The intersection of feminism, postmodernism and
post-colonialism

INTRODUCTION

Postmodernism as an intellectual movement captured a tendency across a range of disciplines and aesthetic practices for a radical reappraisal of modernist normative structures and representations. Debates emerging from within feminism had already challenged feminism’s dichotomous frame of reference around biological and philosophical essentialism and historical reification, which had their origin in modernist discourses. Postmodernism’s emphasis on ‘deconstruction’ and ‘difference’, and its challenge to the idea of a single epistemological truth, added to the voices of those who had been marginalised by feminism’s modernist heritage. Subaltern groups have encouraged both feminism’s and post-colonialism’s engagement with postmodernist discourses in political, cultural and representational terms. Feminist and post-colonialist theorists have recognised the potential of postmodernism to advance debates around identity, nationality and difference already articulated within these political and cultural movements. The articulation of a ‘democratic politics of voice’ (Yeatman 1994) and representation has been given greater authority by the intersection of feminism and post-colonialism with postmodernism. This chapter examines the relationship between postmodernism, feminism and post-colonialism for the articulation of a postfeminist politics of resistance.