Globalizing Afghanistan

Terrorism, War, and the Rhetoric of Nation Building

Globalizing Afghanistan

American Encounters/Global Interactions

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Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: 13 photographs Published: June 2011

Asian Studies > South Asia, Gender and Sexuality, Globalization and Neoliberalism

Globalizing Afghanistan offers a kaleidoscopic view of Afghanistan and the global networks of power, influence, and representation in which it is immersed. The military and nation-building interventions initiated by the United States in reaction to the events of September 11, 2001, are the background and motivation for this collection, but they are not the immediate subject of the essays. Seeking to understand the events of the past decade in a broad frame, the contributors draw on cultural and postcolonial approaches to provide new insights into this ongoing conflict. They focus on matters such as the implications of Afghanistan’s lucrative opium trade, the links between the contemporary Taliban movement and major events in the Islamic world and Central Asia since the early twentieth century, and interactions between transnational feminist organizations and the Afghan women’s movement. Several contributors address questions of representation. One looks at portrayals of Afghan women by the U.S. government and Western media and feminists. Another explores the surprisingly prominent role of Iranian filmmaking in the production of a global cinematic discourse about Afghanistan. A Pakistani journalist describes how coverage of Afghanistan by reporters working from Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa (formerly the North West Frontier Province) has changed over the past decade. This rich panoply of perspectives on Afghanistan concludes with a reflection on how academics might produce meaningful alternative viewpoints on the exercise of American power abroad.

Contributors. Gwen Bergner, Maliha Chishti, Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, Nigel C. Gibson, Zubeda Jalalzai, David Jefferess, Altaf Ullah Khan, Kamran Rastegar, Rodney J. Steward, Imre Szeman


“The writers in [this collection] remind us that the impetus for women’s rights must come from Afghans themselves. They show that transnational feminism needs to step away from the imperial agenda and incorporate the diverse views of Afghan women, as well as women of Islamic and other cultures, to become broader, more inclusive, and ultimately a stronger force for change.” — Elaheh Rostami-Povey, Signs

Globalizing Afghanistan is a valuable resource for everyone who wishes to better understand Afghanistan and the complexities at play. It is also highly recommended reading for scholars and students examining the processes of globalization and nation-building, as well as gender studies scholars.” — Milica Minic, Women's Studies International Forum

Globalizing Afghanistan... offers eight wide-ranging papers by an interdisciplinary group of scholars.” — Chris Sterling, Communication Booknotes Quarterly

“[T]his volume's approach—situating Afghanistan's cultural history globally, rather than bracketing off its travails as domestic, separate, exotic—represents a positive intervention in metropolitan knowledge production about Afghanistan. It balances depth and breadth in its selection of features related to global hegemony, resulting in a volume both unified and unique. Most of its essays engage representations accessible in American living rooms, unfurl outward through powerful global institutions, and move back down to global action on the Afghan stage. The volume should prove essential for courses on Afghan history that aim at complicating an impoverished security-state narrative, and useful in a broad range of courses in international humanities.” — James Caron, College Literature

“I highly recommend this volume. This is useful material for undergraduate and graduate students in the social sciences, particularly international
relations, political science, gender studies, and culture studies. It is readable and accessible, and does not require a lot of background knowledge from the students.” — Ihsan Ali Alkhatib, Digest of Middle East Studies

“This interdisciplinary collection of essays succeeds in introducing readers to the historical and contemporary place of Afghanistan in global struggles and the challenges of reshaping Afghanistan.” 
— Kent Roach, University of Toronto Quarterly

“This fascinating and timely collection situates Afghanistan in the context of globalisation and brings new and little-known material into the public domain. Many of the chapters show impressive conversancy with the micropolitical and social contexts of the present conflict in Afghanistan, reflecting a highly productive partnership between academics, activists, and practitioners. This book is an invaluable companion to both students and scholars of Afghanistan, cultural and literary studies, politics, and film and media studies.” — Corinne Fowler, author of Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan

“Ten years after September 11th, Afghanistan remains a center of global conflict and the scene of seemingly endless tragedies. This timely and important volume encourages us to step back from the relentless immediacy of the news cycle and examine the historical forces and international interests that created the present situation, including drug economies, gender hierarchies, and imperialist adventures.” — Michael Hardt, co-author of Commonwealth


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Zubeda Jalalzai is Associate Professor of English at Rhode Island College.

David Jefferess is Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. He is the author of Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Globalizing Afghanistan / Zubeda Jalalzai and David Jefferess 1

It's the Opium, Stupid: Afghanistan, Globalization, and Drugs / Nigel C. Gibson 31

Afghanistan in a Globalized World: A Longer View / Rodney J. Steward 51

The "Afghan Beat": Pukhtoon Journalism and the Afghan War / Altaf Ullah Khan 79

Veiled Motives: Women's Liberation and the War in Afghanistan / Gwen Bergner 95

Transnational Feminism and the Women's Rights Agenda in Afghanistan / Maliha Chishti & Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims 117

Global Frames on Afghanistan: The Iranian Mediation of Afghanistan in International Art House Cinema after September 11, 2001 / Kamran Rastegar 145

Conclusion: The Current Amazement / Afghanistan, Terror, and Theory / Imre Szeman 165

Bibliography 187

Contributors 201

Index 205
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5014-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5001-9
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