The war of 1971 that created Bangladesh was the most significant geopolitical event in the Indian subcontinent since partition in 1947. It tilted the balance of power between India and Pakistan steeply in favor of India. Srinath Raghavan contends that the crisis and its cast of characters can be understood only in a wider international context.
Antinomies of Modernity asserts that concepts of race, Orient, and nation have been crucial to efforts across the world to create a sense of place, belonging, and solidarity in the midst of the radical discontinuities wrought by global capitalism. Emphasizing the continued salience at the beginning of the twenty-first century of these supposedly nineteenth-century ideas, the essays in this volume stress the importance of tracking the dynamic ways that race, Orient, and nation have been reworked and used over time and in particular geographic locations.
Drawing on archival sources and fieldwork, the contributors explore aspects of modernity within societies of South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Whether considering how European ideas of Orientalism became foundational myths of Indian nationalism; how racial caste systems between blacks, South Asians, and whites operate in post-apartheid South Africa; or how Indian immigrants to the United States negotiate their identities, these essays demonstrate that the contours of cultural and identity politics did not simply originate in metropolitan centers and get adopted wholesale in the colonies. Colonial and postcolonial modernisms have emerged via the active appropriation of, or resistance to, far-reaching European ideas. Over time, Orientalism and nationalist and racialized knowledges become indigenized and acquire, for all practical purposes, a completely "Third World" patina. Antinomies of Modernity shows that people do make history, constrained in part by political-economic realities and in part by the categories they marshal in doing so. Contributors. Neville Alexander, Andrew Barnes, Vasant Kaiwar, Sucheta Mazumdar, Minoo Moallem, Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, A. R. Venkatachalapathy, Michael O. West
The first critical analysis of contemporary arranged marriage among South Asians in a global context
Arranged marriage is an institution of global fascination—an object of curiosity, revulsion, outrage, and even envy. Marian Aguiar provides the first sustained analysis of arranged marriage as a transnational cultural phenomenon, revealing how its meaning has been continuously reinvented within the South Asian diaspora of Britain, the United States, and Canada. Aguiar identifies and analyzes representations of arranged marriage in an interdisciplinary set of texts—from literary fiction and Bollywood films, to digital and print media, to contemporary law and policy on forced marriage.
Aguiar interprets depictions of South Asian arranged marriage to show we are in a moment of conjugal globalization, identifying how narratives about arranged marriage bear upon questions of consent, agency, state power, and national belonging. Aguiar argues that these discourses illuminate deep divisions in the processes of globalization constructed on a fault line between individualist and collectivist agency and in the process, critiques neoliberal celebrations of “culture as choice” that attempt to bridge that separation. Aguiar advocates situating arranged marriage discourses within their social and material contexts so as to see past reductive notions of culture and grasp the global forces mediating increasingly polarized visions of agency.
People are living longer, creating an unexpected boom in the elderly population. Longevity is increasing not only in wealthy countries but in developing nations as well. In response, many policy makers and scholars are preparing for a global crisis of aging. But for too long, Western experts have conceived of aging as a universal predicament—one that supposedly provokes the same welfare concerns in every context. In the twenty-first century, Kavita Sivaramakrishnan writes, we must embrace a new approach to the problem, one that prioritizes local agendas and values.
As the World Ages is a history of how gerontologists, doctors, social scientists, and activists came to define the issue of global aging. Sivaramakrishnan shows that transnational organizations like the United Nations, private NGOs, and philanthropic foundations embraced programs that reflected prevailing Western ideas about development and modernization. The dominant paradigm often assumed that, because large-scale growth of an aging population happened first in the West, developing societies will experience the issues of aging in the same ways and on the same terms as their Western counterparts. But regional experts are beginning to question this one-size-fits-all model and have chosen instead to recast Western expertise in response to provincial conditions. Focusing on South Asia and Africa, Sivaramakrishnan shows how regional voices have argued for an approach that responds to local needs and concerns. The research presented in As the World Ages will help scholars, policy makers, and advocates appreciate the challenges of this recent shift in global demographics and find solutions sensitive to real life in diverse communities.
Nineteenth-century Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their villages in Bengal. Demand for “Oriental goods” took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey’s boardwalks into the segregated South. Bald’s history reveals cross-racial affinities below the surface of early twentieth-century America.
This ground-breaking collection of new interviews, critical essays, and commentary explores South Asian identity and culture. Sensitive to the false homogeneity implied by "South Asian," "diaspora," "postcolonial," and "Asian American," the contributors attempt to unpack these terms. By examining the social, economic, and historical particularities of people who live "between the lines"—on and between borders—they reinstate questions of power and privilege, agency and resistance. As South Asians living in the United States and Canada, each to some degree must reflect on the interaction of the personal "I," the collective "we," and the world beyond.
