Latest Research:


RAJA DEEN DAYAL: ARTIST-PHOTOGRAPHER IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY INDIA

July 2, 2013

During his lifetime, the path-breaking and prolific lensman Raja Deen Dayal (1884–1905) was one of the most widely recognised photographers from the Indian subcontinent. Today he remains among the most celebrated figures from this earlier era. This book brings together for the first time extensive archival research with close analyses of the significant body of Dayal’s work preserved in the Alkazi Collection of Photography...

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THE LIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE: LITERARY ACTIVISM AND THE POLITICS OF WRITING IN SOUTH INDIA

July 2, 2013

In The Light of Knowledge, Francis Cody’s ethnography of the Arivoli Iyakkam highlights the paradoxes inherent in movements that seek to emancipate people through literacy when literacy is a power-laden social practice in its own right...

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DOCUMENT RAJ: WRITING AND SCRIBES IN EARLY COLONIAL SOUTH INDIA

July 2, 2012

Historians of British colonial rule in India have noted both the place of military might and the imposition of new cultural categories in the making of Empire, but Bhavani Raman, in Document Raj, uncovers a lesser-known story of power: the power of bureaucracy...

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EMBELLISHED REALITY: INDIAN PAINTED PHOTOGRAPHS

July 2, 2012

This book traces the evolution of painted photographs in India from the 1860s, a few decades after the invention of photographs, to the 2000s, long after the introduction of colour photography. It focuses on a collection of more than seventy works at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto...

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QUEER ACTIVISM IN INDIA: A STORY IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF ETHICS

July 2, 2012

Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics shows how a new social world of lesbian and queer activism in India has come to be. Drawing on over two years of fieldwork with queer activists, Naisargi N. Dave traces the critical events and everyday practices that constitute queer activism in India...

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EMPIRE’S GARDEN: ASSAM AND THE MAKING OF INDIA

July 2, 2011

In Empire’s Garden, Jayeeta Sharma explains how the settlement of more than one million migrants in Assam irrevocably changed the region’s social landscape...

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BOLLYWOOD CINEMA SHOWCARDS: INDIAN FILM ART FROM THE 1950S TO THE 1980S

July 2, 2011

This book tells the story of a unique but little-studied form of Bollywood advertising: the showcard. While Bollywood films have achieved worldwide recognition, the visual culture of advertising that surrounds them has not received as much attention even though it has been a dominant part of the urban and rural landscape across northern India for much of the 20th century...

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Itineraries of Self-Rule: Essays on the Centenary of Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj

July 2, 2011

Addressing the recent revival of interest in Gandhi among scholars, artists and activists, this special issue of Public Culture guest edited by Ritu Birla and Faisal Devji considers Gandhian thought in its robust itinerancy, as a global formation and moveable practice, as well as in its world-making power...

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Stages of Capital: Law, Culture, and Market Governance in Late Colonial India

July 2, 2009

Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India’s market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the “free” circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading...

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THE ISMAILIS IN THE MIDDLE AGES: A HISTORY OF SURVIVAL, A SEARCH FOR SALVATION

July 2, 2007

“None of that people should be spared, not even the babe in its cradle.” With these chilling words, the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan declared his intention to destroy the Ismailis, one of the most intellectually and politically significant Muslim communities of medieval Islamdom...

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