Negotiating Engines of Difference

Irani, Lilly; Philip, Kavita
Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience

South Asian historiography, experimental and theoretically sophisticated since the 1980s, has influenced almost all contemporary theorizing about colonialism and its aftermath. But how useful are global generalizations and future-oriented strategies that begin from such a specific experience of British imperialism and Indian de-colonization? Latin American countries, for example, experienced colonialism and imperialism in radically different ways from South Asia, both because of the earlier ends of direct Spanish or Portuguese colonization, and because of their proximity and strategic significance for the US during the Cold War. Indigenous peoples in the Americas have experienced multiple layers of colonial violence that are not captured by the frameworks honed in the study of the nineteenth-century British Empire.