In the last two decades, postcolonial studies has emerged as one of the fastest-growing and most influential fields in international academia, particularly by way of postcolonial theory as a framework of analysis for a broad range of cultural forms and political and historical constellations. Like other such frameworks, postcolonial theory is characterized by a pronounced and often puzzling internal diversity; as far back as 1995, one of its prominent protagonists noted wryly that "the attributes of postcolonialism have become so widely contested in contemporary usage, its strategies and sites so structurally dispersed, as to render the term next to useless as a precise marker of intellectual content, social constituency, or political commitment" (Slemon 7). Despite (or possibly because of) this perplexing fuzziness, postcolonial theory has been productively applied (and controversially debated) in a wide array of disciplines, and has long since proliferated beyond the field of literary and cultural studies where it made its first appearance: today, it not only plays a major role in new fields such as globalization and diaspora studies, but also in long-established disciplines such as sociology, medieval studies, or ancient history.
Sarkowsky, K. , Schulze-Engler, F. (2012)., Postcolonial studies, in M. Middeke, T. Müller, C. Wald & H. Zapf (eds.), English and American studies, Stuttgart, Metzler, pp. 301-313.
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