Selected Readings

bookshelf

This is a partial list of the books faculty will discuss during the fall 2009 Global Studies Initiative seminar.

Revathi Krishnaswamy and John C. Hawley’s essay collection, “The Postcolonial and the Global” (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), engages a still-incipient rigorous conversation between the humanities and the social sciences, with contributions from some prominent names in both scholarly areas. An effort to disrupt disciplinary insularity, the book of 19 essays unfolds in three parts — examining disciplinary boundaries and interdisciplinary exchanges, the links between global ethics and postcolonial concerns, and the collusions between imperialism and global processes.

Giovanna Borradori, ed. “Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida” (The University of Chicago Press, 2003). Turning to Habermas and Derrida, two major contemporary philosophers, this book paints a complex picture of the ethical terrain in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. More specifically, it explores the ethico-political challenges of thinking about terrorism and globalization in relation to the legacy of European Enlightenment and the Abrahamic tradition.

Andrew Lakoff, “Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry” (Cambridge University Press, 2005). In a globalized world where it seems everything must achieve “liquidity” to circulate the globe, Lakoff’s book addresses the role of pharmaceuticals in the spread of biological models of human behavior. Looking ethnographically at the efforts of an international pharmaceutical company in Argentina to find a universal genetic definition of bi-polar disorder, this book offers a close look at how biomedicine spreads around the world as well as the opposition, both scientific and political, this expansion faces in different local situations.

Salman Rushdie, “The Satanic Verses” (New York: Picador, 1988). While it’s notorious for very different reasons, “The Satanic Verses” is, by far, the most ambitious contemporary novel about migration, “globalized culture,” and the dangers in assuming the clear separation of cultures, narratives and selves. Rushdie messes with form, using language for dazzling — and very funny — effects. In addition, the notorious fatwa issued on the author by Ayatollah Khomeini generated a rich debate about the tensions between religious identities, censorship and pluralist democracy in a globalized world.

John C. Hawley, “India in Africa, Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms” (Indiana University Press, 2008) is an interdisciplinary challenge to the notion that globalization is a recent, entirely Eurocentric phenomenon that has largely to do with economic flows. Its contributors delve into literature, dance, history, sociology, religion and gender studies to study how the people of the Indian Ocean Basin looked at themselves and each other in creating an integrated world with deep historical roots whose cultural flows continue and flourish into the present day.