Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography


Tariq Jazeel's remarks at the 2017 RGS/IBG annual conference and the paper in this issue are set against the backdrop of an ‘Anglophonic and allegorical’ library (Jazeel, this issue, p. 6). For those of us educated in former British colonies as for Mustafa Sa'eed—the protagonist of Tayeb Salih's novel—the English study is a familiar space. Though never having seen or been in any such study, in my mind's eye I settle myself comfortably in the armchair in front of the fireplace with a book in hand. Jazeel firmly shakes me awake to notice that the book in my hand like the ones on Sa'eed's shelves is in English. Why is this so? To grapple with this question I remove my shoes (to this day I cannot really think with shoes on) and sit up. Of course, bare toes do not belong in a Victorian chair. But surely I may slide down to sit cross‐legged on the rug on the library floor (almost certainly woven in Turkey, North Africa, Central Asia or the Middle East)? Jazeel flags one of the key conundrums of the decolonial imperative: we can neither inhabit a Eurocentric library (comfortably?) nor leave it (uncomfortably?). And by us he means all of us—those who are considered marginal in some way (gendered female, queer, raced, formerly colonized, and more), but also whose subjectivities are dominant or ‘mainstream’ (former colonizers, gendered males, white, able‐bodied, committed to disciplines, etc.).







UMass Amherst Open Access Policy