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Professor Sanjay Seth

Staff details

PositionProfessor of Politics
Email s.seth (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7745
Professor Sanjay Seth

After completing his education in Sydney and Canberra, Sanjay held positions at Sydney University and La Trobe University (Melbourne), as well as a Fellowship at Tokyo University. He moved to Goldsmiths in 2007, to take up the Chair in Politics.

Sanjay has published in the fields of modern Indian history, political and social theory, postcolonial theory and international relations. He is particularly interested in how modern European ideologies, and modern Western knowledge more generally, ‘travelled’ to the non-Western world- and what effects this had both on the non-Western world, and on modern, Western knowledge. His current work is focused on whether the presumptions that inform our modern knowledge are ‘universal’, meaning adequate to all times and places- as is usually supposed- or whether they are in fact parochial, presumptions that are specifically modern and Western but that illegitimately pass themselves off as universal. He often uses his Indian archive to raise and pursue these broad social, cultural and epistemological questions.

Sanjay has been invited to give keynote talks in the US, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Bulgaria, Brazil, Greece, India, Pakistan, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Taiwan. Some of his publications have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Slovenian

Academic qualifications

BA Honours (4 years) 1st Class (with University Medal), University of Sydney (Department of Government), 1983.

PhD, Australian National University (History of Ideas Unit), 1990.

Teaching

Sanjay has held teaching or research positions at the University of Sydney and La Trobe University (Melbourne), before joining Goldsmiths in 2007 to take up the Chair in Politics, and the position of Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies. He has been JSPS Research Fellow at Tokyo University (2003), Visiting Professorial Research Fellow at Kyoto University (2013) and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney (2014 to present). He currently teaches an MA subject, ‘The Politics of Knowledge: Debates in the Human Sciences”, and teach ‘Liberalism and its Critics’, ‘Colonialism and non-Western Political Thought’, and (co-teach) ‘Politics of Other Cultures’ at undergraduate level.

Areas of supervision

Sanjay welcomes enquiries concerning supervision in the areas of social and political theory, Indian history and politics, non-Western thought and politics, Marxism and liberalism, postcolonial theory.

Featured publications

Books

Marxist Theory and Nationalist Politics: The Case of Colonial India, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1995.

Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India, Duke University Press, 2007 (Indian edition with Oxford University Press, India, 2008) for the International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) 2009 book prize in social sciences

Edited Book

Postcolonial Theory and International Relations: A Critical Introduction, London and NY: Routledge, 2013.

Articles

“Nationalism, Modernity and the ‘Woman Question’ in India and China”, Journal of Asian Studies, 72:2 (May 2013), pp. 273-97.

“Reason or Reasoning? Clio or Siva?”, Social Text, No. 78 (2004), pp. 85-101 [translated into Portuguese as “Razão ou Raciocínio? Clio ou Shiva?”, História da Historiografia, No. 11 (April 2013), pp. 173-90].

Research Interests

Professor Sanjay Seth has published in the fields of modern Indian history, political and social theory, postcolonial theory and international relations. He is particularly interested in how modern European ideologies, and modern Western knowledge more generally, ‘travelled’ to the non-Western world- and what effects this had both on the non-Western world, and on modern, Western knowledge. Relatedly, my recent and current work is focused on whether the presumptions that inform our modern knowledge are ‘universal’, meaning adequate to all times and places- as is usually supposed- or whether they are in fact parochial, presumptions that are specifically modern and Western but that illegitimately pass themselves off as universal. He usually uses his Indian archive to raise and pursue these broad social, cultural and epistemological questions.

Publications

Book

Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India
Seth, Sanjay. 2007. Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India. Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822341055

Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India
Seth, Sanjay. 2007. Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822340867

Marxist Theory and Nationalist Politics: The Case of Colonial India
Seth, Sanjay. 1995. Marxist Theory and Nationalist Politics: The Case of Colonial India. New Delhi: SAGE Publications. ISBN 978-0803992078

Edited Book

Postcolonial Theory and International Relations: A Critical Introduction
Seth, Sanjay, ed. 2012. Postcolonial Theory and International Relations: A Critical Introduction. London and NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415582889

Book Section

Postcolonialism and International Relations.
Seth, Sanjay. 2012. Postcolonialism and International Relations. In: Sanjay Seth, ed. Postcolonial Theory & International Relations: A Comprehensive Introduction. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-58288-9

'Slavery, Finance and International Political Economy: Postcolonial reflections'
Gruffydd Jones, Branwen. 2012. 'Slavery, Finance and International Political Economy: Postcolonial reflections'. In: Sanjay Seth, ed. Postcolonial Theory and International Relations. London: Routledge, pp. 49-69. ISBN 978-0415582889

The Nation-State as Guardian of Difference and Globalisation as the end of Difference?: A Postcolonial Dissent. (Forthcoming)
Seth, Sanjay. 2011. The Nation-State as Guardian of Difference and Globalisation as the end of Difference?: A Postcolonial Dissent. (Forthcoming). In: Robert Walker, ed. Displacing the International. Routledge.

