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In Habitations of Modernity, Dipesh Chakrabarty explores the complexities of modernism in India and seeks principles of humaneness grounded in everyday life that may elude grand political theories. The questions that motivate Chakrabarty are shared by all postcolonial historians and anthropologists: How do we think about the legacy of the European Enlightenment in lands far from Europe in geography or history? How can we envision ways of being modern that speak to what is shared around the world, as well as to cultural diversity? How do we resist the tendency to justify the violence accompanying triumphalist moments of modernity? Chakrabarty pursues these issues in a series of closely linked essays, ranging from a history of the influential Indian series Subaltern Studies to examinations of specific cultural practices in modern India, such as the use of khadi—Gandhian style of dress—by male politicians and the politics of civic consciousness in public spaces. He concludes with considerations of the ethical dilemmas that arise when one writes on behalf of social justice projects.
In Habitations of Modernity, Dipesh Chakrabarty explores the complexities of modernism in India and seeks principles of humaneness grounded in everyday life that may elude grand political theories. The questions that motivate Chakrabarty are shared by all postcolonial historians and anthropologists: How do we think about the legacy of the European Enlightenment in lands far from Europe in geography or history? How can we envision ways of being modern that speak to what is shared around the world, as well as to cultural diversity? How do we resist the tendency to justify the violence accompanying triumphalist moments of modernity? Chakrabarty pursues these issues in a series of closely linked essays, ranging from a history of the influential Indian series Subaltern Studies to examinations of specific cultural practices in modern India, such as the use of khadi—Gandhian style of dress—by male politicians and the politics of civic consciousness in public spaces. He concludes with considerations of the ethical dilemmas that arise when one writes on behalf of social justice projects.
A leading scholar in early twentieth-century India, Sir Jadunath Sarkar (1870–1958) was knighted in 1929 and became the first Indian historian to gain honorary membership in the American Historical Association. By the end of his lifetime, however, he had been marginalized by the Indian history establishment, as postcolonial historians embraced alternative approaches in the name of democracy and anti-colonialism. The Calling of History examines Sarkar’s career—and poignant obsolescence—as a way into larger questions about the discipline of history and its public life. Through close readings of more than twelve hundred letters to and from Sarkar along with other archival documents, Dipesh Chakrabarty demonstrates that historians in colonial India formulated the basic concepts and practices of the field via vigorous—and at times bitter and hurtful—debates in the public sphere. He furthermore shows that because of its non-technical nature, the discipline as a whole remains susceptible to pressure from both the public and the academy even today. Methodological debates and the changing reputations of scholars like Sarkar, he argues, must therefore be understood within the specific contexts in which particular histories are written. Insightful and with far-reaching implications for all historians, The Calling of History offers a valuable look at the double life of history and how tensions between its public and private sides played out in a major scholar’s career.
Jessica Berman demonstrates how modernist narrative connects ethical attitudes and responsibilities to the active creation of political relationships and the way we imagine justice. She challenges divisions between "modernist" and "committed" writing, arguing that a continuum of political engagement undergirds modernisms worldwide and that it is strengthened rather than hindered by formal experimentation. In addition to making the case for a transnational model of modernism, Berman shows how modernism's play with formal matters, its challenge to the boundaries between fact and fiction, its incorporation of vernacular and folkways, and its engagement with embodied experience and intimacy offer not only an expanded account of modernist texts and commitments but a new way of thinking about what modernism is and can do.
