Affective Communities Anticolonial Thought, Fin-de-Si�cle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship

ISBN-10: 0822337150
ISBN-13: 9780822337157
Edition: 2006
List price: $23.95
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Description: "If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country." So E. M. Forster famously observed in his Two Cheers for Democracy. Forster's epigrammatic manifesto, where the idea of  More...

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Book details

List price: $23.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 1/11/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country." So E. M. Forster famously observed in his Two Cheers for Democracy. Forster's epigrammatic manifesto, where the idea of the "friend" stands as a metaphor for dissident cross-cultural collaboration, holds the key, Leela Gandhi argues in Affective Communities, to the hitherto neglected history of western anti-imperialism. Focusing on individuals and groups who renounced the privileges of imperialism to elect affinity with victims of their own expansionist cultures, she uncovers the utopian-socialist critiques of empire that emerged in Europe, specifically in Britain, at the end of the nineteenth century. Gandhi reveals for the first time how those associated with marginalized lifestyles, subcultures, and traditions -including homosexuality, vegetarianism, animal rights, spiritualism, and aestheticism -united against imperialism and forged strong bonds with colonized subjects and cultures.Gandhi weaves together the stories of a number of South Asian and European friendships that flourished between 1878 and 1914, tracing the complex historical networks connecting figures like the English socialist and homosexual reformer Edward Carpenter and the young Indian barrister M. K. Gandhi, or the Jewish French mystic Mirra Alfassa and the Cambridge-educated Indian yogi and extremist Sri Aurobindo. In a global milieu where the battle lines of empire are re-emerging in newer and more pernicious configurations, Affective Communities challenges homogeneous portrayals of "the West" and its role in relation to anti-colonial struggles. Drawing on Derrida's theory of friendship, Gandhi puts forth a powerful new model of the political: one that finds in friendship a crucial resource for anti-imperialism and trans-national collaboration.

Leela Gandhi is professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is the founding coeditor of the journal Postcolonial Studies and the author, most recently, of Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought and the Politics of Friendship.

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Affective Communities
Manifesto: Anticolonial Thought and the Politics of Friendship
Sex: The Story of Late Victorian Homosexual Exceptionalism
Meat: A Short Cultural History of Animal Welfare at the Fin-de-Si�cle
God: Mysticism and Radicalism at the End of the Nineteenth Century
Art: Aestheticism and the Politics of Postcolonial Difference
Conclusion: An Immature Politics
Notes
Index

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