© 2016 Brandon Price Photography

“Project, Opposition, and most Embarrassingly, Truth”

Over at n+1, an editor’s essay on the fragmented pasts and fraught promise of World Literature has spawned a small collection of thoughtful responses. In trying to capture a sense of what weltliteratur might be for, and why the contestants always seem to have fallen short of the mark (“Alas, Rushdie; alas, Naipaul.”), the editors […]

The Banality of European ‘Discoveries’

The benefits of approaching cross-cultural encounters with equal attention to all parties involved is demonstrated with considerable success by Romain Bertrand in his recent History of Equal Parts – Accounts of an East-West Encounter (16th-17th Century) (‘L’Histoire à Parts Égales – Récits D’une Rencontre Orient-Occident (XVIe-XVIIe Siècle’). Bertrand’s ‘symmetrical’ history, focus​sing on the Dutch-Javanese encounter, forms a powerful response to Serge Gruzinski​‘s enormously influential […]


When you spend every day up to your chin in the quagmire of post-national social structures, its easy to lose sight of how much power – and violence – is still exercised by states. This may in some sense be true in no area more than it is in questions of immigration and residency. For […]

Olympic Feverish

Time for something (a bit) topical. Over on the Facebook page, Anna Triandafyllidou raises an excellent question about justice, culture and the rule of law: What does the rule of law mean in different places and how can we transplant western systems of justice into other contexts. What does it take to inform people about their legal […]

Post-national metaphors for space and place

One of the claims that Olivier Roy makes in his recent book, Holy Ignorance, is that religious cultures are becoming increasingly deterritorialized. In the discussion that we had last Friday, participants put in question whether the metaphor or framing concept of deterritorialization was the right one. It’s fair to say, in cultural, political and economic matters, that the territorial […]