Following up on the question of the public engagement of intellectuals, Dipesh Chakrabarty asks of his own discipline of history:
If one could think of the life of this discipline within the university — composed of classrooms, courses, examinations, seminars, conferences, journals, and so on — as its “cloistered life,” as it were, then by its “public life” one could mean the connections that such a discipline might forge with institutions and practices outside the university and official bureaucracy. Can this discipline have a public life in my sense of the term when the public actually debates the past?
And this, is a great piece from the London Review of Books, somewhat older, but one of the best book reviews I’ve read: Eliot Weinberger doing a Foucauldian reading of George Bush’s Decision Points:
In the late 1960s, George Bush Jr was at Yale, branding the asses of pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity with a hot coathanger. Michel Foucault was at the Societé française de philosophie, considering the question, ‘What is an author?’
Full article here.
Finally, on the question of authorship and language in the Pakistani context, here’s a wonderful column by a young writer, Bilal Tanweer. It’s called “Who Do We Write for When We Write in English?“