Postcolonial criticism  An approach to literature that focuses on the study of cultural behavior and expression in relationship to the colonized world. Postcolonial criticism refers to the analysis of literary works written by writers from countries and cultures that at one time have been controlled by colonizing powers, such as Indian writers during or after British colonial rule. Postcolonial criticism also refers to the analysis of literary works written about colonial cultures by writers from the colonizing country. Many of these kinds of analyses point out how writers from colonial powers sometimes misrepresent colonized cultures by reflecting more their own values. See also cultural criticism, historical criticism, marxist criticism. For exercises on postcolonial criticism, go to the VirtuaLit Interactive Poetry Tutorial and the VirtuaLit Interactive Fiction Tutorial.

The definitions in this glossary were adapted from The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Sixth Edition, by Michael Meyer