Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.
challenge it presented to the critical paradigm of the ‘empire writes back to the centre’. Rather than being reduced to a response to imperial metropolitan power, colonised and postcolonial cultures could now be understood as dialogues with other (formerly) colonised and diasporic cultures. These multiple axes have long been recognised, and analysed, within political traditions of Third World internationalism, pan-Africanism, socialism (to name a few), and within disciplines other than literary and cultural studies.24 But they were most welcome within postcolonial studies
connection to Du Bois, I suggest that the very timing of Plaatje’s intertextual involvement expresses a subtle if radical pan-Africanism. Native Life was written in 1916, while Plaatje was part of an ANC delegation in England, petitioning the British government to repeal the unjust Natives Land Act. Plaatje, that is, was officiating as a political representative of the ANC, performing the role of constitutional liberal nationalist whose political validation and ideology centred on England. It is at this highly English moment that he chooses to write a text that engages
And it is also to be found in Said’s Culture and Imperialism classification of ‘decolonising discourses’ as a progression from nativist through nationalist to liberationist theory.11 Rebutting Said, Parry points out that Not only are the stages less disjunct than the periodisation suggests – messianic movements and Pan-Africanism were utopian in their goals, Nkrumah’s nationalism was not exclusively Africanist, acknowledging as it did the recombinant qualities of a culture which had developed through assimilating Arabic and western features, and so on – but the
orientations of black community and feminist movements (such as the Southall Looking back 237 Black Sisters and Imkaan), or in radical black politics, or Pan Africanism inspired by figures such as Marcus Garvey (also see Andrews 2018: 94–99; Rodney 2018). Such connections remain intimately experienced by many communities in places like the UK, but almost unseeable and unthinkable to wider white publics. This is perhaps best evidenced in the discipline of migration and refugee studies, which whilst promising to offer insights into the politics of contemporary movement too
of in this way, race ought not to be seen as a ‘rival’ variable to class. Indeed, as the Pan-African Marxist revolutionary C.L.R. James teaches us, race is not incidental to class any more than class is incidental to race. 59 Thus, just as Western Marxism should continue to be challenged for its failure to understand the struggle of Black people globally, 60 so too should the ‘growing number of self-styled activist-intellectuals’ who adopt ‘racial politics that
took place across the English city. This unrest further Making love, making empire 89 extended into August when the police themselves went on strike and set forth a series of violent protests which were eventually quashed by the deployment of three army battalions, several naval destroyers and a battleship on the River Mersey. In the aftermath of the so-called race riot, commentators sought to place the event in the spiralling unrest that was growing across the British Empire, with the rise of pan-African consciousness, decolonial social movements and the
account for difference among African-derived populations, in a way that a term like Pan-Africanism could not … it forces us to consider discourses of cultural and political linkage only through and across difference” (Edwards, 2001 , p. 64). A key example of discourses of cultural linkages is the pre-civil war collective self-definitions of the Afro-diaspora, which “often treated Africa as a fallen