Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

This book owes its writing to a conversation begun a decade ago, when Lila Abu-Lughod and I decided to bring together two groups of scholars working separately on new approaches to the making of modernity outside the West. We came from the disciplines of history, anthropology, and political science, and were often familiar with one another's work. But...

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Introduction

Timothy Mitchell

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p. xi

The essays in this book approach the question of modernity by taking seriously the emergence of the modern outside the geography of the West. Each of the essays examines the realization of modernity beyond Europe, exploring the appearance of particular forms of politics, sensibility, temporality, and selfhood in locations ranging from nineteenth-century Bengal to contemporary Morocco. The purpose in bringing them together...

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1. The Stage of Modernity

Timothy Mitchell

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pp. 1-34

Our sense of ourselves as modern, of our time as the era of modernity, is today open to two kinds of question. One is the now familiar debate about whether modernity is a stage of history through which we have already passed. The global mobility of finance, the world-encircling webs of image-making, the contingency of social identities, and the collapse of emancipatory visions have produced in recent decades an increasing confidence that modernity...

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2. Two Poets and Death: On Civil and Political Society in the Non-Christian World

Partha Chatterjee

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pp. 35-48

Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, the most renowned modernist literary figure in nineteenth-century Bengal, died on April 8, 1894. Three weeks after his death, a memorial meeting organized by the Chaitanya Library and the Beadon Square Literary Club was held at Star Theatre. 1 It was decided that the speakers would be Rajanikanta Gupta, the historian; Haraprasad...

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3. Witness to Suffering: Domestic Cruelty and the Birth of the Modern Subject in Bengal

Dipesh Chakrabarty

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pp. 49-86

Modernity and the Documentation of Suffering Ekshan, a Calcutta-based literary magazine, published a remarkable essay in 1991, "Baidhabya kahini" or "Tales of Widowhood."1 The author was Kalyani Datta, a Bengali woman who, since the 19505, had been collecting from older Bengali widows she personally knew, stories about the oppression...

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4. Modern Subjects: Egyptian Melodrama and Postcolonial Difference

Lila Abu-Lughod

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pp. 87-114

In the late 19805, a group of young university-educated Egyptians performed for their friends in Cairo a clever satire of local television. Recordings of the show later circulated informally on audio and video cassettes. The performance made fun of the language of state officials and religious authorities, whose frequent appearances on discussion programs are seldom popular. The final three sketches on the tape, however, took...

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5. The Thin Line of Modernity: Some Moroccan Debates on Subjectivity

Stefania Pandolfo

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pp. 115-147

Reflecting on his own clinical experience, and on the history of psychiatry in Morocco, Jalil Bennani, a Moroccan psychoanalyst, writes that since the establishment of the first psychiatric institutions during the colonial period, "the symptom has been increasingly addressed to the representatives of modern science, while people are increasingly alone with their...

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6. The Sovereignty of History: Culture and Modernity in the Cinema of Satyajit Ray

Nicholas B. Dirks

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pp. 148-165

After the opening credits, which flash against a glorious chandelier that will carry the symbolic burden of the fortunes of a palace and its royal family in modern rural Bengal, The Music Room (Jalsaghar, 1958) opens with the face of a turbaned man who, it soon becomes clear, is a zamindar, or landlord. As the camera pans back, the image is uncannily still, until we realize that we are looking at a photograph, at a face frozen on...

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7. The Making of Modernity: Gender and Time in Indian Cinema

Veena Das

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pp. 166-188

In his essay on the painter of modern life, Charles Baudelaire stated that modernity is "the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable."1 This particular intuition about modernity, that it has to do with the fleeting, the transitory, the contingent, and that its privileged time is that of the eternal...

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8. Body Politic in Colonial India

Cyan Prakash

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pp. 189-222

January 10,1836, was a special day in Calcutta. As Pandit Madhusudan Gupta, a student at the newly established Medical College, plunged his knife into a human body, a taboo was broken, Indians, it was said, had finally risen "superior to the prejudices of their earlier education and thus boldly flung open the gates of modern medical science to their countrymen." Fort...

Contributors

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pp. 223-224

Index

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pp. 225-229