Prehistories of Globalization: Circassian Identity in Motion, by Seteney Shami

However undisciplined the term  globalization might still be, there is increasing agreement as to the kinds of processes that it points to in the world. Whether interpreting alternative modernities, cultural hybridities, commodity circulations, transnational migrations, or identity politics, globalization theory largely looks to the future, attempting to prefigure the new millennium while eschewing notions of linearity, teleology, and predictability. Concomi-tantly, the notion of modernity has acquired remarkable fluidity, indicating that it has become plural, uneven, contested, and “at large” (Appadurai 1996). Building on ideas of the past as constructed, invented, and produced, globalization presents itself as a theory of the present moment. Powerfully expressing that “we now live in an almost/not yet world” (Thrift 1996, 257), it captures the in-betweenness of a world always on the brink of newness.

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