African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 197


Self-writing in postcolonial criticism: A survey of some fundamental problems (II)

M’bark Bouzzit
  • M’bark Bouzzit
  • Faculty of Languages, Arts, and Human Sciences, Agadir, Morocco.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 19 September 2023
  •  Accepted: 13 December 2023
  •  Published: 31 March 2024


This paper surveys a few fundamental problems that relate to postcolonial self-writing in the context of global capitalism. It advances the claim that self-writing in Anglophone Postcolonial Criticism discloses an obsessive, reductionist tenet when addressing the gaps in imperial ideology, especially with the existence of an engrafted, ubiquitous protectionism from the part of the postcolonial intellectual. This obscures the postcolonial self, for it neither pinpoints the real postcolonial hurdles nor the true merits of modernism as a philosophical outlook on the world. These two directions cling to a stratagem that imperialism has made ubiquitous, not to mention the postcolonial intellectual's focus on the 'what' rather than the 'how' in matters of self-representation. The protectionist moralist, the intellectual who obviously does not recognize the merits of other trends of thought, is, for us, as the brutish capitalist or orientalist. Each one of them delimits the freedom available to the self through their resort to what appears to us as a very dangerous syncretism. Questions of the "how" (precisely how to approach the self and the Other) have become an urgent demand today. The beginning of a cogent theory of the self in the age of global capitalism has, in an experimental stage, to be descriptive, contrapuntal, and symptomatic, thus unearthing the a priori axioms that shackle the postcolonial mind. Postcolonial self-writing, thus, has to strive to shield the self against atavism, protectionism, justificationism, monism and the like.


Key words: The Maghreb, postcolonial criticism, self-writing, problems, diagnosis.