38.2: Trans-African Slaveries, Art and Culture in the Modern Middle East and more
This issue begins with a broadly conceived special section, “Trans-African Slaveries,” that promises to be a major intervention in the existing historiography of slavery. The section organizer, Mahmood Mamdani, argues that the range of histories constituting trans-African slavery cannot be categorized under the rubric of “Islamic slavery,” or as so many variants of a universal model of freedom/unfreedom whose genealogy remains wedded to the understanding of plantation slavery in the Atlantic World and the economic logics and practices of corporeal violence that are associated with it.
A second section, “Art and Culture in the Modern Middle East,” addresses the relationship between art and politics, political art, and the key role of artists and cultural producers in imagining new political formations against the backdrop of anticolonialism and decolonization in the region.
A third special section, “Southern Futures,” addresses the political imaginary of neoliberalism. The section opens with conversation among Ravinder Kaur, Keith Hart, and John Comaroff on the topic, and it echoes previous conversations in this journal (e.g., the interview with Kalyan Sanyal) on what it means to think and write about political economy outside the North Atlantic.
As this goes to press, we are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Saba Mahmood on March 10, 2018. Saba was a close friend and beloved colleague to many of us at CSSAAME. We are especially honored, therefore, to close this issue with a Kitabkhana on Saba Mahmood’sReligious Difference in a Secular Age, with an introduction by SherAli Tareen.
Contributors: Rounwah Adly Riyadh Bseiso, Yonas Ashine Demisse, Indrani Chatterjee, John Comaroff, Vinita Damodaran, Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan, Dahlia E. M. Gubara, Fatima Harrak, Keith Hart, Ravinder Kaur, Mahmood Mamdani, Arvind-Pal S. Mandair, Dina Matar, E. Ann McDougall, John Modern, Ismael M. Montana, Nermeen Mouftah, Juan Orrantia, Felix Padel, Abdul Sheriff, SherAli Tareen, Nadia von Maltzahn