• ‘The instant of waking from the nightmare’: Emergence Theory and Postcolonial Experience in Season of Migration to the North

    Author(s):
    Jay Rajiva (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Critical Studies in World Literature, Postcolonial Literature, TM Literary and Cultural Theory
    Subject(s):
    Sudan, Postcolonialism, Agency
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M64X54G4F
    Abstract:
    This article positions agency as a necessarily lacunal aspect of Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North. By allowing the theatricality of doubling and metaphor to overdetermine Mustafa’s narrative, the novel implicitly challenges both the substitution of symbol for material experience and the rational logic of causation. The disruptive potential of this challenge suggests an emergent form of postcolonial experience – an unpredictable interaction of parts that redefines the whole, in which the centrality of non-human matter’s role in shaping human subjectivity resists and exceeds the analytic frameworks of biological determinism and humanist agency. The article employs Jeffrey Goldstein and Peter Corning’s work on the theory of downward causation, bringing postcolonial literature into dialog with the concept of emergence in the field of biological science. In this way, the article aligns the development of an alternative mode of scientific inquiry with the development of postcolonial theory, both of which are invested in challenging teleological master narratives of ordered, rational progress.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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