Words and Worlds: A Lexicon for Dark Times

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Veena Das, Didier Fassin
Duke University Press, May 10, 2021 - Social Science - 328 pages
Born in a time of anxiety, Words and Worlds examines some of the disquieting challenges that societies now face. Through an inquiry into a political lexicon of commonsense words, ranging from democracy and revolution to knowledge and authority, from inequality and toleration to war and power, the contributors to this book trouble the self-evidence of these terms, bringing into view the hidden transcripts and unexpected trajectories of many settled ideas, such as the human sense of belonging or the call for openness and transparency in research and public life. The case studies conducted over five continents with the tools of eight different disciplines challenge the ethnocentric assumptions, false moralism, and cultural prejudices that underlie much discussion on corruption or even the virtue invested in resilience. The critique of the ubiquitous use of crisis to characterize our times shows how this framing obscures the unjust conditions of existence and the violence of everyday life. Together the essays in this volume offer a fresh look at the deeply connected worlds we inhabit in solidarity and in discord.

Contributors. Banu Bargu, Veena Das, Alex de Waal, Didier Fassin, Peter Geschiere, Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Caroline Humphrey, Ravi Kanbur, Julieta Lemaitre, Uday S. Mehta, Jan-Werner Müller, Jonathan Pugh, Elizabeth F. Sanders, Todd Sanders
 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
FROM WORDS TO WORLDS DIDIER FASSIN AND VEENA
KNOWLEDGE VEENA
DEMOCRACY JANWERNER MÜLLER
AUTHORITY BANU BARGU
BELONGING PETER GESCHIERE
TOLERATION UDAY S MEHTA
POWER ALEX DE WAAL
CORRUPTION CAROLINE HUMPHREY
OPENNESS TODD SANDERS AND ELIZABETH F SANDERS
RESILIENCE JONATHAN PUGH
INEQUALITY RAVI KANBUR
CRISIS DIDIER FASSIN
References
Contributors
Index

WAR JULIETA LEMAITRE
REVOLUTION BEHROOZ GHAMARITABRIZI

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About the author (2021)

Veena Das is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. She is the author of several books, including Textures of the Ordinary: Doing Anthropology after Wittgenstein.

Didier Fassin is James D. Wolfensohn Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Professor to the Annual Chair in Public Health at the Collège de France. He is the author of various books, including Life: A Critical User's Manual.

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