The South Asian scholars gathered together in this volume speak from a variety of theoretical perspectives; in the essays and interviews that cross the boundaries of conventional academic disciplines, they engage in intense, sometimes contentious, debate.
Contributors: Meena Alexander, Gauri Viswanathan, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Amritjit Singh, M. G. Vassanji, Sohail Inayatullah, Ranita Chatterjee, Benita Mehta, Sanjoy Majumder, Mahasveta Barua, Sukeshi Kamra, Samir Dayal, Pushpa Naidu Parekh, Indrani Mitra, Huma Ibrahim, Amitava Kumar, Shantanu DuttaAhmed, Uma Parameswaran.
In the series Asian American History and Culture, edited by Sucheng Chan, David Palumbo-Liu, Michael Omi, K. Scott Wong, and Linda Trinh Võ.
Manan Ahmed Asif shows that the Chachnama is a sophisticated work of political theory, embedded in both the Indic and Islamic ethos. His social and intellectual history of this text offers an important corrective to the divisions between Muslim and Hindu that so often define Pakistani and Indian politics today.
Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia provides valuable new ethnographic insights into life along some of the most contentious borders in the world. The collected essays portray existence at different points across India's northern frontiers and, in one instance, along borders within India. Whether discussing Shi'i Muslims striving to be patriotic Indians in the Kashmiri district of Kargil or Bangladeshis living uneasily in an enclave surrounded by Indian territory, the contributors show that state borders in Northern South Asia are complex sites of contestation. India's borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, China, and Nepal encompass radically different ways of life, a whole spectrum of relationships to the state, and many struggles with urgent identity issues. Taken together, the essays show how, by looking at state-making in diverse, border-related contexts, it is possible to comprehend Northern South Asia's various nation-state projects without relapsing into conventional nationalist accounts.
Contributors. Jason Cons, Rosalind Evans, Nicholas Farrelly, David N. Gellner, Radhika Gupta, Sondra L. Hausner, Annu Jalais, Vibha Joshi, Nayanika Mathur, Deepak K. Mishra, Anastasia Piliavsky, Jeevan R. Sharma, Willem van Schendel
The world is experiencing one of the largest movements of people in history with 65 million people displaced by conflict in 2015, the majority of which were from Asia. This book brings a deep engagement with individuals whose lives are shaped by encounters with borders by telling the stories of a poor Bangladeshi women who regularly crosses the India border to visit family, of Muslims from India living in Gulf countries for work, and the harrowing journey of a young Afghan man as he sets off on foot to Germany. The international and interdisciplinary work in this book contributes to this moment by analyzing how borders are experienced by migrants and borderlanders in South Asia, how mobility and diaspora are engaged in literature and media, and how the lives of migrants are transformed during their journey to new homes in South Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.
When the Mahabharata and Ramayana are performed in South and Southeast Asia, audiences may witness a variety of styles. A single performer may deliver a two-hour recitation, women may meet in informal singing groups, shaddow puppets may host an all-night play, or professional theaters may put on productions lasting thirty nights. Performances often celebrate ritual passages: births, deaths, marriages, and religious observances. The stories live and are transmitted through performance; their characters are well known and well loved.
Yet written versions of the Mahabharata and Ramayana have existed in both South and Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. Rarely have these texts been intended for private reading. What is the relationship between written text and oral performance? What do performers and audiences mean when they identify something as “Ramayana” or “Mahabharata”? How do they conceive of texts? What are the boundaries of the texts?
By analyzing specific performance traditions, Boundaries of the Text addresses questions of what happens to written texts when they are preformed and how performance traditions are affected when they interact with written texts. The dynamics of this interaction are of particular interest in South and Southeast Asia where oral performance and written traditions share a long, interwoven history. The contributors to Boundaries of the Text show the difficulty of maintaining sharp distinctions between oral and written patterns, as the traditions they consider defy a unidirectional movement from oral to written. The boundaries of epic traditions are in a state of flux, contracting or expanding as South and Southeast Asian societies respond to increasing access to modern education, print technology, and electronic media.
The remains of Dutch East India Company forts are scattered throughout littoral Asia and Africa. But how important were the specific characteristics of European bastion-trace fortifications to Early-Modern European expansion? Was European fortification design as important for Early-Modern expansion as has been argued? This book takes on these questions by studying the system of fortifications built and maintained by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in present-day India and Sri Lanka. It uncovers the stories of the forts and their designers, arguing that many of these engineers were in fact amateurs and their creations contained serious flaws. Subsequent engineers were hampered by their disagreement over fortification design: there proved not to be a single “European school” of fortification design. The study questions the importance of fortification design for European expansion, shows the relationship between siege and naval warfare, and highlights changing perceptions by the VOC of the capabilities of new polities in India in the late eighteenth century.
