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Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon (Hardback)
  • Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon (Hardback)
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Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon (Hardback)

(editor), (editor)
£90.00
Hardback 352 Pages / Published: 04/12/2009
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On the premise that words have the power to make worlds, each essay in this book follows a word as it travels around the globe and across time. Scholars from five disciplines address thirteen societies to highlight the social and political life of words in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The approach is consciously experimental, in that rigorously tracking specific words in specific settings frequently leads in unexpected directions and alters conventional depictions of global modernity.

Such words as security in Brazil, responsibility in Japan, community in Thailand, and hijab in France changed the societies in which they moved even as the words were changed by them. Some words threatened to launch wars, as injury did in imperial Britain's relations with China in the nineteenth century. Others, such as secularism, worked in silence to agitate for political change in twentieth-century Morocco. Words imposed or imported from abroad could be transformed by those who wielded them to oppose the very powers that first introduced them, as happened in Turkey, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taken together, this selection of fourteen essays reveals commonality as well as distinctiveness across modern societies, making the world look different from the interdisciplinary and transnational perspective of "words in motion."

Contributors. Mona Abaza, Itty Abraham, Partha Chatterjee, Carol Gluck, Huri Islamoglu, Claudia Koonz, Lydia H. Liu, Driss Maghraoui, Vicente L. Rafael, Craig J. Reynolds, Seteney Shami, Alan Tansman, Kasian Tejapira, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822345190
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 236 x 157 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Words in Motion is a highly original and exciting exploration of the global movements, transformations and social impacts of words which I expect will be welcomed and expanded upon by scholars in the fields of global and area studies. It is a recommended read for anyone with an interest in global history, conceptual history or translation studies." - Michael Facius, H-Soz-u-Kult
". . . [T]his book offers many things to open-minded readers. The unpredictability at times can be refreshing, as we see when words imposed
on the powerless become a double-edged sword ('terrorists' becoming 'freedom fighters' in India, for example). Also, the words-in-motion project highlights the contributions of 'critical public intellectuals who shape ideas
and institutions not just in their home nations but also between and beyond national space' (16). All the authors in this collection write with originality, wit, and flair, and deserve a wide audience." - James Stanlaw, Anthropos
"I can think of no better field-guide to how 'globalization' works on-the-ground than this pioneering and remarkable collection of studies of how words and concepts move across the globe, old meanings turning into evolving new meanings as they shift from Britain to Asia, from Egypt to Indonesia, from the worlds of the past in Turkey and Japan into their new ages. This book should henceforth be part of any reading list on global history."-Eric Hobsbawm, fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
"Moving from North Africa through Europe to East and Southeast Asia, ranging from colonial discourse through national liberation movements into postcoloniality and globalization, this meticulously researched collection of stellar essays shows the politics of meaning-change as words cross boundaries from North to South and back, through the politics of gender and class. I am already using it in my teaching!"-Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
"Moving from North Africa through Europe to East and Southeast Asia, ranging from colonial discourse through national liberation movements into postcoloniality and globalization, this meticulously researched collection of stellar essays shows the politics of meaning-change as words cross boundaries from North to South and back, through the politics of gender and class. I am already using it in my teaching!"-Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
"[T]his book offers many things to open-minded readers. The unpredictability at times can be refreshing, as we see when words imposed on the powerless become a double-edged sword ('terrorists' becoming 'freedom fighters' in India, for example). Also, the words-in-motion project highlights the contributions of 'critical public intellectuals who shape ideas and institutions not just in their home nations but also between and beyond national space' (16). All the authors in this collection write with originality, wit, and flair, and deserve a wide audience." -- James Stanlaw * Anthropos *
"Words in Motion is a highly original and exciting exploration of the global movements, transformations and social impacts of words which I expect will be welcomed and expanded upon by scholars in the fields of global and area studies. It is a recommended read for anyone with an interest in global history, conceptual history or translation studies." -- Michael Facius * H-Soz-u-Kult, H-Net Reviews *

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