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Postcolonial Agency

Critique and Constructivism

Simone Bignall

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This book complements and balances the attention given by postcolonial theory to the revitalisation and recognition of the agency of colonised peoples. It offers new conceptual scaffolding to those who have inherited the legacy of colonial privilege, and who now seek to responsibly transform this historical injustice. Simone Bignall attends to a minor tradition within Western philosophy including Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson and Deleuze, to argue that a non-imperial concept of social and political agency and a postcolonial philosophy of material transformation are embedded within aspects of poststructuralist social philosophy.

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1. The Problem of the Negative
2. Postcolonial Appropriations
3. The Problem of the Actual
6.What is 'Postcolonial'?
Conclusion: Postcolonial Agency

About the Author

Simone Bignall is an adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. She has published widely on issues concerning colonialism and postcolonialism. She is the author of Postcolonial Agency (2010) and the co-editor, with Paul Patton, of Deleuze and the Postcolonial (2010), both published by Edinburgh University Press.


Theoretically sophisticated and meticulously situated at the fraught scene of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in contemporary Australia, Postcolonial Agency is an inspiring manifesto for non-imperial mutuality. Bignall's advocacy of an ethics of joy opens up a new direction for postcolonial studies.
- Leela Gandhi, Professor of English, University of Chicago

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