This volume gathers the harvest of recent doctoral dissertations on South Asia, principally from North America and Western Europe, but exclusive of theses from universities in South Asia itself. The yield—1305 dissertations based on research carried out during the early and middle nineteen-sixties and brought to completion between 1966 and 1970—is even greater than one would have guessed, eloquent testimony to the expansion of South Asian studies in the West over the last decade.
Doctoral Dissertations on South Asia seeks to be a comprehensive compilation of recently completed theses dealing in whole or in part with the former civilizations and the contemporary affairs of Ceylon, India, Nepal and Pakistan. At the same time, this work provides striking testimony of the dynamic growth of Asian Studies outside the subcontinent and particularly in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France, where most of the major centers of scholarship are presently found. It is an interdisciplinary work covering the natural sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences.
This book presents a close look at the growth, success, and proliferation of ethnic politics on the peripheries of modern South Asia, built around a case study of the Nepal ethnic group that lives in the borderlands of Sikkim, Darjeeling, and east Nepal. Grounded in historical and ethnographic research, it critically examines the relationship between culture and politics in a geographical space that is home to a diverse range of ethnic identities, showing how new modes of political representation, cultural activism, and everyday politics have emerged from the region.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, discussions on ties between Islamic religious education institutions, namely madrassahs, and transnational terrorist groups have featured prominently in the Western media. In the frenzied coverage of events, however, vital questions have been overlooked: What do we know about the madrassahs? Should Western policymakers be alarmed by the recent increase in the number of these institutions in Muslim countries? Is there any connection between them and the "global jihad"?
Ali Riaz responds to these questions through an in-depth examination of the madraassahs in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. In Faithful Education, he examines these institutions and their roles in relation to current international politics.
Digital media histories are part of a global network, and South Asia is a key nexus in shaping the trajectory of digital media in the twenty-first century. Digital platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and others are deeply embedded in the daily lives of millions of people around the world, shaping how people engage with others as kin, as citizens, and as consumers. Moving away from Anglo-American and strictly national frameworks, the essays in this book explore the intersections of local, national, regional, and global forces that shape contemporary digital culture(s) in regions like South Asia: the rise of digital and mobile media technologies, the ongoing transformation of established media industries, and emergent forms of digital media practice and use that are reconfiguring sociocultural, political, and economic terrains across the Indian subcontinent. From massive state-driven digital identity projects and YouTube censorship to Tinder and dating culture, from Twitter and primetime television to Facebook and political rumors, Global Digital Cultures focuses on enduring concerns of representation, identity, and power while grappling with algorithmic curation and data-driven processes of production, circulation, and consumption.
The first book of volume 2 of the monumental History of Cartography focuses on mapping in non-Western cultures, an area of study traditionally overlooked by Western scholars. Extensive original research makes this the foremost source for defining, describing, and analyzing this vast and unexplored theater of cartographic history. Book 1 offers a critical synthesis of maps, mapmaking, and mapmakers in the Islamic world and South Asia.
"[The six-volume set] is certain to be the standard reference for all subsequent scholarship. The editors . . . have assembled and analyzed a vast collection of knowledge. . . . If the first volume is an indication, the complete set will be comprehensive and judicious." —John Noble Wilford, New York Times Book Review
"As well as enlarging the mind and lifting the spirits through the sheer magnitude of its endeavor, the collection delights the senses. The illustrations are exquisite: browsing fingers will instinctively alight on the sheaf of maps reproduced on stock slightly thicker than that of the text. The maps are so beguiling in the tantalizing glimpses they offer of other, seemingly incomprehensible, worlds, that the sight of them will stir the connoisseur in even the most-guarded scholar." —Ronald Rees, Geographical Review
"The corpus it brings to light, along with the extensive references, bibliography, and exhaustive appendices containing valuable comments about many of the pieces discussed, together make this book an important resource for the scholar."—Robert Provin, Professional Geographer
"This volume is a landmark of new research and will certainly contribute to further discoveries, translations, interpretations, inventories, more precise dating and the construction of stemmata." —Christian Jacob, Cartographica
"In seeking to characterize the cartography of premodern Islamic and south Asian societies, the editors offer the image of an archipelago of cartographically conscious islands in a silent sea. The research potential which they have revealed is clearly vast and underappreciated, with many islands still to be discovered or enlarged. This important book, does more, therefore, than plug a huge gap in cartographic historiography. It provides the foundation for crosscultural cartographic research in two major world regions."-Jeffrey Stone, Ecumene
In the intimate context of domestic service, power relations take on one of their most personalized forms. Domestic servants and their employers must formulate their political identities in relationship to each other, sometimes reinforcing and sometimes challenging broader social hierarchies such as those based on class, caste or rank, gender, race and ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and kinship relations.
