Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: From Racial Difference to Racial Indifference: The Neo-Liberal Narrative and Its Colonial Le...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Research

From Racial Difference to Racial Indifference: The Neo-Liberal Narrative and Its Colonial Legacy Through the Example of Washington Black (2018) by Esi Edugyan

Author:

Marta Fratczak-Dabrowska

Adam Mickiewicz University, PL
About Marta
Marta Frątczak-Dąbrowska is an assistant professor at the Department of English Literature and Literary Linguistics, Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University. She gained her PhD in postcolonial studies with a thesis on the contemporary Anglo Guyanese novel (Poznań, 2015), and is currently continuing her research in the field of postolonial fiction and postcolonial economics. She has published and in-press articles in peer-reviewed journals (for example Journal of Postcolonial Writing) as well as chapters in monographs. Her most recent chapter on neo-slave fiction will be published in the collection "The Economics of Empire" (2020, Routledge).
X close

Abstract

The present article centres on Washington Black—a neo-slave narrative whose eponymous hero documents his route from slavery to freedom. The novel offers insight into how the structural legacy of colonialism lives on in (neo-)liberalism, which is understood here as a currently dominant socio-economic system and a set of beliefs rooted in the colonial economy and colonial ideology. The paper investigates how harmful discursive formations once created to justify European civilizing missions and chattel slavery are still being used to belie the reality of structural violence and systemic inequity, where particular groups are being racialised and marginalised at the same time. Through the prism of the novel, the article looks at how the discourse of universal human rights, the idea of a grateful slave, and the myth of self-sufficiency may be employed as the mechanisms of social control over the Other.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.525
How to Cite: Fratczak-Dabrowska, M., 2021. From Racial Difference to Racial Indifference: The Neo-Liberal Narrative and Its Colonial Legacy Through the Example of Washington Black (2018) by Esi Edugyan. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 20(1), pp.62–80. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.525
Published on 28 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)