What happens with thinkers who operate outside the European philosophical 'pedigree'? In this powerfully honed polemic, Dabashi argues that they are invariably marginalised, patronised and mis-represented. Challenging, pugnacious, but also stylish, Can Non-Europeans Think? forges a new perspective in postcolonial studies by looking at how intellectual debate continues to reinforce a colonial regime of knowledge, albeit in a new guise. Based on years of intellectual work and activism, Dabashi delivers a provocative and insightful collection of observations and philosophical explorations, which is certain to unsettle and delight in equal measure.
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In this challenging and thought provoking book Dabashi pulls together a unique constellation of historical and theoretical reflections on current affairs to argue that we need to breakdown the ethnographic gaze that is evident with intellectual thinking in the Arab world.
For decades, Hamid Dabashi has drawn from the histories of the non-West to argue for ways of thinking deemed illegitimate by the parochial but powerful guardians of intellectual life in the West. In Can Non-Europeans Think? he takes his subtle but vigorous polemic to another level.'
'A much needed corrective to the complacent view that multicultural diversity reigns in US and European Universities. Hamid Dabashi's new work is a tour de force.'
Drucilla Cornell, author of Law and Revolution in South Africa
'These essays are trenchant, witty, provocative, mischievous, and on target.'
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, author of Comment philosopher en Islam
'Drawing from his unrivalled inside knowledge of various intellectual traditions, Dabashi has written, with acuity, passion and humour, a critical synthesis of Western thought from the vantage point of the "dark races".'
Mamadou Diouf, director of the Institute for African Studies, Columbia University
'With elegant irony, Can Non-Europeans Think? reorients our reading of the world. It is a passionate rejoinder to those who are unable to see beyond European framings and rootings.'
S. Sayyid, author of Recalling the Caliphate
'Dabashi's book is both a panoramic critique of, and a revolt against, dominant forms of knowledge. It is characteristically lucid and accessible. A worthwhile read.'
Wael Hallaq, Columbia University
'Dabashi eloquently articulates the intellectual journey of a whole generation of postcolonial thinkers: its findings must be heard.'
Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab, author of Contemporary Arab Thought
'Hamid Dabashi's Can Non-Europeans Think? collects his important provocations on issues ranging from post-colonialism to democracy. These are pieces to wrestle with, to think about, to discuss and debate. Reading Dabashi is like going for an extended coffee with a very smart friend.'
Vijay Prashad, author of The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South
'Can Non-Europeans Think? The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer is also yes, but requires that the reader dismantles the very notion of "West" and "European". This is a fabulous read.'
Zillah Eisenstein, author of Sexual Decoys and The Audacity of Races and Genders
Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Born in Iran, he received a dual Ph.D. in the sociology of culture and Islamic studies from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Dabashi has written and edited many books, including Iran, the Green Movement and the USA and The Arab Spring, as well as numerous chapters, essays, articles and book reviews. He is an internationally renowned cultural critic, whose writings have been translated into numerous languages.
Dabashi has been a columnist for the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly for over a decade, and is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera and CNN. He has been a committed teacher for nearly three decades and is also a public speaker, a current affairs essayist, a staunch anti-war activist and the founder of Dreams of a Nation. He has four children and lives in New York with his wife, the Iranian-Swedish feminist scholar and photographer Golbarg Bashi.