Homi Bhabha’s Third Space and Neocolonialism (Published)
This paper suggests the argument that Homi Bhabha’s Third Space, defined in his book The Location of Culture (1994) contributes to Neocolonialism in the sense that it stresses the fluidity of identity and the continuous engagement in ongoing negotiations and enunciations, which compromises the ability of former colonies to formulate their identity independently and to design their agendas for development. They are trapped within the project of Postcolonial Literature which imprisons them in the “us and them” paradigm and sets them the task of forever looking for Third Space and of engaging in continuous debates over identity formulation. On a larger scale, this paper argues, the notion of Third Space is at the heart of the World Trade Organization agreements and is the core of how Social Media Networks function. Hence, the paper views Postcolonial Literature, The World Trade Organization agreements, and Social Media Networks as being linked together through the notion of Third Space and, therefore, as being tools manipulated by Neocolonialism.
The paper investigates the representations of the West in three Egyptian texts written in Arabic. These are Rifa’a al-Tahtawi’s A Paris Profile, Tawfiq al-Hakim’s A Sparrow from the East, and Louis Awad’s Memoirs of a Scholarship Student within the framework of the Postcolonial theories of Franz Fanon, Edward Said, and Homi Bhabha. Instead of a confrontation between the West and the East along the lines of Fanon and Said, the three texts reveal the possibility of a dialogue, enriching the attempt at introducing Modernity along European lines in Egypt which was made by Muhammad Ali in the early years of the nineteenth century. The dialogue, however, rests upon paradigms other than Bhabha’s notion of Third Space. Hence, the three texts challenge the dichotomy devised by Fanon, the stereotypes identified by Said and the fluidity and vagueness of identity propagated by Bhabha.