A turn in theory: towards a 21st century notion of post-theory.

full name / name of organization: 
Tapati Bharadwaj.
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A turn in theory: towards a 21st century notion of post-theory.

This is a call for papers for a collection of essays which will look at notions of subjectivity, self and identity that critique the dominant theoretical movements of modernism and postmodernism.

Before the advent of western modernity, pre-colonial British India had a culture that was located at the cusps of an Islamic-Hindu-pluralistic identity; it existed in a state of perpetual contradictions, ambiguities and paradoxes. For example, if we look at the specificities of how people lived – engaged with society and the institutions of the state and local governance, we will be unable to catalogue the sheer diversity of life. This was the ultimate postmodern condition which can be defined as a state of being; at the same time, the western world was reeling under grand modern narratives. In retrospect, the arrival of the East India Company, along with the juggernaut of Western civilization, should be considered as being one of the numerous socio-civilizational changes that had taken place in the Indian subcontinent.

The obsession that Western theory has with clearly schematized theoretical movements and periods is nauseating and obviously flawed; it rests on making grand assumptions that the postmodern necessarily follows the modern – in a trans-global fashion; at what moment, in the history of the world, did European theory and artistic movements be representative of the World, and for that matter, why are we – those in the non-western worlds – perpetually, in a Sisyphean manner, condemned to emulate and desire those theoretical agendas that predominantly represent Europe? It would be more appropriate to say that modernism and post-modernism coexisted alongside numerous unnamed and undefined socio-structural, religio-secular-cultural states.

What we forget is that absolute narratives create homogenous subjects, citizens and sanitized nation-states; a condition that leads to a deadening of sensibilities, and the death of the humanist subject.

For more information, please write to Tapati Bharadwaj: tbharadwaj@yahoo.com.
Deadline for abstracts: July 31, 2015.