Mielke, Katja & Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Hrsg). 2017. Area Studies at the Crossroads: Knowledge Production after the Mobility Turn. Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Brings together an international group of scholars engaged in conducting ‘new’ Area Studies at the verge of disciplines and in inter- and transdisciplinary centers, research networks, and projects.
Provides reflections on theory-building from empirical realities in an effort to systematically tackle the constructed divide between Area Studies and disciplines.
Proposes future Area Studies as politically-aware, differentiated, emancipatory, analytical Area Studies in mobile and multi-sited, interdisciplinary contexts.
In this pioneering volume, leading scholars from a diversity of backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences, and different area studies argue for a more differentiated and self-reflected role of area-based science in global knowledge production. Considering that the mobility of people, goods, and ideas make the world more complex and geographically fixed categories increasingly obsolete, the authors call for a reflection of this new dynamism in research, teaching, and theorizing. The book thus moves beyond the constructed divide between area studies and systematic disciplines and instead proposes methodological and conceptual ways for encouraging the integration of marginalized and often overseen epistemologies. Essays on the ontological, theoretical, and pedagogical dimension of area studies highlight how people’s everyday practices of mobility challenge scholars, students, and practitioners of inter- and transdisciplinary area studies to transcend the cognitive boundaries that scholarly minds currently operate in.
“This wide-ranging and pathbreaking collection of essays offers a vision of area studies for our era of mobility, connectivity and fluidity in geographies and in identities. Its insights show how area studies remains a vital resource for studies of science, development, migration and more. The authors place area studies in a series of valuable ethnographic contexts, thus making this volume a timely resource for all scholars concerned with place, theory and comparison.” (Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, US)
“Social sciences as a product of the cold war academia have been actively questioned and criticized in the last twenty five years everywhere, including in the West itself. Area Studies at the Crossroads is a product of recent radical rethinking efforts of the previous colonizing approaches to the study of the other. It contributes to outlining a new ethical-political dimension for area studies‘ future.” (Madina Tlostanova, Professor of Postcolonial Feminisms, Linköping University, Sweden)
“De-centered Area Studies are the way forward in knowledge production at the intersection of new humanities, social sciences and regional studies. They no longer focus on mere ontological innovations or territorially defined regions. The essays in this volume should be read by Areanists and Disciplinarians alike.” (Claudia Derichs, Professor and Chair for Comparative Politics and International Development Studies, Philipps University of Marburg, Germany)