ISBN: 978 984 506 115 5

Cover Type: PB

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Oculus: A Decade of Insights into Bangladeshi Affairs

By Adnan Morshed (Author)

Publisher(s): The University Press Limited (UPL)   

First Published: 2012 Weight (kg): 0.5


UPL Showroom Price: 625.00 BDT

Price: $20.00

Adnan Morshed’s allegory of the oculus—a circular recess at the apex of a dome—as a way of seeing things from an unusual angle, with both engaged subjectivity and dispassionate distance, works well for some of the poignant developmental issues of Bangladesh. He lives away from his motherland, a detachment that he uses not for nostalgic reminiscences, but as a global citizen’s intellectual fodder for distant observations of his birthplace. Refusing any fixed partisan perch, he takes up issues, from environmental stewardship to the politics of the digital media, from urbanization to tourism, and dissects them to offer thought-provoking interpretations. He employs a language that is simultaneously sharp, witty, lucid, melancholic, oblique, metaphorical, and empathetic. The reader will find in this book a range of nuanced readings of some of the most vexing topics in Bangladesh. Adnan Morshed is ruthless in his critique, but, ultimately, he offers remedies that are nourished with optimism and compassion.

What should make this book appealing to lay readers and specialists alike is the irresistible multidisciplinary element and historical references embedded in the narrative of the book. These collected essays offer an anthropological richness and readability, making the book a pithy reference to the culture, history, society, and politics of Bangladesh. It should appeal to a wide readership: international aid agencies, policymakers, diplomats, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, environmental activists, urban planners, and literary enthusiasts.


1. What if an 8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hit Dhaka? / 2. Decoding Pohela Boishakh / 3. Cricket and Nationhood /  4. Bangladesh at a Crossroads? / 5 . The Tragicomic Destiny of Dhaka / 6. Occupy Narayanganj / 7. Dhaka 2044 / 8. Death Unforeseen: The Killing Fields of Bangladeshi Roads / 9. A Post-Dhaka Bangladesh / 10. Ahmad and the Unskilled Labor Market / 11. The Mother Sublime / 12. The BGMEA Tower Mystique / 13. Yunusgate / 14. Arial Beel’s Versailles Moment / 15. A Sociology of Dhaka’s Traffic Congestion / 16. Our Ecological Consciousness / 17. Towards a Sustainable Dhaka / 18. Black, Without Being Black / 19. Barack Obama’s Digital Politics and Lessons for Bangladesh / 20.  Heritage Preservation / 21. Thinking Outside the Tourism Box / 22. The Unbearable Temporality of Professor Yunus’s Political Being / 23. e-Bangladesh /24. The Infernal Modernity of Dhaka / 25. Two Bays, One World / 26. The Asian University for Women: Catalyst for a Chittagong Renaissance? / 27. Finding Dhaka in New Work: Nathaniel Kahn’s My Architect / 28. Digging Cultural Grave at the National Assembly Complex / 29. Strangers at Their Own Yard: Dhaka’s Urban Estrangement / 30. Representing the Diasporic  Self: A Photo Exhibition on Bangladesh in American and Afterthoughts

This book features in: Literature and Fiction Essays Politics and Political Science Environmental Studies and Disaster Management

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