One of the biggest dangers of po-co study is the seductive notion of reductive thinking, i.e., essentializing the diverse experience of a people, nation, and culture into one story or one novel. I get why there is such a desire–attempting to learn about a “different” place takes time and patience, two elements that we are lacking–myself included–these days. But a responsible po-co scholar will fight this urge every day until the fear of essentializing gives way to an understanding that it is impossible to know all about a culture and that coming with a strong trepidation and an open mind can yield great results. Nigerian born (and amazing) author Chimamanda Adichie speaks most eloquently about the danger of a single story. Every time I watch this TED talk, I learn more about myself and about this course of study. I hope you enjoy her warning as much as I do.
I look forward to hearing what you think of her video. Please write your second blog post as a response to her video and any concerns it raises for you as we begin this academic endeavor together. In your post, discuss how you would define postcolonial(ism)/studies in light of what Adichie says and what you have read.