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Five books from 2018 that you can’t afford to miss out on

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Mandatory separation – Religion education and mass politics in Palestine

Author: Suzanne Schneider

‘Mandatory separation’ explores the relationship between religion, education and modern mass politics in mandate Palestine. The book investigates how the British government propagated religious education for both Palestinians and Jews as an effort to counter nationalism and extremism, a process that contributed in shaping the modern Middle Eastern conflict. Placing religion at the center, the book inquires the ideas of political stability, social continuity or a radical changing agent.

Humanism in Ruins: Entangled Legacies of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange

By Asli Igsiz

The landmark event of 1923 Greek-Turkish population exchange that set the precedent of population management on the basis of religious and ethnic difference, is the central theme of this book. ‘Humanism in ruins’ critically analyzes separation policies and practices by situating them in the liberal discourses on peace and humanism. The author establishes a historical connectivity in order to trace the legacies of these events and to identify their consequences.

A Future in Ruins – UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace

By Lynn Meskell

Founded in 1945, UNESCO is known for its service to humanity for its vital role in protection, preservation and restoration of world heritage around the globe. In addition to the established critique on its inherent eurocentrism, this book offers a critical approach for the shortcomings, underlining its ‘liberal’ and ‘modernist’ narratives of peace, tolerance and nobility, echoed by its failure to deal with the heritage in conflict zones. This book unveils the differential nature of UNESCO’s principles as an organization which has remained understudied and misunderstood in the past.

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Another Love: A Politics of the Unrequited

By Asma Abbas

This transcendent work triangulates love, terror and anti-colonial aesthetics. Navigating through the intricacies of the relation between the colonizer and colonized co-opting Fanon and Forster, this book situates love at the center and explores its relationship with terror, temporal marginalities, and the crises of loveless-ness in the exigencies of neo-liberalism. Deeply anchored in political theory and philosophy, this work flows from literature to film symbolizing ‘the unrequited’ to be pregnant with plethora of expressions that translates into austere practices such as devotion, fidelity, romance, desire, rebellion, resistance, rejection, and redemption drawing from the previous works of the author on anti-imperialist and sectarian movements in South Africa and South Asia.

Asymmetry

By Lisa Halliday

As the name suggests, this novel tells us how humans mediate through the imbalances of life that constitutes our most human emotions, expressions and actions in the most dramatic form possible. Set in New York, the first section is the romancing tale of Alice, a young American editor and much older writer Ezra Blazer is the framework of negotiating inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice in a very organic way. In the second section, Amar, an Iraqi American detained at border control in London, analyses life in retrospect which is aimed to complicate the narrative of the story. The writer has done an incredible job in putting together two seemingly unrelated novels in one as the third section sheds light on both earlier sections.

The admittance that Alice’s story is based on her personal experiences urges the reader to start with suspicions, curiosity and expectations to which the third section gives a great a deal of satisfaction.

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