Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 2, Numbers 3 and 4, Fall-Winter 2003


Identity in the Colonial Lands: A Critical Overview of the Postcolonial Studies
By Serap Türkmen



Post-colonialism, being an academic shuttle that we can call new is an interdisciplinary movement that attempts to reshape the past, the present and the future of those colonized countries. While its point of departure was analysing the lost identities, labours, languages. . . . Etc and making a counter attack from the academic angle, it moved beyond the point of departure and turned out to be a rich and multilateral interdisciplinary area under which one can probe into many concepts and issues with new approaches and views. For example, the concept of nationalism, race, identity, and language, marginality are all being delved into, each time deciphering new things through postcolonial academic studies. If we wish to categorize Post-colonialism in terms of the issues it preoccupies, we shall discern that it has an affiliation with many disciplinary branches ranging from philosophy, sociology, psychology (with its sub branches), international affairs, economy, history. . . etc. It is for this particular reason that it is called as a new 'interdisciplinary' field in the academic surroundings. Some academicians even further the argument and say that Post-colonialism rather than being a separate discipline per se it, by giving reference to many disciplines and dealing with the inherent problems of the disciplines, 'disciplines the disciplines' Given its desire and attempt to reveal the reality, question the unquestionable, we can profess that Post-colonialism is an inevitable movement in accord with Post-modern era. One of the concepts that Post-colonialism dares to delve into is identity, which is the locus of this paper. What makes identity the main interest of this paper is the desire to foreground through colonialism how the identity is died down, not vanished but put into position that neither dead nor alive. A circumstance, which is against the principles of logic: the impossibility of the third condition.

So the paper is made up two parts with their sub-sections. The first part will talk about the identity issue with reference to the Colonizer, the Colonized and the Colonial process. In the second part I would like to touch on the Postcolonial studies, themselves, in so doing, I will try to look from a critical angle to the postcolonial studies.

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