Series editor’s foreword
in Subjects of modernity

Series editor’s foreword

Contestations of modernity cover the historical and cultural origins of the phenomenon while questioning understandings of “the modern condition” itself. This erudite and beautifully argued book encompasses both elements in its carefully crafted prose and analysis. Subjects of Modernity takes modernity as its subject and also enables those subject to modernity to be heard. This should not come as a surprise, however, as the author, Saurabh Dube, is himself located at the intersections of critical historical scholarship and an engaged anthropological tradition sensitive to the voices in need of amplification.

Subjects of Modernity takes on the disciplinary mappings of this key concept through a fresh consideration of the times and spaces of modernity, as well as examining the marginalized intimacies that inhabit its various forms. Drawing on the traditions of postcolonial thought, subaltern studies, and historical anthropology – and the artistic reflections of Savindra Sawarkar – Dube develops a nuanced deliberation of the academic and aesthetic trajectories of modernity. At the same time, he opens up new considerations of identities formed by and through such movements.

The broader empirical terrain covered by the book extends the scope for the reinvigoration and renewal of the associated concepts, categories, and paradigms of modernity. This is a renewal that enables us to rethink what we understand of, and with, modernity and ideas of the modern (subject). In this way, the book clearly illuminates one of the key concerns of the Theory for a Global Age series, that is, the call for the concurrent engagement of deep analysis with theoretical reconstruction. Dube not only presents a lucid account of the “subjects of modernity,” but accounts for those subjects in diverse and innovative ways. It is powerful, politically engaged scholarship at its best.

Gurminder K. Bhambra

University of Warwick

Subjects of modernity

Time-space, disciplines, margins

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