New Books in South Asian Studies

New Books in South Asian Studies

Interviews with Scholars of South Asia about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm

Marshall Poe Society & Culture 399 rész Interviews with Scholars of South Asia about their New Books
Nira Wickramasinghe, "Slave in a Palanquin: Colonial Servitude and Resistance in Sri Lanka" (Columbia UP, 2020)
66 perc 115. rész Marshall Poe
For hundreds of years, the island of Sri Lanka was a crucial stopover for people and goods in the Indian Ocean. For the Dutch East India Company, it was also a crossroads in the Indian Ocean slave trade. Slavery was present in multiple forms in Sri Lanka—then Ceylon—when the British conquered the island in the late eighteenth century and began to gradually abolish slavery. Yet the continued presence of enslaved people in Sri Lanka in the nineteenth century has practically vanished from collective memory in both the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Nira Wickramasinghe uncovers the traces of slavery in the history and memory of the Indian Ocean world, exploring moments of revolt in the lives of enslaved people in the wake of abolition. She tells the stories of Wayreven, the slave who traveled in the palanquin of his master; Selestina, accused of killing her child; Rawothan, who sought permission for his son to be circumcised; and others, enslaved or emancipated, who challenged their status.  Drawing on legal cases, petitions, and other colonial records to recover individual voices and quotidian moments, Wickramasinghe offers a meditation on the archive of slavery. She examines how color-based racial thinking gave way to more nuanced debates about identity, complicating conceptions of blackness and racialization. A deeply interdisciplinary book with a focus on recovering subaltern resistance, Slave in a Palanquin: Colonial Servitude and Resistance in Sri Lanka (Columbia University Press, 2020) offers a vital new portrait of the local and transnational worlds of the colonial-era Asian slave trade in the Indian Ocean. Nira Wickramasinghe is Chair Professor of Modern South Asian Studies at Leiden University. Her books include Metallic Modern: Everyday Machines in Colonial Sri Lanka (2014) and Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History (second edition, 2015). Samee Siddiqui is a former journalist who is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can find him on twitter @ssiddiqui83 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm
Christopher Key Chapple, "Yoga in Jainism" (Routledge, 2015)
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Jaina Studies is a relatively new and rapidly expanding field of inquiry for scholars of Indian religion and philosophy. In Jainism, "yoga" carries many meanings, and this book explores the definitions, nuances, and applications of the term in relation to Jainism from early times to the present.  Yoga in Jainism (Routledge, 2015), edited by Christopher Key Chapple, begins by discussing how the use of the term yoga in the earliest Jaina texts described the mechanics of mundane action or karma. From the time of the later Upanisads, the word Yoga became associated in all Indian religions with spiritual practices of ethical restraint, prayer, and meditation.  In the medieval period, Jaina authors such as Haribhadra, Subhacandra, and Hemacandra used the term Yoga in reference to Jaina spiritual practice. In the modern period, a Jaina form of Yoga emerged, known as Preksa Dhyana. This practice includes the physical postures and breathing exercises well known through the globalization of Yoga.  By exploring how Yoga is understood and practiced within Jainism, this book makes an important contribution to the fields of Yoga Studies, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and South Asian Studies. Raj Balkaran is a Scholar, Educator, Consultant, and Life Coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm
A. Gandhi et al., "Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Embedded Exchange and Contested Jurisdiction" (Cambridge UP, 2020)
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Modern markets and exchange, compared with other social and political spheres, are seen through technical abstractions. This intellectual compartmentalization has political consequences: if capitalism operates through arcane, objective, and rational mechanics, the very real interests and very real consequences of exchange are disguised and simplified. In their empirically dense and theoretically bold edited volume, Ajay Gandhi, Barbara Harriss-White, Douglas Haynes, and Sebastian Schwecke gather historians and anthropologists to reflect on the dynamic, adaptive, and ambiguous realities of markets and exchange in India. Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Embedded Exchange and Contested Jurisdiction (Cambridge University Press, 2020) provides a rich array of vivid case studies – from colonial property and advertising milieus to today’s bazaar and criminal economies – to examine the friction and interdependence between commerce, society, and state. Beyond providing a vantage point for rethinking global capitalism from one of the world’s major economies, the volume conceptualizes the moral, spatial, legal, and symbolic dynamics of markets in a way that is broadly relevant through the Global South. Two of the volume’s editors, Ajay Gandhi, assistant professor at Leiden University, and Sebastian Schwecke, head of the Delhi office of the Max Weber Foundation, discuss the book’s theoretical ambitions and empirical range. Saronik Bosu (@SaronikB on Twitter) is a doctoral candidate in English at New York University. He is writing his dissertation on South Asian economic writing. He is also coordinator of the Medical Humanities Working Group at NYU, and of the Postcolonial Anthropocene Research Network. He also co-hosts the podcast High Theory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm
Debashree Mukherjee, "Bombay Hustle: Making Movies in a Colonial City" (Columbia UP, 2020)
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In 1935, the writer Baburao Patel writes the following about Bombay’s film industry: “In India, with financing conditions still precarious, the professional film distributor thrives. . . . He comes with a fortune made in share and cotton gambling, advances money to the producer at a killing rate of interest plus a big slice of royalty and recovers his investment by blackmailing the exhibitors into giving heavy and uneconomic minimum guarantees. His only aim in life is to multiply his rupee and in prosecuting this aim he does not worry about the future of the industry or about the existence of the producer or exhibitor.” It’s a hectic time for India’s film industry, as it is for films everywhere, as the silent era becomes the talking era. Debashree Mukherjee’s Bombay Hustle: Making Movies in a Colonial City (Columbia University Press: 2020) examines this key period of India’s film industry, from finance and casting to screenwriting and production, and brings into view the experiences of the marginalised film workers and forgotten film studios that made up this early period of industry. In this interview, Debashree and I talk about the transition from silent to talking movies in Bombay, along with the historical context and working conditions for those in the city’s historical film industry. Those interested in learning more about the film industry in 1930s Bombay can visit the Wildcat of Bombay Instagram account at @wildcatofbombay (recommended by Debashree!) Debashree Mukherjee is Assistant Professor of film and media in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. Debashree edits the peer-reviewed journal BioScope and has published in journals such as Film History and Feminist Media Histories. In a previous life Debashree worked in Mumbai’s film and TV industries as an assistant director, writer, and cameraperson. More information can be found on Debashree’s website, and she can be followed on Twitter at @Debashree2017. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Bombay Hustle. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm
Bibek Debroy, "The Mahabharata" (Penguin, 2015)
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Dispute over land and kingdom may lie at the heart of this story of war between cousins the Pandavas and the Kouravas but the Mahabharata is about conflicts of dharma. These conflicts are immense and various, singular and commonplace. Throughout the epic, characters face them with no clear indications of what is right and what is wrong; there are no absolute answers. Thus every possible human emotion features in the Mahabharata, the reason the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this translation of the complete Mahabharata (Penguin, 2015), Bibek Debroy takes on a great journey with incredible ease. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm
Christopher T. Fleming, "Ownership and Inheritance in Sanskrit Jurisprudence" (Oxford UP, 2021)
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Ownership and Inheritance in Sanskrit Jurisprudence (Oxford UP, 2021) provides an account of various theories of ownership (svatva) and inheritance (dāya) in Sanskrit jurisprudential literature (Dharmaśāstra). It examines the evolution of different juridical models of inheritance--in which families held property in trusts or in tenancies-in-common--against the backdrop of related developments in the philosophical understanding of ownership in the Sanskrit text-traditions of hermeneutics (Mīmāṃsā) and logic (Nyāya) respectively. Christopher T. Fleming reconstructs medieval Sanskrit theories of property and traces the emergence of various competing schools of Sanskrit jurisprudence during the early modern period (roughly fifteenth-nineteenth centuries) in Bihar, Bengal, and Varanasi. Fleming attends to the ways in which ideas from these schools of jurisprudence shaped the codification of Anglo-Hindu personal law by administrators of the British East India Company during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While acknowledging the limitations of colonial conceptions of Dharmaśāstra as positive law, this study argues for far greater continuity between pre-colonial and colonial Sanskrit jurisprudence than accepted previously. It charts the transformation of the Hindu law of inheritance--through precedent and statute--over the late nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nicholas Jepson, "In China's Wake: How the Commodity Boom Transformed Development Strategies in the Global South" (Columbia UP, 2019)
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From 2002 to 2013, China’s rapid economic growth caused a boom in the prices of commodities—particularly of metals, fuel, and soybeans. According to political economist Dr. Nick Jepson, the commodity boom offered resource exporters in the Global South the financial resources and thus the opportunity to break away from international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and set their own policy agendas. But not all resource-exporting countries that benefited from the commodity boom took this path away from neoliberalism.  In his new book In China’s Wake: How the Commodity Boom Transformed Development Strategies in the Global South (Columbia University Press 2020), Jepson uses fieldwork, interviews, and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to identify and describe five typologies of resource exporters during the boom and the factors that contributed to differing development strategies and trajectories. China’s rise has had profound consequences on the processes of global capitalism, and this can be observed most clearly in the fortunes of commodity-exporting countries of the Global South. In China’s Wake explores fascinating case studies of countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa to demonstrate the wide-ranging impact of China’s growth. Laurie Dickmeyer is an Assistant Professor of History at Angelo State University, where she teaches courses in Asian and US history. Her research concerns nineteenth-century US-China relations. She can be reached at laurie.dickmeyer@angelo.edu and on Twitter @LDickmeyer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Harshana Rambukwella, "The Politics and Poetics of Authenticity: A Cultural Genealogy of Sinhala Nationalism" (UCL Press, 2018)
75 perc 113. rész Marshall Poe
What is the role of cultural authenticity in the making of nations? Much scholarly and popular commentary on nationalism dismisses authenticity as a romantic fantasy or, worse, a deliberately constructed mythology used for political manipulation. The Politics and Poetics of Authenticity: A Cultural Genealogy of Sinhala Nationalism (UCL Press, 2018) places authenticity at the heart of Sinhala nationalism in late nineteenth and twentieth-century Sri Lanka.  It argues that the passion for the ‘real’ or the ‘authentic’ has played a significant role in shaping nationalist thinking and argues for an empathetic yet critical engagement with the idea of authenticity.  Through a series of fine-grained and historically grounded analyses of the writings of individual figures central to the making of Sinhala nationalist ideology the book demonstrates authenticity’s rich and varied presence in Sri Lankan public life and its key role in understanding postcolonial nationalism in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in South Asia and the world.  It also explores how notions of authenticity shape certain strands of postcolonial criticism and offers a way of questioning the taken-for-granted nature of the nation as a unit of analysis but at the same time critically explore the deep imprint of nations and nationalisms on people's lives. Dr. Harshana Rambukwella is a Professor at the Postgraduate Institute of English at the Open University of Sri Lanka. He also serves as the director of the Institute. Samee Siddiqui is a former journalist who is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945. You can find him on twitter @ssiddiqui83 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oliver Craske, "Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar" (Hachette, 2020)
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At 10:20pm on August 15th, 1969, Ravi Shankar — then, and still, the most famous practitioner of the sitar and Indian classical music — takes the stage at Woodstock. It’s arguably the zenith of Indian music’s popularity in the West, with musicians like the Beatles, the Byrds and Led Zeppelin embracing elements of Indian music. But this was merely the middle-point of Shankar’s artistic development, nor was it a personal highlight in a long and storied career. For many musicians in several different genres, both in and outside of India, Shankar is the most important messenger for the ideas and concepts of Indian music. Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar (Faber & Faber / Hachette: 2020) by Oliver Craske is the first full biography on Shankar’s life, charting Shankar’s musical journey — from accompanying his older brother, the dancer Uday Shankar, on world tours at a young age, through the height of his worldwide acclaim in the late Sixties, to the end of his life as the most respected performer of Indian classical music. More details about Indian Sun can be found on the book’s official website. In this interview, Oliver and I talk about the life of Ravi Shankar, and the many ways his music was important both in and outside of India throughout the Twentieth Century. We talk about the fundamentals of Indian classical music, and whether India’s music plays an important role in the country’s “cultural soft power.” Those interested in experiencing Ravi Shankar’s music for themselves can access this Spotify playlist, curated by Oliver Craske. Oliver Craske is a writer and editor, with a longstanding interest in Indian music. He first met Ravi Shankar in 1994, and worked with Shankar on his autobiography. Craske is also the author of Rock Faces: The World's Top Rock'n'Roll Photographers and Their Greatest Images (RotoVision: 2004), a survey of leading music photographers. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Indian Sun. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michael R. Auslin, "Asia's New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific" (Hoover Institution Press, 2020)
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Is the Indo-Pacific already the most dominant in terms of global power, politics, and wealth? In his newest book, Michael R. Auslin considers the key issues facing the Indo-Pacific which have ramifications for the entire world. Geopolitical competition in the region threatens stability not just in Asia, but globally.  In a series of essays, Asia's New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific (Hoover Institution Press, 2020) Auslin examines the key issues that are changing the balance of power in Indo-China and globally. He examines China's aggressive global policies and strategies, and its attempts to bend the world to its wishes.  He argues that the global focus on the Sino-US competition for power has obscured "Asia's other great game" - the rivalry between long-time foes, China and Japan. He questions whether Kim-Jong-un can control his nuclear weaponry and the implications for safety if he cannot.  Auslin examines the plight of women in India and asks whether its "missing women" are potentially hampering any role that India might play on the global stage. Underlying these concerns, the book analyses U.S. strategy in region. If there is be a shift in the global balance of power, what role can and should the U.S. take in limiting China's hegemony?  The dramatic final chapter paints a bleak picture of a Sino-American Littoral war in the very near future. Is this the geopolitical trajectory in the Indo-Pacific? Michael R. Auslin offers a "future-history" of what soon could be.  Michael Auslin, PhD, is the Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in US policy in Asia and geopolitical issues in the Indo-Pacific region.   Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
C. M. Bauman and M. Voss Roberts, "The Routledge Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations" (Routledge, 2020)
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The tension between the two historical realities, Hinduism as an ancient Indian religion and Christianity as a religion associated with foreign power and colonialism, continues to animate Hindu-Christian relations today. On the one hand, The Routledge Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations (Routledge, 2020) describes a rich history of amicable, productive, even sometimes syncretic Hindu-Christian encounters. On the other, this handbook equally attends to historical and contemporary moments of tension, conflict, and violence between Hindus and Christians. Comprising thirty-nine chapters by a team of international contributors, this handbook is divided into seven parts: Theoretical and methodological considerations Historical interactions Contemporary exchanges Sites of bodily and material interactions Significant figures Comparative theologies Responses The handbook explores: how the study of Hindu-Christian relations has been and ought to be done, the history of Hindu-Christian relations through key interactions, ethnographic reflections on current dynamics of Hindu-Christian exchange, important key thinkers, and topics in comparative theology, ultimately providing a framework for further debates in the area. The Routledge Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations is essential reading for students and researchers in Hindu-Christian studies, Hindu traditions, Asian religions, and studies in Christianity. This handbook will also be very useful for those in related fields, such as anthropology, political science, theology, and history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Richard M. Jaffe, "Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism" (U Chicago Press, 2019)
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Though fascinated with the land of their tradition’s birth, virtually no Japanese Buddhists visited the Indian subcontinent before the nineteenth century. In the richly illustrated Seeking Śākyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism (U Chicago Press, 2019), Richard M. Jaffe reveals the experiences of the first Japanese Buddhists who traveled to South Asia in search of Buddhist knowledge beginning in 1873. Analyzing the impact of these voyages on Japanese conceptions of Buddhism, he argues that South Asia developed into a pivotal nexus for the development of twentieth-century Japanese Buddhism. Jaffe shows that Japan’s growing economic ties to the subcontinent following World War I fostered even more Japanese pilgrimage and study at Buddhism’s foundational sites. Tracking the Japanese travelers who returned home, as well as South Asians who visited Japan, Jaffe describes how the resulting flows of knowledge, personal connections, linguistic expertise, and material artifacts of South and Southeast Asian Buddhism instantiated the growing popular consciousness of Buddhism as a pan-Asian tradition—in the heart of Japan. Dr. Richard M Jaffe is a Religious Studies Professor at Duke University focusing on Japanese Buddhism. He is also the director of the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke. Samee Siddiqui is a former journalist who is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945. You can find him on twitter @ssiddiqui83 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Saiba Varma, "The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir" (Duke UP, 2020)
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In The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir (Duke UP, 2020), Saiba Varma explores the psychological, ontological, and political entanglements between medicine and violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir—the world's most densely militarized place. Into a long history of occupations, insurgencies, suppressions, natural disasters, and a crisis of public health infrastructure come interventions in human distress, especially those of doctors and humanitarians, who struggle against an epidemic: more than sixty percent of the civilian population suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or acute stress. Drawing on encounters between medical providers and patients in an array of settings, Varma reveals how colonization is embodied and how overlapping state practices of care and violence create disorienting worlds for doctors and patients alike. Varma shows how occupation creates worlds of disrupted meaning in which clinical life is connected to political disorder, subverting biomedical neutrality, ethics, and processes of care in profound ways. By highlighting the imbrications between humanitarianism and militarism and between care and violence, Varma theorizes care not as a redemptive practice, but as a fraught sphere of action that is never quite what it seems. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tulasi Srinivas, "The Cow in the Elevator: An Anthropology of Wonder" (Duke UP, 2018)
