Unsettling Utopia: The Making and Unmaking of French India


Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 1.01 pounds

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About the Author

Jessica Namakkal is assistant professor of the practice in international comparative studies; gender, sexuality, and feminist studies; and history at Duke University.


Jessica Namakkal's excellent book reveals hidden layers of Pondicherry's feigned decolonization and ongoing recolonization. This tour de force is the kind of book you don't want to finish; it keeps you right on the edge of your seat, avidly turning the pages for more.--Ari Gautier, author of Le Thinnai
Exploring the decolonization of French India, Namakkal's lucid and innovative book brings together the history of state-led decolonization and the creation of utopias to reveal how both projects relied on regimes of labor, erasure, and territorial expansion that had much in common with the colonizing project. Engaging, ambitious, and deeply researched, Unsettling Utopia brings new and important insights to our understanding of the temporal boundaries of colonialism and decolonization.--Danna Agmon, author of A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French India
Unsettling Utopia is a fascinating book on the postcolonial history of French India as well as a provocative analysis of the structural relationships among colonial settlement, utopian thinking, and the incompleteness of decolonization. Namakkal's immense effort to engage the far-flung transnational archives of French India inform this important book and the revealing light it sheds on the messy history of French imperialism in southern India and its spatial, social, and spiritual afterlives.--Tariq Jazeel, author of Sacred Modernity: Nature, Environment, and the Postcolonial Geographies of Sri Lankan Nationhood