Spectral Places, Subjectivities and Politics

By Juliana Martínez

María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren, eds. The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. Bloomsbury, 2013. 569 pp.

With an all-star Table of Contents that includes Giorgio Agamben, Arjun Appadurai, Ulrich Baer, Jacques Derrida, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among others, The Spectralities Reader compiles the founding texts of what the editors call the “spectral turn,” as well as the more salient critiques that have fuelled one of the more productive debates in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts over the last twenty-five years.
» Read the rest

In The Meantime Without End

By Adam Broinowski

Eric Cazdyn. The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture, and Illness. Duke University Press, 2012. 230 pp.

The Already Dead comes at a critical moment in which the vulgarities of the global capitalist system have become increasingly difficult to conceal. The book’s approach, at once theoretical and personal, historical and cultural, seeks new modes of revolutionary consciousness that can destabilize both within and without the capitalist system so as to reconfigure everything.
» Read the rest

Indigenizing Across Boundaries

By Aubrey Hanson

Chadwick Allen. Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies. University of Minnesota Press, 2012. xxxiv + 302 pp.

Chadwick Allen’s Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies is an exciting new book. Trans-Indigenous earns itself a noteworthy place within the growing body of work on Indigenous approaches to research and cultural studies.
» Read the rest

Reverse Teleologies

By Helen Kapstein

Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff. Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa. Paradigm, 2012. 261 pp.

This volume opens with an amazing epigraph from South Africa’s Ministry of Higher Education and Training, part of which reads, “We should not only be consumers of theory from the developed world.
» Read the rest

Deconstructing the “Middle Class”; Constructing its Transnational History

By Mehita Iqani

A. Ricardo Lopez and Barbara Weinstein (eds.) The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History. Duke University Press, 2012. 446pp.

The Making of the Middle Class is an edited collection that spans an impressive—almost intimidating—amount of material. Featuring chapters and commentaries by 21 writers, it provides a collection of historical analyses of the formation of the middle class in a variety of historical moments and geographical contexts, offering the resources through which a detailed and global picture of its formation can emerge.
» Read the rest

No Local: Globalization and the Remaking of Americanism

By Benjamin Balthaser

Sarika Chandra. Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism. Ohio State University Press. 2011. 303pp.

In the final section of Capital, Marx makes a striking observation: despite destroying the land-holding peasantry, the birth of manufacturing in England did not wipe out the small, disconnected villages of rural England, but rather refashioned them in capital’s image, as sites of subsidiary resource production, even poorer and more marginal than they had been before (Marx 918).
» Read the rest

Entry and Exit Points in Global Capitalism

By Pablo Castagno

Ahmed Kanna. Dubai: The City as Corporation. University of Minnesota Press, 2011. 262 pp.

No doubt Dubai’s image is one of its principal Siren-like allures, calling us to leap to a prelapsarian imagination, simply to swoon immediately at the site of architectural fantasies of the future.
» Read the rest

“Erring on the Side of Democracy”: Nations, Modernities and Disputations

By Hugh Charles O’Connell

Partha Chatterjee. Empire and Nation: Selected Essays. Columbia University Press, 2010. 384 pp.

In the introduction to this collection of Partha Chatterjee’s writings, Nivedita Menon states, “I am one of those whose engagement with the contemporary has been utterly transfigured by reading Partha Chatterjee’s work over the years” (1).
» Read the rest

Eat and Be Eaten: The Gastropolitics of the (Post) Colony

By Julietta Singh

Parama Roy.  Alimentary Tracts: Appetites, Aversions, and the Postcolonial.  Duke University Press, 2010.  277 pp.

If ever a work took seriously Jacques Derrida’s insistence that we must understand eating as an act through which we both consume and are consumed, it is Parama Roy’s remarkable new book, Alimentary Tracts.
» Read the rest

Stringing a Quartet Together: A Methodology for World Literature?

By CÓILÍN PARSONS

Peter Hitchcock. The Long Space: Transnationalism and Postcolonial Form. Stanford University Press, 2010. 295 pp.

Postcolonial writers, it seems, can’t put a good book down—especially when they are writing it themselves. Trilogies, tetralogies and novels in series are features of postcolonial writing from the Caribbean to Indonesia, and Peter Hitchcock sets out in The Long Space to ask why this is.
» Read the rest

National Ghosts and Global Literature

By Fiona Lee

Vilashini Cooppan. Worlds Within: National Narratives and Global Connections in Postcolonial Writing. Stanford University Press, 2009. 322 pp.

“National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach,” wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1827, thus coining a term that has gained renewed currency in literary studies today (qtd in Damrosch 1).
» Read the rest