The Motionless Half-Sun Over the Postcolonial Horizon: Adichie, Bhabha, and Inaction

This manuscript is available for download here


Action is a metaphysical reality of our daily existence, one so commonplace and privileged that it has transcended its dialectical relationship with inaction to preeminence. The latter has failed to capture the imagination of philosophers and critical theorists, leaving the subversive potential of this negative space unexplored. This essay seeks to interrogate the space of inaction, and restore the unity between the action and inaction. This exploration is situated within a postcolonial context, as a conversation between Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Homi Bhabha, to examine how inaction offers a site to challenge the violence of action and the unitary discourse of nationhood. What potential does inaction hold to contribute to resignify nationhood? How does it create the psychic space to (re)imagine nationhood as narrative, and situate it within the temporality of modernity? How does the figure of inaction inform the discourse of postcolonial nationhood? These are some of the questions that preoccupy the author and this work.


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Themal I. Ellawala

Themal I. Ellawala

Themal Ellawala '17 is a Psychology major with a special interest in the intersection of Clinical Psychology and social justice. He is particularly interested in the prevalence of mental health issues in racial and sexual minorities, and how stigma and discrimination leads to poorer outcomes among such demographics. He is currently involved in studies in Clark’s Hyatt School of Psychology examining internalized psychopathology, e ective interventions to mediate relationship stress, and volunteers in Clark’s CAVE program. He hails from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and hopes to use his research to create greater awareness of sexual minorities who live in the shadows of his country.