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The Postcolonial ContemporaryPolitical Imaginaries for the Global Present$
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Jini Kim Watson and Gary Wilder

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280063

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280063.001.0001

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The Speed of Place and the Space of Time: ­Toward a Theory of Postcolonial Velo/city

The Speed of Place and the Space of Time: ­Toward a Theory of Postcolonial Velo/city

(p.241) Eleven: The Speed of Place and the Space of Time: ­Toward a Theory of Postcolonial Velo/city
The Postcolonial Contemporary

Peter Hitchcock

Fordham University Press

There are a number of reasons why an understanding of speed is vital to postcolonial critique, from how to read rates of ecological catastrophe (Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence) to unpacking the scalar profusions of disjuncture and difference (Arjun Appadurai’s Modernity at Large). I am particularly interested in the cultural representations of the postcolonial urban that distill and problematize the notion that all compressed modernization is simply an expression of speed up and the will-to-hegemony of neoliberal desire. Speed is at the heart of every city, but how does an understanding of velocity enable critique to think the city as postcolonial? Is decolonization measured by the rates in which urbanization is lived? To address the agon of lived postcoloniality in the city I will use two complementary concepts, the speed of place and the space of time. The aim is not to solve deep social and economic contradictions through cultural articulation but is to suggest that the postcolonial contemporary is also a problem of cognition.

Keywords:   Eventness, Modernity, postcolonial novel, Urbanization, Velocity

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