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In Near Ruins Cultural Theory at the End of the Century

by Nicholas B. Dirks

  • ISBN: 9780816631223
  • ISBN10: 0816631220

In Near Ruins Cultural Theory at the End of the Century

by Nicholas B. Dirks

  • List Price: $68.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780816631223
  • ISBN10: 0816631220
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Description: If culture is suspect, what of cultural theory? At a moment when culture's traditional caretakers -- humanism, philosophy, anthropology, and the nation-state -- are undergoing crisis and mutation, this volume charts the tensions and contradictions in the development and deployment of the concept of culture. A genuinely interdisciplinary venture, In Near Ruins brings together respected writers from the fields of history, anthropology, literary criticism, and communications. Together their essays present an intriguing picture of "culture" at the edges of humanism, of the politics of critical inquiry amid current social transformations, of the status and practice of historical knowledge in an age of theory.

Skeptical of the concept of culture but fascinated with cultural forms, the authors take up diverse topics, from debates over sexuality in the contemporary United States to relations between empire, capitalism, and gender in nineteenth-century Britain; from poverty in U.S. inner cities to violence in war-torn Sri Lanka; from the operation of nostalgia on cultural practices in Japan to anthropological forms of state power in Indonesia and the writing of history in India.

Linked by a common urge to think through the aesthetics and politics of particular social relations amid a variety of globalizing forces -- revolution, colonialism, nationalism, and the disciplinary institutions of the academy itself -- these writers contribute to the ongoing work of remapping the terrain of cultural analysis and reevaluating the stakes in such a daunting effort.

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