Pain and Play: Building Coalitions toward Decolonizing Philosophy

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In what follows I offer three theoretical frameworks out of which we might think through coalition building for the sake of decolonization. My claim is that, through these three frameworks, we can be attentive to the ways we, ourselves are shaped by coloniality as we collectively work to resist it. The first framework is Maria Lugones's account of playful world-travel. The second concerns the practice of unsuturing, developed George Yancy. And the third is Édouard Glissant's notion of opacity (as that conception pertains to his account of errantry). In bringing these together, I foreground opacity as the cornerstone of an encounter between self and Other, as that encounter figures both in Lugones's account of world traveling, and in Glissant's account of errantry. I use George Yancy's conception of unsuturing to show that it is more productive to think of world-travel's play as coupled with unsuturing's pain, rather than to think of these comportments as either mutually exclusive or diametrically opposed. Lugones, Glissant, and Yancy show that, out of this pain-play comportment, our collective commitments to decolonization might result in more effective coalitions against the workings of colonial power, so as to gesture toward the possibility of alternative (decolonial) worlds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-106
Number of pages17
JournalSouthern Journal of Philosophy
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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