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Subjectivity after Orientalism: Citizenship in Other Worlds

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7 March 2011

For at least two centuries the origins of citizenship appeared European. It is essentially considered a Judeo-Christian development and it is juxtaposed against its ‘lack’ in Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and Hinduism (if one thinks along religious terms) or Asia, America and Africa (if one thinks along geographic terms). If we critique this assumption how do we begin to investigate ‘citizenship’ in other worlds? How do we investigate political subjectivity in Indian, Chinese, Islamic and Indigenous cultures? This question raises a number of theoretical and methodological issues about doing research ‘in’, ‘on’ or ‘about’ other worlds that, I shall argue, are inherent in social sciences and humanities but doing research on ‘citizenship’ in other worlds makes us confront them more acutely and urgently.

Presentation by Engin Isin, Professor of Citizenship in Politics and Internationals Studies (POLIS) and the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) in the faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University.

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A dictionary of terms used in the presentation


See: Robert C. Solomon  "subjectivity"  The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  The Open University.  13 March 2011  


"Orientalism"  A Dictionary of Critical Theory. by Ian Buchanan. Oxford University Press 2010. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  The Open University.  13 March 2011  


Isin, Engin F., “Citizenship in Flux: The Figure of the Activist Citizen,” Subjectivity, no. 29 (2009).

Engin Isin
14:26 on 13 March 2011 (Edited 14:39 on 13 March 2011)

I have nothing to say about this, except that the video strongly deserves to be watched. 

Peter Wood
21:09 on 23 March 2011

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