cover of book

Words and Worlds: A Lexicon for Dark Times
edited by Veena Das and Didier Fassin
Duke University Press, 2021
Paper: 978-1-4780-1416-4 | Cloth: 978-1-4780-1325-9 | eISBN: 978-1-4780-2147-6
Library of Congress Classification P119.3.W57 2021

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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