Rowman and Littlefield International

Culture and Eurocentrism

By Qadri Ismail

2 Reviews

A postcolonialist reading of the deployment of the concept of culture in literature, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, cultural studies. It argues that modernity as understood in the Anglo-US episteme is structured around eurocentrism.

Hardback ISBN: 9781783486335 Release date: Nov 2015
£95.00 €133.00 $144.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781783486342 Release date: Oct 2015
£32.95 €45.95 $48.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781783486359 Release date: Oct 2015
£31.95 €44.95 $45.50

Series: Disruptions

Pages: 238


The conviction that we all have, possess or inhabit a discrete culture, and have done so for centuries, is one of the more dominant default assumptions of our contemporary politico-intellectual moment. However, the concept of culture as a signifier of subjectivity only entered the modern Anglo-U.S. episteme in the late nineteenth century. Culture and Eurocentrism seeks to account for the term’s relatively recent emergence and movement through the episteme, networked with many other concepts – nature, race, society, imagination, savage, and civilization– at the confluence of several disciplines. Culture, it contends, doesn’t describe difference but produces it, hierarchically. In so doing, it seeks to recharge postcoloniality, the critique of eurocentrism.

Introduction: Culture as Problem / 1. Culture/Race/Nature: Arnold, Tylor / 2. (Civil) Society/Nature: Hobbes, Locke, Macaulay / 3. Imagination/Imitation: Shelley, Hobbes, Macaulay, Kipling, Malinowski. / 4. Culture/s: Williams, Leavis, Spencer / 5. ‘”Race”/Cultures: Du Bois, Fletcher, Boas, Turner, “Jefferson” / Conclusion: Modernity, Eurocentrism, Postcoloniality / Bibliography / Index

Qadri Ismail is Associate Professor of English at the University of Minnesota.

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2 Reviews

A lively, provocative and original work. Ismail’s vigorous arguments will stimulate debate across many fields, including postcolonial studies, cultural studies and global studies.

Rob Nixon, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment, Princeton University

How scandalous is eurocentrism? The question is embarrassing: the larger eurocentrism’s vestiges seem to loom, the less room for scandal they leave. Qadri Ismail’s provocation, as sassy as it is erudite, aims a renewed postcolonial studies full in the face of this embarrassment.

Bruce Robbins, Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

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