Thinking the Re-Thinking of the World
A recently published edited volume of the series ZMO-Studien by Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) engages with decolonial challenges to the humanities and social sciences from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. With this book, the editors Kai Kresse and Abdoulaye Sounaye are addressing the underexplored field of intellectual history and theoretical discourses in the so-called ‘global south’.
The dominance of Eurocentric languages and approaches of investigation and interpretation in the humanities and social sciences is prevalent until today. Although a critical discourse and the inclusion of regional perspectives has been started, it remains out of question that our world needs to be rethought. But how can a critique of Eurocentrism be productive in a context of not only entangled histories but also entangled futures? How can calls for decolonization of intellectual traditions be rightfully addressed?
This volume brings together authors from the regions concerned. Along different disciplinary lines, and with a focus on different historical timeframes, they take a critical stance on the ongoing dominance of Eurocentrism in academia and sketch out their perspectives of envisaged transformations. This includes specific case studies and reflexive accounts from African, South Asian, and Middle Eastern contexts. Drawing on their significant experiences and insights gained in both the global north and global south, the contributors offer original and innovative models of engagement and theorizing frames that seek to restore and critically engage with intellectual practices from particular regions and transregional contexts.
The authors Prathama Banerjee and Rakesh Pandey from India, for example, show how the difficult, thorough, and long-term study of different intellectual traditions in relation to each other pays off and can bring diverse conceptual approaches into productive conversation. In another chapter, Seteney Shami explores the idea that a re-labelling of the Middle East to ‘West Asia’ might bring constructive challenges with it, and lead to positive re-alliances and transformations. To give a further example, Sanya Osha’s chapter invites the reader to think through the particular case study of an influential African intellectual, the Senegalese Afrocentrist Cheikh Anta Diop, whose influence should have been much bigger in academia, according to the author.
“Thinking the Re-Thinking of the World. Decolonial Challenges to the Humanities and Social Sciences from Africa, Asia and the Middle East” is edited by Kai Kresse and Abdoulaye Sounaye and published by de Gruyter in December 2022 as part of the series ZMO-Studien. The volume is available in Open Access. The ZMO-Studien series publishes relevant original and innovative research on the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia and their historical and current transregional inter-relations, from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Monographs and edited volumes published in the series illustrate and complement the centre's research profile.
Prof. Dr. Kai Kresse is vice director of ZMO and Professor for Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin. His current research project focuses on intellectual culture under postcolonial conditions in East Africa, particularly on the Swahili Coast. PD Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye is Head of the Research Unit Contested Religion and Intellectual Culture at ZMO. He is currently also leading a Leibniz Junior Research Group on the topic of “Religion, Morality and Boko in West Africa: Students Training for a Good Life”.
The book will be presented in an online event organised by ZMO on 13 March 2023 at 5 pm.
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Kai Kresse, Abdoulaye Sounaye (eds.): Thinking the Re-Thinking of the World
Decolonial Challenges to the Humanities and Social Sciences from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. ZMO-Studien 43, de Gruyter Berlin/Boston, 2022.
https://www.zmo.de/en/events/thinking-the-re-thinking-of-the-world Event information for the book presentation on 13/3/23
https://www.zmo.de/publikationen/zmo-studien Overview ZMO-Studien
https://www.zmo.de/en/people/prof-dr-kai-kresse CV Kai Kresse
https://www.zmo.de/personen/dr-abdoulaye-sounaye CV Abdoulaye Sounaye