“The Solitary Analyst of Doxas: An Interview with Talal Asad” explores Asad's intellectual trajectory. In Bardawil and Asad's intergenerational conversation Asad discusses his critique of the neutrality of the social sciences, his own critique of Orientalist scholarship (while touching on Edward Said's), as well as his thoughts on the anthropologist's positionality. He rebuts charges of nativism and revisits his own family history, thinking about the differences between how his father, who was an intellectual and a convert, inhabited being a Muslim differently than his own mother, who was born into it. The interview also touches on how Asad draws on the concept of tradition in his own work and examines the relationship between his early polemics on Elie Keddourie with his later disagreements with Salman Rushdie. The interview is preceded by a short preface that situates the themes of the conversation.
Research Article|May 01 2016