THE ADAPTABILITY OF THEORY: POSTCOLONIALISM VS. POSTCOMMUNISM IN ROMANIAN LITERARY STUDIES
For the last two decades, the postcolonial theory has become one of the most dominant perspectives in the study of literature and culture in the Western Academia. Together with its increasingly more authoritarian voice, the postcolonial theory has also become able to influence peripheral scholar communities, including those coming from cultures with no direct link with the historical phenomenon of colonialisation. This influence seems to be of two distinct types. The first one is a mimetic one (i.e. unintermediated by local experiences) which has generated an imitative postcolonial discourse in local academia, mostly used by members of English language departments. The second one, which I can call particularizing (i.e. intermediated by local cultural experiences), has tried to adapt (to various degrees of intensity) the postcolonial perspective to local conditions. This second type of influence can be seen, for example, in the adaptation of the postcolonial theory to the analysis of the postcommunist cultural phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe. The same thing has happened in Romanian literary studies, although at a low degree of intensity. In this paper, I will try to analyze the impact of postcolonial theoretic speculation on the Romanian literary studies of the last two decades.
Keywords: postcolonialism, postcommunism, travelling theory, adaptability of theories.