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Showing posts from April, 2009


RANAJIT GUHA The Small Voice of History Collected Essays Edited and with an Introduction by PARTHA CHATTERJEE At A CEREMONY IN HONOUR OF RANAJIT GUHA ON 2 MAY 2009 IN KOLKATA, THE GREAT MAN WAS PRESENTE D THE FIRST COPY OF HIS BOOK BY PARTHA CHATTERJEE. LATER, RG AUTOGRAPHED NEARLY 50 COPIES FOR BUYERS IN THE AUDIENCE Ranajit Guha is arguably the Indian historian whose writings have had a massive and formative impact on contemporary scholarship in several disciplines throughout the world: on postcolonial studies in literature, in anthropology, in history, in cultural studies, in art history. Guha first became known as the practitioner of a critical Marxism that ran parallel to the work of British and French Marxist historians of the 1960s and 1970s but which, instead of re-creating a ‘history from below’, sought active political engagement with the present by deploying insights drawn from Gramsci and Mao. More recently, Guha’s writings have drawn attention to the phenomenological and


THE MANY LIVES OF A RAJPUT QUEEN Heroic Pasts in India, circa 1500-1900 by RAMYA SREENIVASAN THIS BOOK HAS WON THE PRESTIGIOUS ANANDA KENTISH COOMARASWAMY PRIZE FOR 2009 THE CITATION READS "This wide-ranging monograph effortlessly traverses regions and genres to study the evolution of a historical memory. The Padmini story of a beautiful queen who is desired by a powerful enemy and who finally immolates herself rather than surrender has been current in South Asian folk and high literary traditions for over five centuries. In the colonial and post-colonial era it has been appropriated by Hindu nationalists as a narrative of purity and virtue. Rather than accept this recent retelling, Sreenivasan analyzes Padmini's story through its entire narrative trajectory, deploying at once the skills of a historian who combines an understanding of religious thought and social history and those of a literary scholar deeply familiar with gendered tropes in narrative and discourse. The Padm