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Expanding Being-becoming beyond Liminality, Crossroads and Borderlands

by Remi Calleja

This book aims to expand on the notion of being, becoming, and being-becoming that manifests across the literature of liminality, crossroads and borderlands. Looking to overcome the limitations of these grounding concepts, the metaphor of the shadowlands is proposed. Moving away from dualities and binaries, challenging the spatial metaphors, which imply clear and defined boundaries and spring from an objective construction of ‘reality’, and coping with the idea of incompleteness, unfinishedness, are the challenges of the shadowlands. Through the prism of this newly conceptualised analytical and epistemological tool, the authors intend to grasp a fresh understanding of the processes of being, becoming and being-becoming in both their singular and multiple manifestations. As an epistemological concept, the shadowlands imply that anthropologists must not only identify these uncanny spaces of junction in their research, but also shadowlands in the ethnographic papers that they produce. In addition to a better understanding of the continuous fabrication of temporalities and being-becoming, the concept puts into perspective the discipline of anthropology itself. Throughout the chapters, the different authors permit to grasp the various applications of the shadowlands, allowing to project the concept in particular contexts and through specific angles of analysis.

ISBN 9789956551873 | 182 pages | 203 x 127mm | 2020 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback



“The anthropological endeavour, at least on one reading, is an attempt to be attentive both to the unfolding of everyday life and to the translational practices that enable legibility across difference. How, in a world that traffics in mobilities, boundaries and differences, can we grapple with ideas and concepts whose theoretical genealogies are entangled with histories of Empire and which continue to live in everyday world-making practices and the disciplinary knowledges that seek to understand them? How might our concepts better honour the diverse world-making practices we come to know? The authors of this collection address an overreliance in Anthropology on concepts that reify and fix complex phenomena. They offer us a concept of ‘shadowlands’ to describe those shifting spaces that lie beyond, just out of reach of, the concrete facts of dispossessions and erasures of historical and contemporary global modernities, and to think beyond the lexicons of Euromodern concepts and the ideas they constellate.” 

Fiona Ross, Professor of Anthropology, University of Cape Town, South Africa



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