Enlightenment in the Colony
The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture
By (author) Aamir R. Mufti
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Enlightenment in the Colony by Aamir R. Mufti
Book DescriptionEnlightenment in the Colony opens up the history of the "Jewish question" for the first time to a broader discussion--one of the social exclusion of religious and cultural minorities in modern times, and in particular the crisis of Muslim identity in modern India. Aamir Mufti identifies the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India as a colonial variation of what he calls "the exemplary crisis of minority"--Jewishness in Europe. He shows how the emergence of this conflict in the late nineteenth century represented an early instance of the reinscription of the "Jewish question" in a non-Western society undergoing modernization under colonial rule. In so doing, he charts one particular route by which this European phenomenon linked to nation-states takes on a global significance. Mufti examines the literary dimensions of this crisis of identity through close readings of canonical texts of modern Western--mostly British-literature, as well as major works of modern Indian literature in Urdu and English. He argues that the one characteristic shared by all emerging national cultures since the nineteenth century is the minoritization of some social and cultural fragment of the population, and that national belonging and minority separatism go hand in hand with modernization. Enlightenment in the Colony calls for the adoption of secular, minority, and exilic perspectives in criticism and intellectual life as a means to critique the very forms of marginalization that give rise to the uniquely powerful minority voice in world literatures.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691057323
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 9-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Aamir R. Mufti
Forget English!, Hardback (February 2016)» View all books by Aamir R. Mufti
World literature advocates have promised to move humanistic study beyond postcolonial theory and antiquated paradigms of national literary traditions. Aamir Mufti scrutinizes these claims and critiques the continuing dominance of English as both a literary language and the undisputed cultural system of global capitalism.
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Author Biography - Aamir R. Mufti
Aamir R. Mufti is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the coeditor of "Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives" and the editor of "Critical Secularism," a special issue of the journal "boundary 2".
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