various aspects of colonial oppression?
How did the experience of colonization affect those who were colonized while also influencing the colonizers?
How were colonial powers able to gain control over so large a portion of the non-Western world?
What traces have been left by colonial education, science and technology in postcolonial societies?
How do these traces affect decisions about development and modernization in postcolonies?
What were the forms of resistance against colonial control?
To what extent has decolonization (a reconstruction free from colonial influence) been possible?
What does the text reveal about the operations of cultural difference - the ways in which race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, and customs combine to form individual identity - in shaping our perceptions of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live?
How does the text respond to or comment upon the characters, themes, or assumptions of a canonized (colonialist) work?

How did colonial education and language influence the culture and identity of the colonized?
How did Western science, technology, and medicine change existing knowledge systems?
What are the emergent forms of postcolonial identity after the departure of the colonizers?
Are Western formulations of postcolonialism overemphasizing hybridity at the expense of material realities?
Should decolonization proceed through an aggressive return to the pre-colonial past ?
How do gender, race, and class function in colonial and postcolonial discourse? Are new forms of imperialism replacing colonization and how?
Should the writer use a colonial language to reach a wider audience or return to a native language more relevant to groups in the postcolony?
What does the text reveal about the problematics of post-colonial identity, including the relationship between personal and cultural identity and such issues as double consciousness and hybridity?
What person(s) or groups does the work identify as "other" or stranger? How are such persons/groups described and treated?
What does the text reveal about the politics and/or psychology of anti-colonialist resistance?
Are there meaningful similarities among the literatures of different post-colonial populations?
How does a literary text in the Western canon reinforce or undermine colonialist ideology through its representation of colonialization and/or its inappropriate silence about colonized peoples? (Tyson 378-379)
A huge mess of encounters
The European empire is said to have held sway over more than 85% of the rest of the globe by the time of the First World War, having consolidated its control over several centuries. The sheer extent and duration of the European empire and its disintegration after the Second World War have led to widespread interest in postcolonial literature and criticism in our own times.

The list of former colonies of European powers is a long one. They are divided into settler (eg. Australia, Canada) and non-settler countries (India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka). Countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe which were partially settled by colonial populations complicate even this simple division between settler and non-settler. The widely divergent experiences of these countries suggest that “postcolonial” is a very loose term. In strictly definitional terms, for instance, the United States might also be described as a postcolonial country, but it is not perceived as such because of its position of power in world politics in the present, its displacement of native American populations, and its annexation of other parts of the world in what may be seen as a form of colonization. For that matter, other settler countries such as Canada and Australia are sometimes omitted from the category “postcolonial” because of their relatively shorter struggle for independence, their loyalist tendencies toward the mother country which colonized them, and the absence of problems of racism or of the imposition of a foreign language. It could, however, be argued that the relationship between these countries to the mother country is often one of margin to center, making their experience relevant to a better understanding of colonialism.

Specifically, post-colonial critics are concerned with literature produced by colonial powers and works produced by those who were/are colonized. Post-colonial theory looks at issues of power, economics, politics, religion, and culture and how these elements work in relation to colonial hegemony (western colonizers controlling the colonized).Post-colonial criticism also questions the role of the western literary canon and western history as dominant forms of knowledge making. The terms "first-world," "second world," "third world" and "fourth world" nations are critiqued by post-colonial critics because they reinforce the dominant positions of western cultures populating first world status. This critique includes the literary canon and histories written from the perspective of first-world cultures. So, for example, a post-colonial critic might question the works included in "the canon" because the canon does not contain works by authors outside western culture.

