Modernity and the Global South: Decolonial and Postcolonial Hubs

deadline for submissions: 
March 24, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Faculty of Languages, Arts and Social Sciences

CALL FOR PAPERS FOR AN EDITED BOOK

Volume Two

Modernity and the Global South: Decolonial and Postcolonial Hubs

 

Subject Fields: Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Literary Studies, Sociology, Media    Studies, Political Philosophy, Decoloniality

 CLAS lab invites chapter proposals on the theme of ‘‘Modernity, Decolonial, and Postcolonial Discourses” for the second volume of our book series.

 Background

M

odernity has lately re-emerged as one of the most contested concepts due to its underscored relationship with coloniality and colonialism. For centuries, it has been a relished pretext to lead non-European others to freedom, prosperity, progress, etc., without the least hesitation to reconsider a possibility of a civilized and knowledgeable ‘Other’, even if not in the European ‘modes’ of knowing. This Eurocentric aggressive approach flagrantly burned to the ground the Indian civilisations as a starting point which was followed by hundreds of thousands of African slaves shipped to the New World to fuel the wheel of modernity in Europe which finally culminated in the vast military colonization of millions of Other Non-Western peoples reaching from South American to the far Asian East through Africa. Hundreds of cultures and civilizations were obliterated leading to a hegemonic Western way of life and way of knowing. Strictly speaking, modernity forged a structural hegemony over knowledge that bans other ways of knowing and doomed them to obliteration. Yet by the very nature of things, this domination of the West had to be contested at some historical point, and as Michel Foucault suggested, “Where there is power, there is resistance” (1978: 95). Accordingly, the 20th century witnessed the emergence of two ground-breaking perspectives that requestioned and undermined the imposed Western universal model of modernity. Unquestionably, the postcolonial and decolonial premises have provided, each in its way, abundant theoretical and conceptual lexis through which modernity and power are fenced in academia as well as in everyday practices worldwide.

The postcolonial is not merely a temporal distinction but rather an academic space whereby imperialism and hegemony are scrutinised to see through the discourses that shaped the European mindset through centuries; discourses that instigate hierarchies that travel time and space between the Europeans and the natives as manifested bluntly in Arthur Gobineau’s “Essay on the Inequality of Human Races” (1853) and the binary division between the ‘the civilized’ and ‘the barbaric’ as examined thoroughly by Edward Said, Ashis Nandy and Homi Bhabha, among many others. Identity, gender, resistance, discourse, etc., are pivotal concepts around which postcolonial critics engage and seek to deconstruct the colonial legacy in literature, cinema, politics and other cultural texts. Indeed, it is the study of colonial discourse as posited by Benita Parry (2004) that mostly characterizes the premises of the postcolonial theory.

On the other hand, the decolonial thought instigated in the Global South has rather a different historical starting point and scope. The outstanding work by the Peruvian Anibal Quijano, after its translation into English, is argued to be the first to tackle coloniality and power as a conceptual framework to study modernity (Arias 2013). This theoretical conceptualisation seeks to decolonize the minds from the Eurocentric assumption that white man’s mode of thinking and knowing is universal (Quijano 2000). Historically speaking, the Bandung African-Asian Conference held in 1955 demarcated an insurgence against the Global North political and economic colonization. It was a moment of solidarity and resistance to all forms of power that the global south could be subjugated to, and its inter-nations dialogues, solidarity and cooperation were implemented in the core of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) founded in 1961 through the celebrated Ten Principles of Bandung. However, it should be clear that the decolonization, as a national quest in the Global South which was emblemed later in the spirit of Bandung Conference, is not terminologically a mere derivation of decoloniality. Decolonization was a political and national project shared by African, South American and Asian nations seeking to liberate the ‘Third World’ and gain back control over the state. Decoloniality, on the other hand, is much of an epistemological project that sought to liberate itself from the Western structures of knowledge which dissimulate under the questioned European project of modernity. Decoloniality is about “delinking” (Mignolo 2007) the natives from modernity and resurrecting the native’s knowledge. Colonialism might have stopped, but the practice of coloniality still governs the power relations between the North and the South.

In short, this book is a call to scrutinize a double encounter whose main players crisscross over time and space. The first encounter was first unfolded through the legacy of the postcolonial theory where the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ are the subject matter (Crusoe/Friday and Othello/Desdemona…etc.) and the colonizer/colonized relationship is the currency that sells the story of the encounter. Another face of this encounter is engraved in intellectual dialogues between scholars from the Global North and their counterparts from the Global South (Foucault/Said, Gramsci/Guha, etc.). First, this intellectual encounter culminated in Said’s using of Foucault’s discourse to deconstruct imperial cultural narratives. Second, it culminated in Guha’s theorizing of colonial discourse, hand in hand with other members of the Subaltern Studies group, from a subaltern viewpoint as conceptualised by Gramsci. The second encounter is between intellectuals belonging to the global south or the ex-colonized geographies where indigenous knowledges are unfolding promising grounds to decolonize the minds from the shackles of modernity and Eurocentric hegemony of knowledge production and dissemination, and hence pave the way to a Southern theory (Alatas 2019). The examples are numerous to list in the hub of this Southern dialogue: the scholarly endeavour by Alatas to resurrect Ibn Khaldun’s framework in social sciences, on one hand, and Mohammed Abed Al Jabri claiming back Ibn Rushd’s reasoning, Latinised as Averroes, on the other hand, is genuinely ground-breaking in academic spaces.

We are taking a broad approach to the topic of the politics and aesthetics of modernity. We aim to be broad in scope, and we are happy to consider English language proposals in fields including, but not limited to:

  • Postcolonial theory and praxis
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Theory from the margin
  • Decolonizing university/minds
  • Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism
  • Captivity and memory narratives
  • Collective memory and colonial legacy
  • Decolonizing development
  • Writing postcolonial memory in MENA
  • Modernity and the notion of the nation-state
  • Modernity and postnational temporalities  
  • Theory of modernity and the cultural politics of everydayness 
  • Modern temporalities in North African cinema
  • Modernity and Moroccan popular culture
  • Modernity and the ‘aesthetic regime of art’
  • Modernity and the idea of progress
  • Modern times and spaces in postcolonial African literature  
  • Mimesis and the shortcomings of the notion of modernity
  • Decolonizing cultural institutions and heritage in the North African context
  • Modernity and its relations to postmodernity and postcolonial modernity

Important dates: Extended

  • Abstract Submissions :  24th March 2023.
  • Article Submissions:  28th April 2023.
  • Publication Date: 30th June 2023.

N.B. Papers should not be published or suggested for publication elsewhere: papers are

published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date. Papers should be

sent to the following email address: maghrebiencountersvol2@gmail.com

 

Lead editors:

Seddik OUBOULAHCEN, Faculty of Languages, Arts and Human Sciences, Agadir, Morocco.

s.ouboulahcen@uiz.ac.ma

 

Rachid AIT ABDELMOUMAN, Faculty of Languages, Arts and Human Sciences, Agadir, Morocco.

r.aitabdelmouman@uiz.ac.ma

 

Omar AKFOU, Faculty of Languages, Arts and Human Sciences, Agadir, Morocco.

o.akfou@uiz.ac.ma