Doing history right: Challenging masculinist postcolonialism in Pakistani anglophone literature

Fawzia Afzal-Khan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


According to Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History, a figure based on Paul Klee’s painting of the Angelus Novus, History is not an accident (1942: Thesis IX). Indeed, we must move away from an attachment to what he calls ‘erotic historicism’ – or the impulse to see history through the eyes of mysticism – into the phase of historical materialism, in order to grow up and do history ‘right’. That is, be able to connect present to past and past to present so as to move to a futurity that may be more hopeful than what has gone before. Adding a feminist lens to this Angel of History suggests that one can learn to read/uncover the buried remains in the gaps and fissures of official narratives that constitute History with a capital H – thus giving voice to the marginalised and the forgotten (who are often women, and the dark ‘others’ of History).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351719865
ISBN (Print)9781138745520
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


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