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- DescriptionWinner of the 2014 Harry Levin Prize In Hating Empire Properly, Sunil Agnani produces a vel attempt to think the eighteenth-century imagination of the West and East Indies together, arguing that this is how contemporary thinkers Edmund Burke and Denis Diderot actually viewed them. This concern with multiple geographical spaces is revealed to be a largely unackwledged part of the matrix of Enlightenment thought in which eighteenth-century European and American self-conceptions evolved. By focusing on colonial spaces of the Enlightenment, especially India and Haiti, he demonstrates how Burke's fearful view of the French Revolution-the defining event of modernity-was shaped by prior reflection on these other domains. Exploring with sympathy the angry outbursts against injustice in the writings of Diderot, he netheless challenges recent understandings of him as a univocal critic of empire by showing the persistence of a fantasy of consensual colonialism in his thought. By looking at the impasses and limits in the thought of both radical and conservative writers, Agnani asks what it means to critique empire properly. Drawing his method from Theodor Ador's quip that one must have tradition in oneself, in order to hate it properly, he proposes a critical inhabiting of dominant forms of reason as a way forward for the critique of both empire and Enlightenment. Thus, this volume makes important contributions to political theory, history, literary studies, American studies, and postcolonial studies.
- Author BiographySunil M. Agnani is Assistant Professor of English and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has held previous positions at the Princeton Society of Fellows and the University of Michigan.
- Author(s)Sunil M. Agnani
- PublisherFordham University Press
- Date of Publication04/01/2016
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintFordham University Press
- Content Note7 b/w illustrations
- Weight453 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine18 mm
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