Silviano Santiago has been a pioneer in the development of concepts crucial to the discourse of contemporary critical and cultural theory, especially postcolonial theory. The notions of “hybridity” and “the space in-between” have been so completely absorbed into current theory that few scholars even realize these terms began with Santiago. He was the first to introduce poststructuralist thought to Brazil—via his publication of the Glossario de Derrida
and his role as a prominent teacher. The Space In-Between
translates many of his seminal essays into English for the first time and, in the process, introduces the thought of one of Brazil’s foremost critics and theorists of the late twentieth century.
Santiago’s work creates a theoretical field that transcends both the study of a specific national literature and the traditional perspectives of comparative literature. He examines the pedagogical and modernizing mission of Western voyagers from the conquistadors to the present. He deconstructs the ideas of “original” and “copy,” unpacking their implications for the notions of so-called dominant and dominated cultures. Santiago also confronts questions of cultural dependency and analyzes the problems involved in the imposition of an alien European history, the cultural displacements experienced by the Indians through their religious conversion, and the hierarchical suppression of native and Afro-Brazilian values.
Elegantly written and translated, The Space In-Between
will provide insights and perspectives that will interest cultural and literary theorists, postcolonial scholars, and other students of contemporary culture.