Vol 4 No 1–2 (2010): Modernity's Modernisms—RIAS Vol. 4, Fall–Winter (1–2/2010)

[...] The essays in this issue address the notion of modernity’s modernisms construed in this way in three registers: the temporal, the spatial and the global. In its reconsideration of the Western moment of modernity, this issue’s theme doesn’t seek to identify this as the only, or even the most important, modern moment. What it does seek to do is to try to unravel its significance to Western conceptions of modernity. By opening up the historical in this way, it suggests another way to think about the temporal in our considerations of modernism and modernity by decentering the influence of periodization, which would lock cultural discourse in neat 100-year time periods, often precluding productive engagement outside of those contexts by refusing and/or denying any kind of common ground. In its reconsideration of space, by emphasizing a hemispheric over an isolated (and potentially isolating) national geography, the issue provides a productive way to bring the spatial and the temporal into dialogue, so that what others have called multi-directional currents, which are often found in the interstices between national entities, are emphasized over the narrative of pure and authentic national identity. This dialogue also provides the ground for productive interdisciplinary engagement, in that what can be considered common ground need no longer be determined only by discipline, but rather by object of knowledge, which is also often derived thematically. And it speaks in a global register because as a result of these other registers, it becomes possible to think about the global interrelationships, geographical, national, cultural, political, etc. that may exist between silenced or oppressed modernities that we don’t know so well in relation to the hegemonic narrative of the modern that we all know too well. This is the way by which modernity’s modernisms come to be understood or to represent multiple interconnected ‘hemi/spheres,’ in which exist many possible relations of various (though not all) modernities through history, time, and space, across axes of east and west and north and south—linked also, through the shared quest of discovery, to disparate global modernities existing prior to the 15th century modern moment of the West. Viewed in terms of such multiple ‘hemi/spheres,’ modernity’s modernisms thus suggests both a transnational and a transhistorical approach, forming an important nexus between inside/outside, colonial/postcolonial, the West and the Rest [...]. (Read more in the Editorial)

Full Issue

Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
RIAS Editors