(Post)colonialities and deconstructions :bon some heterogeneous (mis)takes, double-binds, and the always already non-present perhaps.
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In this thesis I explore three key debates within postcolonial theory. I argue for the efficacy of deploying deconstructive readings in postcolonial contexts. I closely analyse the debates in order to identify a number of important questions for the theorisation of postcoloniality. My discussion of the first debate between Gayatri Spivak and Benita Parry focuses on the problematics of representation, through an analysis of the questions of subalternity, native agency/resistance/insurgency, and, crucially, the question of the political positionality of the postcolonial intellectual as investigating subject. Jacques Derrida's debate on apartheid with Anne McClintock and Robert Nixon, although not expressed in the terms of postcolonial theory, raises questions of context, the necessity of ethics in intellectual discussion and the politics and ethics of deconstructive engagements with material situations. In the debate between Homi K. Bhabha and Benita Parry, I examine the question of the most apposite way to read the contribution of Frantz Fanon's work. I argue the latter debate offers a politico-theoretical insight or strategy that would be important for the development of postcolonial theory. Finally, I demonstrate how the South African appropriation of postcolonial theory (and the subsequent critique) rehearses some of the preoccupations of the previous debates. I argue that the particular version that South African advocates of postcolonial theory sought to install into the literarycultural agenda in the early 1990s, highlights an inattentiveness to the theory which it is concerned to appropriate. My thesis is concerned to argue that the debates need to be reread given some of the (mis)taken arguments I identify. The urgent, difficult and complex questions in contemporary South Africa are what postcolonial critics need to think through. I argue the urgency and difficulty of the South African case can be fruitfully interrogated by a deconstructive postcolonial theory.