Public Works


Public Works is the CTS's international publications project. It includes the contemporary paperback series Public Planet Books (a collaboration with Duke University Press) and CTS-sponsored books. Benjamin Lee is Public Works' executive director.

Public Planet Books

Editors: Dilip Gaonkar, Jane Kramer, Benjamin Lee, and Michael Warner

Public Planet Books is a series under the auspices of Duke University Press and supported by the CTS. It is designed for a public that reaches beyond experts and academics. Combining narrative description with informed reflection, each book focuses on an issue or event that is still unfolding. Public Planet Books are extended essays (about 120 pages), readable in a single sitting.

Public Planet Books meets a need for new forms of writing about contemporary culture. In the academy, cultural studies is seldom written for a nonexpert public. And in nonacademic publishing, space for critical reflection is hard to find. Issues of public culture are also becoming more urgent and more complex; from student demonstrations in Beijing to multiculturalism debates in New York, conflicts are increasingly both local and international. Public Planet Books allows local narrative accounts to be read in an international context.

Titles in the Series:

Public Worlds Books

Series Editors: Dilip Gaonkar and Benjamin Lee

Public Worlds Books was a collaboration between the CTS and the University of Minnesota Press. It consisted in a series of single-authored monographs and edited volumes in the field of transnational cultural studies. Public Worlds Books sought to locate contemporary cultural issues in wider landscapes of international debate so that apparently local problems—be it multiculturalism in the United States or human rights in China—can be related to problems in other societies around the world.

Public Worlds Books examined how global culture works in specific locations. Each title in the series situated local public problems and compares them with other contexts of cultural criticism. Although topics treated in the series were not limited to works with a transnational comparative focus, Public Worlds Books has contributed to transcultural dialogues among critical voices on contemporary issues.

Titles in the Series:

  1. Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, 1996
  2. Ackbar Abbas, Hong Kong: Culture and Politics of Disappearance, 1997
  3. Naoki Sakai, Translation and Subjectivity: On "Japan" and Cultural Nationalism, 1997
  4. Mayfair Mei-hui Yang, editor, Spaces of Their Own: Women's Public Sphere in Transnational China, 1998
  5. May Joseph, Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship, 1999
  6. Radhika Mohanram, Black Body: Women, Colonialism, and Space, 1999
  7. Patricia Seed, American Pentimento: The Invention of Indians and the Pursuit of Riches, 2001
  8. Greg Urban, Metaculture: How Culture Moves through the World, 2001
  9. Claudio Lomnitz, Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism, 2001
  10. Ulf Hedetoft and Mette Hjort, editors, The Postnational Self: Belonging and Identity, 2002
  11. Daniel Herwitz, Race and Reconciliation: Essays from the New South Africa, 2003
  12. Ato Quayson, Calibrations: Reading for the Social, 2003
  13. Richard Harvey Brown, editor, The Politics of Selfhood: Bodies and Identities in Global Capitalism, 2003
  14. Alev Çınar, Modernity, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey: Bodies, Places, and Time, 2005
  15. Mette Hjort, Small Nation, Global Cinema: The New Danish Cinema, 2005
  16. Qadri Ismail, Abiding by Sri Lanka: On Peace, Place, and Postcolonality, 2005
  17. Chris Berry, Soyoung Kim, and Lynn Spigel, editors, Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and the Experience of Social Space, 2009

CTS-Sponsored Books

In addition to books published in the Public Planet Books series and the Public Worlds Books series, the CTS has directly contributed to the publication of other books through the funding of conferences and working groups. Among the books to which the CTS has materially contributed are the following:


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