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History's Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life (Wellek Library Lectures)

History's Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life (Wellek Library Lectures) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

America's preeminent intellectual historian of modern Japan inaugurates a challenging debate on the arbitrary cultural divisions of our world, and in the process sheds light on the troubling academic enterprise called "area studies." This is one of the first works to explore on equal footing the European and Japanese conceptions of modernity — as imagined in the writings of Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin, as well as ethnologist Yanagita Kunio and Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun.

Book News Annotation:

A historiographical discussion of European and Japanese conceptions of modernity. Harootunian (history, New York U.) draws on the writings of George Simmel and Walter Benjamin, as well as Japanese thinkers such as ethnologist Yanagita Kunio and Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun, and argues that even Japanese concepts of modernity have perpetuated a false distinction between an "inside" of Euro-America and an "outside" of the rest of the world. He proposes an examination of "everyday life," which he feels would eliminate these distinctions and boundaries.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Acclaimed historian Harry Harootunian calls attention to the boundaries, real and theoretical, that compartmentalize the world around us. In one of the first works to explore on equal footing European and Japanese conceptions of modernity — as imagined in the writings of Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin, as well as ethnologist Yanagita Kunio and Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun — Harootunian seeks to expose the problematic nature of scholarly categories. In doing so, History's Disquiet presents intellectual genealogies of such orthodox notions as field and modernity and other concepts intellectuals in the East and West have used to understand the changing world around them. Contrasting reflections on everyday life in Japan and Europe, Harootunian shows how responses to capitalist society were expressed in similar ways: social critics in both regions alleged a broad sense of alienation, particularly among the middle class. However, he also points out that Japanese critics viewed modernity as a condition in which Japan — without the lengthy period of capitalist modernization that characterized Europe and America — was either catching up with those regions or copying them.

As elegantly written as it is controversial, this book is both an invitation for rethinking intellectual boundaries and an invigorating affirmation that such boundaries can indeed be broken down.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780231117944
Author:
Harootunian, Harry D.
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
History
Subject:
History, modern
Subject:
Civilization, Modern
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Asia - General
Subject:
Europe
Subject:
Japan
Subject:
Asia
Subject:
Postmodernism
Subject:
East and West
Subject:
Postcolonialism
Subject:
World - Post-Colonial Studies
Subject:
Postmodernism -- Social aspects.
Subject:
World History-1650 to Present
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
The Wellek Library lecture series at the University of California, Irvine
Series Volume:
PNW-GTR-461
Publication Date:
20000531
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
9.26x6.21x.69 in. .89 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

History's Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life (Wellek Library Lectures)
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Product details 200 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231117944 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Acclaimed historian Harry Harootunian calls attention to the boundaries, real and theoretical, that compartmentalize the world around us. In one of the first works to explore on equal footing European and Japanese conceptions of modernity — as imagined in the writings of Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin, as well as ethnologist Yanagita Kunio and Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun — Harootunian seeks to expose the problematic nature of scholarly categories. In doing so, History's Disquiet presents intellectual genealogies of such orthodox notions as field and modernity and other concepts intellectuals in the East and West have used to understand the changing world around them. Contrasting reflections on everyday life in Japan and Europe, Harootunian shows how responses to capitalist society were expressed in similar ways: social critics in both regions alleged a broad sense of alienation, particularly among the middle class. However, he also points out that Japanese critics viewed modernity as a condition in which Japan — without the lengthy period of capitalist modernization that characterized Europe and America — was either catching up with those regions or copying them.

As elegantly written as it is controversial, this book is both an invitation for rethinking intellectual boundaries and an invigorating affirmation that such boundaries can indeed be broken down.

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