Call for Papers: Critical Theory from the Global South

A Conference in Memory of Mona Abaza – – 11-13 May 2023, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

In 1993 Edward Said wrote of the silence of critical theory on all matters of ‘racist-theory, anti-imperialist resistance, and oppositional practices in the empire’ (1993: 278). For Said, and other post-colonial theorists, this silence was not merely an oversight but, consistent with all universalizing approaches, a consequence of an avoidance of ‘the major… determining, political horizon of modern Western culture, namely imperialism’ (1995:37). In the years since Said’s pronouncements, similar critiques of critical theory’s apparent Eurocentrism, blindness to, and inability to contend with colonialism, coloniality and the Global South have been elaborated by figures associated with what has come to be known as the decolonial turn.

Despite these critiques, scholars of and in the global south have continued to turn to critical theory as a resource in the analysis and critique both of their own societies and of global structures and processes in which their societies are embedded.

Prominent amongst these scholars is the recently departed sociologist Mona Abaza. Mona’s legacy includes crucial engagements with and contributions to critical theory, particularly in relation to consumption/consumerism, religion, intellectual history, aesthetics, and the urban.

In May 2023 the American University in Cairo will host a conference in the memory of Mona Abaza.

The conference has two objectives:

  • To remember and reflect on the impact of Mona Abaza and her scholarship on the global south and beyond.
  • To reflect on the resonance of, and manner in which scholarship on and in the global south incorporates and/or contributes to the project(s) of critical theory and the manner in which critical theory from the global south can contribute to studies in the humanities and social sciences.

We welcome proposals for papers or panels concerning these or related topics.

Submissions should be received by 7 March.

Decisions will follow quickly.

Papers will be considered for possible publication in a special issue of Cairo Papers.

For questions and submissions please contact

Marisa Breathwaite

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