Figuring Culture

Veit Erlmann

in Music, Modernity, and the Global Imagination

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780195123678
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868797 | DOI:
Figuring Culture

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This chapter queries some of the key assumptions underpinning theories of modernity. Among these are concept of history as a universal process; the idea that Europe forms the cradle of modernity; the notion that modernity initially was as stable project that experienced a crisis only at the beginning of the 20th century; and, finally, that societies outside the West pose inherent obstacles to modernity. In challenging these notions, the second half of the book foregrounds the mutual dependency, ambiguity, and blurred boundaries enfolding Africa and the West.

Keywords: Africa; Europe; modernity; history; universalism

Chapter.  3063 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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