Ananda Abeysekara contends that democracy, along with its cherished secular norms, is founded on the idea of a promise deferred to the future. Rooted in democracy's messianic promise is the belief that religious political identity-such as Buddhist, Hindu, Sinhalese, Christian, Muslim, or Tamil can be critiqued, neutralized, improved, and changed, even while remaining inseparable from the genocide of the past. This facile belief, he argues, is precisely what distracts us from challenging the violence inherent in postcolonial political sovereignty. At the same time, we cannot simply dismiss the democratic concept, since it permeates so deeply through our modernist, capitalist, and humanist selves. In The Politics of Postsecular Religion, Abeysekara invites us to reconsider our ethical-political legacies, to look at them not as problems, but as aporias, in the Derridean sense-that is, as contradictions or impasses incapable of resolution. Disciplinary theorizing in religion and politics, he argues, is unable to identify the aporias of our postcolonial modernity. The aporetic legacies, which are like specters that cannot be wished away, demand a new kind of thinking. It is this thinking that Abeysekara calls mourning and un-inheriting. Un-inheriting is a way of meditating on history that both avoids the simple binary of remembering and forgetting and provides an original perspective on heritage, memory, and time. Abeysekara situates aporias in the settings and cultures of the United States, France, England, Sri Lanka, India, and Tibet. In presenting concrete examples of religion in public life, he questions the task of refashioning the aporetic premises of liberalism and secularism. Through close readings of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, Butler, and Agamben, as well as Foucault, Asad, Chakrabarty, Balibar, and Zizek, he offers readers a way to think about the futures of postsecular politics that is both dynamic and creative.
Rabasa offers new interpretations of the meaning of history from indigenous perspectives and develops the concept of a communal temporality that is not limited by time, but rather exists within the individual, community, and culture as a living knowledge that links both past and present. Rabasa recalls the works of Marx, Lenin, and Gramsci, and contemporary south Asian subalternists Ranajit Guha and Dipesh Chakrabarty, among others. He incorporates their conceptions of communality, insurgency, resistance to hegemonic governments, and the creation of autonomous spaces as strategies employed by indigenous groups around the globe, but goes further in defining these strategies as millennial and deeply rooted in Mesoamerican antiquity.
In this first scholarly work on India's great modern poet, Laetitia Zecchini outlines a story of literary modernism in India and discusses the traditions, figures and events that inspired and defined Arun Kolatkar. Based on an impressive range of archival and unpublished material, this book also aims at moving lines of accepted genealogies of modernism and 'postcolonial literature'. Zecchini uncovers how poets of Kolatkar's generation became modern Indian writers while tracing a lineage to medieval oral traditions. She considers how literary bilingualism allowed Kolatkar to blur the boundaries between Marathi and English, 'Indian' and 'Western sources; how he used his outsider position to privilege the quotidian and minor and revived the spirit of popular devotion. Graphic artist, poet and songwriter, storyteller of Bombay and world history, poet in Marathi, in English and in 'Americanese', non-committal and deeply political, Kolatkar made lines wobble and treasured impermanence. Steeped in world literature, in European avant-garde poetry, American pop and folk culture, in a 'little magazine' Bombay bohemia and a specific Marathi ethos, Kolatkar makes for a fascinating subject to explore and explain the story of modernism in India. This book has received support from the labex TransferS: http://transfers.ens.fr/
"A powerful book on caste, a subject that has dramatic importance not only for the history of democracy in modern India, but for the general discussion on the interferences of social inequalities and cultural exclusions. The Caste Question goes beyond the usual antitheses of localism and globalism, and illustrates a decisive notion of intensive universality."—Etienne Balibar "A sustained and probing analysis of the modern history of caste in Western India, connecting issues of gender, personhood, property, and politics to facts of oppression and inequality. This is the most politically and theoretically engaged book on caste to have come out in a long time."—Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of Habitations of Modernity "A profound reflection, at once historically rich and theoretically nuanced, on the nature of political modernity itself."—John Comaroff, co-author (with Jean Comaroff) of Of Revelation and Revolution "Rao is entirely convincing in this brilliant and audacious re-evaluation of political modernity in India through the perspective of anti-caste struggles."—Mrinalini Sinha, author of Specters of Mother India: The Global Re-Structuring of an Empire
Everyday life in the far outposts of empire can be static, empty of the excitement of progress. A pervading sense of banality and boredom are, therefore, common elements of the daily experience for people living on the colonial periphery. Saikat Majumdar suggests that this impoverished affective experience of colonial modernity significantly shapes the innovative aesthetics of modernist fiction. Prose of the World explores the global life of this narrative aesthetic, from late-colonial modernism to the present day, focusing on a writer each from Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Ranging from James Joyce's deflated epiphanies to Amit Chaudhuri's disavowal of the grand spectacle of postcolonial national allegories, Majumdar foregrounds the banal as a key instinct of modern and contemporary fiction—one that nevertheless remains submerged because of its antithetical relation to literature's intuitive function to engage or excite. Majumdar asks us to rethink the assumption that banality merely indicates an aesthetic failure. If narrative is traditionally enabled by the tremor, velocity, and excitement of the event, the historical and affective lack implied by the banal produces a narrative force that is radically new precisely because it suspends the conventional impulses of narration.
