Boundary Lines

Philosophy and Postcolonialism

By Emanuela Fornari
Translated by Iain Halliday
Foreword by Étienne R. Balibar

Subjects: Philosophy, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Theory, Political Theory
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438474120, 174 pages, January 2020
Hardcover : 9781438474113, 174 pages, February 2019

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Table of contents

Étienne Balibar

Part I. Time, History, Writing

1. The Margins of History

1.1. World-History: The End of “Outside”

1.2. Temporalization and Anachrony

1.3. The Ambiguous Border: Exception and Liberation

2. Writing, Narrations

2.1. Counter-Histories

2.2. Archives of Silence

2.3. Narratives of the Possible

3. Aporias of Memory

3.1. The Law of the Past: Ruins and Other Remains

3.2. Historical Sublime and Narrative
Part II. Maps, Subjects, Translation

4. Translation and Transition

4.1. Writing Machines

4.2. Global Capital and “Historical Difference”

5. Politics of Translation

5.1. Cultural Identity and Ambivalence

5.2. Language and Minorities

5.3. Logic, Rhetoric, Silence

6. Political Subjects

6.1. Geography of Dominion, Cartographies of Subalternity

6.2. The Political Word

6.3. Difference and Position: Alliances Located

Index of Names

Systematically addresses the philosophical implications of the postcolonial.


In this book, Emanuela Fornari systematically examines the philosophical implications of postcolonial studies. She considers postcolonial critique not as a school or a current of thought but rather as a multiform constellation that—from the celebrated Orientalism of Edward Said to the contributions of authors like Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Ranajit Guha, and Dipesh Chakrabarty—has called into question the assumptions that underlie key concepts in the history of philosophy. Fornari addresses themes such as history and memory, borders, the subject, and translation, engaging classical authors such as Kant, Hegel, and Marx alongside more contemporary theorizations by authors such as Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Étienne Balibar, and Jacques Rancière.

Emanuela Fornari is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Roma Tre, Italy and has published several books, including Modernity Out of Joint: Global Democracy and Asian Values in Jürgen Habermas and Amartya K. Sen. Iain Halliday is Associate Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Catania, Italy. He is the author of Huck Finn in Italian, Pinocchio in English: Theory and Praxis of Literary Translation.


"Fornari's book is purposeful in its construction, framed by themes she puts into motion and in which each considered thinker is set. The result is an investigation of philosophy and the postcolonial that does not rely on familiar associations and gestures, but rather rigorous, original theorizing of key concepts. This is a compelling book that displays mature, important thinking on some of our most pressing philosophical issues." — John E. Drabinski, coeditor of Between Levinas and Heidegger