Identify a key theme in Homi Bhabha's "The Commitment to Theory."

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One theme in Bhabha's writing is how the relationship between nations needs to be reconfigured to ensure that there is a "commitment to theory."  In this case, the theory that is being examined is whether that we have escaped the colonial or imperialist condition in which nations relate to one another.  This theme takes on different forms, but drives the article.  Bhabha's notion of exploring the relationship in which the theory of internationalism is merely used to prop up "First World capital to Third World labor" is a part of this exploration.

For Bhabha, the commitment to theory has become a new way to pursue the ends of colonial control.  "The Other" has become relegated to a condition in which control is being advocated through new and surreptitious means.  Bhabha's example of the film festival in which the entry from India depicts the most hopeless and destitute helps to enhance the condition in which "First world" nations feel little in way of reticence to ensure that messages are communicated that suggest that national identities should be formed in accordance with "Western" ideals.  The relationship between both "the other" and those who benefit from this configuration is a significant theme in his work.

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