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Fighting Words

Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World


Dominic Davies, Erica Lombard and Benjamin Mountford

Can a book change the world? If books were integral to the creation of the imperial global order, what role have they played in resisting that order throughout the twentieth century? To what extent have theories and movements of anti-imperial and anticolonial resistance across the planet been shaped by books as they are read across the world?

Fighting Words responds to these questions by examining how the book as a cultural form has fuelled resistance to empire in the long twentieth century. Through fifteen case studies that bring together literary, historical and book historical perspectives, this collection explores the ways in which books have circulated anti-imperial ideas, as they themselves have circulated as objects and commodities within regional, national and transnational networks. What emerges is a complex portrait of the vital and multifaceted role played by the book in both the formation and the form of anticolonial resistance, and the development of the postcolonial world.

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Series Editors: Tessa Roynon, University of Oxford (Executive Editor) Elleke Boehmer, University of Oxford Victoria Collis-Buthelezi, University of the Witwatersrand Patricia Daley, University of Oxford Aaron Kamugisha, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Minkah Makalani, University of Texas, Austin Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, University College London Stephen Tuck, University of Oxford

This series focuses on the history and culture of activists, artists and intellectuals who have worked within and against racially oppressive hierarchies in the first half of the twentieth century and beyond, and who have then sought to define and to achieve full equality once those formal hierarchies have been overturned. It explores the ways in which such individuals – writers, scholars, campaigners and organizers, ministers, and artists and performers of all kinds – located their resistance within a global context and forged connections with each other across national, linguistic, regional and imperial borders.

Disseminating the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on the history, literature and culture of anti-racist movements in Africa, the Caribbean, the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, the series foregrounds, through a cross-disciplinary approach, the transnational and intercultural nature of these resistance movements. The series embraces a range of themes, including but not limited to antislavery, intellectual and literary networks, emigration and immigration, anti-imperialism, church-based and religious movements, civil rights, citizenship and identity, Black Power, resistance strategies, women’s movements, cultural transfer, white supremacy and anti-immigration, hip hop and...

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