How wonderful that Citizenship and its Discontents, by Niraja Gopal Jayal has won the 2015 A.K. Coomaraswamy Prize. Here's the citation from the Association for Asian Studies. All the praise in the citation is richly deserved.
It's about to come out in paperback with this lovely new cover.
NICHOLAS B. DIRKS, FAMOUS FOR HIS MONOGRAPH THE HOLLOW CROWN (1988), knows south india intimately because he spent several years there as a child and spoke tamil fluently.
he is now chancellor, university of california, berkeley.
he must have written this book (below) before he became the burra sahib.
in fact, perhaps he got the big babu's job because he wrote it . . .
Autobiography of an Archive:
A Scholar’s Passage to India
decades between 1970 and the end of the twentieth century saw the disciplines
of history and anthropology draw closer together, with historians paying more
attention to social and cultural factors and the significance of everyday
experience in the study of the past. The people, rather than elite actors,
became the focus of their inquiry, and anthropological insights into
agriculture, kinship, ritual, and folk customs enabled historians to develop
richer and more representative narratives. The intersection of these two
disciplines also helped scholars reframe the legacies of empire and the roots
of colonial knowledge.
this collection of essays and lectures, history’s turn from high politics and
formal intellectual history toward ordinary lives and cultural rhythms is
vividly reflected in a scholar's intellectual journey to India. Nicholas B.
Dirks recounts his early study of kingship in India, the rise of the caste
system, the emergence of English imperial interest in controlling markets and
India's political regimes, and the development of a crisis in sovereignty that
led to an extraordinary nationalist struggle.
shares his personal encounters with archives that provided the sources and boundaries
for research on these subjects, ultimately revealing the limits of colonial
knowledge and single disciplinary perspectives. Drawing parallels to the way
American universities balance the liberal arts and specialized research today,
Dirks, who has occupied senior administrative positions and now leads the
University of California at Berkeley, encourages scholars to continue to apply
multiple approaches to their research and build a more global and ethical
Nicholas B. Dirks is Chancellor, University of
California, Berkeley, where he is also a professor of history and anthropology.
An internationally renowned historian and anthropologist, he is known for his
work on the history of kingship and the institution of caste in India, as well
as for his writing on the British empire. His major works include The Hollow Crown: Ethnohistory of an Indian
Kingdom; Castes of Mind: Colonialism
and the Making of Modern India; and The
Scandal of Empire: India and the Creation of Imperial Britain. He has edited
several books, including Colonialism and
Culture, Culture/Power/History: A
Reader in Contemporary Social Theory, and In Near Ruins: Cultural Theory at the End of the Century.
Hardback / 400pp / Rs 895.00 / ISBN 978-81-7824-458-7
South Asia rights / Copublished with Columbia University Press / May 2015
When the Marxist historian
Perry Anderson publishedThe
Indian Ideology—his scathing assessment ofIndia’s democracy, secularism, nationalism,
and statehood—it created a furore. Anderson attackedsubcontinental unity as a myth, castigated Mahatma Gandhi
for infusing Hindu religiosity into nationalism, blamed Congress
for Partition, and saw India’s liberal intelligentsia as by and large a
Within the large array of responses
to Anderson that appeared, three stand out for the care and comprehensiveness
with which they show the levels of ignorance, arrogance, and misconstruction on
which the Andersonian variety of political analysis is based. Collectively, these three ripostesrepresent
a systematic critique of the intellectual
foundations of The Indian
Anderson’s claim to originality,Nivedita
Menon exposes his failure to
engage with feminist, Marxist,
and Dalit scholarship, arguing that a British colonial ideology is at work in
such analyses. Partha
key historical episodes to
counter the “Great Men” view of history, suggesting that misplaced concepts from Western
intellectual history canobfuscate political
their origins to the nineteenth-century worldview of Hegel and James Mill, Sudipta Kaviraj contends
that reductive Orientalist tropes such as those deployed by Anderson
frequently mar European analyses of non-European contexts.
Vigorous polemic merges with
political analysis here, and critique with debate, to create a work that is
intellectually sophisticated and unusually entertaining.
partha chatterjeeis Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies,Columbia University, New York, and
Honorary Professor,Centre for
Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. His manybooks include Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World(1986), The Nation and Its Fragments
(1993), A Possible India(1997),
The Politics of the Governed (2004), Lineages of PoliticalSociety (2011), and The Black
Hole of Empire (2012).
sudipta kavirajis Professor of Indian Politics and Intellectual History atColumbia University. He taught for many
years at SOAS,London University,
following a long teaching stint at JawaharlalNehru University, New Delhi. He has been a Fellow ofSt Antony’s College, Oxford, and a
visiting professor at theUniversity
of California, Berkeley, as well as at the Universityof Chicago. His most recent books are The Invention of Private
Life (2014), The Trajectories of the Indian State (2012), The
Enchantment of Democracy and India (2011), and The Imaginary Institution
of India (2010).
nivedita menon is Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political
Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is the author, most
recently, of Seeing like a Feminist (2012) and editor (with Aditya Nigam
and Sanjay Palshikar) of Critical Studiesin Politics: Exploring
Sites, Selves, Power (2013). An active commentator on contemporary issues
in newspapers and on the blog kafila.org, she has translated fiction and
nonfiction from Hindi and Malayalam into English.
sanjay rupareliais Assistant Professor of Politics at the New School for
Social Research, New York. His publications include Divided We Govern:
Coalition Politics in Modern India (2015),and Understanding
India’s New Political Economy: A Great Transformation? (2011).
Hardback / 175pp / Rs 495 / World rights / April 2015