Postcolonial Studies and the Cultural Politics of Everyday Life


  • Christine Ann Prentice
  • Vijay Devadas



postcolonial studies, cultural studies, everyday life, cultural politics


This essay traces key areas of scholarship constituting the domain of ‘everyday postcolonial politics’ in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and the local terms and debates that inform, contextualise and animate them. We discuss how postcolonial studies in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia has been shaped by questions of its appropriateness or otherwise to analysis of local cultural politics, and the particular emphases it has developed to address that context. We then bring postcolonial studies together with the field of cultural studies more broadly, and its foundations in analyses of the ‘everyday.’ We argue that the proximity of postcolonial studies to cultural studies characterising the essays presented in this issue points to a specific conception of ‘politics’ that finds the priorities, concerns, and relations of power and resources, as integrally — even intimately — bound up with life at the everyday level; as inseparable from the social and semiotic regimes of representation, and as insisting on the necessary implication of the scholar and scholarship in its object of analysis.

Author Biography

Christine Ann Prentice

Chris Prentice is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Otago, teaching in the areas of New Zealand literature and postcolonial literatures and theory. Her research focuses on postcolonial theory and cultural politics, with particular attention to 'settler' postcolonial contexts such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.




How to Cite

Prentice, C. A., & Devadas, V. (2008). Postcolonial Studies and the Cultural Politics of Everyday Life. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 5(1), pp 1–19.