This pathbreaking collection builds on recent examinations of identity in the postcolonial states of South and Southeast Asia by investigating the ways in which domestic workers and their employers come to know and depict one another and themselves through their interactions inside and outside of the home. This setting provides a particularly apt arena for examining the daily negotiations of power and hegemony.
Contributors to the volume, all anthropologists, provide rich ethnographic analyses that avoid a narrow focus on either workers or employers. Rather, they examine systems of power through specific topics that range from the notion of "nurture for sale" to the roles of morality and humor in the negotiation of hierarchy and the dilemmas faced by foreign employers who find themselves in life-and-death dependence on their servants.
With its provocative theoretical and ethnographic contributions to current debates, this collection will be of interest to scholars in Asian studies, women's studies, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.
Kathleen M. Adams is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Loyola University of Chicago. Sara Dickey is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Bowdoin College.
India’s Rise as an Asian Power examines India’s rise to power and the obstacles it faces in the context of domestic governance and security, relationships and security issues with its South Asian neighbors, and international relations in the wider Asian region. Instead of a straight-line projection based on traditional measures of power such as population size, economic growth rates, and military spending, Sandy Gordon’s nuanced view of India’s rise focuses on the need of any rising power to develop the means to deal with challenges in its domestic, neighborhood (South Asia), and regional (continental) spheres.
Terrorism, insurgency, border disputes, and water conflict and shortages are examples of some of India’s domestic and regional challenges. Gordon argues that before it can assume the mantle of a genuine Asian power or world power, India must improve its governance and security; otherwise, its economic growth and human development will continue to be hindered and its vulnerabilities may be exploited by competitors in its South Asian neighborhood or the wider region. This book will appeal to students and scholars of India and South Asia, security studies, foreign policy, and comparative politics, as well as country and regional specialists.
In Insurgent Aesthetics Ronak K. Kapadia theorizes the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Greater Middle East. He traces how new forms of remote killing, torture, confinement, and surveillance have created a distinctive post-9/11 infrastructure of racialized state violence. Linking these new forms of violence to the history of American imperialism and conquest, Kapadia shows how Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporic multimedia artists force a reckoning with the US war on terror's violent destruction and its impacts on immigrant and refugee communities. Drawing on an eclectic range of visual, installation, and performance works, Kapadia reveals queer feminist decolonial critiques of the US security state that visualize subjugated histories of US militarism and make palpable what he terms “the sensorial life of empire.” In this way, these artists forge new aesthetic and social alliances that sustain critical opposition to the global war machine and create alternative ways of knowing and feeling beyond the forever war.
Kinship and History in South Asia presents four papers given at a small conference of kinship studies scholars, “Kinship and History in South Asia,” at the University of Toronto in 1973. They draw upon one another and show several common concerns, particularly the theoretical importance of Dravidian systems. Yey they remain specialist studies, each within its own raison d’être.
Brendra E. F. Beck contributes a study of the “kinship nucleus” in Tamil folklore, Levi-Straussian both in its treatment of kinship and of mythology.
George L. Hart’s study of woman and the sacred in the ancient Tamil literature of the Sangam attempts to elucidate this literature in its own terms, and also to relate it to Beck’s “kinship nucleus.”
Thomas R. Trautmann presents a critical examination of the evidence for cross-cousin marriage in early North India, attempting to determine historical fact from literary materials.
Narendra K. Wagle offers a survey of the kinship categories to be found in the Pali Jatakas.
For those who wonder what relation actual Tantric practices bear to the "Tantric sex" currently being marketed so successfully in the West, David Gordon White has a simple answer: there is none. Sweeping away centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, White returns to original texts, images, and ritual practices to reconstruct the history of South Asian Tantra from the medieval period to the present day.
Kiss of the Yogini focuses on what White identifies as the sole truly distinctive feature of South Asian Tantra: sexualized ritual practices, especially as expressed in the medieval Kaula rites. Such practices centered on the exchange of powerful, transformative sexual fluids between male practitioners and wild female bird and animal spirits known as Yoginis. It was only by "drinking" the sexual fluids of the Yoginis that men could enter the family of the supreme godhead and thereby obtain supernatural powers and transform themselves into gods. By focusing on sexual rituals, White resituates South Asian Tantra, in its precolonial form, at the center of religious, social, and political life, arguing that Tantra was the mainstream, and that in many ways it continues to influence contemporary Hinduism, even if reformist misunderstandings relegate it to a marginal position.
Kiss of the Yogini contains White's own translations from over a dozen Tantras that have never before been translated into any European language. It will prove to be the definitive work for persons seeking to understand Tantra and the crucial role it has played in South Asian history, society, culture, and religion.
