In a sociopolitical and cultural context like that of Sudan, where forces of militarist, Islamist, and traditionalist politics persist with tenacity, chronicling the politics and intellectual legacy of Sudanese Marxism is a must for apprehending both its historiography and its present struggle for institutionalizing societal transformation. “What's Left of the Left?” is not a mere commemoration of the efforts to enact progressive politics in a society deeply entrenched in sectarian traditionalist loyalties. Instead, it devotes systematic attention to the patterns through which reflexivity and debate helped spawn new and essential dialogues on the cultural politics of the nation-state and national identity. Drawing inspiration from the powerful intellectual vision of the late Abdel Khaliq Mahgoub, “What's Left of the Left?” elucidates the predominant debates within the Left itself as it worked clandestinely throughout years of the institutionalized state's contraventions of fundamental rights that engulfed the people and marked the country. In so doing, “What's Left of the Left?” illuminates reflexivity and internal critique in an effort to mount feasible arguments on the promises and predicaments of localizing what conservative Sudanese condemned as imported ideology. However, the Left's relentlessness in tailoring Marxism in a society emerging from the shadows of colonialism necessitated the rise of a charismatic leader such as Mahgoub, whose life was devoted to a desire to make history and to his keen interest in challenging complacency and narrow-minded nationalism, which proved detrimental to the betterment of the lives of Sudanese people, a reality that continues even now, as we witness debates on secession, ethnic cleansing, marginality, and charges of genocide.
Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf; Introduction: Writing the Dialectic. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2010; 109 (1): 1–7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2009-021
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