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Dipesh Chakrabarty comments on Arabic translation project

The Khaleej Times, a newspaper of the United Arab Emirates, has published a piece on a project called Kalima that aims to translate, distribute, and market some of the world’s best books into Arabic. To get an idea of what is at stake, the newspaper consulted Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College. From the article:

“I like the list [of books to be translated] because it is trying, or so it seems to me, to redress the balance between the humanities and the natural sciences in the general readership today,” says Dr Dipesh Chakrabarty, Professor of History and South Asian Studies at The University of Chicago.

“Keynes is extremely relevant to discussions of the current financial crisis while Hobbes and Spinoza are central to how we understand the history and genealogy of concepts of democracy,” says Chakrabarty, whose Habitations of Modernity is also on the list of works to be translated by the two foundations.

“What the list signifies to me is a real attempt to bring discussions in Arabic more into conversation with what’s being said in other parts of the world. A shared vocabulary is the first step towards understanding ‘the other’.”

For more information, see the Khaleej Times article here.

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