A lively and engaging collection which explains the various strands of political theory, identifies key futures trends and explores the foundations of contemporary debate. Features interviews with pre-eminent theorists, including Quentin Skinner, Carole Pateman and Alex Honneth.
Brown's theory of tradition stands on its own as a significant contribution to the academic study of religions, but it also provides the framework for a challenging critique of contemporary American theologies--conservative, liberal, and radical -- and the basis for a novel understanding of the significance of the racial/ethnic, feminist, and class-identified theologies now emerging.
Lines of the Nation radically recasts the history of the Indian railways, which have long been regarded as vectors of modernity and economic prosperity. From the design of carriages to the architecture of stations, employment hierarchies, and the construction of employee housing, Laura Bear explores the new public spaces and social relationships created by the railway bureaucracy. She then traces their influence on the formation of contemporary Indian nationalism, personal sentiments, and popular memory. Her probing study challenges entrenched beliefs concerning the institutions of modernity and capitalism by showing that these rework older idioms of social distinction and are legitimized by forms of intimate, affective politics. Drawing on historical and ethnographic research in the company town at Kharagpur and at the Eastern Railway headquarters in Kolkata (Calcutta), Bear focuses on how political and domestic practices among workers became entangled with the moralities and archival technologies of the railway bureaucracy and illuminates the impact of this history today. The bureaucracy has played a pivotal role in the creation of idioms of family history, kinship, and ethics, and its special categorization of Anglo-Indian workers still resonates. Anglo-Indians were formed as a separate railway caste by Raj-era racial employment and housing policies, and other railway workers continue to see them as remnants of the colonial past and as a polluting influence. The experiences of Anglo-Indians, who are at the core of the ethnography, reveal the consequences of attempts to make political communities legitimate in family lines and sentiments. Their situation also compels us to rethink the importance of documentary practices and nationalism to all family histories and senses of relatedness. This interdisciplinary anthropological history throws new light not only on the imperial and national past of South Asia but also on the moral life of present technologies and economic institutions.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's original essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?" transformed the analysis of colonialism through an eloquent and uncompromising argument that affirmed the contemporary relevance of Marxism while using deconstructionist methods to explore the international division of labor and capitalism's "worlding" of the world. Spivak's essay hones in on the historical and ideological factors that obstruct the possibility of being heard for those who inhabit the periphery. It is a probing interrogation of what it means to have political subjectivity, to be able to access the state, and to suffer the burden of difference in a capitalist system that promises equality yet withholds it at every turn. Since its publication, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" has been cited, invoked, imitated, and critiqued. In these phenomenal essays, eight scholars take stock of the effects and response to Spivak's work. They begin by contextualizing the piece within the development of subaltern and postcolonial studies and the quest for human rights. Then, through the lens of Spivak's essay, they rethink historical problems of subalternity, voicing, and death. A final section situates "Can the Subaltern Speak?" within contemporary issues, particularly new international divisions of labor and the politics of silence among indigenous women of Guatemala and Mexico. In an afterword, Spivak herself considers her essay's past interpretations and future incarnations and the questions and histories that remain secreted in the original and revised versions of "Can the Subaltern Speak?" both of which are reprinted in this book.
