This first volume of ASNEL Papers gathers together a broad range of reflections on, and presentations of, the social and expressive underpinnings of post-colonial literary cultures, concentrating on aspects of orality, social structure and hybridity, the role of women in cultural production, performative and media representations (theatre, film, advertising) and their institutional forms, and the linguistic basis of literature (including questions of multilingualism, pidgins and creoles, and translation). Some of the present studies adopt a diachronic approach, as in essays devoted to European colonial influences on African literatures, the populist colonial roots of Australian drama, and the intersection of exogenous and autochthonous languages in the cultural development and identity formation of Cameroon, Tanzania and the Swahili-speaking regions of Africa. Broadly synchronic perspectives (which nevertheless take cognizance of developmental determinants) range over dominant genres — poetry, short fiction and the novel, children's literature, theatre, film - and cover indigene literatures (Australian Aboriginal, Maori, First Nations) and regional creativity in West, East and South Africa, the Caribbean, India and the South-East Asian diaspora, and the settler colonies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Authors treated within broader frameworks include Chinua Achebe, 'Biyi Bandele-Thomas, Bole Butake, Shashi Deshpande, Louis Esson, Lorna Goodison, Patricia Grace, Bland Holt, Keri Hulme, Witi Ihimaera, Kazuo Ishiguro, Rita Kleinhart, Hanif Kureishi, Werewere Liking, Timothy Mo, V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, and Ruby Slipperjack. There are self-testimonies from the writers Geoff Goodfellow, Darrelyn Gunzburg and Don Mattera, poems by David Dabydeen, Geoff Goodfellow and Olive Senior. Of particular value to this collection are the perspectives offered by African, Caribbean and Eastern European contributors.