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Who Sings the Nation-State?: Language, Politics, Belonging [Hardcover]

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Item description for Who Sings the Nation-State?: Language, Politics, Belonging by Judith Butler & Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak...

Two noted cultural critics identify the consequences of modern-world migration and shifting allegiances that are causing states to become increasingly provisional at the expense of individual rights and national identities, drawing on historical and contemporary sources to evaluate present-day complexities about the changing face of statehood.

Publishers Description
Who Sings the Nation-State brings together two of America´s foremost critics and two of the most influential theorists of the last decade. Together, they explore the past, present and future of the state in a time of globalization.

What is contained in a state has become ever more plural whilst the boundaries of a state have become ever more fluid. No longer does a state naturally come with a nation. In a world of migration and shifting allegiances - caused by cultural, economic, military and climatic change - the state is a more provisional place and its inhabitants more stateless.

This spirited and engaging conversation ranges widely across Palestine, what Enlightenment and key contemporary philosophers have to say about the state, who exercises power in today´s world, whether we can have a right to rights, and even what the singing of the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish says about the complex world we live in today.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   121
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 4.25" Height: 7.25"
Weight:   0.52 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 13, 2007
Publisher   Seagull Books
ISBN  1905422571  
ISBN13  9781905422579  

Availability  0 units.

More About Judith Butler & Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

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Judith Butler is the Maxine Eliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and ComparativeLiterature at the University of California at Berkeley. Her books include Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death, and Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France.

J?rgen Habermas is a German philosopher and sociologist. His recent works include The Future of Human Nature, The Divided West, and Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays.

Charles Taylor is a Canadian philosopher and professor emeritus of political science and philosophy at McGill University and a recipient of the Templeton Prize and the Kyoto Prize. His recent books include Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited, Modern Social Imaginaries, and A Secular Age.

Cornel West is Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Center for African American studies and the Department of Religion. His recent books include Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism and Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.

Eduardo Mendieta is professor of philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and the author of The Adventures of Transcendental Philosophy and Global Fragments: Globalizations, Latinamericanisms, and Critical Theory.

Jonathan VanAntwerpen is director of the program on religion and the public sphere at the Social Science Research Council, a visiting scholar at New York University's Institute for Public Knowledge, and coeditor of Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age.

Craig Calhoun is president of the Social Science Research Council and University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University. His most recent works are Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream and an edited collection titled Robert K. Merton: Sociology of Science and Sociology as Science.

Judith Butler was born in 1956 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Berkeley University of California, Berkeley,.

Judith Butler has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Mary Flexner Lecture Series of Bryn Mawr College
  2. New Directions in Critical Theory (Hardcover)
  3. Radical Thinkers
  4. Routledge Classics (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Essays > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Who Sings the Nation-State?: Language, Politics, Belonging?

On Language, Politics, Belonging: Look Elsewhere  Mar 16, 2008
This is not a good book. No contextual background is given for Butler and Spivak's theoretical dialogue on statelessness, and the dialogue itself is at turns pedantic (see Butler's punning on the word "state") and banal (see both critics' comments on the EU). The dialogue's alternating obfuscation and dullness may be accounted for by the fact that it appears to be a staged "conversation" between Butler and Spivak at a conference or symposium. Even on those terms, however, the book is a bit of a waste -- the pomp of the dialogue's tone is simply not matched by the critical points made in it. If you're looking for a much more engaged theoretical work on these issues, see Etienne Balibar's *We, the People of Europe?*
Scholarly status is not a general license  Dec 24, 2007
Butler and Spivak have repeatedly earned respect for their scholarship. This (essays, dialogue, non-book?)"effort" seems to imply that their reputations will suffice in place of familiarity with the literatures of the central subjects on which they pontificate. They (ab)use well-established, still very much germane, concepts without regard to current usages by both mainstream and critical theory-grounded writers. It is as though they had invented their subjects yesterday: they make little effort to relate their comments to either the empirical or theoretical scholarship. The consequence should be treating this little volume the way its authors treat the bodies of relevant work on the theme they address; unfortunately a few persons may be sufficiently motivated by the names on the title-page to buy the book. Given its thin and airy (vacuous would not be too strong)content, however, is likely to be quickly forgotten. It fails to contribute to intellectual discourse
Poorly edited scholarly effort  Dec 5, 2007
I have to second the previous reviewer's negative comments -- it accurately assesses the substantive shortcomings of this book -- and add my own 2 cents (and 2 stars) worth about some additional problems. The text is a apparently a transcript of a conference or panel discussion between Butler and Spivak, with some questions from audience members at the end of their exchange, but there is absolutely no introduction or even a brief statement to contextualize their statements. Was this in fact a conference or panel discussion? If so, where, and what was the conference title or topic? Without any of that information the reader is projected into the middle of a conversation without any explanation. It makes it hard to get one's bearings, and as the previous reviewer argues, there isn't much of substance to hang on to as you make your way through the book. Very disappointing effort from Spivak and Butler, as well as the editor/publisher of this book.
Simulacra Scholarship   Nov 26, 2007
It is surely a reflection of the demand for the Latest on globalization and the nation-state from highly commodified theorists that this super-slender hardcover volume (with approx. 120 words per page) hit a sales rank consistently below 5,000 on this for weeks prior to its release. The scandal is that neither Butler nor Spivak have an in-depth knowledge of globalization or nationalism, but their comments and sound-bytes will soon be the most widely cited on these topics. Their iconic status as all-purpose references is built on a simulacra of scholarship that depends on two factors: 1) an audience that is unwilling to do the in-depth reading to understand globalization but wants sound-bytes to stay current and relevant and 2) the license granted to some celebrity scholars to comment on subjects well beyond their expertise.

Butler comes up with the astonishing claim (p. 13) that hardly anyone writes about statelessness in the social sciences now (what has she been reading?!); and Spivak tops this with her declaration (p. 87) that "the European constitution is an economic document" (what happened to the articles on secularism, militarism, and human rights). In a revealing exchange, when Butler asks Spivak to clarify what she means by critical regionalism, Spivak careens from Evo Morales to East Asia to South Asia to Habermas, to undocumented workers in the United States, to Iran, to NATO, to Russia in 5 pages to make the wafer-thin conclusion: "It [critical regionalism] goes under and over nationalisms but keeps the abstract structures of something like a state." No other scholar would be allowed to hang an argument on this flimsy peg, but she can and does. Spivak dodges every call to define her terms or offer a sustained argument. Along the way, she tosses up terms like "critical regionalism" "sustainable exploitation" (when has exploitation not tried to be sustainable) which will soon be the buzzwords of the moment. Needless to say, there is a large body of work produced about the refigured regionalisms in Latin America, Asia, and Africa (often by scholars working in institutions in these regions) that makes Spivak seem superficial and glib. Indeed, the argument for regional human rights instruments has been made at least since the First World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, but of course this becomes citable only when it comes from a Spivak. The irony is that in humanities departments, it will be the Spivakisms that will circulate, while the other work will be strenuously ignored. To think that it was Spivak who first charged her interlocutors with "sanctioned ignorance."

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