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In The Cow in the Elevator: An Anthropology of Wonder (Duke UP, 2018), Tulasi Srinivas explores a wonderful world where deities jump fences and priests ride in helicopters to present a joyful, imaginative, yet critical reading of modern religious life. Drawing on nearly two decades of fieldwork with priests, residents, and devotees, and her own experience of living in the high-tech city of Bangalore, Srinivas finds moments where ritual enmeshes with global modernity to create wonder—a feeling of amazement at being overcome by the unexpected and sublime. Offering a nuanced account of how the ruptures of modernity can be made normal, enrapturing, and even comical in a city swept up in globalization's tumult, Srinivas brings the visceral richness of wonder—apparent in creative ritual in and around Hindu temples—into the anthropological gaze. Broaching provocative philosophical themes like desire, complicity, loss, time, money, technology, and the imagination, Srinivas pursues an interrogation of wonder and the adventure of writing true to its experience. The Cow in the Elevator rethinks the study of ritual while reshaping our appreciation of wonder's transformative potential for scholarship and for life. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chad M. Bauman, "Anti-Christian Violence in India" (Cornell UP, 2020)
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Does religion cause violent conflict, asks Chad M. Bauman, and if so, does it cause conflict any more than other social identities? Through an extended history of Christian-Hindu relations, and with particular attention to the 2007-08 riots in Kandhamal, Odisha, Anti-Christian Violence in India examines religious violence and how it pertains to broader aspects of humanity. Is "religious" conflict sui generis, or is it merely one species of inter-group conflict? Why and how might violence become an attractive option for religious actors? What explains the increase in religious violence over the last twenty to thirty years?  Integrating theories of anti-Christian violence focused on politics, economics, and proselytization, Anti-Christian Violence in India (Cornell UP, 2020) in India additionally weaves in recent theory about globalization, and in particular the forms of resistance against Western secular modernity that globalization periodically helps provoke. With such theories in mind, Bauman explores the nature of anti-Christian violence in India, contending that resistance to secular modernities is, in fact, an important but often overlooked reason behind Hindu attacks on Christians. Intensifying the widespread Hindu tendency to think of religion in ethnic rather than universal terms, the ideology of Hindutva explicitly rejects both the secular privatization of religion and the separability of religions from the communities that incubate them. And so, with provocative and original analysis, Bauman questions whether anti-Christian violence in contemporary India is really about religion, in the narrowest sense, or rather a manifestation of broader concerns, among some Hindus, about the Western socio-political order with which they associate global Christianity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bruce B. Lawrence, "The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam Beyond Borders" (Duke UP, 2021)
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For more than four decades, Bruce Lawrence’s multivalent and fulsomely prolific scholarship has influenced and imprinted the Western study of Islam and Religious Studies more broadly in singularly profound ways. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam Beyond Borders (Duke UP, 2021) edited and executed by Ali Altaf Mian brings together major texts and fragments from Lawrence’s intellectual oeuvre in a manner at once eminently accessible and pedagogically fertile. The Reader also includes a brilliant and extensive introduction by Ali Mian that presents a useful conceptual framing for approaching and benefiting from Bruce Lawrence’s intimidatingly diverse scholarship that ranges from medieval Muslim views on Hindu thought and practice, South Asian Sufism, modern fundamentalism, the Qur’an, and Islamicate art and aesthetics. A moving and intellectually enriching interview between Mian and Lawrence that explores the theoretical underpinnings and political manifesto of Lawrence’s illustrious career, and an equally moving and productive Afterword by historian Yasmin Saikia caps this treasure trove of a volume. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader is sure to delight, captivate, and intellectually nourish scholars of Islam, religion, and indeed non-academics. It will also make a tremendous text to teach in various undergraduate and graduate courses. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David Chaffetz, "Three Asian Divas: Women, Art and Culture In Shiraz, Delhi and Yangzhou" (Abbreviated Press, 2019)
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The “diva” is a common trope when we talk about culture. We normally think of the diva as a Western construction: the opera singer, the Broadway actress, the movie star. A woman of outstanding talent, whose personality and ability are both larger-than-life. But the truth is throughout history, many cultures have featured spaces for strong female artists, whose talent allows them to break free of the gender roles that pervaded their societies. In Three Asian Divas: Women, Art and Culture in Shiraz, Delhi and Yangzhou (Abbreviated Press: 2020) David Chaffetz briefly explores how these “Asian divas” could be seen as some of the first recognizably “modern women''. In this interview, David and I talk about the three different cultures of Three Asian Divas: Shiraz, Delhi and Yangzhou. We discuss what it meant to be a diva in these historical contexts, and what they say about gender roles in these historic Asian societies. After studying Persian, Turkish and Arabic in college, David Chaffetz worked on the publication of the Encyclopedia Iranica and is also the author of A Journey through Afghanistan, a study of its varied people, social classes and religious sects. He has lived in Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, and travelled extensively in Asia. After a forty-year break working in the technology industry, he returned to writing with “Three Asian Divas.” You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Stuart Ray Sarbacker, "Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline" (SUNY Press, 2021)
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Clear, accessible, and meticulously annotated, Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline (SUNY Press, 2021) offers a comprehensive survey of the history and philosophy of yoga that will be invaluable to both specialists and to nonspecialists seeking a deeper understanding of this fascinating subject. Stuart Ray Sarbacker argues that yoga can be understood first and foremost as a discipline of mind and body that is represented in its narrative and philosophical literature as resulting in both numinous and cessative accomplishments that correspond, respectively, to the attainment of this-worldly power and otherworldly liberation. Sarbacker demonstrates how the yogic quest for perfection as such is situated within the concrete realities of human life, intersecting with issues of politics, economics, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as reflecting larger Indic religious and philosophical ideals. Dr. Sarbacker also recently presented his work at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies at their Online Yoga Weekend School. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gopal K. Gupta, "Maya in the Bhagavata Purana: Human Suffering and Divine Play" (Oxford UP, 2020)
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The idea of Maya pervades Indian philosophy. It is enigmatic, multivalent, and foundational, with its oldest referents found in the Rig Veda. Maya in the Bhagavata Purana: Human Suffering and Divine Play (Oxford UP, 2020) explores Maya's rich conceptual history, and then focuses on the highly developed theology of Maya found in the Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana, one of the most important Hindu sacred texts. Gopal K. Gupta examines Maya's role in the Bhagavata's narratives, paying special attention to its relationship with other key concepts in the text, such as human suffering (duhkha), devotion (bhakti), and divine play (lila). In the Bhagavata, Maya is often identified as the divine feminine, and has a far-reaching influence. For example, Maya is both the world and the means by which God creates the world, as well as the facilitator of God's play, paradoxically revealing him to his devotees by concealing his majesty. While Vedanta philosophy typically sees Maya as a negative force, the Bhagavata affirms that Maya also has a positive role, as Maya is ultimately meant to draw living beings toward Krishna and intensify their devotion to him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Manan Ahmed Asif, "The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India" (Harvard UP, 2020)
71 perc 112. rész Marshall Poe
Did South Asia have a shared regional identity prior to the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century? This is a subject of heated debate in scholarly circles and contemporary political discourse. Manan Ahmed Asif argues that Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Republic of India share a common political ancestry: they are all part of a region whose people understand themselves as Hindustani. Asif describes the idea of Hindustan, as reflected in the work of native historians from roughly 1000 CE to 1900 CE, and how that idea went missing. This makes for a radical interpretation of how India came to its contemporary political identity. Asif argues that a European understanding of India as Hindu has replaced an earlier, native understanding of India as Hindustan, a home for all faiths. Turning to the subcontinent’s medieval past, Asif uncovers a rich network of historians of Hindustan who imagined, studied, and shaped their kings, cities, and societies. Asif closely examines the most complete idea of Hindustan, elaborated by the early seventeenth century Deccan historian Firishta. His monumental work, Tarikh-i Firishta, became a major source for European philosophers and historians, such as Voltaire, Kant, Hegel, and Gibbon during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet Firishta’s notions of Hindustan were lost and replaced by a different idea of India that we inhabit today. The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India (Harvard UP, 2020) reveals the intellectual pathways that dispensed with multicultural Hindustan and created a religiously partitioned world of today. Samee Siddiqui is a former journalist who is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945. You can find him on twitter @ssiddiqui83 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Narrating Africa in South Asia
101 perc 43. rész Marshall Poe
Narrating Africa in South Asia (Special Journal Issue: South Asian History and Culture, Volume 11, Issue 4, 2020) explores the multifaceted and longue durée history of the African diaspora in South Asia. The themes of the articles cover many grounds, such as race, religion, social and intellectual history, space and place, social networks and globality, memory studies, and identity politics, among others. Narrating Africa in South Asia situates the African diaspora in the South Asian subcontinent against the broader backdrop of global mobilizations against systemic racism, economic inequality, inaccessible justice, and colonial educational system, among others. Mahmood Kooria is an Assistant Professor at the History Department of Ashoka University. Earlier, he was a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL), and the Dutch Institute in Morocco (NIMAR). He did his Ph.D. at the Leiden University Institute for history on the circulation of Islamic legal ideas and texts across the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean worlds. With Michael N. Pearson, he has edited Malabar in the Indian Ocean World: Cosmopolitanism in a Maritime Historical Region (Oxford University Press, 2018). His research specializations are the premodern Indian Ocean world, Afro-Asian connections, matrilineal Muslims, and Islamic legal history. His broader research interests include the premodern interactions between Abrahamic and Indic religions, global mobility of law, and Islamic intellectual history. Khatija Khader completed her Ph.D. titled ‘Interrogating Identity: A study of Siddi and Hadrami Diaspora in Hyderabad City, India’ at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her Ph.D. and publications explore the histories of migration of the Siddi and the seafaring Hadrami diaspora in the Western India Ocean and engage with concepts like diaspora, race, and homeland/s in a non-western location. In the past, Dr. Khader has worked with various international non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International, Arab League, and OHCHR on issues related to Human Rights, Gender and Foreign Policy. She is currently teaching at the Centre for International Relations (CIR) at the Islamic University of Science and Technology, Jammu and Kashmir. Sofia Péquignot is a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France, currently writing a dissertation entitled Black India: The Social Constructions of Siddis, African Descendants in India. Her research focuses on Siddis’ ongoing processes of unification. These are based on a common identification with African origins, building on existing and newly emerging networks of Indians of African descent at different levels: local, regional, national and transnational. She examines the various social constructions enabling these unification processes, reflecting the ways Siddi people are constructing and negotiating their place in Indian society, but also on an international level, an echo of other global movements. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michiel Baas, "Muscular India: Masculinity, Mobility & the New Middle Class" (Context, 2020)
58 perc 19. rész Marshall Poe
The gyms of urban ‘new India’ are intriguing spaces. While they cater largely to well-off clients, these shiny, modern institutions are also vehicles of upward mobility for the trainers and specialists who work there. As they learn English, ‘upgrade’ their dressing style and try to develop a deeper understanding of the lives of their upmarket customers., they break with an older kind of masculinity represented by the pehlwans in their akharas. Equally, the gym aspires to be a safe space for women—a break from the toxic masculinity they must deal with outside its walls. Yet, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Class barriers are less permeable than they appear. The use of bodily capital to breach them is more fraught with danger than one might anticipate. And the profession is riddled with pitfalls and contradictions. Michiel Baas has spent a decade studying gyms, trainers and bodybuilders, and finds in them a new way to investigate India. He walks us through the homes and workspaces of these men—yes, they are almost all men—to bodybuilding competitions and also into their most intimate worlds of ambitions, desires and struggles. In Muscular India: Masculinity, Mobility & the New Middle Class (Context, 2020), Baas unveils a fascinating world, hidden in plain sight. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Courtney Bruntz and Brooke Schedneck, "Buddhist Tourism in Asia" (U Hawaii Press, 2020)
61 perc 366. rész Marshall Poe
This edited volume is the first book-length study of Buddhist tourism in contemporary Asia in the English language. Featuring chapters from diverse contributors from religious studies, anthropology, and art history, Buddhist Tourism in Asia (University of Hawaii Press, 2020) explores themes of Buddhist imaginaries, place-making, secularization, and commodification in three parts. The first part, Buddhist Imaginaries and Place-Making features four interesting chapters on how Buddhism is marketed and promoted to domestic and international tourists, as well as how these imaginaries “sediments” over time. The chapters in Part II, Secularizing the Sacred, reveal interestingly that Buddhist tourism tends to create alliances with secular forces as strategies to promote their traditions and sacred sites. Part III of the volume shifts to discussions of commodification in Buddhism and its consequences. Here, contributors show that commodification is not necessarily at odds with Buddhism nor is it a new phenomenon. Covering a wide range of Buddhist sites across Asia and their multi-layered participants in Buddhist tourism, this book uses the unique lens of tourism to offer fresh perspectives on Buddhist spaces, identities, and practices. Courtney Bruntz is Assistant Professor, Philosophy & Religious Studies, at Doane University Brooke Schedneck is Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, at Rhodes College Daigengna Duoer is a PhD student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation researches on transnational and transregional Buddhist networks connecting twentieth-century Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Republican China, Tibet, and the Japanese Empire. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sienna R. Craig, "The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives Between Nepal and New York" (U Washington Press, 2020)
81 perc 18. rész Marshall Poe
In The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York (University of Washington Press, 2020), anthropologist Sienna Craig examines the inter-generational shifts that increasingly transform the Mustang region of northern Nepal, particularly in the face of increased migration. Historically a community engaged in traditional trading and agricultural practices, Mustang and its communities have been radically altered since the 1990s by new modes of life, transnationalism, and (dis)connection. Drawing on 25 years of ethnographic engagement with Mustang and its far-flung diasporic outpost in New York City, the book charts the multiple forces that led to these changes and attends to their ambivalent impacts across time and space. Each section is comprised of one literary short story and one ethnographic chapter, all of which explore the cultural impacts wrought by accelerated migrations and returns. From shifting norms around childbirth to the challenges of living across linguistic divides, from the mobilities that threaten traditional social worlds to the ties that bind communities together, The Ends of Kinship asks how connections among people and to geographic places get forged and reformed through cycles of movement. What emerges is a beautifully rendered account of a community in flux, caught in the interstices between the remote, high-altitude landscapes of windswept Mustang and the bustling, multi-cultural cityscapes of New York City. More information about the book, including a variety of teaching resources, can be found at here. Sienna Craig is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. She has authored several books and many journal articles in addition to multiple works of creative writing. Benjamin Linder earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology (2019) from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently serving as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) at Leiden University, the Netherlands Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Beatrice Nicolini, "Land and Maritime Empires in the Indian Ocean" (Educatt, 2017)
56 perc 40. rész Marshall Poe
Land and Maritime Empires in the Indian Ocean (Educatt, 2017) reconceptualizes the history of the Indian Ocean through the themes of mobility, encounters, empires, and slavery. The book aims to reshape the historical understanding of Africa and Asia. It approaches Afro-Asiatic connections from different methodological perspectives. Nicolini and de Silva Jayasuriya have reread the Indian Ocean history's role away from traditional politics and international relations. They stated in the introduction: “We are both aware that the study of the history of the Indian Ocean can no longer be considered merely as hagiographic reconstructions, but must take into consideration a number of historical-political-institutional aspects. These include the presence of different cultural, social, and religious groups, together with the affirmation of the Omani Ibadites dominance between the mid-seventeenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. the fundamental influence of the Indian mercantile and other Asian communities; and the impact with the Swahili population of the Eastern African coast and the Sub-Saharan regions. All of these issues should also be considered in relation to links with Europe and with the newly United States of America." Beatrice Nicolini is a professor of African History, Institutions, Religions, Conflicts, and Slavery in the Indian Ocean World, at the Catholic University, Milan, Italy. Her research focuses on the connections between South-Western Asia, the Persian/Arab Gulf, and East Africa.  Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study (University of London) and an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (Great Britain & Ireland). Her research focuses on migration, commerce, and cultural exchange in the Indian Ocean world. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Saiba Varma, "The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir" (Duke UP, 2020)
60 perc 211. rész Marshall Poe
In The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir (Duke UP, 2020), Saiba Varma explores the psychological, ontological, and political entanglements between medicine and violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir—the world's most densely militarized place. Into a long history of occupations, insurgencies, suppressions, natural disasters, and a crisis of public health infrastructure come interventions in human distress, especially those of doctors and humanitarians, who struggle against an epidemic: more than sixty percent of the civilian population suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or acute stress. Drawing on encounters between medical providers and patients in an array of settings, Varma reveals how colonization is embodied and how overlapping state practices of care and violence create disorienting worlds for doctors and patients alike. Varma shows how occupation creates worlds of disrupted meaning in which clinical life is connected to political disorder, subverting biomedical neutrality, ethics, and processes of care in profound ways. By highlighting the imbrications between humanitarianism and militarism and between care and violence, Varma theorizes care not as a redemptive practice, but as a fraught sphere of action that is never quite what it seems. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Leah E. Comeau, "Material Devotion in a South Indian Poetic World" (Bloomsbury, 2020)
44 perc 87. rész Marshall Poe
Material Devotion in a South Indian Poetic World (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) contributes new methods for the study and interpretation of material religion found within literary landscapes. The poets of Hindu devotion are known for their intimate celebration of deities, and while verses over a thousand years old are still treasured, translated, and performed, little attention has been paid to the evocative sensorial worlds referenced by these literary compositions. This book offers a material interpretation of an understudied poem that defined an entire genre of South Asian literature -Tirukkovaiyar-the 9th-century Tamil poem dedicated to Shiva. The poetry of Tamil South India invites travel across real and imagined geography, naming royal patrons, ancient temple towns, and natural landscapes. Leah Elizabeth Comeau locates the materiality of devotion to Shiva in a world unique to the South Indian vernacular and yet captivating to audiences across time, place, and tradition. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ayon Maharaj, "The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedanta" (Bloomsbury, 2020)
