Open Access (free)
Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.

Hysterical tetanus in the Victorian South Pacific
Daniel Simpson

Goodenough had come, by 1875, to represent imperial British exploration to a degree almost comparable with that earlier achieved by Cook, Messer perhaps hoped to increase perceptions of the significance of his report by revealing the commodore to be vulnerable to malign and superstitious influences. What is certain is that the Pearl had recently become a site of peculiar significance to debates concerning the best means of ‘modernising’ South Pacific cultures; as experts in unrelated fields, it is tempting to imagine Goodenough and Messer arguing for the relative merits

in Progress and pathology
Open Access (free)
Ontologies of connection, reconstruction of memory
Jeremy C.A. Smith

powers intruded, stimulating inter-​civilisational engagement, including with its most ruinous consequences. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-​imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory –​whether continuous or reconstructed –​provides resources for coping with critical issues. The cultural fund of memory can also help with thinking differently about climate change and other environmental problems facing the region. Latin America is on the eastern edge of this context also. As another new world, for

in Debating civilisations