Abstract: Despite the reassertion of the nation-state during the Global Financial Crisis, the nation continues to be a contested term in post-colonial theory. Much contemporary post-colonial literature offers a utopian vision of identity beyond the boundaries of nation, ethnicity and race. This essay examines examples of post-colonial theoretical writing at the beginning of the twenty first century that appear to continue this trend of conceptual border-crossing. Paul Gilroy’s After Empire with its concept of a convivial multicultural democracy and Edward Said’s Freud and the Europeans with its radical critique of identity, offer different visions of freedom. The essay proposes the term ‘transnation’ to encompass the location of this utopian trend, a term that may resolve difficulties with the concepts of cosmopolitan or diasporic mobility, and reveal the utopian potential of the contemporary critique of nation.

Keywords: Nation, Post-colonial, Transnation.

Copyright © Bill Ashcroft 2009. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.