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Title: Postcoloniality and the global city : postcolonial London and Singapore literature after 1989
Author: Seetoh, Wei-Min
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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The most significant recent development within postcolonial studies has been its encounter with globalisation theory. Two major positions have emerged from this. Firstly, it is asserted that globalisation has superseded postcoloniality; conflicts between the West and non-West have been replaced by transnational class conflicts and deterritorialised capitalist regimes. More circumspect theorists, however, argue that centre-periphery models of postcoloniality endure alongside deterritorialised power structures, involving North-South cultural and economic power relations still dominated by the West. This thesis considers how comparing literary representations of postcolonial London and Singapore in the post-1989 era significantly shifts or changes these positions. It offers alternative perspectives on the postcoloniality/globalisation relationship, given that both London and Singapore are advanced global cities. I address the global city as an analytical category distinct from transnational class conflict, deterritorialised capitalism or North/South relations. This comparison identifies certain intertwined effects of globalisation and postcoloniality that are explored in the postcolonial writing of First-World global cities, and suggests distinctive postcolonial modalities in Western and non-Western global cities against an ostensibly homogeneous context of global capital. Chapter One argues that postcolonial writers in these global cities variably negotiate accommodations between cultural and socio-economic agency, based on different kinds of engagement with globalisation. The gulf between the global spatial horizons of postcolonial writers in a Western and Asian global city is examined in Chapter Two, which asserts the uneven purchase of postcoloniality upon global capitalist place. Chapter Three argues that the contested concept of the nation continues to inflect postcolonial literary representations of both Western and Asian global cities in its diverse mediations between the local and global. Finally, Chapter Four compares how cosmopolitan strategies are mobilised by postcolonial writers in Western and non-Western global cities to address local agendas, with very different moral outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available