Faith and Feminism in Pakistan
Religous Agency or Secular Autonomy?
by Afiya S. Zia
Rs. 1195 Rs.1015
Are secular aims, politics, and sensibilities impossible, undesirable and impracticable for Muslims and Islamic states? Should Muslim women be exempted from feminist attempts at liberation from patriarchy and its various expressions under Islamic laws and customs? Considerable literature on the entanglements of Islam and secularism has been produced in the post-9/11 decade and a large proportion of it deals with the “Woman Question”. Many commentators critique “the secular” and “Western feminism,” and the racialising backlash that accompanied the occupation of Muslim countries during the “War on Terror” military campaign launched by the U.S. government after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Implicit in many of these critical works is the suggestion that it is Western secular feminism that is the motivating driver and permanent collaborator – along with other feminists, secularists and human rights activists in Muslim countries – that sustains the West’s actual and metaphorical “war on Islam and Muslims.” Faith and Feminism addresses this post-9/11 critical trope and its implications for women’s movements in Muslim contexts. The relevance of secular feminist activism is illustrated with reference to some of the nation-wide, working-class women’s movements that have surged throughout Pakistan under religious militancy: polio vaccinators, health workers, politicians, peasants and artists have been directly targeted, even assassinated, for their service and commitment to liberal ideals. Afiya Zia contends that Muslim women’s piety is no threat against the dominant political patriarchy, but their secular autonomy promises transformative changes for the population at large, and thereby effectively challenges Muslim male dominance.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: May 2018
Rights: South Asia
Availability: In Stock
Covid-19 Shakes the World
by Slavoj Zizek
Rs. 795 Rs. 399
As an unprecedented global pandemic sweeps the planet, who better than the supercharged Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek to uncover its deeper meanings, marvel at its mind-boggling paradoxes, and speculate on the profundity of its consequences, all in a manner that will have you sweating profusely and gasping for breath?
We live in a moment when the greatest act of love is to stay distant from the object of your affection. When governments renowned for ruthless cuts in public spending can suddenly conjure up trillions. When toilet paper becomes a commodity as precious as diamonds. And when, according to Žižek, a new form of communism may be the only way of averting a descent into global barbarism.
Written with his customary brio and love of analogies in popular culture (Quentin Tarantino and H.G. Wells sit next to Hegel and Marx in these pages), Žižek provides a concise and provocative snapshot of the crisis as it widens, engulfing us all.
Slavoj Žižek is one of the most prolific and well-known philosophers and cultural theorists in the world today. His inventive, provocative body of work mixes Hegelian metaphysics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Marxist dialectic in order to challenge conventional wisdom and accepted verities on both the Left and the Right.
“An impressive feat… [Žižek] at his most powerful.” —The Guardian
“Passages of beauty… a hire-wire juxtaposition of far-left political theory and pop culture, held together by the force of [Žižek’s] rumpled charm.” —BuzzFeed
“Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” —The New Yorker
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” —Adam Kirsch, The New Republic
The Formation of Karl Marx’s Worldview
by Eric Rahim
Rs. 995 Rs. 695 | $ 09.00
A Promethean Vision outlines the main intellectual stages in the development of Karl Marx’s theory of historical development, often referred to as historical materialism or the materialist conception of history. The book charts Marx’s journey from his early life as a Young Hegelian immersed in German philosophical tradition through his turn toward political economy. In Eric Rahim’s interpretation his worldview developed as a synthesis of his philosophical thinking (critique of Hegel and Feuerbach) with classical political economy of Adam Smith. The central point is that Marx’s worldview should be seen as a method for analysing historical development and not as a ‘historical-philosophical theory’ with a deterministic approach to the understanding of historical development.
“As an account of how Marx came to develop his materialist conception of history I cannot think of a better one [book].”
– Professor David McLellan, Goldsmith’s College, University of London; Author of Karl Marx: His Life and Thought
‘This is a remarkably clear exposition of Marx’s vision of human development. Eric Rahim demonstrates that Marx’s materialist understanding of human development bears no relation to the crude deterministic caricatures offered by some of his critics. For Marx, Rahim argues, what each generation inherits from its predecessor contains the potential for further development. Realisation of this potential requires that human beings understand both the possibilities and constraints of their particular conjuncture and act on them. This is not straightforward. Advance is possible but it is not automatic or pre-determined.”
