Identity, Text, Positioning: On Edward Said’s “Voyage in” as Politics of Resistance
Critics often accuse Orientalism of totalizing Orientalist discourse and failing to theorize resistance both within and outside it. Probably in response to this criticism, Edward Said proposes “voyage in” as a mode of resistance in Culture and Imperialism, which is defined as the conscious effort of Third World writers and critics to enter into and transform the dominant Western discourses so as to repatriate their marginalized histories. “Voyage in” cannot be simply regarded as “write back” or counter-discourse; it actually covers three aspects of Said’s politics of resistance: how to construct ethnic or national identities and guard against identity politics, how to adopt and adapt the colonial discourse while being aware of its colonialist ideologies, and how to position Third World writers and critics within the Western metropolis. The paper aims to explore these problems through a systematic study on the textual and political implications of Said’s “voyage in” as politics of resistance. It argues that Said’s “voyage in” as politics of resistance constitutes the problematic: 1) it asserts counter-discourse as a mode of resistance without any explicit discussion of other issues involved, such as the construction of ethnic and national identities, the subjective agency of the colonized natives, the metropolitan location and positioning of Third World intellectuals; 2) it insists on holding a resisting position from within the power structures of metropolitan discursive and institutional practices, and valorizes the individual’s critical consciousness as the self-sufficient subjective agency immune from the constitutive effect of those practices for producing resistance; 3) it provides a potential mode of theorizing resistance that depends on both the hybrid nature of colonial discourse and the colonial subject’s agency embodied as critical consciousness.
Key words: Edward Said; “Voyage in”; Resistance; Politics of resistance
Ahmad, Aijaz (1992). In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures. New York: Verso.
Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso.
Appiah, Kwame Anthony (1992). In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. London: Methuen.
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, & Helen Tiffin (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London and New York: Routledge.
Ashcroft, Bill (1997). Globalism, Post-Colonialism and African Studies. In Pal Ahluwalia & Paul Nursey-Bray (Ed.), Post-colonialism: Culture and Identity in Africa (pp. 11-26). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Bhabha, Homi K. (1994). The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge.
Brennan, Timothy (2004). From Development to Globalization: Postcolonial Studies and Globalization Theory. In Neil Lazarus (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (pp. 120-138). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chatterjee, Partha (1986). Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse? London: Zed.
Childs, Peter, & Patrick Williams (1997). An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory. London: Prentice Hall.
Clifford, James (1988). The Predicament of Culture. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.
Dirlik, Arif (1994). The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism. Critical Inquiry, 20, 328-356.
Donato, Eugenio (1976). “Here, Now”/“Always, Already”: Incidental Remarks on Some Recent Characterizations of the Text. Diacritics, 6, 24-29.
Fanon, Frantz (1967). The Wretched of the Earth (Constance Farrington, Trans.). Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Ganguly, Keya (2002). Adorno, Authenticity, Critique. In Crystal Bartolovich & Neil Lazarus (Eds.), Marxism, Modernity and Postcolonial Studies (pp. 240-256). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gilroy, Paul (1993). The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.
Hall, Stuart (1993). Cultural Identity and Diaspora. In Patrick Williams & Laura Chrisman (Eds.), Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader (pp. 392-403). New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Kennedy, Valerie (2000). Edward Said: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Landry, Donna & Gerald MacLean (Eds.). (1996). The Spivak Reader: Selected Works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. London and New York: Routledge.
Miyoshi, Masao (1993). A Borderless World? From Colonialism to Transnationalism and the Decline of the Nation-State. Critical Inquiry, 19, 726-751.
Parry, Benita (1994). Resistance Theory/Theorizing Resistance, or Two Cheers for Nativism. In Francis Baker et al. (Ed.), Colonial Discourse/Postcolonial Theory (pp. 172-196). Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Parry, Benita (2004). The Institutionalization of Postcolonial Studies. In Neil Lazarus (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (pp. 66-80). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Robbins, Bruce (1990). Intellectuals: Aesthetics, Politics, Academics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Robbins, Bruce (1993). Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture. London: Verso.
Robbins, Bruce (1994a). Secularism, Elitism, Progress and Other Transgressions: On Edward Said’s “voyage in.” Social Text, 40, 25-37.
Robbins, Bruce (1994b). Upward Mobility in the Postcolonial Era: Kincaid, Mukherjee, and the Cosmopolitan Au Pair. Modernism/Modernity, 2, 133-151.
Rushdie, Salman (1982, July 3). The Empire Writes Back with a Vengeance. Times, 8.
Said, Edward W. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.
Said, Edward W. (1981). Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York: Pantheon Books.
Said, Edward W. (1984). The World, the Text, and the Critic. London: Faber and Faber.
Said, Edward W. (1985). Beginnings: Intention and Method. New York: Columbia University Press.
Said, Edward W. (1989). Representing the Colonized: Anthropology’s Interlocutors. Critical Inquiry, 15, 205-225.
Said, Edward W. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. New York: Knopf.
Said, Edward W. (1994). Representations of the Intellectual. New York: Pantheon Books.
Said, Edward W. (2000). Reflections on Exile and Other Essays. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Sivanandan, Tamara (2004). Anticolonialism, National Liberation, and Postcolonial Nation Formation. In Neil Lazarus (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (pp. 41-65). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, Andrew (2004). Migrancy, Hybridity, and Postcolonial Literary Studies. In Neil Lazarus (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (pp. 241-261). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1990). The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues. London and New York: Routledge.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1993). Outside in the Teaching Machine. London and New York: Routledge.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1999). A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Sprinker, Michael (1993). The National Question: Said, Ahmad, Jameson. Public Culture, 6, 3-29.
Sprinker, Michael (Ed.). (1992). Edward Said: A Critical Reader. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
Steele, Meili (1997). Critical Confrontations: Literary Theories in Dialogue. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Viswanathan, Gauri (Ed.). (2004). Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said. New York: Pantheon Books.
White, Hayden (1973). Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
White, Hayden (1987). The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Williams, Raymond (1973). The Country and the City. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Williams, Raymond (1977). Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Williams, Raymond (1981). Culture. London: Fontana.
Williams, Raymond (1989). The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists. London: Verso.
- There are currently no refbacks.
If you have already registered in Journal A and plan to submit article(s) to Journal B, please click the CATEGORIES, or JOURNALS A-Z on the right side of the "HOME".
We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture
Address: 730, 77e AV, Laval, Quebec, H7V 4A8, Canada
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com