51 perc 65. rész Marshall Poe
Ayon Maharaj's The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedanta (Bloomsbury, 2020) brings together a distinguished team of scholars from philosophy, theology, and religious studies to provide the first in-depth discussion of Vedanta and the many different systems of thought that make up this tradition of Indian philosophy. Emphasizing the historical development of Vedantic thought, it includes chapters on numerous classical Vedantic philosophies as well as the modern Vedantic views of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, and Romain Rolland. The volume offers careful hermeneutic analyses of how Vedantic texts have been interpreted, and it addresses key issues and debates in Vedanta, including religious diversity, the nature of God, and the possibility of embodied liberation. Venturing into cross-philosophical and cross-cultural territory, it also brings Vedanta into dialogue with Saiva Nondualism as well as contemporary Western analytic philosophy. Highlighting current scholarly controversies and charting new paths of inquiry, this is an indispensable research guide for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of Vedanta and Indian philosophy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Antoinette Burton, "Africa in the Indian Imagination: Race and the Politics of Postcolonial Citation" (Duke UP, 2016)
44 perc 39. rész Marshall Poe
In Africa in the Indian Imagination: Race and the Politics of Postcolonial Citation (Duke UP,  2016), Antoinette Burton reframes our understanding of the postcolonial Afro-Asian solidarity that emerged from the 1955 Bandung conference. Afro-Asian solidarity is best understood, Burton contends, by using friction as a lens to expose the racial, class, gender, sexuality, caste, and political tensions throughout the postcolonial global South. Focusing on India's imagined relationship with Africa, Burton historicizes Africa's role in the emergence of a coherent postcolonial Indian identity. She shows how—despite Bandung's rhetoric of equality and brotherhood—Indian identity echoed colonial racial hierarchies in its subordination of Africans and Blackness. Underscoring Indian anxiety over Africa and challenging the narratives and dearly held assumptions that presume a sentimentalized, nostalgic, and fraternal history of Afro-Asian solidarity, Burton demonstrates the continued need for anti-heroic, vexed, and fractious postcolonial critique. Antoinette Burton is a historian of 19th and 20th century Britain and its empire, with a specialty in colonial India and an ongoing interest in Australasia and Africa. She is Professor of History and Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has written and edited many books, including Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times, The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism, The Postcolonial Careers of Santha Rama Rau, and Dwelling in the Archive: Women Writing House, Home, and History in Late Colonial India. Micheal Rumore is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His work focuses on the Indian Ocean as an African diasporic site. He can be reached at mrumore@gradcenter.cuny.edu. Zifeng Liu is a PhD candidate in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. His dissertation examines Black left feminism and Mao’s China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Leela Prasad, "The Audacious Raconteur: Sovereignty and Storytelling in Colonial India" (Cornell UP, 2020)
33 perc 84. rész Marshall Poe
Can a subject be sovereign in a hegemony? Can creativity be reined in by forces of empire? The Audacious Raconteur: Sovereignty and Storytelling in Colonial India (Cornell UP, 2020) argues that even the most hegemonic circumstances cannot suppress "audacious raconteurs": skilled storytellers who fashion narrative spaces that allow themselves to remain sovereign and beyond subjugation. The book tells the stories of four Indian narrators who lived in colonial India: a Goan Catholic ayah, a Telugu lawyer from the Raju community, a Tamil brahmin archaeologist, and a librarian from the medara (basket-weavers) caste. These four Indian narrators, through their vigorous orality, maverick use of photography, literary ventriloquism, and bilingualism, dismantle the ideological bulwark of colonialism—colonial modernity, history, science, and native knowledge. This book is open access.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brian Black, "In Dialogue with the Mahābhārata" (Routledge, 2020)
77 perc 83. rész Marshall Poe
This book offers the first extensive study of the dialogue form in the Mahābhārata. Despite its importance, the variety of uses and implications of dialogue in the Mahābhārata remain relatively unexplored, which leaves a significant gap in the understanding of this key work of Indian literature. Dialogue is a recurring and significant feature of Indian religious and philosophical literature generally, but nowhere is it explored more elaborately and more profoundly than in the Mahābhārata.  Brian Black's In Dialogue with the Mahābhārata (Routledge, 2020), therefore, examines the details of some of the central dialogical encounters in the text, including, structural features; intra-textual relationships with other dialogues; implicit methods of reasoning; and potential avenues for a meaningful engagement with interlocutors beyond the text. This attention to the dialogue form not only brings out otherwise unexplored aspects of the text's teachings, but also highlights aspects of the Mahābhārata that will have particular relevance to modern readers. This is a fresh perspective on the Mahābhārata that will be of great interest to any scholar working in Religious Studies, Indian/South Asian religions, Comparative Philosophy, and World Literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
P. Bilimoria and P. Hughes, "The Indian Diaspora: Hindus and Sikhs in Australia" (Manticore Press, 2019)
65 perc 82. rész Marshall Poe
Since the late 1990s, the Indian community in Australia has grown faster than any other immigrant community. The Indian Diaspora has made substantial contributions to the multi-ethnic and multi-religious diversity within Australia. The growth of Hinduism and Sikhism through gurus, temples, yoga and rituals of many kind has brought new colours, images, customs and practices to the profile of Australian religion, and the Australian landscape more widely. At the same time, Hinduism and Sikhism have themselves been transformed as Hindus and Sikhs from different parts of India as well as Fiji, Malaysia and other parts of the world have come together to establish a pan-Indian ethos. Hindus and Sikhs here have also interacted with other sectors of the Australian population and with religions from the Western world.  This is the theme of The Indian Diaspora: Hindus and Sikhs in Australia (Manticore Press, 2019). The Indian Diaspora covers the theory of diaspora, the historical development of the Indian communities in Australia since the late 19th century to the present times, current practices and statistical profiles of Hindus and Sikhs in Australia, and interactions between Hindus and Sikhs with the wider Australian community. There are case-studies of the Indian students and women in the Australian community, of Indian communities in Melbourne and South Australia, and of temple building and the Sikh gurdwara. The book has been edited by and contains contributions from Purushottama Bilimoria, an internationally-known scholar of philosophy and religion, Jayant Bhalchandra Bapat, one of Australia s most senior Hindu priests and a scholar of Hinduism, and Philip Hughes, a leading analyst of the religious profiles of the Australian people. It also contains contributions from several other prominent scholars. Included are special essays on the importance of diaspora by the late Ninian Smart and on the 19th century Afghan cameleers and Indian hawkers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Daniel Simpson, "The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga's History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices" (North Point, 2021)
71 perc 81. rész Marshall Poe
Much of what is said about yoga is misleading. To take two examples, it is neither five thousand years old, as is commonly claimed, nor does it mean union, at least not exclusively. In perhaps the most famous text—The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali—the aim is separation, isolating consciousness from everything else. And the earliest evidence of practice dates back about twenty-five hundred years. Yoga may well be older, but no one can prove it. Scholars have learned a lot more about the history of yoga in recent years, but their research can be hard to track down. Although their work is insightful, it is aimed more at specialists than at general readers.  Daniel Simpson's The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga's History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices (North Point, 2021) draws on many of their findings, presented in a format designed for practitioners. The aim is to highlight ideas on which readers can draw to keep traditions alive in the twenty-first century. It offers an overview of yoga's evolution from its earliest origins to the present. It can either be read chronologically or be used as a reference guide to history and philosophy. Each short section addresses one element, quoting from traditional texts and putting their teachings into context. The intention is to keep things clear without oversimplifying. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dinyar Patel, "Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism" (Harvard UP, 2020)
91 perc 2. rész Marshall Poe
In the wake of a rise in nationalism around the world, and its general condemnation by liberals and the left, we have put together this series on Third World Nationalism to nuance the present discourse on nationalism, note its centrality to anti-imperial, anti-colonial politics around the world, and its inextricability from mainstream politics in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In this episode we speak to Dinyar Patel, author of Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism (Harvard UP, 2020)--the definitive biography of Dadabhai Naoroji, the nineteenth-century activist who founded the Indian National Congress, was the first British MP of Indian origin, and inspired Gandhi and Nehru. Mahatma Gandhi called Dadabhai Naoroji the “father of the nation,” a title that today is reserved for Gandhi himself. Patel examines the extraordinary life of this foundational figure in India’s modern political history, a devastating critic of British colonialism who served in Parliament as the first-ever Indian MP, forged ties with anti-imperialists around the world, and established self-rule or swaraj as India’s objective. Naoroji’s political career evolved in three distinct phases. He began as the activist who formulated the “drain of wealth” theory, which held the British Raj responsible for India’s crippling poverty and devastating famines. His ideas upended conventional wisdom holding that colonialism was beneficial for Indian subjects and put a generation of imperial officials on the defensive. Next, he attempted to influence the British Parliament to institute political reforms. He immersed himself in British politics, forging links with socialists, Irish home rulers, suffragists, and critics of empire. With these allies, Naoroji clinched his landmark election to the House of Commons in 1892, an event noticed by colonial subjects around the world. Finally, in his twilight years he grew disillusioned with parliamentary politics and became more radical. He strengthened his ties with British and European socialists, reached out to American anti-imperialists and Progressives, and fully enunciated his demand for swaraj. Only self-rule, he declared, could remedy the economic ills brought about by British control in India. Naoroji is the first comprehensive study of the most significant Indian nationalist leader before Gandhi. Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S. Newcombe and K. O'Brien-Kop, "Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies" (Routledge, 2020)
49 perc 80. rész Marshall Poe
The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies (Routledge, 2020) is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary resource, which frames and contextualises the rapidly expanding fields that explore yoga and meditative techniques. The book analyses yoga and meditation studies in a variety of religious, historical and geographical settings. The chapters, authored by an international set of experts, are laid out across five sections: Introduction to Yoga and Meditation Studies History of Yoga and Meditation in South Asia Doctrinal Perspectives: Technique and Praxis Global and Regional Transmissions Disciplinary Framings In addition to up-to-date explorations of the history of yoga and meditation in the Indian subcontinent, new contexts include a case study of yoga and meditation in the contemporary Tibetan diaspora, and unique summaries of historical developments in Japan and Latin America as well as an introduction to the growing academic study of yoga in Korea. Underpinned by critical and theoretical engagement, the volume provides an in-depth guide to the history of yoga and meditation studies and combines the best of established research with attention to emerging directions for future investigation. This handbook will be of interest to multi-disciplinary academic audiences from across the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jinee Lokaneeta, "The Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India" (U Michigan Press, 2020)
58 perc 111. rész Marshall Poe
Using case studies and the results of extensive fieldwork, this book considers the nature of state power and legal violence in liberal democracies by focusing on the interaction between law, science, and policing in India. The postcolonial Indian police have often been accused of using torture in both routine and exceptional criminal cases, but they, and forensic psychologists, have claimed that lie detectors, brain scans, and narcoanalysis (the use of “truth serum,” Sodium Pentothal) represent a paradigm shift away from physical torture; most state high courts in India have upheld this rationale. The Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India (University of Michigan Press, 2020) examines the emergence and use of these three scientific techniques to analyze two primary themes. First, the book questions whether existing theoretical frameworks for understanding state power and legal violence are adequate to explain constant innovations of the state. Second, it explores the workings of law, science, and policing in the everyday context to generate a theory of state power and legal violence, challenging the monolithic frameworks about this relationship, based on a study of both state and non-state actors. Jinee Lokaneeta argues that the attempt to replace physical torture with truth machines in India fails because it relies on a confessional paradigm that is contiguous with torture. Her work also provides insights into a police institution that is founded and refounded in its everyday interactions between state and non-state actors. Theorizing a concept of Contingent State, this book demonstrates the disaggregated, and decentered nature of state power and legal violence, creating possible sites of critique and intervention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ithamar Theodor, "The Bhagavad-Gītā: A Critical Introduction" (Routledge, 2020)
54 perc 79. rész Marshall Poe
Ithamar Theodor's The Bhagavad-Gītā: A Critical Introduction (Routledge, 2020) is a systematic and comprehensive introduction to one of the most read texts in South Asia. The Bhagavad-gītā is at its core a religious text, a philosophical treatise and a literary work, which has occupied an authoritative position within Hinduism for the last millennium. This book brings together themes central to the study of the Gita, as it is popularly known -- such as the Bhagavad-gītā's structure, the history of its exegesis, its acceptance by different traditions within Hinduism, and its national and global relevance. It highlights the richness of the Gita's interpretations, examines its great interpretive flexibility and at the same time offers a conceptual structure based upon a traditional commentarial tradition. With contributions from major scholars across the world, this book will be indispensable for scholars and researchers of religious studies, especially Hinduism, Indian philosophy, Asian philosophy, Indian history, literature and South Asian studies. It will also be of great interest to the general reader. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jason Keith Fernandes, "Citizenship in a Caste Polity: Religion, Language and Belonging in Goa" (Orient BlackSwan, 2020)
61 perc 109. rész Marshall Poe
In the mid-1980s, Goa witnessed mass demonstrations, violent protests and political mobilising, following which Konkani was declared the official language of the Goan territory. However, Konkani was recognised only in the Devanagari script, one of two scripts used for the language in Goa, the other being the Roman script. Set against this historical background, Citizenship in a Caste Polity: Religion, Language and Belonging in Goa (Orient BlackSwan, 2020) studies the contestations around the demand that the Roman script also be officially recognised and given equal status. Based on meetings and interviews with individuals involved in this mobilisation, the author explores the interconnected themes of language, citizenship and identity, showing how, by deliberately excluding the Roman script, the largely lower-caste and lower-class Catholic users of this script were denoted as less-than-authentic members of civil society. As citizens of a former Portuguese territory, the Goan Catholics’ experience of Indian citizenship does not fall entirely within the framework of British Indian history. This allows for a construction of the post-colonial Indian experience from outside of the British Indian framework, and its focus on Catholics enables a more nuanced study of Indian secularism, while also studying a group that has remained largely underrepresented in research. The weaves together multiple disciplinary, conceptual, historical and empirical threads to give us an insight into how citizenship and political subjectivities are constructed, negotiated and experienced in Goa, especially when it comes to fixing and contesting identities around the Konkani Language, its dialects and scripts. Lucidly written and brilliantly argued, this book is a unique critical historical and ethnographic account of the politics of Konkani language, and will be valuable to scholars of History, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Citizenship Studies and Cultural Studies, and beyond that also to the policy makers working on state and citizenship policies. Ali Mohsin is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva. His research focuses on the politics of poverty, inequality and social protection in Pakistan. He can be reached at ali.mohsin@graduateinstitute.ch Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Suraj Yengde, "Caste Matters" (India Viking, 2019)
53 perc 109. rész Marshall Poe
“India is not yet a nation. It is still in an improvisational mode like a jazz band that needs to perform repeatedly together in order to uplift every voice in the chorus,” Suraj Yengde writes in his explosive text, Caste Matters (India Viking, 2019). Yengde, a first-generation Dalit scholar educated across continents, challenges deep-seated beliefs about caste and unpacks its many layers. He describes his gut-wrenching experiences of growing up in a Dalit basti, the multiple humiliations suffered by Dalits on a daily basis, and their incredible resilience enabled by love and humour. As he brings to light the immovable glass ceiling that exists for Dalits even in politics, bureaucracy and judiciary, Yengde provides an unflinchingly honest account of divisions within the Dalit community itself-from their internal caste divisions to the conduct of elite Dalits and their tokenized forms of modern-day untouchability-all operating under the inescapable influences of Brahminical doctrines. This path-breaking book reveals how caste crushes human creativity and is disturbingly similar to other forms of oppression, such as race, class and gender. At once a reflection on inequality and a call to arms, Caste Matters argues that until Dalits lay claim to power and Brahmins join hands against Brahminism to effect real transformation, caste will continue to matter. In this interview he covers a wide range of topics from feminism to radical love and humor to casteism on a transnational level. Suraj Yengde is currently a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and an inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Initiative for Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability (IARA) at Harvard University.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dwaipayan Banerjee, "Enduring Cancer: Life, Death, and Diagnosis in Delhi" (Duke UP, 2020)
64 perc 84. rész Marshall Poe
In Enduring Cancer: Life, Death, and Diagnosis in Delhi (Duke UP, 2020) Dwaipayan Banerjee explores the efforts of Delhi's urban poor to create a livable life with cancer as patients and families negotiate an overextended health system unequipped to respond to the disease. Owing to long wait times, most urban poor cancer patients do not receive a diagnosis until it is too late to treat the disease effectively. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the city's largest cancer care NGO and at India's premier public health hospital, Banerjee describes how, for these patients, a cancer diagnosis is often the latest and most serious in a long series of infrastructural failures. In the wake of these failures, Banerjee tracks how the disease then distributes itself across networks of social relations, testing these networks for strength and vulnerability. Banerjee demonstrates how living with and alongside cancer is to be newly awakened to the fragility of social ties, some already made brittle by past histories, and others that are retested for their capacity to support. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Marco Ferrante, "Indian Perspectives on Consciousness, Language and Self" (Routledge, 2020)
65 perc 89. rész Marshall Poe
For many Indian philosophers, language is inextricably tied up with conceptualization. In Indian Perspectives on Consciousness, Language and Self (Routledge, 2020), Marco Ferrante shows how a set of tenth century philosophers living in Kashmir argue for the existence of a self on the basis of the interrelationship between linguistic concepts and mental experience, against the criticism of Buddhists. In his examination of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, famous for their membership in the "school of Recognition" or Pratyabhijñā, Ferrante traces connections not only back in time to the Sanskrit grammarian and philosopher Bhartṛhari, but forward in time to contemporary analytic philosophy of language and mind. He argues that these thinkers took first-person subjectivity seriously in their reasoning about our mental lives, bringing together commitments which today might be characterized as a higher-order theory of consciousness, a belief in the existence of qualia, a form of panpsychism, and a kind of lingualism (the dependence of thought on language). The book engages in both textual analysis of important Sanskrit texts, as well as philosophical evaluation of the arguments contained therein, with an eye towards their relevance for philosophy understood broadly. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sumit Guha, "History and Collective Memory in South Asia, 1200-2000" (U Washington Press, 2019)
