Inscribing Inequality Beyond Colonialism

By Senayon Olaoluwa

Warwick Research Collective. Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature. Liverpool University Press, 205. 196 pp.

The book, Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature is yet another effort in seminal literary scholarship. It aims to assess the state of literature as a distinct discipline and make projections about its likely value in the future as that which consciously addresses itself to the predominant dynamics of the “world-system” anchored by the dictates of capital, especially in the past 200 years.
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Geopolitics of Hope, Despair and the Arab Spring

By Ranbir K. Banwait

Hamid Dabashi. The Arab Spring: the End of Postcolonialism. Zed Books, 2012. 272 pp.

In The Arab Spring: the End of Postcolonialism, Hamid Dabashi provides a compelling study of the global geopolitical implications of the Arab Spring. The string of uprisings known as the Arab Spring is commonly marked as beginning on December 17, 2010, when a Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, self-immolated to protest the seizure of his produce cart.
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Queering the Politics of Life and Death

By Christine Quinan

Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman, and Silvia Posocco, eds. Queer Necropolitics. Routledge, 2014. 216 pp.

In the opening to his celebrated essay “Necropolitics,” Achille Mbembe invokes a series of questions that offer a corrective to Michel Foucault’s established notion of biopower:

But under what practical conditions is the right to kill, to allow to live, or to expose to death exercised?
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The City Space of Asian Literature

By Cheryl Narumi Naruse

Jini Kim Watson. The New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban Form. University of Minnesota Press, 2011. 311 pp.

Jini Kim Watson’s The New Asian City is an exciting study of the dynamics between literary/cultural production and developing urban spaces in the context of East and Southeast Asia. Watson examines literary, filmic, and political representations of the capital cities of Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—three of the “Four Asian Tigers,” as the “Newly Industrializing Countries” (NICs) of East Asia are popularly known—that emerge in the 1960s to 1980s, in the periods following independence (excepting Hong Kong, which is not independent nation).
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Breeding ‘Post-Imperial’ Nations

By Leslie Allin

Nadine Attewell. Better Britons: Reproduction, National Identity, and the Afterlife of Empire. University of Toronto Press, 2013. 324 pp. 

This work is a refreshing and timely intervention in the ongoing process that nation states formerly part of the British Empire use to determine who belongs within a political community. Nadine Attewell’s Better Britons: Reproduction, National Identity, and the Afterlife of Empire investigates how ideas about British and settler citizenship in the 20th and 21st centuries are forged through the policing and politics of reproduction.
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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.
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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.
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Colonial Trains, Postcolonial Tracks

By Nilak Datta

Marian Aguiar. Tracking Modernity: India’s Railway and the Culture of Mobility. University of Minnesota Press, 2011, xxiv +226 pp.

When I first heard Marian Aguiar discuss her book project on Indian Railways at an informal gathering of faculty and graduate students in the fall of 2005, I was excited, skeptical, and optimistic about her project all at once.
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“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).
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The Trials of Translation: Psychoanalysis and Islam

By Alessandra Capperdoni

Fethi Benslama. Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam. Trans. Robert Bononno. University of Minnesota Press, 2009. 272 pp.

Robert Bononno’s English translation of Fethi Benslama’s La psychoanalyse à l’épreuve de Islam is a welcome contribution to debates about the role of religion in the contemporary world at a time when divisions and polarizations occupy a central stage in public rhetoric.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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Resistance in the Affirmative

By Dana C. Mount

David Jefferess. Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation. University of Toronto Press, 2008. 224 pp.

In his first book, Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation, David Jefferess surveys the meaning of resistance in postcolonialism and attempts to develop a working definition of the term which, while still narrow enough to be effective, can lend itself broadly against interlocking systems of oppression.
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Atoning, Reconciling, and Forgiving: Interdisciplinary Investigations of Justice

By Jill Scott

Linda Radzik. Making Amends: Atonement in Morality, Law, and Politics. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Joanna R. Quinn. Reconciliation(s): Transitional Justice in Postconflict Societies. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.

Julie McGonegal. Imagining Justice: The Politics of Postcolonial Forgiveness and Reconciliation. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.

The three books under review in this essay are united by their concern for justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict and wrongdoing, but each addresses these questions with a unique disciplinary lens.
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Querying Transnationalism

By Emily Johansen

Inderpal Grewal. Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms. Duke University Press, 2005. 296 pp.

Inderpal Grewal’s monograph Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms invites its readers to consider the overlapping spheres of postcoloniality, American nationalism and transnationalism, and neoliberalism—and the impact they have on subject formation.
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