Sunday, April 22, 2012

"The Colonial Signs of International Relations"

New from Columbia University Press: The Colonial Signs of International Relations by Himadeep Muppidi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Himadeep Muppidi traces the subtle influence of colonial forms of knowledge on modern schools of international relations, following the translation and transformation of this knowledge within postcolonial settings. Concentrating on the way in which individuals and institutions read their historical past in light of contemporary criticisms and concerns, Muppidi finds that certain methods for discussing or representing the colonized have become acceptable while others have been condemned. Both, however, can be equally colonial in intent and purpose, and the difference in their reception lies in the “processes of translation” that make one visible, the other invisible, and ultimately maintain the framework of a global colonial order.
Among the early praise for the book:
"The Colonial Signs of International Relations is a beautiful, insistent, and searing work of art. Combining almost painfully lyrical prose with irreverent, incisive critique, Himadeep Muppidi exposes the unreflective colonizing impulses, intellectual denials, and ethical lapses that founded the theories and practices of international relations. As he grasps for, and wonders at, the absence of humanity in world politics, he charges us all, and by imploring us to do better while suggesting that we cannot, Muppidi turns the challenge on the reader. Haunted by the vivid images of our failures painted here, we cannot refuse. This is precisely why this book should be widely read."
—Janice Bially Mattern, National University of Singapore