Die Untersuchung von Formen und Mechanismen der Unterdrückung der ehemaligen Kolonien der europäischen Staaten und deren Fortwirken bis in die Gegenwart.

I believe we are living in a post-colonialism era.
B. Graham in Bridgeport (Connecticut) Telegram 9. Dez. 1955, S. 43.

I want to speak specifically about […] the obstacles or difficulties which are posed to economic development by what I will term the politics of post-colonialism. The economic effects of the colonial past hang over the present and present obstacles to efficient mobilization of the economy for development.
John H. Dalton: The predicaments of African developments, in: Social Science 36 (1961), S. 239-246, hier S. 239f.

We live in a post-colonial neo-colonized world. And we should teach our students to find a toe-hold out of which they can become critical
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: The Post-Colonial Critic. Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, hg. von Sarah Harasym, New York 1990, S. 166.

(or often post-colonialism) deals with the effects of colonization on cultures and societies. As originally used by historians after the Second World War in terms such as the post-colonial state, ‘postcolonial’ had a clearly chronological meaning, designating the post-independence period. However, from the late 1970s the term has been used by literary critics to discuss the various cultural effects of colonization. Although the study of the controlling power of representation in colonized societies had begun in the late 1970s with texts such as Said’s Orientalism, and led to the development of what came to be called colonialist discourse theory in the work of critics such as Spivak and Bhabha, the actual term ‘postcolonial’ was not employed in these early studies of the power of colonialist discourse to shape and form opinion and policy in the colonies and metropolis. Spivak, for example, first used the term ‘postcolonial’ in the collection of interviews and recollections published in 1990 called The Postcolonial Critic. Although the study of the effects of colonial representation were central to the work of these critics, the term ‘postcolonial’ per se was first used to refer to cultural interactions within colonial societies in literary circles (e.g. Ashcroft et al. 1977). This was part of an attempt to politicize and focus the concerns of fields such as Commonwealth literature and the study of the so-called New Literatures in English which had been initiated in the late 1960s. The term has subsequently been widely used to signify the political, linguistic and cultural experience of societies that were former European colonies.
Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths und Helen Tiffin: Postcolonialism/Post-colonialism, in: dies.: Post-Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts, 3. Aufl., London 2013, S. 204-209, hier S. 204.

with the 1980s it [scil. postcolonialism] became identified with a way of reading and interpretation, a theory and a methodology, that examines the nature of Euro‐American nations’ conquest, domination and exploitation of countries and cultures in South America, Asia, Africa and regions like Canada and Australia. This domination mode of postcolonial inquiry tracks both historically (the period of European empires) and in the contemporary (neocolonialism). Postcolonialism is the academic‐cultural component of the condition of postcoloniality. It represents a theoretical approach on the part of the formerly colonized, the subaltern and the historically oppressed, in literary‐cultural studies informed by a particular political stance, using the prism of race and the historical context of colonialism, to analyze texts, even as it seeks to produce critical commentary that serves an act of cultural resistance to the domination of Euro‐American epistemic and interpretive schemes. Central to postcolonialism’s academic project since the 1980s is a study of discourses and rhetoric, involving a re‐examination of colonial writings and representations to unravel the racial‐racist subtexts, to excavate buried native (non‐European) histories and to map the resistance offered to colonialism. Postcolonialism also studies the psychological and cultural impact of colonial rule on the non‐European, arguing that the native’s subjectivity was itself formed, as Frantz Fanon famously demonstrated, within the violently unstable crucible of colonialism. It seeks to examine the nature of the colonized subject’s agency in the face of oppression and dominance. The political position adopted in these interpretations is marked by the commitment to ideas of emancipation, equality and justice.
Pramod K. Najar: Postcolonialism, in: ders.: The Postcolonial Studies Dictionary, Malden, Mass. 2015, S. 122-124, hier S. 122.

, kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Theorierichtungen, die aus den anti-imperialen und dekolonialen Kämpfen (u. a. Fanon; Césaire) des 20. Jahrhunderts hervorgegangen sind. P. wurde als Denkströmung zunächst in den Literaturwissenschaften unter Einfluss poststrukturalistischer und nicht-westlicher Konzepte etabliert (u. a. Said; Spivak; Bhabha). P. bezeichnet nicht das Ende des Kolonialismus, sondern das hartnäckige Fortleben kolonialer politischer, kultureller und epistemischer Strukturen. Kolonialismus wird als konstitutiv für die Geschichte und Gegenwart der westlichen Moderne und ihre zentralen Kategorien verstanden und kritisiert. Die postkoloniale Diskussion interessiert sich u. a. für essentialisierende Konstruktionen des Anderen (z.B. Orientalismus), aber auch für die Hybridisierung kolonialer Identitäten. Zentral ist die Frage, wie von der hegemonialen westlichen Modernität verworfene Wissensformen und Identitäten (subaltern studies) sichtbar gemacht werden können. Gleichzeitig geht damit auch eine Relativierung universaler Kategorien einher, was zu unterschiedlichen Bewegungen der Provinzialisierung der Moderne geführt hat. P. wird erst seit kurzem in der Soziologie rezipiert, was nicht zuletzt mit dem verstärkt aufzuarbeitenden kolonialen Erbe der Soziologie zusammenhängt.
Urs Stäheli: [Art.] Postkolonialismus, in: Daniela Klimke et al. (Hg.): Lexikon zur Soziologie, 6. Aufl., Wiesbaden 2020, S. 594f.



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

Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths und Helen Tiffin: Post-Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts, 3. Aufl. London 2013.

Ina Kerner: Postkoloniale Theorien zur Einführung, Hamburg 2012.

Vivek Chibber: Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital, London 2013.

Pramod K. Najar: The Postcolonial Studies Dictionary, Malden, Mass. 2015.

María do Mar Castro Varela und Nikita Dhawan: Postkoloniale Theorie. Eine kritische Einführung, 2. Aufl. Bielefeld 2015.