Globalization and the Humanities


Edited by David Leiwei Li

ISBN : 978-962-209-653-0

Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology

December 2003

360 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$395.00

Also available in Paperback HK$195.00

This is the most comprehensive collection to date on how economic globalization transforms contemporary humanistic inquiries on matters of fundamental cultural and political significance. Against the tyranny of the worldwide free market that naturalizes the aggregation of power for the increasingly few, the contributors to this volume at once advocate an egalitarian model of global distributive justice and cultivate a cosmopolitan communal consciousness. Writing from their diverse specialties and theoretical perspectives, the group of scholars assembled here has made the humanities a productive forum to articulate an alternative form of globalization based on universal human rights. As such, this collaborative effort counters the hegemony of neoliberal privatization and holds the promise of intellectual agency for an equitable reproduction of cultural capital in the global era.

Globalization and the Humanities will be of great use for scholars and students interested in the intellectual and ideological developments of the humanities in the past three decades. It clearly anchors the debates on the canon, the inclusion of third world and minority authors, of popular cultural genres and new media forms in an emerging globalization paradigm. The anthology will prove essential for students of undergraduate and graduate levels as well for scholars in the academy.

David Leiwei Li is the Collins Professor of the Humanities in the English Department at the University of Oregon.

“How can the humanities position itself as a political project in an era of globalization? Celebrations of difference, obsessions with subjectivity, and interdisciplinary hybridity seem no longer adequate to the task of assessing the present. In this timely collection, David Li has assembled a group of leading scholars who articulate alternative visions of planetarism based on an ethics of relationality and reciprocity. In a passionate Afterword, Paul Bove calls on humanists to recover their intellectual vocation in analysing historical circumstances and in producing new knowledge and ideals. This volume is a much needed shot in the arm for humanists facing the new American empire.” —Aihwa Ong, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Flexible Citizenship: the Cultural Logics of Transnationality, and Buddha is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America

“Li vividly captures the academic take on the globalization mystique, and claims it for mainstream liberalism. Here, in a nutshell, is that mixture of subjectivity and literariness that forms the peculiar image of postcolonial theory as it wrestles with what are, in the end, economic and political processes. In capsule form the book presents what might be called, after Walter Benjamin, the last snapshot of the American academic intelligentsia.” —Timothy Brennan, Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature; English Director of Humanities Institute, University of Minnesota

“This volume of essays is a collective attempt to deal with globalization: its manifestations and ramifications. It brings the phenomenon of globalization to the level of detailed specificity.” —Q. S. Tong, Associate Professor of English, The University of Hong Kong