Cultural Autonomy
344 pages, 6 1/2 x 9
3 b&w photos
Release Date:01 Jan 2011
Release Date:01 Apr 2010
Release Date:01 Jan 2011

Cultural Autonomy

Frictions and Connections

UBC Press
In recent years, globalization has challenged concepts such as local
culture and cultural autonomy. And the rampant commodification of
cultural products that has accompanied the global turn has called into
question the way we define culture itself. Have these developments
transformed the relationship between culture and autonomy? Have
traditional notions of cultural autonomy been recast?

Cultural Autonomy showcases the work of scholars from
multiple fields of interest who are exploring new ways of understanding
the critical issue of globalization and culture. By defining culture
broadly – as a set of ideas or practices that range from literary
criticism and the work of public intellectuals such as Edward Said to
Greenpeace, Zapatismo, and skateboarding – they trace how issues
of cultural autonomy have played out in various areas, including the
human rights and environmental movements and among indigenous peoples.
Although the contributors focus on the marginalized issue of autonomy,
they offer a balanced perspective – one that reveals that
globalization has not only limited but also created new forms of
cultural autonomy.

A theoretically sophisticated collection, Cultural
 redefines and carves out new terrain for debate
about autonomy and culture in an age of globalization.

This book is required reading for anyone interested in exploring the
limits and possibilities that globalization offers culture.

Petra Rethmann is an associate professor in theDepartment of Anthropology at McMaster University. ImreSzeman is Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and aprofessor of English and film studies at the University of Alberta.William D. Coleman is CIGI Chair in Globalization andPublic Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs andprofessor in the Department of Political Science at the University ofWaterloo.

Contributors: Eric Cazdyn, Arif Dirlik, AnnaGreenspan, Heike Härting, Peter Hitchcock, Alex Khasnabish, NeilMcLaughlin, Wren Nasr, Susie O’Brien, Colin Scott, Tim Sedo


1 Introduction: Cultural Autonomy, Politics, and Global Capitalism /William D. Coleman, Imre Szeman, and Petra Rethman
2 Our Ways of Knowing: Globalization – The End ofUniversalism? / Arif Dirlik
3 Bioeconomics, Culture, and Politics after Globalization /Eric Cazdyn
4 Globalization, Postmodernism, and (Autonomous) Criticism /Imre Szeman
5 The World, the Literary, and the Political / PeterHitchcock
6 Global Public Intellectuals, Autonomy, and Culture: ReflectionsInspired by the Death of Edward Said / Neil McLaughlin
7 The Politics of Indigenous Knowledge in EnvironmentalAssessment: James Bay Crees and Hydroelectric Projects / Wren Nasrand Colin Scott
8 Global Humanitarianism and Racial Autonomy in RoméoDallaire’s Shake Hands with the Devil / HeikeHärting
9 Global Activism and the Visual Grammar of Nature / PetraRethmann
10 Making Big Noise: The Northern Resonance of Zapatismo /Alex Khasnabish
11 Anti-Fascist Gluttons of the World Unite! The Cultural Politicsof Slow Food / Susie O’Brien
12 Autonomy on the Market: China and India Change Tracks /Anna Greenspan
13 Dead-Stock Boards, Blown-Out Spots, and the Olympic Games:Global Twists and Local Turns in the Formation of China’sSkateboarding Community / Tim Sedo

Notes and Acknowledgments
Works Cited

Find what you’re looking for...
My alt text
Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters
Current Catalogue
Spring 2021 catalogue cover featuring a beige background and drawings of houses in a variety of colours
Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.