What is striking in the contents of these chapters is not any unevenness in scholarly quality—since the standard is uniformly high—but rather unevenness in the politics of the authors’ projects. This is all to the good, playing to diversity in the audience in all kinds of ways. But readers should be prepared for a roller-coaster ride, mixing desire and aversion as we get “all shook up.”

Global studies has been an intervention into the academic disciplines that define and delimit the worlds of the scholars and intellectuals accredited within them, and from which they trail their affiliations and degrees. Moreover, within those conceptual bounds, they become qualified to approach some objects analytically, thus creating knowledge to suit both uncritical “users” and overcritical skeptics.

Global studies is promoting some disturbances in these forces, which resist even additions to the scholae, or subject “schools,” as they were in the Middle Ages and...

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