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Antinomies of Modernity: Essays on Race, Orient, Nation Paperback – April 21, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


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

"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

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (April 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822330466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822330462
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,529,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chih-ming Wang on July 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Antinomies of Modernity: Essays on Race, Orient, Nation. Edited by Vasant Kaiwar and Sucheta Mazumda. Durham: Duke UP, 2003.

Race, Orient, and nation represent three clusters of complicated histories of knowledge formation and political activisms, deeply entangled in the global processes of modernity initiated by western imperialist expansion. Modernity as such is experienced as a series of contradictions that operate on an axis of self-other differentiations as a set of cognitive structures that we came to call Orientalism. Although Edward Said has pointed out in his foundational work that Orientalism "as a system of citing works and authors" has no corresponding reality, Orientalism, nonetheless, has become a powerful tool by which the Orient-as geography, race, a body of knowledge, and postcolonial nation-states-is rendered knowable, appropriated, and re-invented for both universalist and particularist projects. Antinomies of Modernity is an attempt to engage with the history and karma of Orientalism in postcolonial milieu.

In a commendable form of collaboration, Antinomies of Modernity is both wide-ranging in scope and coherent in argument. It manages to grasp the self-contradictory logic of modernity as a global history of contestation and complication that manifested itself in the "conquest of space through time"-a central feature of capitalism, the editors argue-that constitutes modernity as tortuous and unsettled experiences of dislocation of mass population, consistent construction of self-other relations, and the constant crisis and struggles over the legitimation of rule.
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