In the twelfth century, the Catholic Church attempted a thoroughgoing reform of marriage and sexual behavior aimed at eradicating sexual desire from Christian lives. Seeking a refuge from the very serious condemnations of the Church and relying on a courtly culture that was already preoccupied with honor and secrecy, European poets, romance writers, and lovers devised a vision of love as something quite different from desire. Romantic love was thus born as a movement of covert resistance.
In The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, William M. Reddy illuminates the birth of a cultural movement that managed to regulate selfish desire and render it innocent—or innocent enough. Reddy strikes out from this historical moment on an international exploration of love, contrasting the medieval development of romantic love in Europe with contemporaneous eastern traditions in Bengal and Orissa, and in Heian Japan from 900-1200 CE, where one finds no trace of an opposition between love and desire. In this comparative framework, Reddy tells an appealing tale about the rise and fall of various practices of longing, underscoring the uniqueness of the European concept of sexual desire.
Why should Salman Rushdie describe his truth telling as an act of swallowing impure “haram“ flesh from which the blood has not been drained? Why should Rudyard Kipling cast Kim, the imperial child–agent, as a body/text written upon and damaged by empire? Why should E. M. Forster evoke through the Indian landscape the otherwise unspeakable racial or homosexual body in his writing? In Making Words Matter: The Agency of Colonial and Postcolonial Literature, Ambreen Hai argues that these writers focus self–reflectively on the unstable capacity of words to have material effects and to be censored, and that this central concern with literary agency is embedded in, indeed definitive of, colonial and postcolonial literature.
Making Words Matter contends that the figure of the human body is central to the self–imagining of the text in the world because the body uniquely concretizes three dimensions of agency: it is at once the site of autonomy, instrumentality, and subjection. Hai’s work exemplifies a new trend in postcolonial studies: to combine aesthetics and politics and to offer a historically and theoretically informed mode of interpretation that is sophisticated, lucid, and accessible.
This is the first study to identify and examine the rich convergence of issues and to chart their dynamic. Hai opens up the field of postcolonial literary studies to fresh questions, engaging knowledgeably with earlier scholarship and drawing on interdisciplinary theory to read both well known and lesser–known texts in a new light. It should be of interest internationally to students and scholars in a variety of fields including British, Victorian, modernist, colonial, or postcolonial literary studies, queer or cultural studies, South Asian studies, history, and anthropology.
By 1945 Washington and London envisioned a new era in which the U.S. shouldered global responsibilities while Britain focused its regional interests narrowly. Mapping the End of Empire reveals how Anglo-American perceptions of geography and perspectives on the Muslim world shaped postcolonial futures from the Middle East to South Asia.
A nuanced look at how nature has been culturally constructed in South and Southeast Asia, Nature in the Global South is a major contribution to understandings of the politics and ideologies of environmentalism and development in a postcolonial epoch. Among the many significant paradigms for understanding both the preservation and use of nature in these regions are biological classification, state forest management, tropical ecology, imperial water control, public health, and community-based conservation. Focusing on these and other ways that nature has been shaped and defined, this pathbreaking collection of essays describes projects of exploitation, administration, science, and community protest.
With contributors based in anthropology, ecology, sociology, history, and environmental and policy studies, Nature in the Global South features some of the most innovative and influential work being done in the social studies of nature. While some of the essays look at how social and natural landscapes are created, maintained, and transformed by scientists, officials, monks, and farmers, others analyze specific campaigns to eradicate smallpox and save forests, waterways, and animal habitats. In case studies centered in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, and South and Southeast Asia as a whole, contributors examine how the tropics, the jungle, tribes, and peasants are understood and transformed; how shifts in colonial ideas about the landscape led to extremely deleterious changes in rural well-being; and how uneasy environmental compromises are forged in the present among rural, urban, and global allies.
Contributors: Warwick Anderson Amita Baviskar Peter Brosius Susan Darlington Michael R. Dove Ann Grodzins Gold Paul Greenough Roger Jeffery Nancy Peluso K. Sivaramakrishnan Nandini Sundar Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing Charles Zerner
Whether spurred by religious images or history books, hardly a day goes by in South Asia without an accusation of blasphemy. What accounts for the sharp rise in religious offense, and why it is observable across religious and political differences?
An interdisciplinary study of this trend, Outrage brings together researchers in anthropology, religious studies, and South Asian studies with rich experience in the varied ways religion and politics intersect in this region. Each chapter focuses on a recent case of alleged blasphemy or desecration in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, unpacking the religious sensitivities and political concerns. Collectively, the chapters explore common denominators across national and religious differences, such as the introduction of social media and smartphones, the possible political gains of initiating blasphemy accusations, and the growing self-assertion of marginal communities.
