Tamazgha as a Horizon of Literature and Thought*
Tamazgha Studies Journal (TSJ) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that seeks to foreground a critical understanding of the geocultural and intellectual space of the current Maghreb through multilingual and indigeneity-informed approaches. TSJ is the new incarnation of the journal CELAAN and builds upon CELAAN’s four decades of rich scholarship while seeking to examine the significance of rethinking and reconfiguring North Africa by accounting for multilingualism and indigeneity. As such, TSJ’s inaugural issue is dedicated to reassessing the scholarly, programmatic, and curricular implications of using the neologism Tamazgha instead of the Maghreb or North Africa in scholarly and pedagogical practices that focus on this area. We believe that questioning toponymies and revisiting routine assumptions of the names and borders of the places we study can reorient scholarship and push the boundaries of what current paradigms allow us to examine or consider thinkable.
Both the Maghreb and North Africa are geographical terms that situate this geopolitical space in connection to the Middle East, the Mediterranean or sub-Saharan Africa. The Maghreb evokes the Mashriq while shamāl ifriqīyya (North Africa) evokes ifriqīyya janūb al-ṣaḥrā’ (sub-Saharan Africa). Evocative, rich, and generative as they are, these terms do not take into account the indigenous imaginary that has sought to reindigenize North Africa/Maghreb: Tamazgha. Extending from the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the Oasis of Siwa in southwest Egypt, Tamazgha complicates postcolonial borders, blurs the demarcation lines between communities, and places indigeneity at the center of any approach that aspires to capture the epistemic and critical significance of the shifts taking place in the region. As a result, Tamazgha challenges geographic appellations and infuses this renamed place with an indigenous dimension that has been absented for the best part of the twentieth century. A critical reflection on the scholarly implications of academic deployment of Tamazgha to reconfigure the scholarly and humane space referred to as the Maghreb/North Africa in most scholarship will open up a copious space for transformative, interdisciplinary methodological approaches that promise a reinvention of Maghrebi studies, writ large.
For the inaugural issue of Tamazgha Studies Journal, we seek original contributions of a maximum of 4000 words that reflect on the scholarly, programmatic, and pedagogical questions and possibilities that arise from the shift from the study of the Maghreb/North Africa to the study of Tamazgha. Contributors are invited to reflect on their own research and pedagogical endeavors as well as on epistemological questions that relate to the reconfiguration of a scholarly field. What is the transformative potential of rethinking space or spatial designations? How might foregrounding Tamazgha change our relationship to languages in both research and teaching methodologies? How might Tamazgha open new discussions about indigeneity and Amazigh studies? How might Tamazgha inform and shift approaches to field work and data collection? In inviting our contributors to conceptualize how Tamazgha might contribute to renewing their scholarship and pedagogical initiatives, we posit Tamazgha as a future/aspirational project that will change not only different scholarly fields, but also, and most importantly, the very public spheres and cultures that are brought under this new name and which scholarship has to engage with in novel ways.
Scholars interested in contributing to this inaugural issue should send a 300-word abstract and a 200-word biography to the editors Katarzyna Pieprzak, Aomar Boum, and Brahim El Guabli at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 30, 2022. Final submissions will be accepted in Amazigh, Arabic, English, and French but they should all be written following the Chicago Manual of Style.
*This title evokes “Le Maghreb comme horizon de pensée.”
Editors: Katarzyna Pieprzak, Aomar Boum, and Brahim El Guabli