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“Antinomies of Modernity is a fundamental contribution to scholarship decentering Eurocentric epistemic perspectives. Vasant Kaiwar and Sucheta Mazumdar have collected impressive essays, including their own articles and introduction, showing the epistemic potential of ‘antinomies of modernity’ in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. This collection makes a signal contribution toward a paradigm showing us the way beyond postmodernism and postcolonialism.“—Walter D. Mignolo, Duke University — N/A
"Truly international in its engagement, Antinomies of Modernity is an important, original, and timely collection. As cultural studies turns global, we will need more anthologies like this one."—Christopher Connery, University of California, Santa Cruz — N/A
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Drawing on archival sources and fieldwork, the contributors explore aspects of modernity within societies of South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Whether considering how European ideas of Orientalism became foundational myths of Indian nationalism; how racial caste systems between blacks, South Asians, and whites operate in post-apartheid South Africa; or how Indian immigrants to the United States negotiate their identities, these essays demonstrate that the contours of cultural and identity politics did not simply originate in metropolitan centers and get adopted wholesale in the colonies. Colonial and postcolonial modernisms have emerged via the active appropriation of, or resistance to, far-reaching European ideas. Over time, Orientalism and nationalist and racialized knowledges become indigenized and acquire, for all practical purposes, a completely "Third World" patina. Antinomies of Modernity shows that people do make history, constrained in part by political-economic realities and in part by the categories they marshal in doing so.
Contributors. Neville Alexander, Andrew Barnes, Vasant Kaiwar, Sucheta Mazumdar, Minoo Moallem, Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, A. R. Venkatachalapathy, Michael O. West
Vasant Kaiwar is Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Duke University.
Sucheta Mazumdar is Associate Professor of History at Duke University. She is the author of Sugar and Society in China: Peasants, Technology, and the World Market. From 1981 until 2002 they served as coeditors of the journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
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