The paper tracks the amplification of the project and politics of cultural studies from a particularly 'intergenerational' dialogue to a 'globalised' or 'post-national' critique of cultural identity. Cultural studies, and here the postcolonial intervention has been crucial, can no longer be described simply as 'British'-or 'American' for that matter-but as the discursive space of an emerging global(ised) culture, enjoining the global and the local in the production of a new space-a 'third space'-where questions of identity and belonging figure forth as negotiations of cultural politics. Stuart Hall calls this emerging space 'new ethnicities.' Some call it the 'migrant hybrid,' while others dub it a 'differential consciousness.' The critical edge of these negotiations is that they are constantly and persistently looking into how truths are produced, trying to politicise our sense of identity. Yet there is one truth that postcolonial cultural politics fails to challenge effectively: claims for the market as a naturally given form of human activity the world over. What are the stakes in such a transformation of history into something that appears as natural? And how can the critical discourse of postcolonialism address it?
Last modified: 7 May 2001