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Besides having one of the coolest names in contemporary political theory, Homi Bhabha is an important and interesting post-colonial theorist. Two of his more important books are Nation and Narration and Location of Culture.

Bhabha was born into the Parsi community of Bombay and grew up, so I've heard, in the shade of the Fire Temple. He received his undergraduate training at Bombay University and his graduate degrees from Oxford University. He has held positions at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth College. He is currently at the University of Chicago, where he teaches in the departments of English and Art.

Bhabha is a leading voice in postcolonial studies and is influenced by Western post-structuralist theorists, in particular Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Edward Said, and Michel Foucault. Bhabha argues against the tendency to essentialize non-western nations into a homogenous identity, asserting instead that cultural differences articulate and in fact produce imagined constructions of cultural and national identity. One of Bhabha's most original contributions is his insistence that there is always ambivalence inherent in colonial dominance. This ambivalence, he argues, enables a capacity for resistance through performative mimicry. Bhabha uses concepts such as mimicry, hybridity, and liminality - terms from semiotics and Lacanian psychoanalysis - to argue that cultural production is always most productive where it is most subject to mimetic subversion. Basically, Bhabha is arguing that the colonized subject's repetition of a dominant colonizer discourse inevitably and invariably involves a changing of nuance - a subversion, in other words, that can eventually lead to insurgence.

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