60 perc 31. rész Marshall Poe
In this far-ranging and erudite exploration of the South Asian past, Sumit Guha discusses the shaping of social and historical memory in world-historical context. He presents memory as the result of both remembering and forgetting and of the preservation, recovery, and decay of records. By describing how these processes work through sociopolitical organizations, Guha delineates the historiographic legacy acquired by the British in colonial India; the creation of the centralized educational system and mass production of textbooks that led to unification of historical discourses under colonial auspices; and the divergence of these discourses in the twentieth century under the impact of nationalism and decolonization. In History and Collective Memory in South Asia, 1200-2000 (University of Washington Press, 2019), Guha brings together sources from a range of languages and regions to provide the first intellectual history of the ways in which socially recognized historical memory has been made across the subcontinent. This thoughtful study contributes to debates beyond the field of history that complicate the understanding of objectivity and documentation in a seemingly post-truth world. Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a Jerusalem-based psychologist, Middle East television commentator, and host of the Van Leer Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Amit S. Rai, "Jugaad Time: The Pragmatics of Everyday Hacking in India" (Duke UP, 2019)
69 perc 108. rész Marshall Poe
In India, the practice of jugaad—finding workarounds or hacks to solve problems—emerged out of subaltern strategies of negotiating poverty, discrimination, and violence but is now celebrated in management literature as a disruptive innovation. In Jugaad Time: The Pragmatics of Everyday Hacking in India (Duke UP, 2019) Amit S. Rai explores how jugaad operates within contemporary Indian digital media cultures through the use of the mobile phone. Rai shows that despite being co-opted by capitalism to extract free creative labor from the workforce, jugaad is simultaneously a practice of everyday resistance, as workers and communities employ hacks to oppose corporate, caste, and gender power. Locating the tensions surrounding jugaad—as both premodern and postdigital, innovative and oppressive—Rai maps how jugaad can be used to undermine neoliberal capitalist media ecologies and nationalist politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ned Bertz, "Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean: Transnational Histories of Race and Space in Tanzania" (U Hawaii Press, 2015)
66 perc 32. rész Marshall Poe
The vibrant Swahili coast port city of Dar es Salaam—literally, the “Haven of Peace”—hosts a population reflecting a legacy of long relations with the Arabian Peninsula and a diaspora emanating in waves from the Indian subcontinent. By the 1960s, after decades of European imperial intrusions, Tanzanian nationalist forces had peacefully dismantled the last British colonial structures of racial segregation and put in place an official philosophy of nonracial nationalism. Yet today, more than five decades after independence, race is still a prominent and publicly contested subject in Dar es Salaam. What makes this issue so dizzyingly elusive—for government bureaucrats and ordinary people alike—is East Africa’s location on the Indian Ocean, a historic crossroads of diverse peoples possessing varied ideas about how to reconcile human difference, social belonging, and place of origin. Based on a range of archival, oral, and newspaper sources from Tanzania and India, Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean: Transnational Histories of Race and Space in Tanzania (Hawaii UP, 2015) explores the history of cross-cultural encounters that shaped regional ideas of diaspora and nationhood from the earliest days of colonial Tanganyika—when Indian settlement began to expand dramatically—to present-day Tanzania, a nation always under construction. The book focuses primarily on two prominent city spaces, schools and cinemas: the one a site of education, the other a site of leisure; one typically a programmatic entity of government, the other usually a bastion of commercial enterprise. Nonetheless, the forces shaping schools and cinemas as they developed into busy centers of urban social interaction were surprisingly similar: the state, community organizations, nationalist movements, economic change, and the transnational winds of Indian Ocean culture and capital. Whether in the form of institutional apparatuses like networks of Indian teacher importation and curricula adoption, or through the market predominance of the Indian film industry, schools and cinemas in East Africa historically were influenced by actions and ideas from around the Indian Ocean. Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean argues that an Indian Ocean–wide perspective enables an examination of the transnational production of ideas about race against a backdrop of changing relationships and claims of belonging as new notions of nationhood and diaspora emerged. It bridges an academic divide, because historians often either focus on the Indian diaspora in isolation or write it out of the story of African nation building. Further, in contrast to the swell of publications on global Indian or South Asian diasporas that highlight longings for and contacts with the “homeland,” the book also demonstrates that much of the creative production of diasporic Indian identities formed in East Africa was a result of local (albeit cosmopolitan) encounters across cities like Dar es Salaam. Ned Bertz is an associate professor of history at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Micheal Rumore is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His work focuses on the Indian Ocean as an African diasporic site. He can be reached at mrumore@gradcenter.cuny.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
E. Goldberg et al, "Bollywood Horrors: Religion, Violence and Cinematic Fears in India" (Bloomsbury, 2020)
49 perc 78. rész Marshall Poe
Bollywood Horrors: Religion, Violence and Cinematic Fears in India (Bloomsbury, 2020) is a multi-faceted and wide-ranging collection that examines cinematic representations of real-life horror, the religious aspects of horror imagery and themes, and the ways in which Hindi films have projected “cinematic fears” onto the screen. Part I, “Atrocity”, deals with Bollywood's representation of the real horrors of communal violence, rape culture, and human trafficking. In Part II (“Religion”) the role of myth, ritual, and colonial constructions in producing the generic conventions of Hindi horror are discussed. Contributors focus on the stereotype of the tantric magician found in Indian literature beginning in the medieval period; the myth of the fearsome goddess Durga's slaying of the Buffalo Demon; and the surprising role of religion in the importation of Gothic tropes into Indian films, told through the little-known story of Sir Devendra Prasad Varma. The final part - “Cinematic Fears” - explores three particular facets or exemplars of Bollywood horror: the 2002 film Raaz, the role of non-domestic haunted or uncanny spaces in Hindi cinema, and the aesthetics of film posters and song booklets advertising horror films. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Christopher J. Lee, "Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives" (Ohio UP, 2019)
87 perc 1. rész Marshall Poe
In April 1955, twenty-nine countries from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East came together for a diplomatic conference in Bandung, Indonesia, intending to define the direction of the postcolonial world. Ostensibly representing two-thirds of the world’s population, the Bandung conference occurred during a key moment of transition in the mid-twentieth century—amid the global wave of decolonization that took place after the Second World War and the nascent establishment of a new Cold War world order in its wake. Participants such as Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Zhou Enlai of China, and Sukarno of Indonesia seized this occasion to attempt the creation of a political alternative to the dual threats of Western neocolonialism and the Cold War interventionism of the United States and the Soviet Union. The essays collected in Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives (Ohio University Press) explore the diverse repercussions of this event, tracing diplomatic, intellectual, and sociocultural histories that ensued as well as addressing the broader intersection of postcolonial and Cold War history. With a new foreword by Vijay Prashad and a new preface by the editor, Christopher Lee, Making a World After Empire speaks to contemporary discussions of decolonization, Third Worldism, and the emergence of the Global South, thus reestablishing the conference’s importance in twentieth-century global history. Contributors: Michael Adas, Laura Bier, James R. Brennan, G. Thomas Burgess, Antoinette Burton, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Julian Go, Christopher J. Lee, Jamie Monson, Jeremy Prestholdt, and Denis M. Tull. Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michel Boivin, "The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)
72 perc 206. rész Marshall Poe
The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India: The Case of Sindh (1851-1929) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) by Michel Boivin maps the construction of a vernacular knowledge (as opposed to colonial knowledge) of a complex Sufi paradigm in Sindh by both British Orientalists, such as Richard Burton, but also Sindhi intelligentsia, like Mirza Qalich Beg. Examining the historical period from 1851-1929 during the British colonial control of the Sindh, the book argues that though the British were not interested directly in Sufism, their investment in learning languages (Sindhi) and culture, for administrative purposes, led to consequential engagement with Sufi literary traditions, especially the Shah jo Risalo by the Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abd al-Latif. In tracing the lives of Sufi textual and print materials written by both Orientalists and indigenous Sindhi literati, Boivin captures the complex ways in which a Sindhi Sufi paradigm was constructed but also vernacularized, and how it was informed by Hinduism, Ismailism, and Sikhism, but also the mediums of the printing presses, libraries and bookshops. The book’s rich textual and historical analysis provides productive insights to how we can think about the formation of Sufism as a devotional regime of knowledge and how notions of Sufism were informed not only by mystical philosophies and religious practices by Sufis themselves, but also by colonialism, literary practices and social and economic realities. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca . You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pedro Machado, "Pearls, People, and Power: Pearling and Indian Ocean Worlds" (Ohio UP, 2020)
75 perc 29. rész Marshall Poe
Pearls, People, and Power: Pearling and Indian Ocean Worlds (Ohio University Press, 2020), co-edited by Pedro Machado, Joseph Christensen, Steve Mullins) is the first book to examine the trade, distribution, production, and consumption of pearls and mother-of-pearl in the global Indian Ocean over more than five centuries. While scholars have long recognized the importance of pearling to the social, cultural, and economic practices of both coastal and inland areas, the overwhelming majority have confined themselves to highly localized or at best regional studies of the pearl trade. By contrast, this book stresses how pearling and the exchange in pearl shell were interconnected processes that brought the ports, islands, and coasts into close relation with one another, creating dense networks of connectivity that were not necessarily circumscribed by local, regional, or indeed national frames. By encompassing the geographical, cultural, and thematic diversity of Indian Ocean pearling, Pearls, People, and Power deepens our appreciation of the underlying historical dynamics of the many worlds of the Indian Ocean. Pedro Machado is a global and Indian Ocean historian with interests in commodity histories, labor and migratory movements, and the social, cultural, environmental, and commercial trajectories of objects. He is based at Indiana University, Bloomington. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
James Staples, "Sacred Cows and Chicken Manchurian: The Everyday Politics of Eating Meat in India" (U Washington Press, 2020)
65 perc 82. rész Marshall Poe
Bovine politics exposes fault lines within contemporary Indian society, where eating beef is simultaneously a violation of sacred taboos, an expression of marginalized identities, and a route to cosmopolitan sophistication. The recent rise of Hindu nationalism has further polarized traditional views: Dalits, Muslims, and Christians protest threats to their beef-eating heritage while Hindu fundamentalists rally against those who eat the sacred cow. Yet close observation of what people do and do not eat, the styles and contexts within which they do so, and the disparities between rhetoric and everyday action overturns this simplistic binary opposition. Understanding how a food can be implicated in riots, vigilante attacks, and even murders demands that we look beyond immediate politics to wider contexts. In Sacred Cows and Chicken Manchurian: The Everyday Politics of Eating Meat in India (University of Washington Press, 2020), James Staples charts how cattle owners, brokers, butchers, cooks, and occasional beef eaters navigate the contemporary political and cultural climate. Sacred Cows and Chicken Manchurian offers a fine-grained exploration of the current situation, locating it within the wider anthropology of food and eating in the region and revealing critical aspects of what it is to be Indian in the early twenty-first century. James Staples is reader in social anthropology at Brunel University London and author of Leprosy and a Life in South India: Journeys with a Tamil Brahmin and Peculiar People, Amazing Lives: Leprosy, Social Exclusion and Community Making in South India. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Uma Majmudar, “Gandhi and Rajchandra: The Making of the Mahatma” (Lexington Books, 2020)
58 perc 77. rész Marshall Poe
This book traces the little-known yet unparalleled influence of Shrimad Rajchandra, Jain zaveri (jeweller)-cum-spiritual seeker, on Mahatma Gandhi. In examining original Gujarati writings of both Gandhi and Rajchandra, Majmudar explores their deeply formative relationship, unfolding the unique impact of Rajchandra’s teachings and contributions upon Gandhi. Through careful examination of the contents and significance of their intimate spiritual discussions, letters, questions and answers, Gandhi and Rajchandra: The Making of the Mahatma (Lexington Books, 2020) illuminates the role of the man who became Gandhi’s most trusted friend, exemplar, mentor and refuge. Dr. Majmudar invites correspondence on her work: email her at majmudaruma@gmail.com. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Andrew Liu, "Tea War: A History of Capitalism in China and India" (Yale UP, 2020)
50 perc 265. rész Marshall Poe
After water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world. It is beloved by consumers in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and it comes in a bewildering array of varieties: from the cheap sachet of finely ground English black tea to fermented bricks of pu’er from Yunnan province. This beverage also has a fascinating place in the global history of science and capitalism. At the turn of the first millennium, it was prized as a medical concoction in southwestern China, and it became a ubiquitous beverage throughout the Chinese empire during the Tang Dynasty, when its spread coincided with the rising popularity of Buddhism. By the fifteenth century, the preparation of modern loose-leaf tea began to emerge, while the seventeenth century witnessed its ascent as major export commodity for the early Qing Empire, becoming enmeshed in a global circuit of bullion, commodities, and people. Then, during the 19th century, tea became absolute staple in Europe, especially among industrial workers in England, who sweetened the drink with cane sugar imported from the Caribbean. Anxious to stop hemorrhaging bullion to China and eager to assert its imperial self-sufficiency, the British empire fought two Opium Wars that severely weakened the Qing. Around the same time, English capitalists also began to export Chinese workers and knowledge to newly acquired colonial possessions in the Assam region of what is now Northeastern India. It was this aggressive push to begin cultivating tea as a British export commodity in South Asia that gave rise to the global competition between British India and China referenced in the title of Andrew B. Liu’s book: Tea War: A History of Capitalism in China and India (Yale University Press, 2020). Liu’s book offers a fascinating new history of this ubiquitous beverage, leveraging its production, consumption, and global circulation to offer a fresh and compelling account of capitalist accumulation. Liu challenges past economic histories premised on the technical “divergence” between the West and the Rest, arguing instead that seemingly traditional technologies and practices were central to modern capital accumulation across Asia. He shows how competitive pressures compelled Chinese merchants to adopt abstract industrial conceptions of time, while colonial planters in India pushed for labor indenture laws to support factory-style plantations. Together, these stories point toward a more flexible and globally oriented conceptualization of the history of capitalism, one that explicitly highlights global competition and coerced labor as a driving force in economic development. This interview was conducted by Lukas Rieppel, a historian of science and capitalism at Brown University. You can learn more about his research here, or find him on twitter here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Annapurna Garimella, “The Contemporary Hindu Temple: Fragments for a History” (Marg Foundation, 2019)
44 perc 76. rész Marshall Poe
Contemporary Hindu temples raise aesthetic, economic, political and philosophical questions about the role of architecture in making a place for the sacred in society. This book presents the Hindu temple from the perspectives of institutions and individuals, including priests, building practitioners and worshippers, to consider what it means when the temple is no longer at the centre of Indic life, but has instead become one among several important sites of social praxis. Annapurna Garimella, Shriya Sridharan, A. Srivathsan's The Contemporary Hindu Temple: Fragments for a History (Marg Foundation, 2019) takes as its subject the multiple forms of architecture, design and sociability that Hindu spaces of worship encompass today. The essays cover shrines located in urban and rural India, where Hindu temples are being maintained, resuscitated or newly constructed at a rapid pace. The authors of the essays in this volume take the contemporary as a moment in which historic structures, modern renovations, evolving religiosities and new design and construction practices intersect and converge. This centres the temple in a landscape of automobility, wireless connectivity and economic reformation, at the crossroads of informal acts of insertion, formal planning and governmentality, or as an architect-designed structure consciously being pushed toward the fresh horizons that a changing society offers. By focusing on a variety of structures, large and small, on expansive forms of encroachment, and on incremental acts of negotiation and seemingly insignificant processes, small feelings and pieties, this book nuances and expands our understanding of the Hindu temple today. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hayden J. Bellenoit, "The Formation of the Colonial State in India: Scribes, Paper and Taxes, 1760-1860" (Routledge, 2017)
33 perc 36. rész Marshall Poe
When he appeared before the British House of Commons in the wake of the Stamp Act crisis, Benjamin Franklin reminded his audience that the American colonies were governed ‘at the expense only of a little pen, ink, and paper; they were led by a thread’. As the British sought to come to grips with an expanded American empire in territories ceded by France at the end of the Seven Years War, they were also confronted with an even larger and more complex imperial domain in Asia, one that was fashioned out of a centralised pattern of Mughal rule. In The Formation of the Colonial State in India: Scribes, Paper and Taxes, 1760-1860 (Routledge, 2017), Hayden Bellenoit digs beneath imperial formation on a macro level and looks at the fiscal management of empire. He shows that it rested on a ‘paper foundation’: the British colonial state in India was defined as much by bureaucratic processes as it was by military power, ruled not but soldiers but by scribes. Not only does he shed new light on the foundation of British power in Asia, but the book opens up striking comparisons with the relatively weak imperial state in North America, and also reveals the origins of the bureaucratic colonial state that emerged in sub-Saharan Africa. Hayden Bellenoit is Associate Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull (UK), who has written on the politics of religion in early modern Britain, and whose work has recently expanded to the intersection of colonial, indigenous, and imperial politics in early America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Coulter George, "How Dead Languages Work" (Oxford UP, 2020)
65 perc 88. rész Marshall Poe
After reading How Dead Languages Work (Oxford University Press 2020), Coulter George hopes you might decide to learn a bit of ancient Greek or Sanskrit, or maybe dabble in a bit of Old Germanic. But even if readers of his book aren’t converted into polyglots, they will walk away with an introduction to the (in)famous Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is responsible for the inaccurate meme claiming that Inuits understand snow more deeply than other cultures because their language has one hundred (one thousand?) words for it. George criticizes this hypothesis, but through his six chapters, uses examples of ancient languages to argue that a subtler form of that hypothesis is apt: languages aren’t fungible, and the properties of different languages are interwoven with their literary traditions. The book takes readers through Greek, Latin, Old English and the Germanic Languages, Sanskrit, Old Irish and the Celtic Languages, and Hebrew, introducing their phonology, morphology, lexicons, grammar, and excerpting passages from texts such as the Illiad, Beowulf, and the Rig Veda, to illustrate how the flavor of a language is always lost a little in translation. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Indian philosophy of language and epistemology in Sanskrit. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anway Mukhopadhyay, “The Authority of Female Speech in Indian Goddess Traditions” (Palgrave, 2020)
38 perc 75. rész Marshall Poe