–Dr. Renee Prendergast, Queen’s University of Belfast; Co-editor of Contributions to the History of Economic Thought
“It is no accident that after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, Marx’s Capital and Keynes’s General Theory returned to the bestseller list. Eric Rahim’s new volume, A Promethean Vision: The Formation of Marx’s Worldview, is an indispensable complement to a reading or re-reading of Capital. Rahim’s volume is an exemplary work of analysis and scholarship. It tells the reader where and what Marx was doing up to the writing of Capital. It sets out the historical and political environment in which Marx found himself and explains most clearly what his ideas were at each moment of time and how they evolved. The narrative is backed by detailed evidence and accounts of the interactions of Marx with his contemporaries and of their inter-related influence on one another. A striking feature of the volume is Rahim’s great ability to set out the essence of Marx’s ideas and breakthroughs.”
–Professor GC Harcourt, University of New South Wales; Author of Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital
Rights: World excluding United Kingdom
by Faraz Talat
Rs. 395 | $ 05.00
A diabetic microbiologist turns 73 in a world that rejects the elderly, denying them healthcare in accordance with the draconian ‘Second Chance’ laws set in place after the Great Pandemic. When an opportunity arises to challenge this rule, her brother does whatever he must to make sure she lives to see her next birthday.
“A post pandemic story written way before the pandemic. A haunting little book about second chances, last days and human relations that survive the unsurvivable.”
Mohammed Hanif, author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes
“Any culture’s science fiction is its dream of what its future could be. Now we live in a global culture, and Faraz Talat’s Seventy Four shoots right to the heart of all our current fears and hopes. It’s an intense experience, poignant and memorable.”
Kim Stan Robinson, author of Blue Mars
“Scientists become saviors in times of plague, but their attempts to exert control over pathogens and politics go awry in Faraz Talat’s science fiction novella Seventy Four. Razia Ntikoladze, eminent scientist and Pakistani emigree, is locked in a race against a deadly new contagion and her own mortality; before she can save the world, she has to escape the colloquium’s merciless eugenics project. A daringly brilliant literary experiment which pits humanity against its own worst enemy—itself.”
Bina Shah, author of Before She Sleeps
Eight Theses on Authoritarianism in Pakistan
by Ammar Ali Jan
Rs. 750 | $ 10.00
Why have democratic institutions and norms not taken root in Pakistan? In these polemical essays, Ammar Jan presents eight theses to explain the political, economic and social roots of authoritarianism in the country. Rather than fixating on particular individuals or governments, this work focuses on the structural features propelling the rising militarisation of society. Jan locates the deep fear of the masses held by ruling classes and state officials as a critical point of departure to grasp the pervasive disregard for popular sovereignty. This paranoia has created a permanent state of emergency in Pakistan that is used to deploy excessive violence against popular challenges to the status quo. To fight back against this failing order, the book calls for the construction of alternative ideas that can unite disparate movements struggling for justice and dignity.
“Rule by Fear is a much-needed primer for progressive politics in Pakistan. Ammar Jan brings together his scholarly insights and experience as an activist in this clearly written and accessible text. It reminds us of Pakistan’s checkered past, yet provides a way forward toward a more egalitarian and socially just future. A must read for those interested in the linkages of the Pakistani state with the colonial era and how this history continues to inform the contemporary period.”
– Kamran Asdar Ali, Surkh Salam: Communist Politics and Class Activism in Pakistan 1947-1972
“Rule by Fear is a compendium of all the hidden, progressive stories of Pakistan that fundamentally reads as a love story for the people of Pakistan, particularly students and workers who have been systematically denied any right to call themselves Pakistani because of politicians and military leaders who pose as if they are the only groups who can protect Pakistan against the many threats to its security. Jan traces this constant state of fear of attack back to the colonial period. He argues that the military and certain politicians are only able to portray this threat as new, and themselves as the true protectors of Pakistan’s integrity, and win “… the battle of ideas” because they rob “the public of its own past”. Jan’s book illustrates precisely that past. A fantastic feat by an activist-academic who has worked tirelessly to stand by the ideals he believes in. Ammar Jan has written a book that will be, for years to come, a sourcebook for social historians who are searching for the hidden histories of progressive Pakistan.”
– Anushay Malik, Narrowing Politics: The Labour Movement in Lahore, 1947-1974
“Ammar Ali Jan’s Rule by Fear is an intellectual tour de force that provides nuanced theoretical insights into the historical processes of Pakistan’s political formations, social complexities and economic upheavals over the last seven decades. Through his rigorous critical analysis, Jan helps set up a plan for revolutionary praxis as young Pakistani students, feminists, farmers, workers, ethno-nationalists and human rights activists seek to transform the country’s outlook for a better future, an egalitarian society and a radical democracy.”
– Ali Usman Qasmi, Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan
Publisher: Folio Books
Release date: November 2021