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Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History

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After Colonialism

Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements

Gyan Prakash

After Colonialism offers a fresh look at the history of colonialism and the changes in knowledge, disciplines, and identities produced by the imperial experience. Ranging across disciplines--from history to anthropology to literary studies--and across regions--from India to Palestine to Latin America to Europe--the essays in this volume reexamine colonialism and its aftermath. Leading literary scholars, historians, and anthropologists engage with recent theories and perspectives in their specific studies, showing the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world and offering postcolonial reflections on the effects and experience of empire.

The contributions cross historical analysis of texts with textual examination of historical records and situate metropolitan cultural practices in engagements with non-metropolitan locations. Interdisciplinarity here means exploring and realigning disciplinary boundaries. Contributors to After Colonialism include Edward Said, Steven Feierman, Joan Dayan, Ruth Phillips, Anthony Pagden, Leonard Blussé, Gauri Viswanathan, Zachary Lockman, Jorge Klor de Alva, Irene Silverblatt, Emily Apter, and Homi Bhabha.

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Black Corona

Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community

Steven Gregory

In Black Corona, Steven Gregory examines political culture and activism in an African-American neighborhood in New York City. Using historical and ethnographic research, he challenges the view that black urban communities are "socially disorganized." Gregory demonstrates instead how working-class and middle-class African Americans construct and negotiate complex and deeply historical political identities and institutions through struggles over the built environment and neighborhood quality of life. With its emphasis on the lived experiences of African Americans, Black Corona provides a fresh and innovative contribution to the study of the dynamic interplay of race, class, and space in contemporary urban communities. It questions the accuracy of the widely used trope of the dysfunctional "black ghetto," which, the author asserts, has often been deployed to depoliticize issues of racial and economic inequality in the United States. By contrast, Gregory argues that the urban experience of African Americans is more diverse than is generally acknowledged and that it is only by attending to the history and politics of black identity and community life that we can come to appreciate this complexity.

This is the first modern ethnography to focus on black working-class and middle-class life and politics. Unlike books that enumerate the ways in which black communities have been rendered powerless by urban political processes and by changing urban economies, Black Corona demonstrates the range of ways in which African Americans continue to organize and struggle for social justice and community empowerment. Although it discusses the experiences of one community, its implications resonate far more widely.

Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

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Charred Lullabies

Chapters in an Anthropography of Violence

E. Valentine Daniel

How does an ethnographer write about violence? How can he make sense of violent acts, for himself and for his readers, without compromising its sheer excess and its meaning-defying core? How can he remain a scholarly observer when the country of his birth is engulfed by terror? These are some of the questions that engage Valentine Daniel in this exploration of life and death in contemporary Sri Lanka. In 1983 Daniel "walked into the ashes and mortal residue" of the violence that had occurred in his homeland. His planned project--the study of women's folk songs as ethnohistory--was immediately displaced by the responsibility that he felt had been given to him, by surviving family members and friends of victims, to recount beyond Sri Lanka what he had seen and heard there. Trained to do fieldwork by staying in one place and educated to look for coherence and meaning in human behavior, what does an anthropologist do when he is forced by circumstances to keep moving, searching for reasons he never finds? How does he write an ethnography (or an anthropography, to use the author's term) without transforming it into a pornography of violence? In avoiding fattening the anthropography into prurience, how does he avoid flattening it with theory? The ways in which Daniel grapples with these questions, and their answers, instill this groundbreaking book with a rare sense of passion, purpose, and intellect.

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Children in Moral Danger and the Problem of Government in Third Republic France

Sylvia Schafer

By exploring how children and their families became unprecedented objects of governmental policy in the early decades of France's Third Republic, Sylvia Schafer offers a fresh perspective on the self-fashioning of a new governmental order. In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, social reformers claimed that children were increasingly the victims of their parents' immorality. Schafer examines how government officials codified these claims in the period between 1871 and 1914 and made the moral status of the family the focus of new kinds of legislative, juridical, and administrative action. Although the debate on moral danger in the family helped to articulate the young republic's claim to moral authority in the metaphors of parenthood, the definition of "moral endangerment" remained ambiguous. Schafer shows how public authorities reshaped their agenda and varied their remedies as their schemes for protecting morally endangered children broke down under the enduring weight of this ambiguity.

Drawing on insights from feminist theory, literary studies, and the work of Michel Foucault, Schafer reveals the cultural complexity of civil justice and social administration in both their formal and everyday incarnations. In demonstrating the centrality of ambivalence as a condition of liberal government and governmental representations, she fundamentally recasts the history of the early Third Republic and, more widely, issues a powerful challenge to conventional views of the modern state and its history.

Originally published in 1997.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Intimacy and Exclusion

Religious Politics in Pre-Revolutionary Baden

Dagmar Herzog

During the years leading up to the revolutions of 1848, liberal and conservative Germans engaged in a contest over the terms of the Enlightenment legacy and the meaning of Christianity--a contest that grew most intense in the Grand Duchy of Baden, where liberalism first became an influential political movement. Bringing insights drawn from Jewish and women's studies into German history, Dagmar Herzog demonstrates how centrally Christianity's problematic relationships to Judaism and to sexuality shaped liberal, conservative, and radical thought in the pre-revolutionary years. In particular, she reveals how often conflicts over the "politics of the personal," especially over sex and marriage, determined "larger" political matters, among them the relationship between church and state and the terms on which Jews were granted civic rights.

