This special section, “Other Than Human: Rethinking Colonial and Postcolonial South Asia,” speaks to the ways in which the other than human puts pressure on our sense of the secular contours of imperial rule and the postcolonial condition. Shifting from simply undoing the distinction between human and the other than human, each contributor grapples with how the other than human refuses to provide any easy to grasp object or politics, especially once its secularity is not taken as given. The authors establish the epistemological possibilities and challenges that inhere in probing the secular limits of our received understanding of the other than human—a received understanding that typically undergirds the work even of those whose scholarly archive encompasses the nonsecular. Such an expansive, nonsecular sense of the other than human is a slippery one that is incommensurable rather than compatible with protocols of legibility and recognition, as well as the calculations these involve.

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