Abdelkébir Khatibi

BookAbdelkébir Khatibi

Abdelkébir Khatibi

Postcolonialism, Transnationalism, and Culture in the Maghreb and Beyond

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 72


October 23rd, 2020



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Abdelkébir Khatibi (1938–2009) is one of the greatest Moroccan thinkers, and one of the most important theorists of both postcolonialism and Islamic culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This book introduces his works to Anglophone readers, tracing his development from the early work on sociology in Morocco to his literary and aesthetic works championing transnationalism and multilingualism. The essays here both offer close analyses of Khatibi’s engagements with a range of issues, from Moroccan politics to Arabic calligraphy and from decolonisation to interculturality, and highlights the important contribution of his thinking to the development of Western postcolonial and modern theory. The book acknowledges the legacy of one of the greatest African thinkers of the last century, and addresses the lack of attention to his work in the field of postcolonial studies. More than a writer, a sociologist or a thinker, Khatibi was a leading figure and an eclectic intellectual whose erudite works can still inform and enrich current reflections on the future of postcolonialism and the development of intercultural and transnational studies. The book also includes translated excerpts from Khatibi’s works, thus offering a multilingual perspective on his writing.
Contributors: Assia Belhabib, Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani, Dominique Combe, Rim Feriani, Charles Forsdick, Olivia C. Harrison, Jane Hiddleston, Debra Kelly, Khalid Lyamlahy, Lucy McNeece, Matt Reeck, Alison Rice, Nao Sawada, Andy Stafford, Edwige Tamalet Talbayev, Alfonso de Toro

“It is difficult to overstate the importance of Abdelkebir Khatibi, not just for the postcolonial or francophone world but for literary and cultural studies in general. This volume will be a significant contribution to scholarship on the multifaceted and complex work of this original literary and cultural voice."
Nasrin Qader, Northwestern University

'Jane Hiddleston and Khalid Lyamlahy’s hard-hitting collection of essays on Abdelkébir Khatibi represents the first major English-language publication devoted to the Moroccan thinker and his work.[...] In this sense, there can be no greater homage to, or recognition of, Khatibian destabilisation and instigation than the editors' thoughtful interfolding of elements of surprise into the collection’s structure. [...] This book is positioned to be of immense interest to students and scholars of postcolonialism who are invested in the complex intersections of politics, literature, language, and identity, both within and beyond the francosphere. One of the book’s most precious contributions to (francophone) postcolonialism is how it points to fecund crossovers with adjacent fields of scholarship, and gestures toward potentially trailblazing interventions.'
Yasser Elhariry, Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies

'There is also a useful overview of Khatibi scholarship, which in turn offers readers a chance to consider new avenues for research and enquiry. Particularly impressive is the way that this volume brings together many Khatibi scholars. [...] Hiddleston and Lyamlahy have done a laudable job of making the book accessible to a wide audience; whether one has just discovered Khatibi’s writings or spent a lifetime studying him, there is something in this collection for everyone.'
Shannon K. Winston, French Studies

'Abdelkébir Khatibi is quite properly characterized by the editors of this impressive collaboration as among the most important theorists of postcolonialism and contemporary Islamic culture. [...There are] fourteen individually fascinating and cumulatively compelling essays offered here, and which are valuably complemented by translations of substantial extracts from two of Khatibi’s major texts. [...] This absorbing introduction to his life and work deserves to be widely read and discussed.'
Philip Dine, International Journal of French Studies


Author Information

Jane Hiddleston is Professor of Literatures in French at the University of Oxford. Khalid Lyamlahy is Assistant Professor in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Part 1: Critical Thinking: From Decolonization to Transnationalism51
1. The ‘Souverainement Orphelin’ of Abdelkébir Khatibi’s Early Writings53
2. Tireless Translation77
3. Abdelkébir Khatibi’s Mediterranean Idiom101
4. Abdelkébir Khatibi and the Transparency of Language123
5. Khatibi and Performativity, ‘From where to speak?’137
Plates section 1159
Part 2: Cultural and Philosophical Dialogues167
6. Khatibi and the Transcolonial Turn169
7. Segalen and Khatibi193
8. Khatibi and Derrida217
9. Maghrebian Shadow239
Plates section 2255
Part 3: Aesthetics and Art in the Islamic World and Beyond265
10. Reading Signs and Symbols with Abdelkébir Khatibi267
11. Abdelkébir Khatibi291
12. The Carpet as a Text, the Writer as a Weaver309
13. The Artist’s Journey, or, the Journey as Art335
Part 4: Translations357
14. Excerpts from Abdelkébir Khatibi,359
15. Excerpts from Abdelkébir Khatibi and Jacques Hassoun, Le Même Livre (Paris: Editions de l’Eclat, 1985)377
Notes on Contributors391