Rewriting Histories of Nationalism: The Politics of ‘Moderate Nationalism’ in Colonial India, 1870-1905
Seth, Sanjay. 2009. Rewriting Histories of Nationalism: The Politics of ‘Moderate Nationalism’ in Colonial India, 1870-1905. In: Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, ed. Nationalist Movement in India: A Reader. Oxford University Press, pp. 30-48. ISBN 9780195698817

’Subliminal Charge’: How Hindi-Language Newspaper Expansion Affects India
Seth, Sanjay; Friedlander, Peter and Jeffrey, Robin. 2009. ’Subliminal Charge’: How Hindi-Language Newspaper Expansion Affects India. In: Arvind Rajagopal, ed. The Indian Public Sphere Readings in Media History. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, //-//. ISBN 019806103X

A Postcolonial World?
Seth, Sanjay. 2000. A Postcolonial World? In: Greg Fry and Jacinta O'Hagan, eds. Contending Images of World Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 214-226. ISBN 978-0333913765

Article

“Once Was Blind but Now Can See”: Modernity and the Social Sciences
Seth, Sanjay. 2013. “Once Was Blind but Now Can See”: Modernity and the Social Sciences. International Political Sociology, 7(2), pp. 136-151. ISSN 1749-5679

Nationalism, Modernity, and the “Woman Question” in India and China
Seth, Sanjay. 2013. Nationalism, Modernity, and the “Woman Question” in India and China. The Journal of Asian Studies, 72(2), pp. 273-297. ISSN 0021-9118

Contrasting Modernities: India and China. (Forthcoming)
Seth, Sanjay. 2012. Contrasting Modernities: India and China. (Forthcoming). Journal of Asian Studies,

Travelling theory: Western knowledge and its Indian object
Seth, Sanjay. 2011. Travelling theory: Western knowledge and its Indian object. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 21(4), pp. 263-282. ISSN 0962-0214

Postcolonial Theory and the Critique of International Relations
Seth, Sanjay. 2011. Postcolonial Theory and the Critique of International Relations. Millennium, 40(1), pp. 167-183. ISSN 0305-8298

Crítica de la razón (moderna, Occidental) impura A critique of impure (modern, Western) reason
Seth, Sanjay. 2011. Crítica de la razón (moderna, Occidental) impura A critique of impure (modern, Western) reason. Tabula Rasa, 14, pp. 31-54. ISSN 1794-2489

Modernity Without Prometheus. (Forthcoming)
Seth, Sanjay. 2011. Modernity Without Prometheus. (Forthcoming). Política y Cultura La modernidad reconsiderada, a 30 años de Todo lo solido se desvanece en el aire Mexico DF/Barcelona,

Marxist Genealogies: from Indian Maoism to Postcolonialism. (Forthcoming)
Seth, Sanjay. 2011. Marxist Genealogies: from Indian Maoism to Postcolonialism. (Forthcoming). Storia della Storiografia - History of Historiography(2),

Historiography and non-Western Pasts
Seth, Sanjay. 2010. Historiography and non-Western Pasts. Historien a Review of the past, pp. 71-81.

Historical Sociology and Postcolonial Theory: Two Strategies for Challenging Eurocentrism
Seth, Sanjay. 2009. Historical Sociology and Postcolonial Theory: Two Strategies for Challenging Eurocentrism. International Political Sociology, 3(3), pp. 334-338. ISSN 17495679

Which past? Whose transcendental presupposition?
Seth, Sanjay. 2008. Which past? Whose transcendental presupposition? Postcolonial Studies, 11(2), pp. 215-226. ISSN 1368-8790

Historiography and non-Western pasts
Seth, Sanjay. 2008. Historiography and non-Western pasts. Postcolonial Studies, 11(2), pp. 139-144. ISSN 1368-8790

Changing the Subject: Western Knowledge and the Question of Difference
Seth, Sanjay. 2007. Changing the Subject: Western Knowledge and the Question of Difference. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 49(3), pp. 666-688. ISSN 00104175

Changing the Subject: Western Knowledge and the Question of Difference
Seth, Sanjay. 2007. Changing the Subject: Western Knowledge and the Question of Difference. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 49(2), pp. 666-668. ISSN 0010-4175

Reason or Reasoning? Clio or Siva
Seth, Sanjay. 2004. Reason or Reasoning? Clio or Siva. Social Text, 22(1 78), pp. 85-102. ISSN 01642472

Reason or Reasoning? Clio or Siva?
Seth, Sanjay. 2004. Reason or Reasoning? Clio or Siva? Social Text, 78, pp. 85-101. ISSN 0164-2472

Back to the future?
Seth, Sanjay. 2002. Back to the future? Third World Quarterly, 23(3), pp. 565-575. ISSN 0143-6597

Liberalism and the Politics of (Multi)Culture: or, Plurality is not Difference
Seth, Sanjay. 2001. Liberalism and the Politics of (Multi)Culture: or, Plurality is not Difference. Postcolonial Studies, 4(1), pp. 65-77. ISSN 13688790

A Critique of Disciplinary Reason: The Limits of Political Theory
Seth, Sanjay. 2001. A Critique of Disciplinary Reason: The Limits of Political Theory. Alternatives, 26(1), pp. 73-92. ISSN 0304-3754

Rewriting Histories of Nationalism: The Politics of ‘Moderate Nationalism’ in Colonial India, 1870-1905
Seth, Sanjay. 1999. Rewriting Histories of Nationalism: The Politics of ‘Moderate Nationalism’ in Colonial India, 1870-1905. American Historical Review, 104(1), pp. 95-116. ISSN 0002-8762

Interpreting Revolutionary Excess: The Naxalite Movement in India, 1967-71
Seth, Sanjay. 1995. Interpreting Revolutionary Excess: The Naxalite Movement in India, 1967-71. Positions : East Asia Critique, 3(2), pp. 481-507. ISSN 1067-9847