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Conversations from the Cullman Center: Pankaj Mishra in conversation with Ian Buruma

September 24, 2012

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Former Cullman Center fellows Pankaj Mishra and Ian Buruma discuss Mishra's new book, From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia

Through a mix of history and biography, Mishra examines the Asian world's responses, in "the ruins of empire," to western modernity. He begins with Japan's stunning victory in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, and looks at key intellectual figures -- in India, China, and the former Ottoman Empire -- who led the revolts against the West and aimed to create a post-colonial greater Asia. Mishra writes with equal acuity about East and West, the past and the present, the complexities of globalization, and the current emergence of Asian nations.   

Pankaj Mishra, who lives in London and India, writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Bloomberg View. His books include Butter Chicken in Ludhiana:  Travels in Small Town India, and Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in IndiaPakistan and Beyond.  Ian Buruma, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at BardCollege, was educated in Holland and Japan. He writes for The New York Review of BooksThe New YorkerThe New York TimesCorriere della Sera, and NRC Handelsblad. His recent books include Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three ContinentsMurder inAmsterdam: Liberal Europe, Islam, and the Limits of Tolerance; and Inventing Japan, 1853-1964.


"In his brilliant new book, Pankaj Mishra reverses the long gaze of the West upon the East, showing modern history as it has been felt by the majority of the world's population from Turkey to China...Excellent!" - Orhan Pamuk


The Cullman Center is co-sponsoring this event with The New School.