Contemporary debates on “mansplaining” foreground the authority enjoyed by male speech, and highlight the way it projects listening as the responsibility of the dominated, and speech as the privilege of the dominant. What mansplaining denies systematically is the right of women to speak and be heard as much as men. Anway Mukhopadhyay, The Authority of Female Speech in Indian Goddess Traditions (Palgrave, 2020) excavates numerous instances of the authority of female speech from Indian goddess traditions and relates them to the contemporary gender debates, especially to the issues of mansplaining and womansplaining. These traditions present a paradigm of female speech that compels its male audience to reframe the configurations of “masculinity.” This tradition of authoritative female speech forms a continuum, even though there are many points of disjuncture as well as conjuncture between the Vedic, Upanishadic, puranic, and tantric figurations of the Goddess as an authoritative speaker. The book underlines the Goddess’s role as the spiritual mentor of her devotee, exemplified in the Devi Gitas, and re-situates the female gurus in Hinduism within the traditions that find in Devi’s speech ultimate spiritual authority. Moreover, it explores whether the figure of Devi as Womansplainer can encourage a more dialogic structure of gender relations in today’s world where female voices are still often undervalued. Anway Mukhopadhyay is Assistant Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Colonial Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)
69 perc 202. rész Marshall Poe
In her stunning and conceptually adventurous new book Emotions and Colonial Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford University Press, 2020), Margrit Pernau examines the varied and hugely consequential expressions of and normative investments in emotions in modern South Asian Muslim thought. By considering a wide array of sources including male and female reformist literature, poetry, newspapers, journals, sermons, and much more, Pernau explores the question of how the career of Islam in colonial India saw a paradigmatic shift from emphasis on balance or ‘adl to fervor and ebullience (josh). The intensification rather than the retreat of emotion represents a major feature of South Muslim scholarly thought and culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pernau convincingly demonstrates. Through the specific case study of modern South Asian Islam, she also presents and argues for novel conceptualizations of modernity as a lived and analytical category, marked not by just the disciplining of the body and emotions, but one infused with emotional politics, passions, and communities. This riveting read will fascinate and interest not only Islam and South Asia specialists, but anyone interested in the interaction of modernity, emotion, religion, and politics. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kristin Plys, "Brewing Resistance: Indian Coffee House and the Emergency in Postcolonial India" (Cambridge UP, 2020)
38 perc 161. rész Marshall Poe
In 1947, decolonization promised a better life for India's peasants, workers, students, Dalits, and religious minorities. By the 1970s, however, this promise had not yet been realized. Various groups fought for the social justice but in response, Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi suspended the constitution, and with it, civil liberties. The hope of decolonization that had turned to disillusion in the postcolonial period quickly descended into a nightmare. In Brewing Resistance: Indian Coffee House and the Emergency in Postcolonial India (Cambridge UP, 2020), Kristin Plys recounts the little known story of the movement against the Emergency as seen through New Delhi's Indian Coffee House based on newly uncovered evidence and oral histories with the men who led the movement against the Emergency. Kristin Plys is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bihani Sarkar, "Heroic Shāktism: The Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship" (Oxford UP, 2017)
66 perc 74. rész Marshall Poe
Heroic Saktism is the belief that a good king and a true warrior must worship the goddess Durga, the form and substance of kingship. This belief formed the bedrock of ancient Indian practices of cultivating political power. Wildly dangerous and serenely benevolent at one and the same time, the goddess's charismatic split nature promised rewards for a hero and king and success in risky ventures. Heroic Shāktism: The Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship (Oxford UP, 2017) is the first expansive historical treatment of the cult of Durga and the role it played in shaping ideas and rituals of heroism in India between the 3rd and the 12th centuries CE. By assessing the available epigraphic, literary and scriptural sources in Sanskrit, and anthropological studies on politics and ritual, Bihani Sarkar demonstrates that the association between Indian kingship and the cult's belief-systems was an ancient one based on efforts to augment worldly power. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tahseen Shams, "Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (Stanford UP, 2020)
60 perc 201. rész Marshall Poe
Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Tahseen Shams (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) reconceptualizes the homeland-hostland dyad. Drawing from the experiences of diasporic South Asian Muslim community in America, namely Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians, Shams introduces an innovative conceptual notion of “elsewhere” which informs her new multicentered approach to the study of globalized immigrant identities. Using ethnographic study, social media analysis, and autoethnographic reflections, she provocatively highlights how for her varied participants, their identities as South Asian Muslim Americans were not only informed by their perception of sending and receiving countries, but also was defined by societies beyond these nation states, especially those that defined their sense of an ummatic connection, such as to countries in the Middle East. In such instances, affinities to elsewhere informed South Asian American Muslim’s political and social mobilizations, such as during American presidential elections or in their other social justice involvement. At the same time, other elsewhere events, such as an ISIS attack in a European country, further altered their experiences as Muslims in America. The conceptual paradigm of “elsewhere” in this study productively shifts homeland-hostland dynamics beyond a simple binary and further challenges us to rethink how homeland politics, global Muslim events, and hostland reception dynamics complicate diasporic identity formation in a globalized and transnational context. This book will be of interest to those who work on international migration, diaspora studies, South Asian Islam, and Islam in America. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Wilson Chacko Jacob, "For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World" (Stanford UP, 2019)
96 perc 23. rész Marshall Poe
Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World (Stanford University Press) tells his story, part biography and part global history, as his life and legacy afford a singular view on historical shifts of power and sovereignty, religion and politics. Wilson Chacko Jacob recasts the genealogy of modern sovereignty through the encounter between Islam and empire-states in the Indian Ocean world. Fadl's travels in worlds seen and unseen made for a life that was both unsettled and unsettling. And through his life at least two forms of sovereignty—God and empire—become apparent in intersecting global contexts of religion and modern state formation. While these changes are typically explained in terms of secularization of the state and the birth of rational modern man, the life and afterlives of Sayyid Fadl—which take us from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Indian Ocean worlds to twenty-first century cyberspace—offer a more open-ended global history of sovereignty and a more capacious conception of life. Wilson Chacko Jacob is an Associate Professor of History at Concordia University in Montréal, where he has been teaching since 2006. He is the author of the well-received monograph Working Out Egypt: Effendi Masculinity and Subject Formation in Colonial Modernity, 1870-1940 (Duke University Press, 2011). Kelvin Ng hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Saumyashree Ghosh co-hosted the episode. She is a PhD candidate in History at Princeton University. She works on South Asia and the Indian Ocean world and her research involves business and legal histories, histories of religious and political institutions in Islam and histories of empire and slave trade. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ahalya Satkunaratnam, "Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict: Practicing Bharatanatyam in Colombo, Sri Lanka" (Wesleyan UP, 2020)
45 perc 107. rész Marshall Poe
“How can dance be sustained by its practitioners in the unstable political and geographical landscape of war?” Satkunaratnam asks this through her text, Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict: Practicing Bharatanatyam in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Wesleyan UP, 2020), a groundbreaking ethnographic examination of dance practice in Colombo, Sri Lanka, during the civil war (1983–2009). It is the first book of scholarship on bharata natyam (a classical dance originating in India) in Sri Lanka, and the first on the role of this dance in the country's war. Focusing on women dancers, Ahalya Satkunaratnam shows how they navigated conditions of conflict and a neoliberal, global economy, resisted nationalism and militarism, and advocated for peace. Her interdisciplinary methodology combines historical analysis, methods of dance studies, and dance ethnography. In this discussion, Satkunaratnam describes her ethnographic work, placing importance on the body, which carries the memory of war and transnational shifts. Satkunaratnam emphasizes trust and freeness in her process of telling stories that disrupt boundaries. Ahalya Satkunaratnam is professor of arts and humanities at Quest University Canada located in the unceded territories of the Tseil-Watuth, Musqueum, and Squamish peoples. A dancer and choreographer, she has performed across the United States, Canada, India, and Sri Lanka. Preethi Ramaprasad is a performer and doctoral student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her research is based on the politics of bharatanatyam, mythologies, and transnationalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sree Padma, "Vicissitudes of the Goddess: Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India's Religious Traditions" (Oxford UP, 2013)
35 perc 72. rész Marshall Poe
In Vicissitudes of the Goddess: Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India's Religious Traditions (Oxford UP, 2013), Padma (Bowdoin College) focuses on two types of Gramadevatas or goddesses: deified women and those associated with disease and fertility. Setting these figures in the context of their Brahmanic transformation into popular goddesses and noting the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate categories of goddess, the author argues for a continuation of certain goddesses from the Indus period to the contemporary one. She demonstrates two significant aspects of the study of goddesses. First, against the backdrop of the rural versus the urban context, she articulates a history of local goddesses of Andhra Pradesh, clearly linking them to the Indus context as well as the present day. Second, she explains why and how these local goddesses were adopted and adapted to other traditions or systems of thought, namely Brahmanic, Buddhist, and Jain. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michael Slouber, "A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond" (U California Press, 2020)
56 perc 71. rész Marshall Poe
Michael Slouber's new book A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond (University of California Press, 2020) surveys the diversity of India's feminine divine tradition by bringing together a fresh array of captivating and largely overlooked Hindu goddess narratives from different regions. As the first such anthology of goddess narratives in translation, it highlights a range of sources from ancient myths to modern lore. The goddesses in this book battle demons, perform miracles, and grant rare Tantric visions to their devotees. Each translation is paired with a short essay that explains the goddesses­­s historical and social context, demonstrating the ways religion changes ov­­er time. Christopher Austen is Associate Professor, Religious Studies at Dalhousie University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adam Auerbach, "Demanding Development: The Politics of Public Good Provision in India’s Urban Slums" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
61 perc 106. rész Marshall Poe
India’s urban slums exhibit dramatic variation in their access to basic public goods and services—paved roads, piped water, trash removal, sewers, and streetlights. Why are some vulnerable communities able to secure development from the state while others fail? Author Adam Michael Auerbach, Assistant Professor at the School of International Service at American University, Washington D.C, explores the this question in his book, Demanding Development: The Politics of Public Good Provision in India’s Urban Slums (Cambridge UP, 2019) Drawing on over two years of fieldwork in the north Indian cities of Bhopal and Jaipur, the book’s theory centres on the political organization of slums and the informal slum leaders who spearhead resident efforts to petition the state for public services—in particular, those slum leaders who are party workers. The book shows that the striking variation in the density and partisan distribution of party workers across settlements has powerful consequences for the ability of residents to politically mobilize to improve local conditions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tim Bruce, "Devi Mahatmyam: The Glory of the Goddess" (Raconteurs Audio LLP, 2020)
40 perc 73. rész Marshall Poe
Today I talked to Tim Bruce, narrator of Devi Mahatmyam: The Glory of the Goddess (Raconteurs Audio LLP, 2020). For millions worldwide, the Devi Mahatmyam is of central spiritual importance and of equal cultural significance within Indian Sanskrit literature to the Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, and the Ramayana. Also known as the Shri Durga Saptashati (700 verses to Goddess Durga), it forms a major part of the Markandeya Purana (dating from around 550 CE) and remains the prime focus of festivity and devotion to the Divine Mother during the nine nights of Navaratri. Listening to this story nurtures a strong positive feeling of protection and well-being within the Heart chakra, stimulates the energy of the sternum bone that produces the antibodies that fight infection, and is of particular benefit to mankind today, as the world struggles to cope with the many physical and psychological challenges and the increasing pressures of modern life. This is a Devi Mahatmyam for our time. Special YouTube link to Devi Mahatmyam: Chapter One as a FREE GIFT to NBN listeners: https://youtu.be/XxWQTJIVKPs For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rita D. Sherma, "Contemplative Studies in Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship" (Routledge, 2020)
58 perc 70. rész Marshall Poe
What counts as contemplative practices in Hinduism? What can Hindu Studies offer Contemplative Studies as a discipline? Contemplative Studies in Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship (Routledge, 2020), edited by Rita D. Sherma and Purushottama Bilimoria, explores diverse spiritual and religious Hindu practices to grapple with meditative communion and contemplation, devotion, spiritual formation, prayer, ritual, and worship. Contemplative Studies in Hinduism covers a wide range of topics – classical Sāṃkhya and Patañjali Yoga, the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the role of Sādhana in Advaita Vedānta, Śrīvidyā and the Śrīcakra, the body in Tantra, the semiotics and illocution of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sādhana, mantra in Mīmāṃsā, Vaiṣṇava liturgy - to articulate indigenous categories for grappling to Hindu contemplative traditions. In doing so it enriches the fields of both Contemplative Studies and Hindu Studies. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ravinder Kaur, "Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in 21st-Century India" (Stanford UP, 2020)
46 perc 105. rész Marshall Poe
It is 21st century commonsense that India is an “emerging” economy. But how did this common sense itself emerge? How did India’s global image shift from that of a poverty-infested Third World country to that of a frontier of boundless economic opportunity? In her nimbly researched and lucidly narrated new book Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First-Century India (Stanford UP, 2020), Prof. Ravinder Kaur tracks the over two decades of mega-publicity campaigns which have gone into producing “Brand India” as a desirable commodity for global investors. What can government- and corporate-sponsored media campaigns like India Shining in 2004 and Lead India in 2009 tell us about the resounding success of the post-2014 acche din (“good days”) campaign which we are living with to this day? How do cultural nationalism and capitalist growth together produce images of a modern India which is nevertheless rooted in a decisively Hindu antiquity? How does the figure of the aam aadmi or common man, associated with the 2011 anticorruption campaign, become yet another locus from which entrepreneurship and free markets can once again be championed? This book addresses these and many other questions with clarity and insight, and is an important read for all interested in contemporary India, media and cultural studies, and the making of a hegemonic imaginary. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University with interests in agrarian capitalism in rural Rajasthan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
E. A. Alpers and C. Goswami, "Transregional Trade and Traders" (Oxford UP, 2019)
84 perc 21. rész Marshall Poe
Blessed with numerous safe harbors, accessible ports, and a rich hinterland, Gujarat has been central to the history of Indian Ocean maritime exchange that involved not only goods, but also people and ideas. Transregional Trade and Traders: Situating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean from Early Times to 1900 (Oxford University Press) maps the trajectory of the extra-continental interactions of Gujarat and how it shaped the history of the Indian Ocean. Chronologically, the volume spans two millennia, and geographically, it ranges from the Red Sea to Southeast Asia. The book focuses on specific groups of Gujarati traders and their accessibility and trading activities with maritime merchants from Africa, Arabia, Southeast Asia, China, and Europe. It not only analyses the complex process of commodity circulation, involving a host of players, huge investments, and numerous commercial operations, but also engages with questions of migration and diaspora. Paying close attention to current historiographical debates, the contributors make serious efforts to challenge the neat regional boundaries that are often drawn around the trading history of Gujarat. Edward A. Alpers is a research professor of history at UCLA. Professor Alpers’ research and writing focus on the political economy of international trade in precolonial eastern Africa, including the manifold cultural dimensions of this exchange system, with special attention to the wider world of the Indian Ocean. Chhaya Goswami is the head of the Department of History, S.K. Somaiya College, Mumbai, India. She specializes in the maritime history of South Asia and the western Indian Ocean. She has authored the award-winning book The Call of the Sea, Kachchhi Traders in Muscat and Zanzibar c.1800–1880 (Orient Blackswan, 2011). Her current research project focuses on maritime trade and piracy in the Gulfs of Kachchh and Persia between 1650 and 1820. Kelvin Ng, co-hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert M. Geraci, "Temples of Modernity: Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science" (Lexington, 2018)
45 perc 67. rész Marshall Poe
What is the relationship between science, religion and technology in Hinduism? We speak with Robert M. Geraci about his research into religious ideas and practices in Indian science and engineering circles. Temples of Modernity: Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science (Lexington, 2018) uses ethnographic data to investigate the presence of religious ideas and practices in Indian science and engineering. Geraci shows 1) how the integration of religion, science and technology undergirds pre- and post-independence Indian nationalism, 2) that traditional icons and rituals remain relevant in elite scientific communities, and 3) that transhumanist ideas now percolate within Indian visions of science and technology. This work identifies the intersection of religion, science, and technology as a worldwide phenomenon and suggests that the study of such interactions should be enriched through attention to the real experiences of people across the globe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ronit Ricci, "Banishment and Belonging: Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon" (Cambridge UP, 2020)
93 perc 11. rész Marshall Poe
Lanka, Ceylon, Sarandib: merely three disparate names for a single island? Perhaps. Yet the three diverge in the historical echoes, literary cultures, maps and memories they evoke. Names that have intersected and overlapped - in a treatise, a poem, a document - only to go their own ways. But despite different trajectories, all three are tied to narratives of banishment and exile. In Banishment and Belonging: Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Ronit Ricci suggests that the island served as a concrete exilic site as well as a metaphor for imagining exile across religions, languages, space and time: Sarandib, where Adam was banished from Paradise; Lanka, where Sita languished in captivity; and Ceylon, faraway island of exile for Indonesian royalty under colonialism. Using Malay manuscripts and documents from Sri Lanka, Javanese chronicles, and Dutch and British sources, Ricci explores histories and imaginings of displacement related to the island through a study of the Sri Lankan Malays and their connections to an exilic past. Ronit Ricci is the Sternberg-Tamir Chair in Comparative Cultures and Associate Professor in the departments of Asian Studies and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Kelvin Ng, co-hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nicholas H. A. Evans, "Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian" (Cornell UP, 2020)
47 perc 198. rész Marshall Poe
A sustained and compelling critique of the doubt/belief binary in the anthropology of religion and Islam, Nicholas H. A. Evans’ Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian (Cornell University Press, 2020) presents a riveting ethnography of a community’s strivings to materially embody and establish the certainty of its religious identity. An organizational ethnography of the Ahmadi community in its founding city of Qadian in Panjab India, this book charts the multiple ways in which the Ahmadiyya cultivate their fidelity to the caliph that combine bureaucratic operations, polemical encounters with Muslims and non-Muslims, and the expression and dissemination of piety through technology like satellite television. In our conversation, we engage a range of themes including the Ahmadi-caliph relationship as the antidote to secular politics, “enchanting bureaucracy” and utopian counter-publics, “heroic polemicism,” the productive outcomes of ritual failures, and global outreach through technology as a mode of theological success. This lyrically written book brings together just the perfect dose and mixture of intellectual history, ethnographic brilliance, and theoretical nuance and sophistication. While centered on South Asia, its conceptual intervention in the anthropology of religion will and should spark conversations among scholars of Islam, religion, and anthropology more generally. It will also make a delightful text to teach in various undergraduate and graduate courses. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chhaya Goswami, "Globalization Before Its Time: The Gujarati Merchants from Kachchh" (PRH India, 2016)
