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Can Non-Europeans Think?

Can Non-Europeans Think?

Hamid Dabashi | Walter Mignolo


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'In Can Non-Europeans Think? Dabashi takes his subtle but vigorous polemic to another level.'
Pankaj Mishra

What happens to thinkers who operate outside the European philosophical pedigree? In this powerfully honed polemic, Hamid Dabashi argues that they are invariably marginalised, patronised and misrepresented.

Challenging, pugnacious and stylish, Can Non-Europeans Think? forges a new perspective in postcolonial theory by examining how intellectual debate continues to reinforce a colonial regime of knowledge, albeit in a new guise.

Based on years of scholarship and activism, this insightful collection of philosophical explorations is certain to unsettle and delight in equal measure.

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University. Born in Iran, he received a dual PhD in the sociology of culture and Islamic studies from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Dabashi has written and edited many books, including Iran, the Green Movement and the USA and The Arab Spring, as well as numerous chapters, essays, articles and book reviews. He is an internationally renowned cultural critic, whose writings have been translated into numerous languages.

Dabashi has been a columnist for the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly for over a decade, and is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera and CNN. He has been a committed teacher for nearly three decades and is also a public speaker, a current affairs essayist, a staunch anti-war activist and the founder of Dreams of a Nation. He has four children and lives in New York with his wife, the Iranian-Swedish feminist scholar and photographer Golbarg Bashi.

'For decades, Hamid Dabashi has drawn from the histories of the non-West to argue for ways of thinking deemed illegitimate by the parochial but powerful guardians of intellectual life in the West. In Can Non-Europeans Think? he takes his subtle but vigorous polemic to another level.'
Pankaj Mishra

'A much needed corrective to the complacent view that multicultural diversity reigns in US and European Universities. Hamid Dabashi's new work is a tour de force.'
Drucilla Cornell, author of Law and Revolution in South Africa

'These essays are trenchant, witty, provocative, mischievous, and on target.'
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, author of Comment philosopher en Islam

'Drawing from his unrivalled inside knowledge of various intellectual traditions, Dabashi has written, with acuity, passion and humour, a critical synthesis of Western thought from the vantage point of the "dark races".'
Mamadou Diouf, director of the Institute for African Studies, Columbia University

'With elegant irony, Can Non-Europeans Think? reorients our reading of the world. It is a passionate rejoinder to those who are unable to see beyond European framings and rootings.'
S. Sayyid, author of Recalling the Caliphate

'Dabashi's book is both a panoramic critique of, and a revolt against, dominant forms of knowledge. It is characteristically lucid and accessible. A worthwhile read.'
Wael Hallaq, Columbia University

'Dabashi eloquently articulates the intellectual journey of a whole generation of postcolonial thinkers: its findings must be heard.'
Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab, author of Contemporary Arab Thought

'Hamid Dabashi's Can Non-Europeans Think? collects his important provocations on issues ranging from post-colonialism to democracy. These are pieces to wrestle with, to think about, to discuss and debate. Reading Dabashi is like going for an extended coffee with a very smart friend.'
Vijay Prashad, author of The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South

'Can Non-Europeans Think? The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer is also yes, but requires that the reader dismantles the very notion of "West" and "European". This is a fabulous read.'
Zillah Eisenstein, author of Sexual Decoys and The Audacity of Races and Genders

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Front Cover Front cover
About the Author ii
Title iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Acknowledgments vi
Foreword: Yes, We Can viii
Introduction: Can Europeans Read?\r 1
A Simple Question 1
To Read Forward 5
Orientalism Then and Now 12
Knowledge and Power 16
Power Is Power 22
The Fierce Urgency of Now 27
1: Can Non-Europeans Think? 30
Found in Translation 37
2: The Moment of Myth: Edward Said, 1935–2003 44
The Name that Enables: Remembering Edward Said 55
3: The Middle East Is Changed Forever 62
Thinking beyond the US invasion of Iran 62
Iran’s Democratic Upsurge 75
People Power 81
Looking in the Wrong Places 87
Left is Wrong on Iran 95
The Middle East is Changed Forever 104
An Epistemic Shift in Iran 106
The Crisis of an Islamic Republic 116
Obama “Bearing Witness” is Crucial to Iran 123
4: The War between the Civilized Man and the Savage 127
Imagining the Arab Spring: A Year Later 127
On Syria: Where the Left is Right and the Right is Wrong 135
The Spectacle of Democracy in the USA 142
The Syrian “Massacre of the Innocents” 149
Revolution: The Pursuit of Public Happiness 155
To Protect the Revolution, Overcome the False Secular–Islamist Divide 162
Wresting Islam from Islamists 170
The Arabs and Their Flying Shoes 177
Can the Arab Revolutions Survive Syria and Egypt? 188
5: Postcolonial Defiance or Still the Other 194
Revolt Spreads against Politics of Despair 194
Green and Jasmine Bleeding Together 198
Delayed Defiance 201
De-racializing Revolutions 207
Muslims as Metaphors 215
Žižek and Gaddafi: Living in the Old World 228
Repairing the Soul of the Empire City 235
The Third Intifada Has Already Begun 243
Slavoj Žižek and Harum Scarum 253
Fifth Column of the Postmodern Kind 263
Merci, Monsieur Badiou 277
Conclusion: The Continued Regime of Knowledge\r 285
Index 292
Back Cover Back cover