Beyond the postmodern and the postcolonial.

full name / name of organization: 
Open Windows: A feminist research Center.


There is an enormous unsurmountable divide between lived experiences and the theory we cultivate in the safe spaces within academic institutions. Even if postmodernism espouses against grand universal narrativization and urges us to look at the specificities of life, and even if the postmodern condition, of being in a state of paradox, ambiguity and contingency is a contrast against the modern notion of closure, order, absoluteness and rationality, we have to be prepared to acknowledge instances which elude even the postmodern.

This is call for a collection of essays that looks at a theoretical moment beyond the postmodern and the postcolonial conditions. The failure of postcolonial theory is in that it refuses to acknowledge that there should be other histories that can be written about this same time period of colonization; postcolonial theory obsesses with the hegemomic Center's cultural representation of the Other-margins-colonies.

Postcolonial theory is perpetually stymied by its desire to locate the histories of hybridity and encounters with Self-Other in the last few centuries when Europe ventured out to make colonies; in the act of doing so, it erased the fact that these native countries would have had equally hybrid pre-colonial pasts. In The Calcutta Gazette, one of the first printed newspaper that was circulated in Calcutta, in the early years of British colonization and the presence of the East India Company, a report described the summer palace of Tipu Sultan as "one of the most magnificent buildings in India" (April 21, 1791). Tipu Sultan was one of the last vestiges of Islamic presence in India; we never ask if Islam itself, as a religion, was hybridised within India.

In a similar vein, a contemporary example would be the city-scape of Dubai, which cannot be contained within our preconceived notions of what an Islamic-city should look like; the city comes across as a conundrum, as it embraces certain elements of the modern-spanking-new. Even as the city rests upon grand narratives of religious absolutisms, the urban city-scape undercuts this notion with a sense of irony and ambiguity.

Have we arrived at a moment beyond the postcolonial and the postmodern?

For more information, please write to: Deadline for abstracts (250-400 words): July 31st, 2015.

This CFP is by Open Windows: A feminist research center (

The collection will be published by Lies and Big Feet, an independent publishing house (