62 perc 20. rész Marshall Poe
Chhaya Goswami’s Globalization Before Its Time: The Gujarati Merchants from Kachchh (Penguin Random House India) asks: How did the Kachchhi traders build on the Gujarat Advantage? In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, during the dying days of the Mughal empire, merchants from Kachchh established a flourishing overseas trade. Building on a rich legacy of free trade in pre-modern times between the many ports of Gujarat and the Middle East, the Kachchhis dealt in pearls, dates, spices and ivory with the faraway lands of Muscat and Zanzibar. The Kachchhi merchants behaved much like today’s venture capitalists. They knew how to grow capital, seek new markets, and create them where they didn’t exist. They also had a phenomenal risk appetite. What they were able to practice was nothing less than the traits of globalization before its time. This new book in The Story of Indian Business series tells their fascinating story. Chhaya Goswami is the head of the History Department, S. K. Somaiya College, Mumbai, India. She specializes in the maritime history of South Asia and the western Indian Ocean. She has authored the award winning book by the Indian History Congress, The Call of the Sea, Kachchhi Traders in Muscat and Zanzibar c.1800–1880 (Orient Blackswan, 2011). Her current research project focuses on ‘Maritime Trade and Piracy in the Gulfs of Kachchh and Persia 1650–1820.’ Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Durba Mitra, "Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought" (Princeton UP, 2020)
45 perc 9. rész Marshall Poe
During the colonial period in India, European scholars, British officials, and elite Indian intellectuals—philologists, administrators, doctors, ethnologists, sociologists, and social critics—deployed ideas about sexuality to understand modern Indian society. In Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought (Princeton UP, 2020), Durba Mitra shows how deviant female sexuality, particularly the concept of the prostitute, became foundational to this knowledge project and became the primary way to think and write about Indian society. Bringing together vast archival materials from diverse disciplines, Mitra reveals that deviant female sexuality was critical to debates about social progress and exclusion, caste domination, marriage, widowhood and inheritance, women’s performance, the trafficking of girls, abortion and infanticide, industrial and domestic labor, indentured servitude, and ideologies about the dangers of Muslim sexuality. British authorities and Indian intellectuals used the concept of the prostitute to argue for the dramatic reorganization of modern Indian society around Hindu monogamy. Mitra demonstrates how the intellectual history of modern social thought is based in a dangerous civilizational logic built on the control and erasure of women’s sexuality. This logic continues to hold sway in present-day South Asia and the postcolonial world. Reframing the prostitute as a concept, Indian Sex Life overturns long-established notions of how to write the history of modern social thought in colonial India, and opens up new approaches for the global history of sexuality. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Debjani Bhattacharyya, "Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
63 perc 10. rész Marshall Poe
Debjani Bhattacharyya’s Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta (Cambridge University Press) asks: What happens when a distant colonial power tries to tame an unfamiliar terrain in the world's largest tidal delta? This history of dramatic ecological changes in the Bengal Delta from 1760 to 1920 involves land, water and humans, tracing the stories and struggles that link them together. Pushing beyond narratives of environmental decline, Bhattacharyya argues that 'property-thinking', a governing tool critical in making land and water discrete categories of bureaucratic and legal management, was at the heart of colonial urbanization and the technologies behind the draining of Calcutta. The story of ecological change is narrated alongside emergent practices of land speculation and transformation in colonial law. Bhattacharyya demonstrates how this history continues to shape our built environments with devastating consequences, as shown in the Bay of Bengal's receding coastline. Debjani Bhattacharyya is Assistant Professor of History at Drexel University, Philadelphia. She was a Junior Fellow of the American Institute of India Studies, and a former Research Fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden. Currently, she is a visiting Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Omar H. Ali, "Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery across the Indian Ocean" (Oxford UP, 2016)
35 perc 19. rész Marshall Poe
Omar H. Ali’s Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery across the Indian Ocean (Oxford University Press, 2016), provides insight into the life of slave soldier Malik Ambar. It offers a rare look at an individual who began in obscurity in the Horn of Africa and reached the highest levels of South Asian political and military affairs in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Ambar's rise from slavery in the Horn of Africa to rulership in South Asia sheds light on the diverse mix of people, products, and practices that shaped the Indian Ocean world during the early modern period. Originally from Ethiopia--historically called Abyssinia--Ambar is best known for having defended the Deccan from being occupied by the Mughals during the first quarter of the seventeenth century. His ingenuity as a military leader, his diplomatic skills, and his land-reform policies contributed to his success in keeping the Deccan free of Mughal imperial rule. Omar H. Ali is Dean of Lloyd International Honors College and Professor of Comparative African Diaspora History at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Through archival and ethnographic research he explores issues of power and culture across the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds from the early modern period through the present. He is the author of several books, including Islam in the Indian Ocean World: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2016). Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sai Balakrishnan, "Shareholder Cities: Land Transformations Along Urban Corridors in India" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2019)
49 perc 104. rész Marshall Poe
In the thoroughly researched, lucidly narrated new book Shareholder Cities: Land Transformations Along Urban Corridors in India (University of Pennsylvania Press), Sai Balakrishnan (Assistant Professor of City and Urban Planning at UC Berkeley) examines the novel phenomenon of the conversion of agrarian landowners into urban shareholders in India’s newly emerging “corridor cities.” Working at the unique intersection of urban planning and agrarian politics in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, the book centers an unusual cast of characters based in agrarian space -- propertied sugar elites, marginal cultivators, landless workers – in explaining the production of India’s new urban corridors. Through a meticulous case-study of three privately developed real estate enclaves, the book empirically teases out the tensions between economic liberalization and political decentralization. In the first two corridor cities, the author shows how local, decentralized structures of democratic governance (exemplified in village councils or Gram Sabhas) could not be activated to challenge the unequal processes of economic transformation, but in third enclave, Gram Sabhas were able to be much more active. Through this comparative study, we learn of the critical factors which determine democratic horizons in rural land politics. With its keen attention to the historical production of spatial unevenness and its textured ethnography of a crucial yet understudied topic in Indian social science, this book will be essential reading for geographers, anthropologists, historians, and urbanists working across South Asia and beyond. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University with interests in agrarian capitalism in rural Rajasthan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Malcolm Keating, "Controversial Reasoning in Indian Philosophy: Major Texts and Arguments on Arthâpatti" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)
67 perc 65. rész Marshall Poe
How do we know what we know?  The most prominent means of knowledge for Indian philosophers are direct perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna) and authority (śabda). Then there is the much debated “postulation” (arthāpatti), a point of controversy among Mimamsa, Nyaya, and Buddhist philosophers. Consisting of translations of central primary texts and newly-commissioned scholarly essays, Controversial Reasoning in Indian Philosophy: Major Texts and Arguments on Arthâpatti (Bloomsbury Academic) is a ground-breaking reference resource for understanding arthāpati, and debates in Indian philosophy at large. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Humanities Division of Yale-NUS College, Singapore. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matty Weingast, "The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns" (Shambhala, 2020)
52 perc 70. rész Marshall Poe
A radical and vivid rendering of poetry from the first Buddhist nuns that brings a new immediacy to their voices. The Therigatha ("Verses of the Elder Nuns") is the oldest collection of known writings from Buddhist women and one of the earliest collections of women's literature in India. Composed during the life of the Buddha, the collection contains verses by early Buddhist nuns detailing everything from their disenchantment with their prescribed roles in society to their struggles on the path to enlightenment to their spiritual realizations. Among the nuns, a range of voices are represented, including former wives, women who lost children, women who gave up their wealth, and a former prostitute. In The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns (Shambhala), Matty Weingast revives this ancient collection with a contemporary and radical adaptation. In this poetic re-envisioning that remains true to the original essence of each poem, he infuses each verse with vivid language that is not found in other translations. Simple yet profound, the nuance of language highlights the beauty in each poem and resonates with modern readers exploring the struggles, grief, failures, doubts, and ultimately, moments of profound insight of each woman. Weingast breathes fresh life into this ancient collection of poetry, offering readers a rare glimpse of Buddhism through the spiritual literature and poetry of the first female disciples of the Buddha. Matty Weingast is co-editor of Awake at the Bedside and former editor of the Insight Journal at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Dr. Yakir Englander is the National Director of Leadership programs at the Israeli-American Council. He also teaches at the AJR. He is a Fulbright scholar and was a visiting professor of Religion at Northwestern University, the Shalom Hartman Institute and Harvard Divinity School. His books are Sexuality and the Body in New Religious Zionist Discourse (English/Hebrew and The Male Body in Jewish Lithuanian Ultra-Orthodoxy (Hebrew). He can be reached at: Yakir1212englander@gmail.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Thomas R. Metcalf, "Imperial Connections: India in the Indian Ocean Arena, 1860-1920" (University of California Press, 2008)
49 perc 9. rész Marshall Poe
Thomas R. Metcalf’s Imperial Connections: India in the Indian Ocean Arena, 1860-1920 (University of California Press) is an innovative remapping of empire. Imperial Connections offers a broad-ranging view of the workings of the British Empire in the period when the India of the Raj stood at the center of a newly globalized system of trade, investment, and migration. Thomas R. Metcalf argues that India itself became a nexus of imperial power that made possible British conquest, control, and governance across a wide arc of territory stretching from Africa to eastern Asia. His book, offering a new perspective on how imperialism operates, emphasizes transcolonial interactions and webs of influence that advanced the interests of colonial India and Britain alike. Metcalf examines such topics as law codes and administrative forms as they were shaped by Indian precedents; the Indian Army's role in securing Malaya, Africa, and Mesopotamia for the empire; the employment of Indians, especially Sikhs, in colonial policing; and the transformation of East Africa into what was almost a province of India through the construction of the Uganda railway. He concludes with a look at the decline of this Indian Ocean system after 1920 and considers how far India's participation in it opened opportunities for Indians to be a colonizing as well as a colonized people. Thomas R. Metcalf is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jonathan Lee, "Afghanistan: A History from 1260 to the Present" (Reaktion Books, 2019)
77 perc 17. rész Marshall Poe
Jonathan Lee’s comprehensive study of Afghanistan’s political history in Afghanistan: A History from 1260 to the Present (Reaktion Books) tells the story of the emergence and sometimes surprising longevity of the Afghan state in the face of serious external and internal challenges over the last three centuries. Readers will find a compelling narrative and an important reference for different periods in Afghan history, not to mention a larger thread which looks at the definition (by others) and the introspective self-definition by Afghan rulers as the state developed over time. Finally, the book makes use of new insights from memoirs of Afghan officials, British and Indian office archives, and more recently released CIA reports and Wikileaks documents to understand the connections between past and present in contemporary Afghanistan. This book will be useful to diplomats, scholars, students, and anyone else interested in the history of Afghanistan. Jonathan L. Lee is a social and cultural historian and a leading authority on the history of Afghanistan. Nicholas Seay is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sana Aiyar, "Indians in Kenya: The Politics of Diaspora" (Harvard UP, 2015)
89 perc 18. rész Marshall Poe
In Indians in Kenya: The Politics of Diaspora (Harvard University Press, 2015), Sana Aiyer investigates how Indian diasporic actors influenced the course of Kenya’s political history, from partnering with Europeans in their colonial mission in East Africa to political solidarity with Africans in their anticolonial struggles. Working as merchants, skilled tradesmen, clerks, lawyers, and journalists, Indians formed the economic and administrative middle class in colonial Kenya. In general, they were wealthier than Africans, but were denied the political and economic privileges that Europeans enjoyed. Moreover, despite their relative prosperity, Indians were precariously positioned in Kenya. Africans usually viewed them as outsiders, and Europeans largely considered them subservient. Indians demanded recognition on their own terms. Thus, Indians in Kenya chronicles the competing, often contradictory, strategies by which the South Asian diaspora sought a political voice in Kenya from the beginning of colonial rule in the late 1890s to independence in the 1960s. Indians in Kenya also explores how the hierarchical structures of colonial governance, the material inequities between Indians and Africans, and the racialized political discourses in both colonial and postcolonial Kenya limited the possibilities for solidarities across race and class lines. Aiyar demonstrates that only by examining the ties that bound Indians to worlds on both sides of the Indian Ocean can we understand how Kenya came to terms with its South Asian minority. Sana Aiyar is an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Micheal Rumore is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His work focuses on the Indian Ocean as an African diasporic site. He can be reached at mrumore@gradcenter.cuny.edu. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Audrey Truschke, “Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King” (Stanford UP, 2017)
66 perc 195. rész Marshall Poe
For many, the history of the Mughal empire looms heavy over contemporary South Asian social imaginaries. The lightning rod figure within modern day myths about the past is the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618-1707). Some think of him as a violent Muslim fanatic who went out of his way to oppress Hindus and destroy their temples. Others consider his nearly 50-year reign (1658–1707) one of the most consequential for pre-modern South Asian history. Audrey Truschke, Associate Professor of South Asian History at Rutgers University–Newark, wanted to probe the pre-modern archive in order to understand the historical life and legacy of Aurangzeb. In Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King (Stanford University Press, 2017) she offers a rich and detailed biographical account of his social, political, and intellectual contexts. The narrative unfolds through both a chronological portrait of the late 17th century Mughal imperial world and a thematic account of Aurangzeb’s administrative governance, the moral underpinnings of his self-perception, and questions of religious diversity and intolerance. In our conversation we discuss the textual sources we can use for South Asian history and the challenges they pose to modern readers, the early Mughal empire, Aurangzeb’s competitive climb to rulership, state security and uprisings, the construction of moral leadership and ethical judgement, managing difference across empire, motivations and circumstances for temple destructions, and Aurangzeb’s hallmark policies, final years, and legacy. We also consider the challenges of doing public scholarship, hate mail, and the benefit of bringing the historical record to bear on modern debates. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alessandro Graheli, "The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Philosophy of Language" (Bloomsbury, 2020)
105 perc 84. rész Marshall Poe
he Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Philosophy of Language (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) spans over two thousand years of inquiry into language in the Indian subcontinent. Edited by Alessandro Graheli, project leader in the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia at the Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna, Austria, the volume focuses on speech units, word meanings, sentence meanings, and implicatures and figurative meanings. He chose the anthology’s divisions, inspired by Jayanta Bhaṭṭa’s understanding of the interdisciplinary “trivium” of grammar, hermeneutics, and epistemology, incorporating in addition the discipline of poetics. Each part moves chronologically through the history of philosophical reflection in India, focusing on the ideas of major thinkers such as the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini, the Buddhist philosopher Dignāga, the Mīmāṃsā philosopher Śālikanātha, and more. In this interview, we discuss the book’s contributions, tracing out the dialectic within each category by looking at key figures from 500 BCE up to the 16th century CE. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Martin Gansten, "The Jewel of Annual Astrology: A Translation of Balabhadra's Hāyanaratna" (Brill, 2020)
95 perc 64. rész Marshall Poe
We speak with Martin Gansten on his groundbreaking edition and translation of Balabhadra's Hāyanaratna (1649), the first-ever scholarly volume on Sanskritized Perso-Arabic (Tājika) astrology. The Jewel of Annual Astrology (A Translation of Balabhadra's Hāyanaratna) (Brill). In addition to speaking about this work, we dive into the perplexing world of Indian astrology. This book is available open access here. Martin Gansten, Ph.D. (2003), Lund University, is a Sanskritist and historian of religion specializing in Indic religions as well as the global transmission history of horoscopic astrology. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shankar Nair, "Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia" (U California Press, 2020)
62 perc 194. rész Marshall Poe
Shankar Nair’s new book Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2020) is an intellectually daring and dazzlingly imaginative study of scholarly interactions, made visible through translation, between Sanskrit and Arabo-Persian philosophical traditions in premodern South Asia. Centered on the 16th-century Persian translation Jūg Bāsisht of the major and multifaceted 10th century Sanskrit text Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, Nair details and explicates the philological, philosophical, and theological mechanisms and operations that go into an interreligious translation enterprise of this sort. Shifting seamlessly between Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian, Nair demonstrates that a close reading of the premodern archive can simultaneously disrupt nationalist historiographies while also refusing to secularize that archive in the process. He also convincingly makes a case for approaching and benefiting from the theological discourses and imagination of premodern actors such as the scholars involved in or connected to this translation project as not only data to be theorized but properly theoretical in their own right. Translating Wisdom is among those rare books that combine the textual finesse of meticulous philology with razor sharp theoretical awareness and nuance. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeffery D. Long, "Hinduism in America" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)
89 perc 63. rész Marshall Poe
In Hinduism in America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) Jeffrey D. Long traces two worlds that converge – that of Hindu immigrants to America who strive to preserve their traditions in a foreign land, and that of American spiritual seekers who turn to Hindu practices and ideas. Long explores the influence of concepts such karma, rebirth, meditation and yoga on the American consciousness, along with Hindu temples in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kareem Khubchandani, "Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife" (Michigan UP, 2020)
50 perc 103. rész Marshall Poe
Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2020) follows queer South Asian men across borders into gay neighborhoods, nightclubs, bars, and house parties in Bangalore and Chicago. Bringing the cultural practices they are most familiar with into these spaces, these men accent the aesthetics of nightlife cultures through performance. Kareem Khubchandani develops the notion of “ishtyle” to name this accented style, while also showing how brown bodies inadvertently become accents themselves, ornamental inclusions in the racialized grammar of desire. Ishtyle allows us to reimagine a global class perpetually represented as docile and desexualized workers caught in the web of global capitalism. The book highlights a different kind of labor, the embodied work these men do to feel queer and sexy together. Engaging major themes in queer studies, Khubchandani explains how his interlocutors’ performances stage relationships between: colonial law and public sexuality; film divas and queer fans; and race, caste, and desire. Ultimately, the book demonstrates that the unlikely site of nightlife can be a productive venue for the study of global politics and its institutional hierarchies. Kareem Khubchandani is Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University. Khubchandani was awarded the 2019 CLAGS Fellowship from CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies for the Ishtyle manuscript. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Arti Dhand, "Woman as Fire, Woman as Sage: Sexual Ideology in the Mahabharata" (SUNY Press, 2008)
41 perc 62. rész Marshall Poe
The Hindu tradition has held conflicting views on womanhood from its earliest texts—holding women aloft as goddesses to be worshipped on the one hand and remaining deeply suspicious about women’s sexuality on the other. In Woman as Fire, Woman as Sage: Sexual Ideology in the Mahabharata (SUNY Press, 2008), Arti Dhand examines the religious premises upon which Hindu ideas of sexuality and women are constructed. The work focuses on the great Hindu epic, the Mahābhārata, a text that not only reflects the cogitations of a momentous period in Hindu history, but also was critical in shaping the future of Hinduism. Dhand proposes that the epic’s understanding of womanhood cannot be isolated from the broader religious questions that were debated at the time, and that the formation of a sexual ideology is one element in crafting a coherent religious framework for Hinduism. Today we speak with Arti Dhand on her teaching, her research on the Hindu epics and her exciting new podcast on the Mahābhārata! For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ravi Palat, "The Making of an Indian Ocean World-Economy, 1250–1650" (Palgrave, 2015)
33 perc 14. rész Marshall Poe
Ravi Palat’s The Making of an Indian Ocean World-Economy, 1250–1650: Princes, Paddy fields, and Bazaars (Palgrave, 2015) counters eurocentric notions of long-term historical change by drawing upon the histories of societies based on wet-rice cultivation to chart an alternate pattern of social evolution and state formation. It traces inter-state linkages and the growth of commercialization without capitalism in the Indian Ocean World. Dr. Ravi Palat is professor of sociology at SUNY Binghamton. His research interests include world-systems analysis, historical sociology, political economy, and the sociology of food. Currently working on cuisine as an element of state formation and the cultivation of a national culture; on the Americas in the making of early modern world-economies in Asia; on the parallel transformations of China and India since the mid-1800s; and on a critique of contemporary area studies. Earlier work centered on the political economy of east and southeast Asia in the context of contemporary transformations of the capitalist world-economy; and on the making of an Indian Ocean world-economy. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ananya Chakravarti, "The Empire of Apostles" (Oxford UP, 2018)
79 perc 8. rész Marshall Poe
Ananya Chakravarti’s The Empire of Apostles: Religion, Accommodatio and The Imagination of Empire in Modern Brazil and India (Oxford University Press), recovers the religious roots of Europe's first global order, by tracing the evolution of a religious vision of empire through the lives of Jesuits working in the missions of early modern Brazil and India. These missionaries struggled to unite three commitments: to their local missionary space; to the universal Church; and to the global Portuguese empire. Through their attempts to inscribe their actions within these three scales of meaning--local, global, universal--a religious imaginaire of empire emerged. This book places cultural encounter in Brazil and India at the heart of an intellectual genealogy of imperial thinking, considering both indigenous and European experiences. Thus, this book offers a unique sustained study of the foundational moment of early modern European engagement in both South Asia and Latin America. In doing so, it highlights the difference between the messy realities of power in colonial spaces and the grandiose discursive productions of empire that attended these activities. This is the central puzzle of the book: how European accommodation to local peoples and their cultures, the experience of give-and-take in the non-European world and their numerous failures, could lead to a consolidation of an enduring vision of cultural and political dominion. Ananya Chakravarti is Associate Professor, South Asian and Indian Ocean history at Georgetown University. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gaurav Desai, "Commerce with the Universe: Africa, India, and the Afrasian Imagination" (Columbia UP, 2013)
79 perc 105. rész Marshall Poe
Gaurav Desai’s Commerce with the Universe: Africa, India, and the Afrasian Imagination (Columbia University Press, 2013), offers an alternative history of East Africa in the Indian Ocean world. Reading the life narratives and literary texts of South Asians writing in and about East Africa, Gaurav Desai highlights many complexities in the history of Africa's experience with slavery, migration, colonialism, nationalism, and globalization. Consulting Afrasian texts that are literary and nonfictional, political and private, he broadens the scope of African and South Asian scholarship and inspires a more nuanced understanding of the Indian Ocean's fertile routes of exchange. Desai shows how the Indian Ocean engendered a number of syncretic identities and shaped the medieval trade routes of the Islamicate empire, the early independence movements galvanized in part by Gandhi's southern African experiences, the invention of new ethnic nationalisms, and the rise of plural, multiethnic African nations. Calling attention to lives and literatures long neglected by traditional scholars, Desai introduces rich, interdisciplinary ways of thinking not only about this specific region but also about the very nature of ethnic history and identity. Traveling from the twelfth century to today, he concludes with a look at contemporary Asian populations in East Africa and their struggle to decide how best to participate in the development and modernization of their postcolonial nations without sacrificing their political autonomy. Gaurav Desai is Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Micheal Rumore is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His work focuses on the Indian Ocean as an African diasporic site. He can be reached at mrumore@gradcenter.cuny.edu. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gabriel Dattatreyan, "The Globally Familiar: Digital Hip-Hop, Masculinity, and Urban Space in Delhi" (Duke UP, 2020)
54 perc 3. rész Marshall Poe
In his book The Globally Familiar: Digital Hip-Hop, Masculinity, and Urban Space in Delhi (Duke University Press, 2020), Gabriel Dattatreyan departs from the existing literature on masculinity in India, which focuses on largely middle-class, upper-caste embodiments of the same. His focus is on non-elite, urban, lower caste/class embodiments of masculinity, in the context of globally familiar soundscpaes, images and aesthetics. There is an interesting way in which the author provides a nuanced understanding of the “other”, which takes into account the heterogeneity of those who are usually lumped together in the category of that “other”. The book provides not just caste, and regional contexts for these “working class” men but also lays out the generational shifts in the “aspirations” and future imagination of these young men. This futurization of urban participation then is highlighted in conversation with the official, policy and bureaucratized imaginations of the urban and urban Delhi in particular. In doing so, the “other” emerges as not just the passive recipient of the imaginations imposed on them by people in power but as being capable of refashioning and materially reimagining urban spaces as well. The internet and social media in particular emerge as critical sites of global engagement for the young men, who are Dattatreyan’s interlocutors and collaborators. Social media is not simply a site for getting familiar with and consuming that which is global but also the site for producing this familiarity in creative ways. It is through the labor of these young men taking immense pain to aesthetically re-produce the globally familiar that these circulations take on meaning. These re-creations and embodied re-productions also become sites of traversing newer and older forms of inequalities as well as creating political disruptions through the use hip-hop aesthetics. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Khurram Hussain, "Islam as Critique: Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Challenge of Modernity" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)
61 perc 190. rész Marshall Poe
Delighting in Khurram Hussain’s consistently sparkling prose is reason enough to read his new book Islam as Critique: Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Challenge of Modernity (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). But there is much more to this splendid book, framed around the profoundly consequential conceptual and political question of can Muslims serve not as friends or foes but as critics of Western modernity. Hussain addresses this question through a close and energetic reading of key selections from the scholarly oeuvre of the hugely influential yet often misunderstood modern South Asian Muslim scholar Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d. 1898). By putting Khan in contrapuntal conversation with a range of Western philosophers including Reinhold Niebuhr (d.1971), Hannah Arendt (d.1975), and Alasdair MacIntyre (1929-), Hussain explores ways in which Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s thought on profound questions of moral obligations, knowledge, Jihad, and time disrupts a politics of “either/or” whereby Muslim actors are invariably pulverized by the sledgehammer of modern Western commensurability to emerge as either friends or enemies. This provocative and thoughtful book will animate the interest of a range of scholars in Islamic Studies, South Asian Studies, Politics, Philosophy, and Postcolonial thought; it will also work as a great text to teach in courses on these and other topics. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Vanita Reddy, "Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Femininity and South Asian American Culture" (Duke UP, 2016)
43 perc 2. rész Marshall Poe
Vanita Reddy, in her book Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Femininity and South Asian American Culture (Duke University Press, 2016), locates diasporic transnationality, affiliations and intimacies through the analytic of beauty. Through her analysis of Asian American literary fiction and performance artwork and installations, Reddy lingers on moments, objects and subjective positions that reveal the potentiality of beauty. Not just a site for neoliberal complicity, beauty, in its presence as well as absence, also emerges as something subversive.  The re-articulation of the bindi and the saree, objects that are otherwise imbued with upper-caste, Hindu hetero-reproductive symbolisms, in the works of performance artists, offer queer queer subversion of power structures. Beauty also becomes the site of not just physical but also social (im)mobility as Reddy presents the complicated ways in which beauty relates to aspiration. Central to her project is upending the male-centric understanding of the relationship between the diaspora and the “nation”. Focussing not only on female narratives of movement and mobility but also interrogating the vulnerability and queer-ness of male subject positions, Reddy provides a nuanced interrogation of how “frivolous” beauty becomes the site of transformative transnational journeys.  In the first three chapters, she looks at the literary fiction that either centrally or marginally deploys beauty as the site of narrating stories about the diaspora. Chapter 4 and 5 look at feminist performances and cyber representations of objects like the bindi and saree that deliberately challenge the essentialization of these objects and destabilizes them not just to narrate stories of movement but emphasize potential for mobilization through seemingly non-serious, beautiful artifacts. Vanita Reddy is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University.                      Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pritipuspa Mishra, "Language and the Making of Modern India: Nationalism and the Vernacular in Colonial Odisha, 1803-1953" (Oxford UP, 2020)
72 perc 82. rész Marshall Poe
The province of Odisha, previously “Orissa,” was the first linguistically organized province of India. In Language and the Making of Modern India: Nationalism and the Vernacular in Colonial Odisha, 1803-1953 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Pritipuspa Mishra explores how the idea of the vernacular has a double effect, serving as a means for exclusion and inclusion. She argues that while regional linguistic nationalism enabled nationalism’s growth, it also enabled the exclusion of groups such as the adivasis, who become invisible as a minority in Odisha. Her book traces the role of the vernacular from colonial decisions about governance and education up through the creation of a linguistic homeland in Odisha. Along the way she looks at the construction of literary categories, the idea of the political subject, and the range of views about multilingualism in nationalist discourse. It concludes with a reflective postscript on the continuing impact of linguistic nationalism on adivasi communities in India. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff).   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lakshmi Subramanian, "The Sovereign and the Pirate: Ordering Maritime Subjects in India's Western Littoral" (Oxford UP, 2016)
86 perc 104. rész Marshall Poe
Lakshmi Subramanian’s The Sovereign and the Pirate: Ordering Maritime Subjects in India's Western Littoral (Oxford University Press, 2016) offers an amphibious history written around the juncture of the nineteenth century, when the northwestern littoral of India—largely comprising of Gujarat, Kathiawad, Cutch, and Sind—was battered by piratical raids. These attacks disrupted coastal trade in the western Indian Ocean and embarrassed the English East India Company by defying the very boundaries of law and sovereignty that the Company was trying to impose. Who were these pirates whom the Company described as small-time crooks habituated to a life of raiding and thieving? How did they perceive themselves? What did they mean when they insisted that theft was their livelihood and that it enjoyed the sanction of God? Exploring the phenomenon and politics of predation in the region, Lakshmi Subramanian teases out a material history of piracy—locating its antecedents, its social context, and its ramifications—during a crucial period of political turbulence marked by the global expansion of commercial exchanges headed by the Company. She investigates the fissures within the colonial project of law and anti-piracy regulations and, through the lens of maritime politics, unravels the skeins of a distinct mode of subaltern protest. By systematically unpacking the category of piracy as it was constituted by the legal discourse of the English East India Company, she revisits the idea of legal pluralism in the Indian Ocean and considers the possibility of looking at piracy as an expression of resistance by littoral society. Lakshmi Subramanian is currently a professor of History at the BITS PILANI Goa Campus at the Humanities and Social Science faculty. Emeritus Professor of History at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and holds the position of Associate Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nantes.  Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A Conversation with Chris Chapple, Part II: Living Landscapes
81 perc 60. rész Marshall Poe
Join us as we continue discussion with Dr. Christopher Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Layola Marymount University as we dive into his new book Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Five Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas (SUNY Press, 2020). The ancient Indian philosophers conceptualized the universe as comprising 5 elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space), corresponding to the five human senses. This philosophy is encoded in Indian religion at every turn. This book draws from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions to explore the extent to which elemental meditations in the Indian context transcend these "religious" boundaries as we understand them. It is also a fascinating look into the lived practice of ideating upon the elements. Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and director of Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Edward Alpers, "The Indian Ocean in World History" (Oxford UP, 2014)
112 perc 103. rész Marshall Poe
Edward Alpers’s The Indian Ocean in World History (Oxford University Press, 2014) is a concise yet an immensely informative introduction to the Indian Ocean world, which remains the least studied of the world's geographic regions. Yet there have been major cultural exchanges across its waters and around its shores from the third millennium B.C.E. to the present day. Historian Edward Alpers explores the complex issues involved in cultural exchange in the Indian Ocean Rim region over the course of this long period of time by combining a historical approach with the insights of anthropology, art history, ethnomusicology, and geography. The Indian Ocean witnessed several significant diasporas during the past two millennia, including migrations of traders, indentured laborers, civil servants, sailors, and slaves throughout the entire basin. The Indian Ocean in World History also discusses issues of trade and production that show the long history of exchange throughout the Indian Ocean world; politics and empire-building by both regional and European powers; and the role of religion and religious conversion, focusing mainly on Islam, but also mentioning Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. Using a broad geographic perspective, the book includes references to connections between the Indian Ocean world and the Americas. Moving into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Alpers looks at issues including the new configuration of colonial territorial boundaries after World War I, and the search for oil reserves. Edward Alpers is a professor of history at UCLA. Kelvin Ng, co-hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Johannes Bronkhorst, "A Śabda Reader: Language in Classical Indian Thought" (Columbia UP, 2019)
65 perc 80. rész Marshall Poe
In A Śabda Reader: Language in Classical Indian Thought (Columbia University Press, 2019), Johannes Bronkhorst, emeritus professor at the University of Lausanne, makes the case through an extensive introduction and select translations of important Indian texts that language has a crucial role in Indian thought. Not only does it form the subject of inquiry for grammarians, philosophers, and aestheticians, but it forms the background for the religious and cultural world which informs these investigations. Writing in, and deeply invested in, the Sanskrit language, brahminical thinkers considered the status of phonemes, words, sentences, and larger textual units, as well as the relationship between language and reality. Their interlocutors, Jains and Buddhists, wrote in Pāli as well as Sanskrit, addressing many of the same topics. A Śabda Reader includes excerpts of texts from all three groups, in new translations, which shows the interplay among these thinkers. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sara Smith, "Intimate Geopolitics: Love, Territory and the Future on India’s Northern Threshold" (Rutgers UP, 2020)
75 perc 71. rész Marshall Poe
What’s love got to do with it? Intimate Geopolitics: Love, Territory and the Future on India’s Northern Threshold (Rutgers University Press, 2020) by feminist political geographer Sara Smith tell us - everything! Smith’s book centers intimacy in the consideration of geopolitics which is otherwise only seen as a game between nation states. The accounts of realized and failed inter-faith love across generations of Ladakhi Buddhists and Ladakhi Muslims in Smith’s book become the ground for the contesting of demographic fantasies, territorial futures and generation vertigo. Written with a careful consideration of the complexities of territorial politics in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and their intersections, Smith’s book also provides insights into the vulnerabilities of a minority identity--Shia Muslims and Buddhists, as well as its entanglements with the scalar politics of majoritarianism. By ‘populating territory’, Intimate Geopolitics is able to make clear the interweaving of reprosexuality, aspirations and intimacy as a territorial site in what is otherwise seen as a ‘remote’ region but crucial to the logic of the nation-state and its sovereign future. Sara Smith is associate professor of geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bhoomika Joshi is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology at Yale University.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David L. Haberman, “Loving Stones: Making the Impossible Possible in the Worship of Mount Govardhan” (Oxford UP, 2020)
75 perc 57. rész Marshall Poe
Loving Stones: Making the Impossible Possible in the Worship of Mount Govardhan (Oxford University Press) explores the worship world of Mount Govardhan: located in the Braj region of India, the mountain is considered an embodied form of the Hindu deity Krishna. Above and beyond providing insight into the fascinating religious practices surrounding worship of Mount Govardhan, Haberman probes the paradox of an infinite god embodied in finite form, In doing so, he offers critical consideration of the pejorative concept of idolatry in the study of religions, in particular its problematic use to when applied to Hindu religiosity. David L. Haberman is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see https://www.rajbalkaran.com/scholarship Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A Conversation with Chris Chapple, Part I: MA in Yoga Studies
61 perc 58. rész Marshall Poe
In this interview, we have a candid conversation with Dr. Christopher Key Chapple of Loyola Marymount University about his outlook, teaching philosophy, and new developments in the field – his Master of Arts in Yoga Studies in particular. Stay tuned for Part II where we will focus on Chris’ scholarship, in particular his new book Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Five Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas. Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and director of Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jonathan Parry, "Classes of Labor: Work and Life in an Indian Steel Town" (Routledge, 2020)
113 perc 68. rész Marshall Poe
