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  • Introduction  
    Words in Motion / Carol Gluck  3
    Works in Motion / Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing  11
    Words with Shadows  
    Segurança/Security in Brazil and the United States / Itty Abraham  21
    Adat/Indigenous: Indigeneity in Motion / Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing  40
    Words That Expand  
    Ada/Custom in the Middle East and South Asia / Mona Abaza  67
    Sekinin/Responsibility in Modern Japan / Carol Gluck  83
    Words Unspoken  
    Ilmaniyya, Laïcité, Secularisme/Secularism in Morocco / Driss Maghraoui  109
    Saburaimu/Sublime: A Japanese Word and Its Political Afterlife / Alan Tansman  129
    Words That Cover  
    Aqalliyya/Minority in Modern Egyptian Discourse / Seteney Shami  151
    Hijâb/Headscarf: A Political Journey / Claudia Koonz  174
    Fear Words  
    Injury: Incriminating Words and Imperial Power / Lydia H. Liu  199
    Conjuracion/Conspiracy in the Philippine Revolution of 1896 / Vicente L. Rafael  219
    Terrorism: State Sovereignty and Militant Politics in India / Partha Chatterjee  240
    Words That Set Standards  
    Komisyon/Commission and Kurul/Board: Words that Rule / Huri Islamoglu  265
    Chumchon/Community in Thailand / Craig J. Reynolds  286
    Thammarat/Good Governance in Glocalizing Thailand / Kasian Tejapira  306
    Notes on Contributors  327
    Index  329
  • Carol Gluck

    Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

    Itty Abraham

    Mona Abaza

    Driss Maghraoui

    Alan Tansman

    Seteney Shami

    Claudia Koonz

    Lydia H. Liu

    Vicente L. Rafael

    Partha Chatterjee

    Huri Islamoglu

    Craig J Reynolds

    Kasian Tejapira

  • “Here is a collection of essays that all students of history, especially those with an interest in its political, social, and ethnographic dimensions will find intriguing. . . . [T]he book provides an ideal text for any interdisciplinary study that blends history, sociology, and international affairs. It may also be of some interest to semanticists.” — Claire Wyckoff, Publishing Research Quarterly

    Words in Motion is a highly original and exciting exploration of the global movements, transformations and social impacts of words which I expect will be welcomed and expanded upon by scholars in the fields of global and area studies. It is a recommended read for anyone with an interest in global history, conceptual history or translation studies.” — Michael Facius, H-Soz-u-Kult

    “. . . [T]his book offers many things to open-minded readers. The unpredictability at times can be refreshing, as we see when words imposed
    on the powerless become a double-edged sword (’terrorists’ becoming ‘freedom fighters’ in India, for example). Also, the words-in-motion project highlights the contributions of ‘critical public intellectuals who shape ideas
    and institutions not just in their home nations but also between and beyond national space’ (16). All the authors in this collection write with originality, wit, and flair, and deserve a wide audience.” — James Stanlaw, Anthropos

    Reviews

  • “Here is a collection of essays that all students of history, especially those with an interest in its political, social, and ethnographic dimensions will find intriguing. . . . [T]he book provides an ideal text for any interdisciplinary study that blends history, sociology, and international affairs. It may also be of some interest to semanticists.” — Claire Wyckoff, Publishing Research Quarterly

    Words in Motion is a highly original and exciting exploration of the global movements, transformations and social impacts of words which I expect will be welcomed and expanded upon by scholars in the fields of global and area studies. It is a recommended read for anyone with an interest in global history, conceptual history or translation studies.” — Michael Facius, H-Soz-u-Kult

    “. . . [T]his book offers many things to open-minded readers. The unpredictability at times can be refreshing, as we see when words imposed
    on the powerless become a double-edged sword (’terrorists’ becoming ‘freedom fighters’ in India, for example). Also, the words-in-motion project highlights the contributions of ‘critical public intellectuals who shape ideas
    and institutions not just in their home nations but also between and beyond national space’ (16). All the authors in this collection write with originality, wit, and flair, and deserve a wide audience.” — James Stanlaw, Anthropos

  • “I can think of no better field-guide to how ‘globalization’ works on-the-ground than this pioneering and remarkable collection of studies of how words and concepts move across the globe, old meanings turning into evolving new meanings as they shift from Britain to Asia, from Egypt to Indonesia, from the worlds of the past in Turkey and Japan into their new ages. This book should henceforth be part of any reading list on global history.”—Eric Hobsbawm, fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences —

    “Moving from North Africa through Europe to East and Southeast Asia, ranging from colonial discourse through national liberation movements into postcoloniality and globalization, this meticulously researched collection of stellar essays shows the politics of meaning-change as words cross boundaries from North to South and back, through the politics of gender and class. I am already using it in my teaching!”—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University —

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  • Description

    On the premise that words have the power to make worlds, each essay in this book follows a word as it travels around the globe and across time. Scholars from five disciplines address thirteen societies to highlight the social and political life of words in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The approach is consciously experimental, in that rigorously tracking specific words in specific settings frequently leads in unexpected directions and alters conventional depictions of global modernity.

    Such words as security in Brazil, responsibility in Japan, community in Thailand, and hijāb in France changed the societies in which they moved even as the words were changed by them. Some words threatened to launch wars, as injury did in imperial Britain’s relations with China in the nineteenth century. Others, such as secularism, worked in silence to agitate for political change in twentieth-century Morocco. Words imposed or imported from abroad could be transformed by those who wielded them to oppose the very powers that first introduced them, as happened in Turkey, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taken together, this selection of fourteen essays reveals commonality as well as distinctiveness across modern societies, making the world look different from the interdisciplinary and transnational perspective of “words in motion.”

    Contributors. Mona Abaza, Itty Abraham, Partha Chatterjee, Carol Gluck, Huri Islamoglu, Claudia Koonz, Lydia H. Liu, Driss Maghraoui, Vicente L. Rafael, Craig J. Reynolds, Seteney Shami, Alan Tansman, Kasian Tejapira, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

    About The Author(s)

    Carol Gluck is George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University. She is the author of Thinking with the Past: Modern Japan and History and Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period, and editor of Asia in Western and World History.

    Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-way Place and an editor of Nature in the Global South: Environmental Projects in South and Southeast Asia, also published by Duke University Press.

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