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Laura Nader: What the Rest Think of the West: Since 600 AD

Thursday, September 17, 2015
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar St
Berkeley, CA 94709

Hosted by Richard Wolinsky

$12 advance tickets: 800-838-3006 or independent bookstores, $15 door, KPFA benefit

Over the past few centuries, as Western civilization has enjoyed an expanding geographic domain, Westerners have observed other cultures rarely, and then usually with scant interest in what they saw in us. What the Rest Think of the West, unprecedented in its scope, at last provides a rich historical look through the eyes of observant outsiders as they survey and scrutinize the politics, science, technology, religion, family practices, and gender roles of civilizations not their own. The book emphasizes the broader figurative meaning of looking west in the scope of history.

Focusing on four civilizations-Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, and South Asian-Laura Nader has collected observations made over centuries by scholars, diplomats, missionaries, travelers, merchants, and students reflecting upon their own "Wests." The accounts variously express critique, adoration, admiration, and fear, and are sometimes humorous, occasionally disturbing, at times controversial, and always enlightening. Nader provides informative introductions to each of the selections.

"There are things that only outsiders can see, and the true promise of anthropology has always been to use such insights to allow human beings to understand more of their shared humanity, to understand how we are the same through our differences."
-David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years

"Intellectual exchange between the West and Asia has long been one-sided, handicapped further by lack of translations. This superbly introduced and edited anthology, which shows the diverse ways in which visitors from Asia perceived modern Western society and culture, fills a big gap in our self-understanding." -Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt against the West and the Remaking of Asia
Added to the calendar on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 10:49AM
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