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Showing posts from April, 2011


RONIT RICCI Islam Translated Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia South Asia Across the Disciplines Series The spread of Islam eastward into South and Southeast Asia was one of the most significant cultural shifts in world history. As it expanded into these regions, Islam was received by cultures vastly different from those in the Middle East, incorporating them into a diverse global community that stretched from India to the Philippines. In Islam Translated , Ronit Ricci uses the Book of One Thousand Questions —from its Arabic original to its adaptations into the Javanese, Malay, and Tamil languages between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries—as a means to consider connections that linked Muslims across divides of distance and culture. Examining the circulation of this Islamic text and its varied literary forms, Ricci explores how processes of literary translation and religious conversion were historically interconnected, mutually dependen

An Interview with Tanika Sarkar

--> TANIKA SARKAR Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University an swers six questions sent to her by Permanent Black. TANIKA SARKAR Here, first, is Dipesh Chakrabarty on Tanika Sarkar: “Tanika Sarkar is arguably the most prominent feminist historian today writing on Bengal and India. She also belongs to a tiny band of Indian scholars whose interests embrace both history and literature. Her many different books and essays on women's histories—notable as much for their breadth of interests as for their sensitive and imaginative handling of a wide variety of Bengali and English-language sources from the colonial times and before—show her to be an intellectual whose work is both attentive to the messiness of the past and at the same time deliberately resistant to what she sees as unsatisfactory, schematic interpretations of many postcolonial scholars. This gives her writing a polemical edge but it is not consumed by polemics. In the end, muc

Kosambi, Kosambi, and Kosambi

Everyone's heard of the pioneering D.D. Kosambi, the Marxist founding father of Ancient Indian Studies. Not everyone knows about the incredible life lived by D.D. Kosambi's father, Dharmanand Kosambi, the great scholar of Buddhism who travelled from penury in village Goa to renown as a Harvard scholar and friend of Mahatma Gandhi. This is because, until recently, when Meera Kosambi set about translating them, the major portion of the writings of Dharmanand Kosambi were only available in Marathi. Now, for the first time, readers of English can marvel at arguably the most moving and spellbinding autobiography ever written by any Indian scholar. Dharmanand Kosambi's granddaughter Meera Kosambi -- the feminist historian famous for her work on Pandita Ramabai, Kashibai Kanitkar, and Maharashtra's women writers -- has provided a wonderful translation with contextualizing annotations. Permanent Black is privileged to publish NIVEDAN The Autobiography of Dharmanand Kosambi E

Permanent Black Publisher's Serious and Spoofy Views of Academic Publishing

For a change we're featuring not one of our authors, but our publisher, interviewed here by the Times of India . He discusses academic publishing in India, how he acquisitions books, what distinguishes academic publishing from other kinds of publishing, and so on. Read the interview to find what masala the hottest selling scholarly book might contain. The distinct possibility exists that you'll need yawn-suppressant medication after ploughing through the above worthy interview. In which case, the publisher can offer you laughter medicine in the shape of two parodies he wrote on the art of writing Indian history. These parodies on Indian history-writing have been universally condemned, making them compulsory reading for all who wish to be seen as well read, as well as for those who wish to understand how Indian history is now written. It is also meant as a career guide for budding historians in India, all of whom—like all Indians generally—wish to migrate to the USA in order to

Never Say Die: The Swadeshi Movement Strikes Again

Sumit Sarkar The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal Widely hailed by historians as the first great and pioneering monograph in Modern Indian History (many maintain it has never been surpassed) Sumit Sarkar's The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal (1973) was unavailable for nearly fifteen years before its republication in a new edition in 2010 by Permanent Black. This was thanks very substantially to the efforts of Tanika Sarkar in obtaining copyright back from the original publisher ... but that's another story (it should feature in Tanika Sarkar's autobiography, if she writes one). The new Permanent Black edition has been freshly typeset and looks much more elegant than the first edition. It also contains plenty of great new material in the form of a long new preface by Sumit Sarkar reflecting on changes in Indian historiography over the 35 years since he wrote his first major book, as well as two brilliant essays contextualizing and outlining the importance of this book by Neeladri Bh

Muslim Subjects, Hindu Rulers, new in paperback

Chitralekha Zutshi Languages of Belonging Islam, Regional Identity, and the Making of Kashmir “ Languages of Belonging is a quantum leap forward in Kashmir studies and will make one of the best histories of ‘regional’ identities and economies in India yet produced. The work brings forward a great deal of new and important material and provides a new framework for understanding regional identities in South Asia”— C.A. Bayly, Cambridge University “This is an outstanding book. Based on massive archival research in Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar and the unearthing of rare Kashmiri literary sources, it skilfully uncovers the religious sensibilities that underlay the formation of Kashmir’s regional identity in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century … Languages of Belonging will light up new ways of understanding the formation of identities in South Asia’s regions”— Sugata Bose, Harvard University “Rarely has Kashmir received sustained scholarly attention that goes beyond the issu