Third World Studies

Theorizing Liberation

Third World Studies

Book Pages: 224 Illustrations: 5 photographs Published: September 2016

Author: Gary Y. Okihiro

Activism, American Studies, Theory and Philosophy > Race and Indigeneity

In 1968 the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State College demanded the creation of a Third World studies program to counter the existing curricula that ignored issues of power—notably, imperialism and oppression. The administration responded by institutionalizing an ethnic studies program; Third World studies was over before it began. Detailing the field's genesis and premature death, Gary Y. Okihiro presents an intellectual history of ethnic studies and Third World studies and shows where they converged and departed by identifying some of their core ideas, concepts, methods, and theories. In so doing, he establishes the contours of a unified field of study—Third World studies—that pursues a decolonial politics by examining the human condition broadly, especially in regard to oppression, and critically analyzing the locations and articulations of power as manifested in the social formation. Okihiro's framing of Third World studies moves away from ethnic studies' liberalism and its U.S.-centrism to emphasize the need for complex thinking and political action in the drive for self-determination. 


"Okihiro invites readers to hear him out in a series of essays along big and known theoretical concepts such as 'nationalism,' 'imperialism,' 'world-system,' 'racial formation,' and 'social formation' and a less familiar one termed 'subjectification.' Together, they constitute a kind of professional memoir, as Okihiro leads readers through the process of his personal wrestling with these concepts intellectually and pedagogically, with examples drawn from across the world temporally and spatially. Read another way, this book represents another in a growing roster of academic projects to disrupt ethnic studies as institutionalized, a backhanded compliment to its longevity and durability. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."
  — E. Hu-DeHart, Choice

"Displaying his customary erudition and insight, Gary Y. Okihiro rethinks the meaning of ethnic studies, highlighting the existence of a rich but often neglected tradition of anti-subordination scholarship capable of delineating and critiquing how the histories of imperialism and capitalism have shaped the fatal couplings of social identities and power. A generative and thought provoking-work by a sophisticated and advanced thinker, Third World Studies will challenge many ethnic studies scholars and impact how ethnic studies will proceed to think of itself." — George Lipsitz, author of f American Studies in a Moment of Danger

"A bracing account of the phantom Third World studies, the field that never was. Gary Y. Okihiro has had his feet planted firmly in the fields of ethnic studies and global studies, two fields that would have been part of Third World studies, making him well-positioned to write this book." — Vijay Prashad, author of The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South


Availability: In stock
Price: $25.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gary Y. Okihiro is Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and the author of several books, most recently, American History Unbound: Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix

Introduction  1

1. Subjects  15

2. Nationalism  37

3. Imperialism  57

4. World-System  77

5. Education  93

6. Subjectification  107

7. Racial Formation  121

8. Social Formation  139

9. Syntheses  155

Notes  173

Bibliography  187

Index  201
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6231-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6209-8
Publicity material