Moreover, the authors included in the canon often reinforce colonial hegemonic ideology, such as Joseph Conrad's
Heart of Darkness
. Western critics might consider
Heart of Darkness
an effective critique of colonial behavior. But post-colonial theorists and authors might disagree with this perspective: "as Chinua Achebe observes, the novel's condemnation of European is based on a definition of Africans as savages: beneath their veneer of civilization, the Europeans are, the novel tells us, as barbaric as the Africans. And indeed, Achebe notes, the novel portrays Africans as a pre-historic mass of frenzied, howling, incomprehensible barbarians" (Tyson 374-375).
By the 15-16th centuries: European explorers and ‘diffusion’ (spread) of technology, invention and innovation
the Portuguese and the ‘problem’ of circumnavigating Africa
ocean navigation–ocean currents and the astrolabe
galleys and sailing ships (the caravel)
guns, ships and domination of the spice trade
Era of European Colonialism (1900)
Economic exploitation
Raw materials (timber, food/fiber/oil crops …) used in industrial processes
Often required the destruction of indigenous industry
Technological ‘piracy’
Ethnic co-optation–pitting one ethnic group against another (this was the British strategy)
Human labor and slavery, genocide
Backed by force
Trading companies
Went on for centuries (along with conflict over territories, prized resources)
n 1492 the King of Spain funded the Italian navigator Columbus. Columbus traveling West, convinced that the world globe was smaller than it actually was, stumbled onto what we call today the “West Indies”. He claimed the land for the King of Spain who had bankrolled him, took some Indians as slaves and returned home with them. He died years later still convinced he had discovered a western route to Cathay and the Indies.

Meanwhile, financed and encouraged by their King, Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese were creeping down the West coast of Africa attempting to find an Eastern route to the Indies.

Five years later, in 1498 Portuguese sailors traveling East, found their way around the southern tip of Africa to the west coast of India and the fabled “Indies” (Vasco da Gama 1498),

16th Century --England enters the Race

By the mid 1500’s Spain’s conquistadors had conquered and enslaved the indigenous empires of Central and South America and had set up a Spanish Empire in the interior of the New World. By the late 1500’s massive quantities of gold and silver had been flowing from the Americas into Europe via Spain for nearly half a century—exciting the envy of other European countries.

The Portuguese used a different pattern in the East. They were a nation of only a million people, and in the “Indies” they faced more sophisticated and larger indigenous civilizations than did the Spaniards in the West.

Within a few years of Vasco da Gama’s trip to the Indies, Albuquerque, the Portuguese admiral, set up small Portuguese armed enclaves along the sparsely inhabited Coromandel coast of India, and in certain of the islands of the Indonesian archipelago. These “forts” were the entry and exit points for goods acquired by trade and piracy, not by conquest. Portuguese strategy was to control the East Indies trade by controlling the sea lanes to Europe and the major ports of the East. They were able to do this for close to 150 years before the Dutch and British and French forced them out beginning in the 17th century. (Good short overview article on European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade here.)

In the same year that Queen Elizabeth’s father Henry VIII came to the British throne (1508) the Indian city of Goa became the fortified capital of these Portuguese holdings. By the mid 1500’s spices, perfumes and gems traded for European gold and silver were flowing from India, the Indian Ocean and the Spice Islands through these trading posts, into Europe via Portugal. The treasure of the Americas began to finance Europe, and provided the gold for the spices and textiles of the East.

In 1508 when Henry VIII came to the throne, Britain was a relatively poor, minor Catholic power on the fringes of the Renaissance civilizations of Europe.

When Henry died (1547) he had divorced the King of Spain’s daughter, broken with the Pope, appointed himself head of the Church of England and, to aid a near bankrupt treasury, had closed the English monasteries and appropriated their wealth Not surprisingly, these actions caused a serious rift between Catholic Spain and Portugal on the one hand and Protestant England on the other.

Elizabeth 1 came to the throne in 1558. She inherited an England with no standing army and a depleted treasury. Her major asset was a relatively strong and confident navy built by her father, and an island nation "whose rocky shores beat back the siege of watery Neptune". Britain's island geography defended it from the Spanish Armada in the 16th century, from Napoleon and the French in the 18th century, and from Hitler and Germany in the 20th.

