The map of the world has been crucially re-drawn by colonial history. In postcolonial literary studies today, the question of language relates in significant ways to a critic's geographical location. Issues of identity and belonging, crucially tied to choice and use of language, assume new configurations in the light of one's geographical locale. Where the postcolonial writer and critic live and work influences their uses of language on emotive, intellectual, and psychological levels. Words are not forged only within "the smithy of (one's) soul"; they carry echoes reverberating from our geographical locations. There are indeed many reasons for these confluences, at times happy, at othertimes painful, of language and geography, of speech and space for both postcolonial writer and critic today. Recent "flag independences" in several African countries, India, the Caribbean, continuing neo-colonial trends in most of these societies; more recently, migrations of postcolonial peoples living as expatriates and exiles in various parts of the western world, are all a part of significant and often conflictual predicaments of identity, language and belonging.
Katrak, Ketu H.
"Language and Geography: The Postcolonial Critic,"
Contributions in Black Studies:
Vol. 9, Article 14.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cibs/vol9/iss1/14