Today, more than ever, jihad signifies the political opposition between Islam and the West. As the line drawn between Muslims and non-Muslims becomes more rigid, Jalal seeks to retrieve the ethical meanings of this core Islamic principle in South Asian history. Drawing on historical, legal, and literary sources, Jalal traces the intellectual itinerary of jihad through several centuries and across the territory connecting the Middle East with South Asia.
Sufism, the mystical path of Islam, is a key feature of the complex Islamic culture of South Asia today. Influenced by philosophies and traditions from other Muslim lands and by pre-Islamic rites and practices, Sufism offers a corrective to the image of Islam as monolithic and uniform. In Sacred Spaces, Pakistani artist and educator Samina Quraeshi provides a locally inflected vision of Islam in South Asia that is enriched by art and by a female perspective on the diversity of Islamic expressions of faith. A unique account of a journey through the author’s childhood homeland in search of the wisdom of the Sufis, the book reveals the deeply spiritual nature of major centers of Sufism in the central and northwestern heartlands of South Asia. Illuminating essays by Ali S. Asani, Carl W. Ernst, and Kamil Khan Mumtaz provide context to the journey, discussing aspects of Sufi music and dance, the role of Sufism in current South Asian culture and politics, and the spiritual geometry of Sufi architecture.
Though fascinated with the land of their tradition’s birth, virtually no Japanese Buddhists visited the Indian subcontinent before the nineteenth century. In the richly illustrated Seeking Śākyamuni, Richard M. Jaffe reveals the experiences of the first Japanese Buddhists who traveled to South Asia in search of Buddhist knowledge beginning in 1873. Analyzing the impact of these voyages on Japanese conceptions of Buddhism, he argues that South Asia developed into a pivotal nexus for the development of twentieth-century Japanese Buddhism. Jaffe shows that Japan’s growing economic ties to the subcontinent following World War I fostered even more Japanese pilgrimage and study at Buddhism’s foundational sites. Tracking the Japanese travelers who returned home, as well as South Asians who visited Japan, Jaffe describes how the resulting flows of knowledge, personal connections, linguistic expertise, and material artifacts of South and Southeast Asian Buddhism instantiated the growing popular consciousness of Buddhism as a pan-Asian tradition—in the heart of Japan.
indispensable Patterson, the preeminent bibliographer in the area of South Asian studies, has here devised an indispensible reference tool. She has drawn together over 28,000 periodical and monographic references to humanistic, social-science, and nontechnical-science works. These include works that date from the earliest times to the present day and works in South Asian as well as Western languages.
This information is organized in accord with indigenous South Asian concepts and categories within the threefold dimensions of time, space, and topic. These units and their interrelationships are first laid out in an outline of headings that constitutes, in the aggregate, a self-contained reference outline of Indic civilization. Each unit and its subdivisions are then presented as the headings for the bibliographic sections that form the main body of the book. This conceptual structure, in combination with the author and subject indexes, offers the reader several means of access to the entries themselves, making South Asian Civilizations a work that will be of great use to a wide audience.
South Asian Feminisms
Ania Loomba and Ritty A. Lukose, eds. Duke University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HQ1735.3.S657 2012 | Dewey Decimal 305.420954
During the past forty years, South Asia has been the location and the focus of dynamic, important feminist scholarship and activism. In this collection of essays, prominent feminist scholars and activists build on that work to confront pressing new challenges for feminist theorizing and practice. Examining recent feminist interventions in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, they address feminist responses to religious fundamentalism and secularism; globalization, labor, and migration; militarization and state repression; public representations of sexuality; and the politics of sex work. Their essays attest to the diversity and specificity of South Asian locations and feminist concerns, while also demonstrating how feminist engagements in the region can enrich and advance feminist theorizing globally.
Contributors. Flavia Agnes, Anjali Arondekar, Firdous Azim, Anannya Bhattacharjee, Laura Brueck, Angana P. Chatterji, Malathi de Alwis, Toorjo Ghose, Amina Jamal, Ratna Kapur, Lamia Karim, Ania Loomba, Ritty A. Lukose, Vasuki Nesiah, Sonali Perera, Atreyee Sen, Mrinalini Sinha, Ashwini Sukthankar
Many consider the autobiography to be a Western genre that represents the self as fully autonomous. The contributors to Speaking of the Self challenge this presumption by examining a wide range of women's autobiographical writing from South Asia. Expanding the definition of what kinds of writing can be considered autobiographical, the contributors analyze everything from poetry, songs, mystical experiences, and diaries to prose, fiction, architecture, and religious treatises. The authors they study are just as diverse: a Mughal princess, an eighteenth-century courtesan from Hyderabad, a nineteenth-century Muslim prostitute in Punjab, a housewife in colonial Bengal, a Muslim Gandhian devotee of Krishna, several female Indian and Pakistani novelists, and two male actors who worked as female impersonators. The contributors find that in these autobiographies the authors construct their gendered selves in relational terms. Throughout, they show how autobiographical writing—in whatever form it takes—provides the means toward more fully understanding the historical, social, and cultural milieu in which the author performs herself and creates her subjectivity.
