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New Book on Delimiting Modernities

"Delimiting Modernities: Conceptual Challenges and Regional Responses" is the title of a new book edited by Ralph Weber, professor for European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies, and Sven Trakulhun. The volume aims to transcend the sometimes narrow debates over modernity within established disciplines to provide original and insightful new scholarship on the topic.

This edited volume seeks to contribute to the many long-standing discussions on modernity, but also and more specifically to the more recent debates over trends to pluralize modernity. These debates are currently held in many different academic disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, literature and postcolonial studies. Hitherto, most engagements with modernity in the plural have remained conspicuously confined to the one or the other intra-disciplinary notion of modernities, such as that of Shmuel Eisenstadt’s “multiple modernities” which has triggered a host of conference papers and publications largely within sociology: all the while, it seems that the literatures, for instance, of multiple modernities and alternative modernities are each distinguished by the fact that one ignores the other.

It is the principal aim of this volume to subject these disciplinary discussions to a more encompassing view, assembling contributions from different scholars who not only work in different disciplines and regional settings, but who also engage with their research topics in a variety of approaches and at different levels of analysis. The volume thus transcends the sometimes narrow boundaries of the debates over modernities within the established academic disciplines and seeks to turn the unavoidable friction brought about by this interdisciplinary setting into most original and insightful scholarship.

"Delimiting Modernities" was published by Lexington Books in February 2015. The volume includes texts by leading scholars such as Pheng Cheah, Arif Dirlik, Wolfgang Knöbl, Gudrun Krämer, Tamara Loos, Anthony Reid, Andrea Riemenschnitter, Volker H. Schmidt and Sanjay Subrahmanyam. It was edited by Sven Trakulhun and Ralph Weber.

Sven Trakulhun is lecturer at the universities of Zurich and Konstanz. Among his research interests are the history of Thailand and Southeast Asia, the history of the European expansion in Asia, transnational history of ideas, and the history of transfers between Europe and Asia.

Ralph Weber is assistant professor for European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies of the University of Basel. His research interests include methodological and conceptual aspects of translinguistic and transcultural research, as well as comparative philosophy, Chinese political philosophy, Chinese politics, and Confucianism.