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Ritu G. KhanduriCaricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World

Cambridge University Press, 2014

by Ian Cook on April 20, 2015

Ritu G. Khanduri

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Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2014) is a wonderful piece of visual anthropology by Ritu Gairola Khanduri, which uses the history of cartoons, from colonial to current times, to talk about various aspects of Indian society from the state, to political society to modernity. Through archival material and fascinating discussions with cartoonists, the book reveals the various ways in which cartoons talk in India, past and present.

 

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Thom van DoorenFlight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction

April 17, 2015

Thom van Dooren’s new book is an absolute must-read. (I was going to qualify that with a “…for anyone who…” and realized that it really needs no qualification.) Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia University Press, 2014) is a beautifully written and evocative meditation on extinction. The book offers (and implicates us […]

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Ana María Ochoa GautierAurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia

April 17, 2015

Beyond what people say, what their voices sound like matters. Voice, as Ana María Ochoa Gautier argues in this marvelous new book Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth Century Colombia (Duke University Press, 2014), was embedded in 19th-century conversations and debates about the boundaries between nature and culture, between the civilized and barbaric, between inclusion or marginalization […]

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Peter GottschalkReligion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India

April 13, 2015

When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University, outlines the contingent and […]

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Jie LiShanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life

March 30, 2015

What’s not to love about Jie Li’s new book? Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life (Columbia University Press, 2015) explores the history and culture of Shanghai alleyway homes by focusing on two physical spaces, both built in the early twentieth century by Japanese and British companies, and both located in the industrial Yangshupu district in […]

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Abdelwahab El-AffendiGenocidal Nightmares: Narratives of Insecurity and the Logic of Mass Atrocities

March 25, 2015

Genocide studies is one of the few academic fields with which I'm acquainted which is truly interdisciplinary in approach and composition.  Today's guest Abdelwahab El-Affendi, and the book he has edited, Genocidal Nightmares: Narratives of Insecurity and the Logic of Mass Atrocities (Bloomsbury Academic 2014), is an excellent example of how this works out in […]

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Mukulika Banerjee



Why India Votes?

March 18, 2015

Why India Votes? (Routledge, 2014) is the latest book by Mukulika Banerjee and is a deep, engaging and continually surprising account of elections in India. Weaving together ethnographic research in fieldsites across the country, the book privileges the voice of ordinary voters as they experience the campaign, play with language and enter the polling booth. […]

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Donna J. DruckerThe Classification of Sex: Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge

March 10, 2015

Donna J. Drucker is a guest professor at Darmstadt Technical University in Germany. Her book The Classification of Sex: Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge (University of Pittsburg Press, 2014) is an in-depth and detailed study of Kinsey’s scientific approach. The book examines his career and method of gathering vast amounts of data, identifying […]

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Alexander R. GallowayLaruelle: Against the Digital

March 5, 2015

“The chief aim of [philosopher François Laruelle’s] life’s work is to consider philosophy without resorting to philosophy in order to do so.” What is non-philosophy, what would it look like to practice it, and what are the implications of doing so? Alexander R. Galloway introduces and explores these questions in a vibrant and thoughtful new […]

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Lisa StevensonLife Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic

March 5, 2015

Lisa Stevenson’s new book opens with two throat-singing women and one listening king. Whether we hear them sitting down to a normal night’s dinner (as the women) or stalking the pages of a short story from Italo Calvino’s Under the Jaguar Sun (as the king), listening to these voices can potentially transform our notion of […]

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