Going into Week 2, I want to mention that, while postcolonial theory was developed in the 20th century, that doesn’t at all mean that it can only be applicable to 20th- or 21st-century writings. Of course The Epic of Gilgamesh isn’t about European colonization, but part of the core of postcolonial theory is the idea that people draw the boundaries of their identities (personal, societal, national, etc.) by pointing out people who aren’t like them. Basically, if you can point out somebody who isn’t like you, then you are establishing what you are like. This plays out historically in things like perceived racial difference and class difference, and it’s something that we can still recognize in our world’s earliest writings. That’s why it is applied in our course as an organizing principle for our discussions. (Whew, how’s that for a disclaimer?)
So, let’s try our hand at postcolonial analysis. How does The Epic of Gilgamesh look through the lens of poco theory?