17 April 2010


Anthropology in the East
Founders of Indian Sociology and Anthropology

edited by
Patricia Uberoi, Nandini Sundar, and Satish Deshpande

Anthropology and sociology have long histories in India. Yet, with the exception of fieldwork experience, there is neither much available on the institutional and material contexts of these disciplines, nor on the practices of pioneering anthropologists and sociologists.

The present book fills an important gap. While the sociology of India is not purely a national phenomenon (scholars and centres studying India exist outside), and while Western theories have been important, this book shows that local influences and personalities played a major role in shaping the field.

The volume spans a century of life and work, from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, and focuses on scholars with varying research trajectories. However, it also shows the threads that bind these scholars: their common concern with nation-building, social reform, and the value of science.

July 2010/ ISBN 81-7824-300-8 / paperback/ 568 pp / Rs 495/ For sale in South Asia only.


History in the Vernacular

Was there history writing in India before the British? Looking closely at vernacular contexts and traditions of historical production, this book questions the assumption that there was no history writing in India before colonialism. It suggests that careful readings reveal distinctly indigenous historical narratives. These narratives may be embedded within non-historical literary genres, such as poems, ballads, and works within the itihasa-purana tradition, but they are marked by discursive signs that allow them to be recognized as historical.

Vernacular history traditions in Assam, Bengal, the North-East, Kerala, the Andhra-Tamil region, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh are examined here with fresh archival material and new insights, making this a valuable book for historians, sociologists, and South Asianists.

RAZIUDDIN AQUIL is a reader in history at the University of Delhi. PARTHA CHATTERJEE's several books include A Princely Impostor? The Kumar of Bhawal and the Secret History of Indian Nationalism (Permanent Black paperback).

Paperback / 512pp / Rs 495 / ISBN 81-7824-225-7 / July 2010

08 April 2010

Tochter aus Elysium? ...


Ganga and Yamuna
River Goddesses and their Symbolism in Indian Temples

There are many books on the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, pictorial and celebratory. The present one is of a different kind. Professor von Stietencron investigates the temple sculptures of Ganga and Yamuna in order to unveil a whole cosmos of Hindu ritual and conceptual tradition. He shows how an entire worldview informs the planning and sculptural embellishment of such a temple—conceived of as the body of the deity enshrined in it.

Consequently this book is a historical study of the sculptures of the goddesses Ganga and Yamuna adorning the doorways of Indian temples, most recognizable from the Gupta period onwards. It examines how these gracious and purifying riverine deities have been conceived in human form. It discusses in detail the rich store of puranic myths and legends woven around these deities, tracing their Vedic roots and showing their evolution since then.

Translated from the German, this is a significant work of classical Indological scholarship. Drawing upon Sanskrit and various other sources, it provides major insights into the complex cultural history of Hindu religious traditions.

Heinrich von Stietencron has been Professor of Indology and Comparative History of Religion (1973–98) at the University of Tuebingen. He is a leading authority on the epics and the puranas, on temple symbolism and iconography, and on religious practice and social structure. He is chief editor of the annotated Epic and Puranic Bibliography (1992). He has devoted many years to field research in Orissa, documenting the many temples and studying the manuscript traditions of the region. His several books include Hindu Myth, Hindu History (Permanent Black, 2005). He was awarded the Padma Shree in 2004.

Hardback / 202pp / Rs 495 / ISBN 81-7824-285-0 / World rights / July 2010