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World Bank Literature

2002

Amitava Kumar, editor
Foreword by John Berger
Afterword by Bruce Robbins

World Bank Literature

A trailblazing interrogation of the cultural, political, and economic implications of World Bank hegemony.

A trailblazing interrogation of the cultural, political, and economic implications of World Bank hegemony.

Contributors: Anthony C. Alessandrini, Bret Benjamin, John Berger, Suzanne Bergeron, Lorrayne Carroll, Manthia Diawara, Grant Farred, Barbara Foley, Claire F. Fox, Rosemary Hennessy, Doug Henwood, Caren Irr, Joseph Medley, Cary Nelson, Gautam Premnath, Bruce Robbins, Andrew Ross, Subir Sinha, Kenneth Surin, Rashmi Varma, Evan Watkins, Phillip E. Wegner, Richard Wolff.

Kumar and the contributors to this volume examine myriad contemporary economic, political, and intellectual concerns. By bringing together literary texts, international financial documents, academic enterprises, publishing markets, and critical pedagogical engagements, they explicitly refuse the false disciplinary boundaries of literature and political economy.

Radical Teacher

World Bank literature is more than a concept-it is a provocation, a call to arms. It is intended to prompt questions about each word, to probe globalization, political economy, and the role of literary and cultural studies. As asserted in this major work, it signals a radical rewriting of academic debates, a rigorous analysis of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a consideration of literature that deals with new global realities.

Made more relevant than ever by momentous antiglobalization demonstrations in Seattle and Genoa, World Bank Literature brings together essays by a distinguished group of economists, cultural and literary critics, social scientists, and public policy analysts to ask how to understand the influence of the World Bank/IMF on global economic power relations and cultural production. The authors attack this question in myriad ways, examining World Bank/IMF documents as literature, their impact on developing nations, the relationship between literature and globalization, the connection between the academy and the global economy, and the emergence of coalitions confronting the new power. World Bank Literature shows, above all, the multifarious and sometimes nefarious ways that abstract academic debates play themselves out concretely in social policy and cultural mores that reinforce traditional power structures.

Contributors: Anthony C. Alessandrini, Kent State U; Bret Benjamin, SUNY, Albany; John Berger; Suzanne Bergeron, U of Michigan, Dearborn; Lorrayne Carroll, U of Southern Maine; Manthia Diawara, NYU; Grant Farred, Duke; Barbara Foley, Rutgers; Claire F. Fox, U of Iowa; Rosemary Hennessy, SUNY, Albany; Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer; Caren Irr, Brandeis; Joseph Medley, U of Southern Maine; Cary Nelson, U of Illinois; Gautam Premnath, U of Massachusetts, Boston; Bruce Robbins, Columbia; Andrew Ross, NYU; Subir Sinha, U of London; Kenneth Surin, Duke; Rashmi Varma, U of North Carolina; Evan Watkins, U of California, Davis; Phillip E. Wegner, U of Florida; Richard Wolff, U of Massachusetts.

World Bank Literature

Amitava Kumar is associate professor of English and cultural studies at Penn State University. He is the author of Passport Photos (2000).

John Berger is author of the Booker Prize–winning novel G. Among his renowned studies of art and photography are Ways of Seeing and Another Way of Telling.

Bruce Robbins is professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress.

World Bank Literature

Kumar and the contributors to this volume examine myriad contemporary economic, political, and intellectual concerns. By bringing together literary texts, international financial documents, academic enterprises, publishing markets, and critical pedagogical engagements, they explicitly refuse the false disciplinary boundaries of literature and political economy.

Radical Teacher

The authors of World Bank Literature are an eclectic mix of economists and humanities scholars. All of these essays provide insights in their own right.

Symploke

World Bank Literature

Contents

Foreword: Against the Great Defeat of the World John Berger

Introduction Amitava Kumar

Part I. Dossier on the Academy

1. Consolations for Capitalists: Propositions in Flight from World Bank Literature Cary Nelson
2. World Bank Literacy and the Culture of Jobs Evan Watkins
3. Looking Backward, 2002–1969: Campus Activism in the Era of Globalization Barbara Foley
4. ¡Ya Basta! We Are Rising Up! World Bank Culture and Collective Opposition in the North Rosemary Hennessy

Part II. Rereading Global Culture

5. What Is Globalization Anyway? Doug Henwood
6. Toward a Regional Imaginary in Africa Manthia Diawara
7. “Poverty in Liberty, Riches in Slavery”: The IMF, the World Bank, and Women’s Resistance in West Africa Grant Farred
8. The Uneven Development of Tactics Andrew Ross
9. Breaking the Waves: Reading World Bank and Social Movement Documents on the Global Fisheries Subir Sinha
10. Hostage to an Unaccountable Planetary Executive: The Flawed “Washington Consensus” and Two World Bank Reports Kenneth Surin
11. “Whooping It Up for Rational Prosperity”: Narratives of the East Asian Financial Crisis Joseph Medley and Lorrayne Carroll
12. Challenging the World Bank’s Narrative of Inclusion Suzanne Bergeron
13. World Bank/Class Blindness Richard Wolff
14. Left Sensationalists at the Transnational Crime Scene: Recent Detective Fiction from the U.S.–Mexico Border Region Claire F. Fox
15. Under Control: Reading the Facts and FAQs of Population Control Bret Benjamin
16. Developing Fictions: The “Tribal” in the New Indian Writing in English Rashmi Varma

Part III. Literature for the Times

17. All Published Literature Is World Bank Literature; or, The Zapatistas’ Storybook Caren Irr
18. The Weak Sovereignty of the Postcolonial Nation-State Gautam Premnath
19. Reading Bharati Mukherjee, Reading Globalization Anthony C. Alessandrini
20. Soldierboys for Peace: Cognitive Mapping, Space, and Science Fiction as World Bank Literature Phillip E. Wegner

Afterword
Bruce Robbins
Contributors