Destined to become a key work of subaltern studies and a crucial intervention in postcolonial scholarship, Stitches on Time probes the relationships between empire and modernity, nation and history, the colonial and the postcolonial, and power and difference. Saurabh Dube combines history and anthropology to provide critical understandings of the theory and practice of historical ethnography and contemporary historiography. Drawing on extensive archival research and innovative fieldwork as well as political economy and social theory—including considerations of gender—he unpacks the implications of specific Indian pasts from the middle of the nineteenth century through the end of the twentieth century.
Dube provides incisive accounts of the interactions between North American evangelical missionaries and Christian converts of central India, and between colonial legal systems and Indian popular laws. He reflects on the difficulties of history writing by considering the production and reception of recent Hindu nationalist histories. Assessing the work of the South Asian Subaltern Studies Collective, he offers substantial critical readings of major writings by Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Partha Chatterjee, and others. Dube develops the concept and practice of a “history without warranty” as a means of rigorously rethinking categories such as modernity, colonialism, the West, the postcolonial, and the nation.
Terrifying Muslims highlights how transnational working classes from Pakistan are produced, constructed, and represented in the context of American empire and the recent global War on Terror. Drawing on ethnographic research that compares Pakistan, the Middle East, and the United States before and after 9/11, Junaid Rana combines cultural and material analyses to chronicle the worldviews of Pakistani labor migrants as they become part of a larger global racial system. At the same time, he explains how these migrants’ mobility and opportunities are limited by colonial, postcolonial, and new imperial structures of control and domination. He argues that the contemporary South Asian labor diaspora builds on and replicates the global racial system consolidated during the period of colonial indenture. Rana maintains that a negative moral judgment attaches to migrants who enter the global labor pool through the informal economy. This taint of the illicit intensifies the post-9/11 Islamophobia that collapses varied religions, nationalities, and ethnicities into the threatening racial figure of “the Muslim.” It is in this context that the racialized Muslim is controlled by a process that beckons workers to enter the global economy, and stipulates when, where, and how laborers can migrate. The demonization of Muslim migrants in times of crisis, such as the War on Terror, is then used to justify arbitrary policing, deportation, and criminalization.
A Thai foodseller on the streets of Bangkok, a cyclo driver in a Vietnamese village, a Pahari migrant laborer in the Himalayas, a Parsi-Christian professional social worker shuttling back and forth between London and Calcutta—Trans-Status Subjects examines how these and other South and Southeast Asians affect and are affected by globalization. While much work has focused on the changes wrought by globalization—describing how people maintain foundations or are permanently destabilized—this collection theorizes the complex ways individuals negotiate their identities and create alliances in the midst of both stability and instability, as what the editors call trans-status subjects. Using gender paradigms, historical time, and geographic space as driving analytic concerns, the essays gathered here consider the various ways South and Southeast Asians both perpetuate and resist various hierarchies despite unequal mobilities within economic, social, cultural, and political contexts.
The contributors—including literary and film theorists, geographers, historians, sociologists, and anthropologists—show how the dominant colonial powers prefigured the ideologies of gender and sexuality that neocolonial nation-states have later refigured; investigate economic and artistic production; and explore labor, capital, and social change. The essays cover a range of locales—including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Borneo, Indonesia, and the United States. In investigating issues of power, mobility, memory, and solidarity in recent eras of globalization, the contributors—scholars and activists from South Asia, Southeast Asia, England, Australia, Canada, and the United States—illuminate various facets of the new concept of trans-status subjects.
Trans-Status Subjects carves out a new area of inquiry at the intersection of feminisim and critical geography, as well as globalization, postcolonial, and cultural studies.
Contributors. Anannya Bhattacharjee, Esha Niyogi De, Karen Gaul, Ketu Katrak, Karen Leonard, Philippa Levine, Kathryn McMahon, Andrew McRae, Susan Morgan, Nihal Perera, Sonita Sarker, Jael Silliman, Sylvia Tiwon, Gisele Yasmeen
Unfamiliar Relations restores the family and its many forms and meanings to a central place in the history of South Asia between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
In her incisive introduction, Indrani Chatterjee argues that the recent wealth of scholarship on ethnicity, sexuality, gender, imperialism, and patriarchy in South Asia during the colonial period often overlooks careful historical analysis of the highly contested concept of family. Together, the essays in this book demolish "family" as an abstract concept in South Asian colonial history, demonstrating its exceedingly different meanings across temporal and geographical space.