Herzog documents the rise of a politically sophisticated conservative Catholicism, and explores liberals' ensuing eagerness to advance a humanist version of Christianity. Yet she also examines the limitations at the heart of the liberal project, especially liberals' unwillingness to grant equality to those deemed "different" from the Christian male norm. Finally, the author analyzes the difficulties encountered by philosemitic and feminist radicals in reconceptualizing both classical liberalism and Christianity in order to make room for the claims of Jews and women.

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Local Histories/Global Designs

Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking

Walter D. Mignolo

Local Histories/Global Designs is an extended argument about the "coloniality" of power by one of the most innovative Latin American and Latino scholars. In a shrinking world where sharp dichotomies, such as East/West and developing/developed, blur and shift, Walter Mignolo points to the inadequacy of current practices in the social sciences and area studies. He explores the crucial notion of "colonial difference" in the study of the modern colonial world and traces the emergence of an epistemic shift, which he calls "border thinking." Further, he expands the horizons of those debates already under way in postcolonial studies of Asia and Africa by dwelling in the genealogy of thoughts of South/Central America, the Caribbean, and Latino/as in the United States. His concept of "border gnosis," or sensing and knowing by dwelling in imperial/colonial borderlands, counters the tendency of occidentalist perspectives to manage, and thus limit, understanding.

In a new preface that discusses Local Histories/Global Designs as a dialogue with Hegel's Philosophy of History, Mignolo connects his argument with the unfolding of history in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

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Modern Greek Lessons

A Primer in Historical Constructivism

James D. Faubion

Through a blend of lively detail and elegant narration, James Faubion immerses us in the cosmopolitan intellectual life of Athens, a centerless city of multiplicities and fragmentations, a city on the "margins of Europe" recovering from the repressive rule of a military junta. Drawing inspiration from Athens and its cultural elite, Faubion explores the meaning of modernity, finding it not in the singular character of "Western civilization" but instead in an increasingly diverse family of practices of reform.

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Refashioning Futures

Criticism after Postcoloniality

David Scott

How can we best forge a theoretical practice that directly addresses the struggles of once-colonized countries, many of which face the collapse of both state and society in today's era of economic reform? David Scott argues that recent cultural theories aimed at "deconstructing" Western representations of the non-West have been successful to a point, but that changing realities in these countries require a new approach. In Refashioning Futures, he proposes a strategic practice of criticism that brings the political more clearly into view in areas of the world where the very coherence of a secular-modern project can no longer be taken for granted.

Through a series of linked essays on culture and politics in his native Jamaica and in Sri Lanka, the site of his long scholarly involvement, Scott examines the ways in which modernity inserted itself into and altered the lives of the colonized. The institutional procedures encoded in these modern postcolonial states and their legal systems come under scrutiny, as do our contemporary languages of the political. Scott demonstrates that modern concepts of political representation, community, rights, justice, obligation, and the common good do not apply universally and require reconsideration. His ultimate goal is to describe the modern colonial past in a way that enables us to appreciate more deeply the contours of our historical present and that enlarges the possibility of reshaping it.

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Regulating the Social

The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany

George Steinmetz

Why does the welfare state develop so unevenly across countries, regions, and localities? What accounts for the exclusions and disciplinary features of social programs? How are elite and popular conceptions of social reality related to welfare policies? George Steinmetz approaches these and other issues by exploring the complex origins and development of local and national social policies in nineteenth-century Germany. Generally regarded as the birthplace of the modern welfare state, Germany experimented with a wide variety of social programs before 1914, including the national social insurance legislation of the 1880s, the "Elberfeld" system of poor relief, protocorporatist policies, and modern forms of social work. Imperial Germany offers a particularly useful context in which to compare different programs at various levels of government.

Looking at changes in welfare policy over the course of the nineteenth century, differences between state and municipal interventions, and intercity variations in policy, Steinmetz develops an account that focuses on the specific constraints on local and national policymakers and the different ways of imagining the "social question." Whereas certain aspects of the pre-1914 welfare state reinforced social divisions and even foreshadowed aspects of the Nazi regime, other dimensions actually helped to relieve sickness, poverty, and unemployment. Steinmetz explores the conditions that led to both the positive and the objectionable features of social policy. The explanation draws on statist, Marxist, and social democratic perspectives and on theories of gender and culture.

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Remaking Women

Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East

Lila Abu-Lughod

Contrary to popular perceptions, newly veiled women across the Middle East are just as much products and symbols of modernity as the upper- and middle-class women who courageously took off the veil almost a century ago. To make this point, these essays focus on the "woman question" in the Middle East (most particularly in Egypt and Iran), especially at the turn of the century, when gender became a highly charged nationalist issue tied up in complex ways with the West. The last two decades have witnessed an extraordinary burst of energy and richness in Middle East women's studies, and the contributors to this volume exemplify the vitality of this new thinking. They take up issues of concern to historians and social thinkers working on the postcolonial world. The essays challenge the assumptions of other major works on women and feminism in the Middle East by questioning, among other things, the familiar dichotomy in which women's domesticity is associated with tradition and modernity with their entry into the public sphere. Indeed, Remaking Women is a radical challenge to any easy equation of modernity with progress, emancipation, and the empowerment of women.

The contributors are Lila Abu-Lughod, Marilyn Booth, Deniz Kandiyoti, Khaled Fahmy, Mervat Hatem, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Omnia Shakry, and Zohreh T. Sullivan.The book is introduced by the editor with a piece called "Feminist Longings and Postcolonial Conditions," which masterfully interfaces the critical studies of feminism and modernism with scholarship on South Asia and the Middle East.

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