Histories of ‘worldmaking’ in the political sphere often point to 1955, the year when leaders of the recently decolonizing states gathered in the Indonesian town of Bandung to discuss the potential of a new order after Empire based on the principle of self-determination. So foundational was this moment that it later became known as the ‘Bandung Moment’ (Lee, 2010). For Adom Getachew, this moment was constituted by efforts to forge and create a new world; in her view, “anticolonial worldmaking offered a number of strategies to mitigate, circumvent, and undo the hierarchies that facilitated domination.”
But understood as more than a political undertaking and beyond the ‘Bandung Moment’, both the periodization and scope of ‘worldmaking’ can be extended to include intellectual, artistic, spiritual, and--at its most fundamental--cosmological reimagining of the world, both in the face of and after Empire. Yoav Di Capua’s (2018) study of Arab existentialism in 1960s and 1970s, for example, invites us to look at decolonization “not only in terms of physical liberation,” but rather as “a transnational business [that] developed global ethics of liberation and a clear expectation for true emancipation.” Recent philosophical contributions to ‘worldmaking’, for instance by Federico Campagna, have emphasised the urgency and possibility--then and now--to reinvent the world in moments of radical transformation, when worlds once familiar cease to exist and the potential for creating new ones arises. Employing this expanded notion of worldmaking can help us reimagine moments of collective worldmaking that predated decolonization during the late imperial period.
Taking its cue from recent work by Getachew, Di Capua, Campagna and others, Borderlines seeks contributions that shed light on the many ways in which actors engaged in decolonization attempted to create “another world” (Lee, 2010) after—or against and in the face of—Empire.
For those interested please send 400 word pitches to email@example.com with the subject: Worldmaking
Pitches should not exceed 400 words. We accept essays, translations, academic book reviews, interviews, and are open for other formats that adequately address the topic. For examples, please consult the borderlines website and archive. Contributions should not exceed 3000 words.
Borderlines is an open-access site run by the editors of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (CSSAAME), it complements the print journal, hosting interviews, short essays and podcasts. Borderlines submissions are not peer reviewed, and has a separate editorial board. It seeks to rethink ideas of region and area studies by questioning theoretical and disciplinary approaches towards these ideas. Broadly conceived, it aims to query concepts, categories and histories, and locate their different articulations beyond the Atlantic world. It asks how such differential articulations shape multiple understandings of ideas and action within and across borderlines that have constructed areas of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.