This island nation of 5 million people, was smaller, poorer and far less formidable than her chief adversary Spain, Europe’s then most powerful nation. Nevertheless in 1588, during her reign, the British navy and the British weather defeated an attempted invasion of England by the “invincible” Spanish Armada.

This surprising victory opened a crack in the Spanish and Portuguese monopolies of the treasure routes to America and the Indian Ocean. Elizabeth, short of money, “chartered” English pirates like Drake and Hawkins to harass and plunder Spanish and Portuguese ships and to trade in slaves. Her price was a share of their plunder.

the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.
What were the forms of resistance against colonial control?

How did colonial education and language influence the culture and identity of the colonized?

In "Caliban Upon Setebos," Browning uses very broken language (remember, Prospero boasts he gives Caliban the power of speech) in which it is not clear if Caliban is speaking of himself (whom he sometimes refers to as "he", sometimes as "I" and sometimes speaks of with no pronouns (the start of the poem, for instance..."' Thinketh"= "I Think." This suggests Browning, a white writer in the time of the Victorian age (the greatest extent of colonialism), recognizes that being forced into another language means a subject, such as Caliban, will have a fractured understanding of himself.

This pattern of lack of identity in colonized language changes our analysis of colonial understandings of effects by pointing out that some colonialist writers, at least, were aware that in creating identity through language, they were leaving those who were not ntive to language without a way of understanding themselves .

so what
ARIEL: Sometimes I almost regret it. After all, I might
have turned into a real tree in the end"' Tree: that's a word that really gives me a thrilll It often springs to mind: palm tree - springing into the sky like a fountain ending in nonchalant, squid-like elegance. The baobab - twisted like the soft entrails of some monster. Ask the calao bird that lives a cloistered season in its branches. or the ceiba tree - spread out beneath the proud sun' O bird, o green mansions set in the living earth!
CALIBAN: Dead or alive, she was my mother, and I won't
deny her! Anyhow you only think she's dead because you
think the earth itself is dead... It's so much simpler that way
__squid-like elegance__ is surprisingly like __the baobob_ in terms of _outcome__.By this, I mean _____the outcome__ is ____making Ariel's pleasure be like something from his own, underwater, culture__ in ___squid-like elegance___ and the same holds true in __the baobob tree____ in terms of __how his desire is expressed through something familiar to him_. Noticing this pattern of ____presenting the ultimate outcome through images and concepts familiar to the colonized subject__ suggests that ____Caliban's insistence on Sycorax being alive ____ is also a part of this collation because it _also suggests that the colonizer's desire to see sycorax as dead also arises from his particular way of seeing the world. _.

So What?: Explaining the payoff of your thinking/ writing
This pattern of tracking the way in which outcome can only be understood through the images familiar to the sbject in question changes

our analysis of resistance

suggesting that by staying attached to the concepts and images of their native culture, colonized subjects will naturally resist the goals of the colonizers and the colonizers will falsely think their goals have ben achieved.

__Caliban's shifts how he speaks of himself__ is surprisingly like __the lack of pronouns_ in terms of _reasoning_
By this, I mean _____
the reasoning
__ is __showing Caliban does not have a stable sense of his relation to the world__ in ____the shifts of how he speaks of himself___ and the same holds true in __the lack of pronouns___ in terms of __without the pronoun the reader is often unclear who acts in what ways and why __. Noticing this pattern of ____unclear actors and selves for both Caliban and the reader___ suggests that ____the metaphor of "I make the cry my maker cannot make/ With his great round mouth; he must blow through mine!' ____ is also a part of this collation because it _suggests that tracking who says what is hard to rack and changes the idea of who is in power __.
How were colonial powers able to gain control over so large a portion of the non-Western world?
technology: screens, dials, sci fi noises, ship view

Connect to models: maps, 'earth like planets" "how does this check with old charrts" " no beer, no women, no pool halls"
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