Known for his most famous works, such as The Myth of the Lazy Native (1977) and The Problem of Corruption (1986), as well as his concept of the “captive mind,” Syed Hussein Alatas (1928-2007) made significant contributions to decolonization theory, social theory, and other forms of thought critical of the current neo-colonial and neoliberal world. Although Edward Said acknowledged his debt to Syed Hussein Alatas’ work, especially its influence on Orientalism, his most well known book, Alatas’ work has long been overlooked by Eurocentric Western academia.
Spurred by the commitment to celebrate and develop Syed Hussein Alatas’ work, this edited volume attempts to demonstrate its relevance to numerous academic fields, and the potential for his thought to be transformative in the international socio-political realm. Twenty authors from various disciplines and countries have contributed, in the hopes of bringing his work to the forefront of social and political theory.
Contributors are: Mona Abaza, Joseph Alagha, Masturah Alatas, Sharifah Munirah Alatas, Syed Farid Alatas, Syed Imad Alatas, Hira Amin, Dustin J. Byrd, Zawawi Ibrahim, N. Jayaram, Teo Lee Ken, Habibul Haque Khondker, Victor T. King, João Marcelo E. Maia, Seyed Javad Miri, Carimo Mohomed, Chandra Muzaffar, Norshahril Saat, Mostafa Soueid, and Esmaeil Zeiny.
Notes on Contributors
Introduction Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri
Part 1 Alatas’ Work and Legacy 1 Developing a School of Autonomous Knowledge Thoughts of the Late Syed Hussein Alatas Syed Imad Alatas
2 The Midlife of an Idea Syed Hussein Alatas’ Captive Mind after Fifty Years Masturah Alatas
Part 2 Theorizing the Captive Mind 3 Alatas on Colonial and Autonomous Knowledge Syed Farid Alatas
4 The Psychological Dynamics of Mental Captivity Subsequent Conceptual Developments Dustin J. Byrd
5 The Cartography of Reception of ‘The Captive Mind’ in Iran Esmaeil Zeiny
6 “The Captive Mind” and Social Sciences in Southeast Asia Syed Hussein Alatas Mona Abaza
7 The Captive Mind Syndrome in Indian Sociology N. Jayaram
8 Psychological Feudalism Malay Political Culture and Responses towards Modernization Norshahril Saat
9 “Irrational” Beliefs in a “Rational” World Religion and Modernization Hira Amin
Part 3 Mythologizing and Demythologizing the Native 10 Demythologizing Dominant Discourses Syed Hussein Alatas’ The Myth of the Lazy Native and the Discourse on Malay Cultural Values and Underdevelopment Zawawi Ibrahim
11 Syed Hussein Alatas Colonialism and Modernity Joseph Alagha and Mostafa Soueid
12 The Invention of “Islam” How (Lazy) Historians and Social Scientists Created a Fantasy Carimo Mohomed
Part 4 Alatas and the Socio-political 13 Syed Hussein Alatas and the Question of Intellectuals Seyed Javad Miri
14 West-Centric Geopolitical Discourse Situating Syed Hussein Alatas in International Relations Sharifah Munirah Alatas
15 Alatas Pioneer in the Study of, and the Struggle against, Corruption Chandra Muzaffar
16 Syed Hussein Alatas and the Question of Political Thought Teo Lee Ken
17 Contributions of Syed Hussein Alatas towards Global Sociology Habibul Haque Khondker
18 East-West Interactions and Complexities Syed Hussein Alatas, Willem Wertheim and Edward Said Victor T. King
19 Hidden Connections Syed Hussein Alatas and Latin American Sociology João Marcelo E. Maia
Dustin J. Byrd, Ph.D. (2017), Michigan State University, is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Olivet College. He is the Founder and Co-Director of the Institute for Critical Social Theory, and the Editor-in-Chief of Ekpyrosis Press. He has published numerous monographs, edited volumes, and articles on Islam, Critical Theory, and Political Philosophy. His latest books include: The Frankfurt School and the Dialectics of Religion: Translating Critical Faith into Critical Theory (Ekpyrosis Press, 2020), The Critique of Religion and Religion’s Critique: On Dialectical Religiology (Brill, 2020), and Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched (Brill, 2020).
Seyed Javad Miri, Ph.D. (2002), Bristol University, is Professor of Sociology and History of Religions at that Institute. He has published more than 61 books and 100+ articles on various issues related to Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology. He is a specialist in Islamic Social Theory, Inter-civilizational Discourse, and Contemporary Islamic Thought. He is also the founder of the journal Islamic Perspective, and serves as the co-director of the Institute for Critical Social Theory.
Seyed Javad Miri is Professor
of Sociology and History of Religions at Bristol University. He has
published more than 61 books and 100+ articles on various issues related
to Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology. He is a specialist in Islamic
Social Theory, Inter-civilizational Discourse, and Contemporary Islamic
Thought. He is also the founder of the journal Islamic Perspective, and serves as the co-director of the Institute for Critical Social Theory.