Just who are ‘the Malays’? This provocative study poses the question and considers how and why the answers have changed over time, and from one region to another. Anthony Milner develops a sustained argument about ethnicity and identity in an historical, ‘Malay’ context. The Malays is a comprehensive examination of the origins and development of Malay identity, ethnicity, and consciousness over the past five centuries. Covers the political, economic, and cultural development of the Malays Explores the Malay presence in Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, as well as the modern Malay show-state of Malaysia Offers diplomatic speculation about ways Malay ethnicity will develop and be challenged in the future
**Named a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title** Combining coverage of key themes and debates from a variety of historical and theoretical perspectives, this authoritative reference volume offers the most up-to-date and substantive analysis of cultural geography currently available. A significantly revised new edition covering a number of new topics such as biotechnology, rural, food, media and tech, borders and tourism, whilst also reflecting developments in established subjects including animal geographies Edited and written by the leading authorities in this fast-developing discipline, and features a host of new contributors to the second edition Traces the historical evolution of cultural geography through to the very latest research Provides an international perspective, reflecting the advancing academic traditions of non-Western institutions, especially in Asia Features a thematic structure, with sections exploring topics such as identities, nature and culture, and flows and mobility
Jacob Kinnard offers an in-depth examination of the complex dynamics of religiously charged places. Focusing on several important shared and contested pilgrimage places-Ground Zero and Devils Tower in the United States, Ayodhya and Bodhgaya in India, Karbala in Iraq-he poses a number of crucial questions. What and who has made these sites important, and why? How are they shared, and how and why are they contested? What is at stake in their contestation? How are the particular identities of place and space established? How are individual and collective identity intertwined with space and place? Challenging long-accepted, clean divisions of the religious world, Kinnard explores specific instances of the vibrant messiness of religious practice, the multivocality of religious objects, the fluid and hybrid dynamics of religious places, and the shifting and tangled identities of religious actors. He contends that sacred space is a constructed idea: places are not sacred in and of themselves, but are sacred because we make them sacred. As such, they are in perpetual motion, transforming themselves from moment to moment and generation to generation. Places in Motion moves comfortably across and between a variety of historical and cultural settings as well as academic disciplines, providing a deft and sensitive approach to the topic of sacred places, with awareness of political, economic, and social realities as these exist in relation to questions of identity. It is a lively and much needed critical advance in analytical reflections on sacred space and pilgrimage.
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
School integration means, among other things, that the divisions created by apartheid need to be addressed systematically and systemically. Integration is not merely about changing the racial demographics of learner and educator bodies. It means schools changing to meet the needs of all children, fostering meaningful interaction among learners in the classroom, on the playground and in extra-mural activities as well as instilling a human rights culture. It means constructing curricula, texts and pedagogies that are informed by a democratic ethos and it requires teachers, school managers and communities that are equipped to promote a democratic school environment. In short, it is about inclusivity and social cohesion. And the issue of integration is as pertinent internationally as it is in South Africa - questions of race, racism, citizenship and diversity are central to school systems throughout the world. This book contains the proceedings of a colloquium held in October 2003, attended by leading South African and international researchers, to take stock of the status quo in school integration and identify new directions research should be taking to support the process of change.
This book targets one of the humanities' most widely held premises: namely, that the European Enlightenment laid the groundwork for modern imperialism. It argues instead that the Enlightenment's vision of empire calls our own historical and theoretical paradigms into question. While eighteenth-century British India has not received nearly the same attention as nineteenth- and twentieth-century empires, it is the place where colonial rule and Enlightenment reason first became entwined. The Stillbirth of Capital makes its case by examining every work about British India written by a major author from 1670 to 1815, a period that coincides not only with the Enlightenment but also with the institution of a global economy. In contrast to both Marxist and liberal scholars, figures such as Dryden, Defoe, Voltaire, Sterne, Smith, Bentham, Burke, Sheridan, and Scott locate modernity's roots not in the birth of capital but rather in the collusion of sovereign power and monopoly commerce, which used Indian Ocean wealth to finance the unfathomable costs of modern war. Ahmed reveals the pertinence of eighteenth-century writing to our own moment of danger, when the military alliance of hegemonic states and private corporations has become even more far-reaching than it was in centuries past.

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