Recently, I have been watching the great t.v. show on DVD, The West Wing, and I came across the classic Thanksgiving episode in Season 2, “Shibboleth.” In it, there is a discussion about American greatness, religious freedom, and Chinese regulations on religion and spirituality. I sometimes wonder to myself what will become of the future of post-colonial studies. What will our interpretations of history and power look like. I have a feeling well over a century ago, that wise sage of race relations, W.E.B. DuBois had it partially right in his essay “The Color Line Belts The World.” The next imperial structures, probably in the form of economic prowess may well be China. I don’t like American politicians and their alarmism about our current, ahem, debt to them, but our current situation is our own fault, that, and the global presence that the Chinese government has now in the African continent. It gives me reason to wonder, to imagine. To read more, check out this article by The Atlantic: The Next Empire.
Am I way off base? I think if post-colonial studies is to thrive in the decades ahead, there needs to be a discernment about which nations are becoming the super-powers and how does it manifest itself. Otherwise there will be this outdated anti-American, anti-British polemic.