CFP: Postcolonial and the Global: Connections, Conflicts, Complicities (10/5/03 & 12/30/03; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
John Hawley
contact email:

We are seeking three strong essays to round out an edited book
collection as described below. We would need a one-page abstract by
10/5, and full paper by end of December. We are planning an edited
volume of essays exploring the intersection between postcolonial and
globalization studies. We believe that such an exploration is important
to undertake at this time to counter the hegemonizing/homogenizing
tendencies we sense emerging in dominant strands of contemporary
cultural theory. It is unclear whether contemporary globalization theory
has been made possible by the postcolonial challenge to older
Eurocentric forms of globalization premised on the centrality of the
nation and narrated in terms of modernization or whether postcoloniality
itself is a consequence of a globalization premised on the
marginalization of the nation, especially in the domain of the cultural
and the imaginary. It is unclear whether the postcolonial and the
global are one and the same, whether the postcolonial precedes and
provides the foundations for global or transnational cultural studies,
or whether globalization created the historical and material conditions
that both enabled the production of postcolonial theory and eroded its
political purchase through incorporation into the Western academy. It
appears as though the two are now one and the same so that to be global
is first and foremost to be postcolonial and to be postcolonial is
always already to be global. What does such coincidence signify? How
does it shape our understanding of the postcolonial/the global? Why has
culture/literature emerged as a key term in critical theory today? Are
we witnessing a dissolution of these categories (culture/literature) or
are we witnessing an entirely novel consolidation of them? Has the
relationship between the cultural, the economic, and the political
altered in ways yet untheorized? Has materialism essentially changed the
semiotic such that culture is now simply another commodity available for
consumption on the world market--or has the semiotic radically subsumed
the social such that cultural representation has become one with
material reality itself? And finally, what does the culturalist turn in
critical theory mean for the practice of postcolonial studies and what
does it portend for the political possibilities of decolonization? We
initially conceive of the book organized in five sections: 1) empire:
theory in the wake of 9/11; 2) agency and resistance from below; 3)
cosmopolitanisms, as identity, as practice; 4) (re)organization of
resources--material (technological, biological, financial) and cultural
(legal, artistic, religious); 5) popular/mass culture. This collection
of essays will examine, apply, extend, complicate and contest dominant
theoretical claims by focusing on specific material contexts in which
postcolonial-global culture is being manufactured and consumed. It is
hoped that such an approach will sharpen the radical edge of theory by
making it more open to alternatives. Send abstracts electronically to
both John C. Hawley ( and Revathi Krishnaswamy

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Received on Sun Sep 14 2003 - 17:39:18 EDT

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