Postcolonial Studies and the Cultural Politics of Everyday Life

Christine Ann Prentice, Vijay Devadas


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.


postcolonial studies, cultural studies, everyday life, cultural politics

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