The scholarship in this volume reveals a far more complex set of dynamics than a simple binary between indigenous and colonial forms and structures. It approaches this study from the pre-colonial period on, rather than backwards as has been the case with previous scholarship. Topics include a British colonial officer who married a Mughal noblewoman and converted to Islam around the turn of the nineteenth century, the role gossip and taboo play in the formation of Indian family history, and an analysis of social relations in the penal colony on the Andaman Islands.
Focusing on the historical and contemporary narration of the Partition of India, Violent Belongings examines transnational South Asian culture from 1947 onwards. Spanning the Indian subcontinent and its diasporas in the United Kingdom and the United States, it asks how postcolonial/diasporic literature (eg., Rushdie, Mistry, Sidwa and Lahiri), Bollywood film, personal testimonies and journalism represent the violence, migration and questions of national belonging unleashed by that pivotal event during which two million people died and sixteen million were displaced.
In addition to challenging the official narratives of independence and Partition, these narratives challenge our contemporary understanding of gender and ethnicity in history and politics. Violent Belongings argues that both male and female bodies, and heterosexual coupledom, became symbols of the nation in public life. In the newly independent Indian nation both men and women were transformed into ideal citizens or troubling bodies, immigrants or refugees, depending on whether they were ethnically Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Sikh. The divisions set in motion during Partition continue into our own time and account for ethnic violence in South Asia.
Based on extensive field research in India and Pakistan, this new study examines the ways drumming and voices interconnect over vast areas of South Asia and considers what it means for instruments to be voice-like and carry textual messages in particular contexts. Richard K. Wolf employs a hybrid, novelistic form of presentation, in which a fictional protagonist interacts with Wolf's field consultants, to communicate ethnographic and historical realities that transcend the local details of any one person's life. The narrative explores how the themes of South Asian Muslims and their neighbors coming together, moving apart, and relating to God and spiritual intermediaries resonate across ritual and expressive forms such as drumming and dancing. Wolf weaves in the story of a family led by Ahmed Ali Khan, a North Indian ruler who revels in the glories of 19th century life, when many religious communities joined together harmoniously in grand processions. His journalist son Muharram Ali obsessively scours the subcontinent in pursuit of a music he naively hopes will dissolve religious and political barriers. The story charts the breakdown of this naiveté. A daring narrative of music, religion and politics in late twentieth century South Asia, The Voice in the Drum delves into the social and religious principles around which Muslims, Hindus, and others bond, create distinctions, reflect upon one another, or decline to acknowledge differences.
This is a story of tides and coastlines, winds and waves, islands and beaches. It is also a retelling of indigenous creativity, agency, and resistance in the face of unprecedented globalization and violence. Waves Across the South shifts the narrative of the Age of Revolutions and the origins of the British Empire; it foregrounds a vast southern zone that ranges from the Arabian Sea and southwest Indian Ocean across to the Bay of Bengal, and onward to the South Pacific and the Tasman Sea. As the empires of the Dutch, French, and especially the British reached across these regions, they faced a surge of revolutionary sentiment. Long-standing venerable Eurasian empires, established patterns of trade and commerce, and indigenous practice also served as a context for this transformative era. In addition to bringing long-ignored people and events to the fore, Sujit Sivasundaram opens the door to new and necessary conversations about environmental history, the consequences of historical violence, the legacies of empire, the extraction of resources, and the indigenous futures that Western imperialism cut short. The result is nothing less than a bold new way of understanding our global past, one that also helps us think afresh about our shared future.
Through eleven case studies conducted across India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, The Wild East examines a variety of economic sectors and business enterprises that regularly flout the law, such as coal, oil, real estate, and industrial labor. Bridging anthropology and political economy, the case studies explore how state regulative law is ignored or selectively manipulated and reveal the workings of regulated criminal economic systems in which politicians, police, judges, and bureaucrats are closely intertwined. Disrupting the existing literature on South Asia’s informal economy, The Wild East also suggests avenues for future research that will be of critical value to students and scholars of economics, anthropology, sociology, criminology, comparative politics, political science, and international relations.
Women, Islam and the State
Deniz Kandiyoti Temple University Press, 1991 Library of Congress HQ1170.W595 1991 | Dewey Decimal 305.486971
"The most significant theoretical advance in Muslim-world women's studies for years."
--Voice Literary Supplement
This collection of original essays examines the relationship between Islam, the nature of state projects, and the position of women in the modern nation states of the Middle East and South Asia. Arguing that Islam is not uniform across Muslim societies and that women's roles in these societies cannot be understood simply by looking at texts and laws. the contributors focus, instead, on the effects of the political projects of states on the lives of women.