Lotus and the Self-Representation of Afro-Asian Writers as the Vanguard of Modernity

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Abstract
This essay has two aims. The first is to show that the editors of Lotus: Afro-Asian Writings and some of the writers who contributed to it (especially Ismail Ezzedine, Anar Rzayev, Tawfick Zeyad, Abdel Aziz El-Ahwani, Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Alex La Guma, Adonis, Salah Dehni, Luis Bernardo Honwana, Ghassan Kanafany, and Tozaburo Ono) attempted to reconceive of nationalism in a way that would make international solidarity constitutive of the new national projects. It is argued that this is quite different from thinking of the contributors to Lotus as abandoning nationalism in favor of a supranationalist project. The second aim is to show that at least some of the contributors to Lotus thought of themselves as being the vanguard of modernity, and not as the creators of “alternative modernities”. This essay shows that some of the aforementioned contributors to Lotus implicitly drew on standpoint epistemology in order to argue that, due to their struggles against colonialism, racial discrimination, etc., they had a privileged epistemic vantage point from which to criticize modernity in its European form for not being modern enough.
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Archival date: 2021-03-30
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