Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35:1

An issue of: Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35:1
Journal Issue Pages: 200 Volume 35, Number 1 Published: May 2015 An issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
In the previous year, our contributors have taken the non-West as a site of theoretical production and scholarly circulation and focused on key transformations in conceptions of sovereignty, political ethics, and subject formation that were effected in areas and regions outside Euro-America. Volume 35, number 1, extends those concerns in two ways. First, a number of contributions to this volume focus on mass mediation and the technologization of everyday life, as these have enabled and foreclosed political imagination. The special section “Media and Utopia” examines the fragmentation of utopian thinking alongside the prolific generation of utopias by popular political movements. It inserts mediation—the modes of collectivity through which political movements construct possible futures—to understand the open-ended dynamic of popular movements as these configure political resources for enacting futures anew. “Nonhuman Empires” revisits the link between liberalism and empire, but from the perspective of challenging disciplinary history’s investment in figurations of human agency as the sole or distinctive site of struggle and resistance. Our contributors trace how empire constructed human agency by purifying itself of entire continents of nonhuman imperial subjects and, by so doing, seek to bring the new imperial history into conversation with postcolonial and posthumanist critiques of agency. The issue concludes with our Kitabkhana on The Birth of Chinese Feminism, which addresses the interwar essays of the Chinese anarcho-feminist He-Yin Zhen, who challenged the liberal feminism of her male (nationalist) interlocutors by reinterpreting the place of gender, power, and the sexual division of labor in Chinese history.

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