A Critical Analysis of Issues in Postcolonial- Ecocriticism

  • Caleb Monday Jonah
Keywords: West/Other binary, postcolonialism, ecocriticism, place, human/nature dichotomy


Scholarship within literary discourse, at present, transcends the independent status for which a particular analytic paradigm is known. The irresolvable plurality of “identity” within the realm of literary criticism makes the merger of several literary theories much more seamless than in antique, medieval and renaissance periods. This merger of literary theories, however, raises more issues than answers. Therefore, this paper explores the contradictions in postcolonial-ecocriticism. It critically analyses some of the contending issues that the fusion of these two distinct fields has raised in the selected essays of Rob Nixon, Elizabeth DeLoughery, Griffin Huggan and Helen Triffin. The idea of place is the connecting rod between Postcolonialism and Ecocriticism since postcolonialism focuses on the re-imagining of the history of a colonised place while ecocriticism critically theorises for a return to or a conservation of a pristine place. One the one hand, both theories are distinct in their methodology and on the other, both seem to thrive on upturning binaries: for postcolonialism, the West/Other binary, and for ecocriticism, the Human/Nature binary. Also, postcolonialism favours discourses from and of former colonies while ecocriticism venerates the American and British models of nature. This paper therefore concludes that an understanding of a former colonised people and their attachment to place can be understood when binaries are dissolved. In critical discourse, there should be a free play and not an upturning of the West/ Other, Human/Nature dichotomies.

Keywords: West/Other binary, postcolonialism, ecocriticism, place, human/nature dichotomy


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print ISSN: 2141-9744