Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2011

Two Permanently Blackened Cornell Wallahs in New Paperback Editions

KAUSHIK BASU is a professor of Economics at Cornell who has taken leave to be chief economic advisor to the government of India. According to Professor Martha Nussbaum, “In the US, you rarely see real empowerment of good intellectuals. Someone like Kaushik Basu, for instance, would never be made part of the government in America because he’s just too heterodox — a real intellectual interested in thinking through the theoretical plane.” paperback / 290pp / Rs 325 / Spring 2011 SUVIR KAUL's PhD is from Cornell. He is now a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He usually works on some Gray areas of the literature of the eighteenth century (such as Thomas Gray ) and took leave from his interest in arcana to edit this scintillating collection. Of this collection the historian Indivar Kamtekar says: “The articles in this book, taken together, succeed remarkably well in broadening the treatment of the Partition of India. Scholars will, as usual, flesh out some of th


A short interview with Neeti Nair whose book titled CHANGING HOMELANDS: HINDU POLITICS AND THE PARTITION OF INDIA (hardback / 356pp / Rs 750) will be published in Spring 2011 by Permanent Black and Harvard University Press Q: Partition history, like Holocaust history, is a terrain well trodden by some big-name Indian historians, and the archives on it have been considerably mined. What personal reasons and professional ambitions impelled you, a very young historian writing her PhD, to venture David-like among the Goliaths? And which historians/teachers (of Partition or otherwise) did you find most inspiring when setting about becoming a historian yourself? A: My first seriously inspiring teachers were the Menon brothers—Siddhartha Menon in Rishi Valley School and Shivshankar Menon at St Stephen’s College. Both were able to communicate their love for history, for the unexpected and the complicated. They tended to be tentative in their conclusions, aware that history was open to several


A short interview with SANJAY SUBRAHMANYAM (left) and MUZAFFAR ALAM (right) whose new, jointly authored book titled Writing the Mughal World (510pp / hardback / Rs 850) will be published in Spring 2011 by Permanent Black and Columbia University Press Q: Your book begins by saying that academic collaborations resulting in jointly authored or essays are rare in history (though common in economics, for example). What were some of the academic reasons that impelled this unusual partnership? A: There were multiple reasons, but the main one was that we have quite different but complementary skills which could be brought together profitably around a common set of interests. For whatever reason, in the past generation—say since 1960—no single historian has used the gamut of materials that we have deployed here jointly. Those who use Persian materials usually don’t venture much beyond them, as we see even in the work of our friend J.F. Richards. Those like the late Ashin Das Gupta (a brillian