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Introduction: The Unavoidable "Actuality" of Everyday Life 1: Tracking the Dinosaur: Area Studies in a Time of "Globalism" 2: The "Mystery of the Everyday": Everydayness in History 3: "Dialectical Optics": Everydayness in History
America's preeminent intellectual historian of modern Japan inaugurates a challenging debate on the arbitrary cultural divisions of our world, and in the process sheds light on the troubling academic enterprise called "area studies." This is one of the first works to explore on equal footing the European and Japanese conceptions of modernity-as imagined in the writings of Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin, as well as ethnologist Yanagita Kunio and Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun.
Harry Harootunian is professor of history and director of East Asian Studies at New York University. He is author of Toward Restoration and Things Seen and Unseen.
"An incisive critique of the politics of knowledge production regarding 'Japan,' 'Asia,' and beyond." - Rey Chow, author of Primitive Passions