In 1996, with the publication of Southern Thought, Italian writer Franco Cassano became widely recognized as one of the most important voices in the contemporary Italian and European intellectual scene. In this engaging and provocative book, which ranges effortlessly between the fields of sociology, political science, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and literature, Cassano offers a critique of normative models of modernization derived from Eurocentric and North Atlantic paradigms, while claiming that autonomous paths to modernity exist in the Mediterranean and the so-called Global Souths.
Cassano's rethinking of the South seeks nothing less than to reverse the North-South relationship: "not to think of the South in light of modernity, but rather to think of modernity in light of the South." In this work, the South is no longer a belated, imperfect, incomplete, and not-yet North but the space of a differential, autonomous identity to be recovered and rediscovered. Thus, Southern Thought not only exemplifies a brilliant critique of Occidentalism but represents a valiant attempt to restore agency and dignity to the heritage and legacies of Southern civilizations and cultures.
Four additional essays supplement this English translation of the original Italian book.
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Number of pages: 277
Weight: 477 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
This volume fills an important gap in the bibliography of Mediterranean Studies, whose importance is increasing continuously, by providing convenient access, to an English-speaking audience, the work of one of this field's pioneers, the Italian Franco Cassano. At least partially to Cassano's credit, the prominence and relevance of the Mediterranean -etymologically the "center of the earth" or at least of classic European civilization and, through the centuries the crossroads of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian civilizations - recently has become the object of serious interdisciplinary inquiry. The relevance of this area of study, necessary in a time characterized by the blurred boundaries, geographic and disciplinary, of a period perhaps best described as one of political, sociological, and economic "globalization," cannot be overstated. This book responds to the the need, perceived by senior scholars and undergraduates alike, to transcend specializations and begin to look at the cross-fertilizations of cultures that have existed for centuries. -- -Joseph Francese * Michigan State University *
Cassano's book furnishes a theoretical and sociohistorical map whereby marginality, silence, difference, and other forms of cultural suppression can finally articulate a discourse aimed not solely at deconstructing Northern European modernity, but at shaping a new understanding of the complex relation between peoples, cultures and the environment. These perspectives have long been locked up in the Souths of the world, and in the Mediterranean in particular. -- -Peter Carravetta * SUNY, Stony Brook *
This exemplar edition of Cassano's Southern Thought and other Essays on the Mediterrenean prepared by Norma Bouchard and Valerio Ferme is a fundamental point of reference to generate a philosophy and culture of resistance to the superstitious myths of economic development based on science and technology introduced by the pervasive forces of globalization. -- -Massimo Lollini * University of Oregon *
This remarkable translation of Franco Cassano's Southern Thought,supplemented by other essays on the Mediterranean, offers to the English speaking world the long awaited and much needed access to one of the most original and provocative minds of our times. Written with verve, intelligence and passion against all fundamentalisms, religious and economic alike, Cassano's pages are as invaluable to scholars in the growing field of Mediterranean Studies as they will be stimulating to the general reader. -- -Robert Dainotto * Duke University *
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