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Showing posts from March, 2010

IN PRACTICE (Roll Over Aijaz Ahmad)

BARBARA D. METCALF, EDITOR Islam in South Asia in Practice This volume brings together the work of more than thirty scholars of Islam and Muslim societies in South Asia. It comprises a rich anthology of primary texts that contributes to a new appreciation of the lived religious and cultural experiences of the world's largest population of Muslims. The thirty-four selections—translated from Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindavi, Dakhani, and other languages—highlight a wide variety of genres, many rarely found in standard accounts of Islamic practice, from oral narratives to elite guidance manuals, from devotional songs to secular judicial decisions arbitrating Islamic law, and from political posters to a discussion among college women affiliated with an “Islamist” organization. Drawn from premodern texts, modern pamphlets, government and organizational archives, new media, and contemporary fieldwork, the selections reflect the rich diversity of Islamic be

Telengana? But What About Telugu?

LISA MITCHELL Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India The Making of a Mother Tongue Winner of the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr., Prize in the Indian Humanities, American Institute of Indian Studies What makes someone willing to die, not for a nation, but for a language? In the 1950s and 1960s a wave of suicides in the name of language swept through South India. This book asks why such emotional attachments to language appeared. It answers by tracing shifts in local perceptions and experiences of language in general, and Telugu in particular, during the preceding century. Mitchell shows the emergence in India of language as the foundation for the reorganization of a wide range of forms of knowledge and practice. These included literary production, the writing of history, geographic imagination, grammatical and lexical categorizations, ideas about translation, and pedagogy. Newly organized around languages, these practices then enabled assertions of community and

Ravi Vasudevan Ends Long Hibernation with 'Spectacular' New Book

RAVI VASUDEVAN's the melodramatic public draws on melodrama as a key conceptual apparatus to understand how entertainment cinema in India drew audiences into complex passages of historical change. As the seeming consensus of the 1950s about nation-building unravelled in the 1970s, and globalization introduced new economic and territorial compulsions, Indian cinema offered compelling testimony to debates about economic advancement, social justice, inter-community conflict, and urban lifestyles. Melodrama provided a narrative architecture and an expressive form which connected the public and the private, as well as the personal and the political, in ways which engaged audiences emotionally. In continuous dialogue with cinematic ‘others’—within American cinema, in Indian popular cinema, and in a realist art cinema—mainstream melodrama also underwent significant mutations. This book explores the dynamics of form and narrative strategy across a wide repertoire of film practices.