This volume provides a novel approach to international relations. In the course of fifteen essays, scholars write about how life events brought them to their subject matter. They place their narratives in the larger context of world politics, culture, and history.
Autobiographical International Relations believes that the fictive distancing associated with academic prose creates disaffection in both readers and writers. In contrast, these essays demonstrate how to reengage the "I" while simultaneously sustaining theoretical precision and historical awareness. Authors highlight their motives, their desires, and their wounds. By connecting their theoretical and practical engagements with their needs and wounds, and by working within the overlap between theory, history, and autobiography, these essays aim to increase the clarity, urgency, and meaningfulness of academic work.
These essays are autobiographical, but focused on the academic aspect of authors’ lives. Specifically, they are set within the domain of international relations/global politics. They are theoretical, but geared to demonstrate that theoretical decisions emerge from theorists’ needs and wounds. Theoretical precision, rather than being explicitly deduced, is instead immanent to the autobiographical and the historical/cultural narrative each author portrays. And, these essays are framed in historical/cultural terms, but seek to bind together theory, history, culture, and the personal into a differentiated and vibrant whole.
This book moves the field of International Relations towards greater candidness about how personal narrative influences theoretical articulations. No such volume currently exists in the field of international relations.
Table of Contents
Falling and Flying: An Introduction Naeem Inayatullah 1. Accidental Scholarship and the Myth of Objectivity Stephen Chan 2. Objects among Objects Jenny Edkins 3. Stammers between Silence and Speech Narendran Kumarakulasingam 4. Scenes of Obscenity: the Meaning of America under Epistemic and Military Violence Khadija F. El Alaoui 5. I, the Double Soldier: An Autobiographic Case-Study on the Pitfalls of Dual Citizenship Rainer Hülsse 6. Weakness Leaving My Body: An Essay on the Interpersonal Relations of International Politics Jacob L. Stump 7. Waiting for the Revolution: A Foreigner’s Narrative Alina Sajed 8. Am I not that? At the feet of Elders Sara-Maria Sorentino 9. Listening for the Elsewhere and the Not-yet: Academic Labor as a Matter of Ethical Witness Lori Amy 10. To Realize You're Creolized: White Flight, Black Culture, Hybridity Joel Dinerstein 11. Goodbye Nostalgia! In Memory of a Country that has Never Existed as such Wanda Vrasti 12. Shaping Walls: Moving through Lanka’s Forts Nethra Samarawickrema 13. Three Stories: A Way of Being in the World Patrick Thaddeus Jackson 14. G(r)azing the fields of IR: Romping Buffaloes, Festive Villagers Quỳnh Phạm & Himadeep Muppidi - The Sound of Conversation Sorayya Khan - Epilogue: Cosmography Recapitulates Biography: An Epilogue Peter Mandaville