'Including China' in Postcolonial Studies: An Interview with Bill Ashcroft
Bill Ashcroft is a renowned critic and theorist, a founding exponent of postcolonial theory and co-author of The Empire Writes Back (1989), the first text to examine systematically a field that is now referred to as ‘postcolonial studies’. He is author and co-author of 16 books and over 160 chapters and papers including Edward Said (2001), Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (2002), Caliban’s Voice: The Transformation of English in Postcolonial Literatures (2008), Utopianism in Postcolonial Literatures (2016). He is on the editorial boards for various journals, such as Textual Practice, New Literatures Review, JASAL, Postcolonial Text, to name just a few. The interviewer met Professor Ashcroft at the 16th International Conference of Australian Studies in China (21-23 June 2018, Beijing) and they had a preliminary discussion on the issues concerned in this paper; they agreed to complete a formal dialogue via e-mail. In this interview, Bill Ashcroft clarifies his area of study in postcolonial literatures; he relates world literature with postcolonial literatures and analyses the problem in the interdisciplinary study of world literature; finally, he discusses why and how to include China in postcolonial literary studies.