Ambreen Hai is an associate professor of English literature and language at Smith College, where she teaches literary theory and Anglophone postcolonial and British literature. Her previous publications include articles on Kipling, Forster, Rushdie, Sidwa, Suleri, and Dangarembga.
Listed in: Literary Criticism · Literature
Making Words Matter
The Agency of Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
By Ambreen Hai
Why should Salman Rushdie describe his truth telling as an act of swallowing impure “haram” flesh from which the blood has not been drained? Why should Rudyard Kipling cast Kim, the imperial child–agent, as a body/text written upon and damaged by empire? Why should E. M. Forster evoke through the Indian landscape the otherwise unspeakable racial or homosexual body in his writing?