Perennial Empires: Postcolonial, Transnational, and Literary Perspectives

by Chantal Zabus and Silvia Nagy-Zekmi


"The title of this welcome collection of essays, Perennial Empires, is a salutary reminder that imperialism, far from having ended some time in the last century, is still with us... Taking their cue from Hardt and Negri’s influential and provocative Empire, Zabus and Nagy-Zekmi have gathered essays that successfully aim to ‘trace the continuum of empire building in the twentieth and even the twenty-first century’ ... Zabus and Nagy-Zekmi rightly observe, for example, that postcolonial critics, anti-imperial activists, and conservative commentators have all relied in one way or another on the nation-state as a point of reference ... The argument, as this volume makes clear, is not about choosing between a ‘“smooth” space of empire’ and the singular nation-state, but instead about the messy middle in which we recognise the strategic, dialogical need for both rootedness and migrancy." - Transnational Literature

“Focusing its concern through the often-neglected role of literature in shaping and influencing these forces, this powerful collection of essays addresses the complex, new ways in which international power exercises control over all aspects of life––from new forms of public governance to the construction of private identities. It acknowledges the emergence of new theoretical models of imperialism and Empire but sets them firmly within the longer history of the analysis of the post-colonial. It explores contemporary concerns such as global ecology, queer theory, and ‘the War on Terror’ and demonstrates their links with underlying forces stretching back to the classic eras of colonial rule. It provides a convincing model for rethinking the relationship between past and present theories of the exercise of world power from the age of classic imperialism to the era of Bush and Obama.”
– Gareth Griffiths, Professor of English, University of Western Australia, and coauthor of The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures


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