Classes of Labour: Work and Life in a Central Indian Steel Town (Routledge, 2020) is a classic in the social sciences. The rigour and richness of the ethnographic data of this book and its analysis is matched only by its literary style. This magnum opus of 732 pages, an outcome of fieldwork covering twenty-one years, complete with diagrams and photographs, reads like an epic novel, difficult to put down. Professor Jonathan Parry looks at a context in which the manual workforce is divided into distinct social classes, which have a clear sense of themselves as separate and interests that are sometimes opposed. The relationship between them may even be one of exploitation; and they are associated with different lifestyles and outlooks, kinship and marriage practices, and suicide patterns. A central concern is with the intersection between class, caste, gender and regional ethnicity, with how class trumps caste in most contexts and with how classes have become increasingly structured as the ‘structuration’ of castes has declined. The wider theoretical ambition is to specify the general conditions under which the so-called ‘working class’ has any realistic prospect of unity. Today I talked with the author, Jonathan Parry, emeritus professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics (in collaboration with Ajay TG) and John Harriss, emeritus professor of international studies at Simon Fraser University. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Drew Thomases, "Guest is God: Pilgrimage, Tourism, and Making Paradise in India" (Oxford UP, 2019)
58 perc 56. rész Marshall Poe
In Guest is God: Pilgrimage, Tourism, and Making Paradise in India (Oxford University Press, 2019) Drew Thomases investigates the Indian pilgrimage town of Pushkar. While the town consists of 20,000 residents, it boasts two million visitors annually. Sacred to the creator god, Brahma, Pushkar is understood as heaven on earth – a heaven heavily marked by tourism and globalization. You can learn about the lives of the residents of Pushkar through Thomases fascinating ethnographic fieldwork. Drew Thomases is Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department at San Diego State University. His work focuses on the anthropology of religion in North India--more specifically, Hindu pilgrimage and practice--though he is broadly interested in tourism, globalization, environmentalism, and theoretical approaches to the study of religion. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see https://www.rajbalkaran.com/scholarship Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adheesh Sathaye, “Crossing the Lines of Caste" (Oxford UP, 2015)
53 perc 55. rész Marshall Poe
What does it mean to be a Brahmin, and what could it mean to become one? The ancient Indian mythological figure Viśvāmitra accomplishes just this, transforming himself from a king into a Brahmin by cultivation of ascetic power. The book, Crossing the Lines of Caste, examines legends of the irascible Viśvāmitra as occurring in Sanskrit and vernacular texts, oral performances, and visual media to show how the "storyworlds" created by these various retellings have adapted and reinforced Brahmin social identity over the millennia. Adheesh Sathaye is Associate Professor, Sanskrit Literature And Folklore, University of British Columbia. You can check out his online class "Narrative Literature in Premodern India" here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ayesha Siddiqi, "In the Wake of Disaster: Islamists, the State and a Social Contract in Pakistan" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
55 perc 102. rész Marshall Poe
Over the last couple of decades, a number of books written both by the academics and journalists  have appeared on many dysfunctions of the Pakistani state, a few of them even predicting why and how and when it is going to collapse. Against this grain, Ayesha Siddiqi’s new book, In the Wake of Disaster Islamists, the State and a Social Contract in Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is a forceful meditation on a number of key issues around the social contract, citizenship, and state provisions such as disaster relief and social protection. The book helps understand why, despite its many limitations, Pakistani state remains central to the lives of those it seeks to govern. Through an intensive ethnography conducted in the three of the worst hit districts – in the wake of the flooding disasters of 2010-2011 – in the Southern-most region of Pakistan’s Sindh province, Siddiqi demonstrates that the state and citizenship, even when expressed in vernacular idiom which doesn’t lend itself neatly to predominantly Eurocentric and structuralist sensibilities have meaning and resonance for the people. People look up to Sarkar (the “state”) both when they make claims for day to day provisions and also in the times of extraordinary distress. Though not always in time and effectively, as instantiated by the universal cash grants given to everyone who might have suffered in three districts of Badin, Thatha and Tharparkar, as a consequence of the floods, Sarkar also responds. Advancing a critical anthropology of the state, the book makes three major contentions: First, as already suggested, contrary to what the ‘master narratives’ claim, state remains very much present in the lives of the people even in the peripheral regions of Pakistan. Even when state remains unable to satisfy people’s demands, the fact that people have high expectations of it testifies to its centrality in their moral and political imaginaries. Second, since the local imaginaries of the state aren’t that of a monolithic entity represented by a coherence of institutional structures and purposes, major political parties and local influentials come to acquire some of the key “state-effects”, hence relations of clientship, to the extent that they remain relevant to the socio-political lives of many, aren’t necessarily an anathema to citizenship, instead they might actually be one of the constituent elements of a postcolonial social contract. Third, the specter of Islamist organizations coming in to occupy the space created by the presumed ‘absence’ of the state has no real grounding. This is so not because the state remains very much ‘present’ but also because the Islamists are afforded visibility only in so far as they are coopted by the state to partake in the relief activities. The book will be an indispensable reading for anyone interested in grasping the socio-political complexities inherent to the postcolonial states, societies, and their mutualities beyond the dominant tropes. Ali Mohsin is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva. His research focuses on the politics of poverty, inequality and social protection in Pakistan. He can be reached at ali.mohsin@graduateinstitute.ch Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Raj Balkaran, "The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth" (Routledge, 2020)
70 perc 54. rész Marshall Poe
Why are the myths of the Indian Great Goddess, Durgā, found in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa framed by myths glorifying the Sun, Sūrya? And why do these glorifications mirror each other in both content and form? In exploring these questions, this book argues for an ideological ecosystem at work in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa privileging worldly (pravṛtti) values, of which Indian kings, the Goddess (Devī), the Sun (Sūrya) and sage Mārkaṇḍeya himself are paragons. Join us in the “flip interview” as as your New Books Network Hindu Studies host Raj Balkaran (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies) is interviewed on his new book, The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth: Power, Preservation and Mirrored Māhātmyas in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (Routledge, 2020) by guest-interviewer Christopher Austen. Christopher Austen is Associate Professor, Religious Studies at Dalhousie University Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ehud Halperin, “The Many Faces of a Himalayan Goddess" (Oxford UP, 2019)
69 perc 53. rész Marshall Poe
Hadimba is a primary village goddess in the Kullu Valley of the West Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, a rural area known as the Land of Gods. As the book shows, Hadimba is a goddess whose vitality reveals itself in her devotees' rapidly changing encounters with local and far from local players, powers, and ideas. These include invading royal forces, colonial forms of knowledge, and more recently the onslaught of modernity, capitalism, tourism, and ecological change. Hadimba has provided her worshipers with discursive, ritual, and ideological arenas within which they reflect on, debate, give meaning to, and sometimes resist these changing realities, and she herself has been transformed in the process. Drawing on diverse ethnographic and textual materials gathered in the region from 2009 to 2017, The Many Faces of a Himalayan Goddess: Hadimba, Her Devotees, and Religion in Rapid Change (Oxford University Press, 2019) is rich with myths and tales, accounts of dramatic rituals and festivals, and descriptions of everyday life in the celebrated but remote Kullu Valley. The book employs an interdisciplinary approach to tell the story of Hadimba from the ground up, or rather, from the center out, portraying the goddess in varying contexts that radiate outward from her temple to local, regional, national, and indeed global spheres. The result is an important contribution to the study of Indian village goddesses, lived Hinduism, Himalayan Hinduism, and the rapidly growing field of religion and ecology. Ehud Halperin lectures in the East Asian Studies Department at Tel Aviv University For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anya P. Foxen, "Inhaling Spirit: Harmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga" (Oxford UP, 2020)
56 perc 52. rész Marshall Poe
In her new book Inhaling Spirit: Harmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga (Oxford University Press, 2020), Anya Foxen traces several disparate yet entangled roots of modern yoga practice to show that much of what we call yoga in the West stems not only from pre-modern Indian yoga traditions, but also from Hellenistic theories of the subtle body, Western esotericism and magic, pre-modern European medicine, and late-nineteenth-century women's wellness programs. As such, this book richly contributes to the discussion of cultural appropriation as pertains to modern Western yoga. Anya Foxen is Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ionut Moise, "Salvation in Indian Philosophy: Perfection and Simplicity for Vaiśeṣika" (Routledge, 2019)
48 perc 51. rész Marshall Poe
In Salvation in Indian Philosophy: Perfection and Simplicity for Vaiśeṣika (Routledge, 2019), Ionut Moise offers a comprehensive description of the ‘doctrine of salvation’ (niḥśreyasa/ mokṣa) and Vaiśeṣika, one of the oldest philosophical systems of Indian philosophy and provides an overview of theories in other related Indian philosophical systems and classical doctrines of salvation. The book examines liberation, the fourth goal of life and arguably one of the most important topics in Indian philosophy, from a comparative philosophical perspective. Contextualising classical Greek Philosophy which contains the three goals of life (Aristotle’s Ethics), and explains salvation as first understood in the theology of the Hellenistic and Patristics periods, the author analyses six classical philosophical schools of Indian philosophy in which there is a marked emphasis on the ultimate ontological elements of the world and ‘self’. Analysing Vaiśeṣika and the manner in which this lesser known system has put forward its own theory of salvation (niḥśreyasa), the author demonstrates its significance and originality as an old and influential philosophical system. He argues that it is essential for the study of other Indian sciences and for the study of all comparative philosophy. An extensive introduction to Indian soteriology, this book will be an important reference work for academics interested in comparative religion and philosophy, Indian philosophy, Asian religion and South Asian Studies. Ionut Moise is a tutor in Comparative Philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS), University of Oxford, UK. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nandini Patwardhan, "Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions" (Story Artisan Press, 2020)
66 perc 171. rész Marshall Poe
In 1883, a young woman named Anandi Joshi set out from her native India to the United States to study medicine. To do so, as Nandini Patwardhan describes in her book Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions (Story Artisan Press, 2020) required overcoming numerous hurdles, which she did thanks to the support of family and friends on two continents. One of them, as Patwardhan explains, was her husband Gopal, who often moved with his young wife to various posts throughout India so as to obtain an education for her. The death of their son soon after childbirth fueled Anandi’s desire to study medicine, while the couple’s relationships with American missionaries led to an invitation to stay in America. Though Anandi faced numerous problems adapting to life in America and her husband’s oftentimes antagonistic nature added to her stress, through her hard labors and the aid of her friends Anandi succeeded in obtaining her medical degree, only to die tragically soon after her celebrated return to India in 1886. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hamsa Stainton, "Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir" (Oxford UP, 2019)
58 perc 50. rész Marshall Poe
In Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir (Oxford University Press, 2019), Hamsa Stainton explores the relationship between 'poetry’ and ‘prayer’ in South Asia through close examination of the history of Sanskrit hymns of praise (stotras) in Kashmir from the eighth century onwards. Beyond charting the history and features of the stotra genre, Hamsa Stainton presents the first sustained study of the Stutikusumāñjali, an important work dedicated to the god Śiva, one bearing witness to the trajectory of Sanskrit literary culture in fourteenth-century Kashmir. Poetry as Prayer illumines how these Śaiva poets integrate poetics, theology and devotion in the production of usage of Sanskrit hymns, and more broadly expands our understanding Hindu bhakti itself. Hamsa Stainton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Deepra Dandekar, “The Subhedar's Son” (Oxford UP, 2019)
66 perc 49. rész Marshall Poe
This book is a translation and study of The Subhedar's Son (Oxford University Press, 2019), an award-winning Marathi biographical novel written in 1895 by Rev. Dinkar Shankar Sawarkar, who writes about his own father, Rev.Shankar Nana (1819-1884). Nana, a Brahmin, was among the early Christian converts of the Church Missionary Society in Western India. The Subhedar's Son provides a fascinating insight into Brahmanical-Christian conversions of the era, along with attitudes surrounding such conversions. In this podcast, we interview Deepra Dandekar – author of this book, and Sawarkar’s own great-grand-daughter–about this text and its important context. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
John Stratton Hawley, “Krishna's Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century” (Oxford UP, 2020)
53 perc 48. rész Marshall Poe
John Stratton Hawley's new book Krishna's Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2020) is about a deeply beloved place-many call it the spiritual capital of India. Located at a dramatic bend in the River Yamuna, a hundred miles from the center of Delhi, Vrindavan is the spot where the god Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood and youth. For Hindus it has always stood for youth writ large-a realm of love and beauty that enables one to retreat from the weight and harshness of world. Now, though, the world is gobbling up Vrindavan. Delhi's megalopolitan sprawl inches closer day by day-half the town is a vast real-estate development-and the waters of the Yamuna are too polluted to drink or even bathe in. Temples now style themselves as theme parks, and the world's tallest religious building is under construction in Krishna's pastoral paradise. What happens when the Anthropocene Age makes everything virtual? What happens when heaven gets plowed under? Like our age as a whole, Vrindavan throbs with feisty energy, but is it the religious canary in our collective coal mine? For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brian Greene, "Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe" (Random House, 2020)
120 perc 20. rész Marshall Poe
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He is well known for his TV mini-series about string theory and the nature of reality, including the Elegant Universe, which tied in with his best-selling 2000 book of the same name. In this episode, we talk about his latest popular book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Random House, 2020) Until the End of Time gives the reader a theory of everything, both in the sense of a “state of the academic union”, covering cosmology and evolution, consciousness and computation, and art and religion, and in the sense of showing us a way to apprehend the often existentially challenging subject matter. Greene uses evocative autobiographical vignettes in the book to personalize his famously lucid and accessible explanations, and we discuss these episodes further in the interview. Greene also reiterates his arguments for embedding a form of spiritual reverie within the multiple naturalistic descriptions of reality that different areas of human knowledge have so far produced. John Weston is a University Teacher of English in the Language Centre at Aalto University, Finland. His research focuses on academic communication. He can be reached at john.weston@aalto.fi and @johnwphd. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chiara Formichi, "Islam and Asia: A History" (Cambridge UP, 2020)
69 perc 182. rész Marshall Poe
Challenging the geographical narrative of the history of Islam, Chiara Formichi’s new book Islam and Asia: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2020), helps us to rethink how we tell the story of Islam and the lived expressions of Muslims without privileging certain linguistic, cultural, and geographic realities. Focusing on themes of reform, political Islamism, Sufism, gender, as well as a rich array of material culture (such as sacred spaces and art), the book maps the development of Islam in Asia, such as in Kashmir, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China. It considers both transnational and transregional ebbs and flows that have defined the expansion and institutionalization of Islam in Asia, while attending to factors such as ethnicity, linguistic identity and even food cultures as important realities that have informed the translation of Islam into new regions. It is the “convergence and conversation” between the “local” and “foreign” or better yet between the theoretical notions of “centre” and “periphery” of Islam and Muslim societies that are dismantled in the book, defying any notions of Asian expressions of Islam as a “derivative reality.” The book is accessibly written and will be extremely useful in any undergraduate or graduate courses on Islam, Islam in Asia, or political Islam. The book will also be of interest to those who work on Islamic Studies and Asia Studies. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca . You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A. M. Ruppel, "Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit" (Cambridge UP, 2017)
63 perc 47. rész Marshall Poe
In this podcast, we interview Dr. Antonia Ruppel about Sanskrit Studies. Dr. Ruppel is the author the Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and also teaches online Sanskrit courses at Yogic Studies. Ideal for courses in beginning Sanskrit or self-study, this textbook employs modern, tried-and-tested pedagogical methods and tools, but requires no prior knowledge of ancient languages or linguistics. Devanāgarī script is introduced over several chapters and used in parallel with transliteration for several chapters more, allowing students to progress in learning Sanskrit itself while still mastering the script. Students are exposed to annotated original texts in addition to practise sentences very early on, and structures and systems underlying the wealth of forms are clearly explained to facilitate memorisation. All grammar is covered in detail, with chapters dedicated to compounding and nominal derivation, and sections explaining relevant historical phenomena. The introduction also includes a variety of online resources that students may use to reinforce and expand their knowledge: flash cards; video tutorials for all chapters; and up-to-date links to writing, declension and conjugation exercises and online dictionaries, grammars, and textual databases. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Govind Gopakumar, "Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities" (MIT Press, 2020)
56 perc 250. rész Marshall Poe
Automobiles and their associated infrastructures, deeply embedded in Western cities, have become a rapidly growing presence in the mega-cities of the Global South. Streets, once crowded with pedestrians, pushcarts, vendors, and bicyclists, are now choked with motor vehicles, many of them private automobiles. In Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities (MIT Press, 2020), Govind Gopakumar examines this shift, analyzing the phenomenon of automobility in Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), a rapidly growing city of about ten million people in southern India. He finds that the advent of automobility in Bengaluru has privileged the mobility needs of the elite while marginalizing those of the rest of the population. Gopakumar connects Bengaluru's burgeoning automobility to the city's history and to the spatial, technological, and social interventions of a variety of urban actors. Automobility becomes a juggernaut, threatening to reorder the city to enhance automotive travel. He discusses the evolution of congestion and urban change in Bengaluru; the “regimes of congestion” that emerge to address the issue; an “infrastructurescape” that shapes the mobile behavior of all residents but is largely governed by the privileged; and the enfranchisement of an “automotive citizenship” (and the disenfranchisement of non-automobile-using publics). Gopakumar also finds that automobility in Bengaluru faces ongoing challenges from such diverse sources as waste flows, popular religiosity, and political leadership. These challenges, however, introduce messiness without upsetting automobility. He therefore calls for efforts to displace automobility that are grounded in reordering the mobility regime, relandscaping the city and its infrastructures, and reclaiming streets for other uses. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nusrat S. Chowdhury, "Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh" (Stanford UP, 2019)
54 perc 65. rész Marshall Poe
Few places are as politically precarious as Bangladesh, even fewer as crowded. Its 57,000 or so square miles are some of the world's most inhabited. Often described as a definitive case of the bankruptcy of postcolonial governance, it is also one of the poorest among the most densely populated nations. In spite of an overriding anxiety of exhaustion, there are a few important caveats to the familiar feelings of despair—a growing economy, and an uneven, yet robust, nationalist sentiment—which, together, generate revealing paradoxes. In her new book Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh (Stanford University Press, 2019), Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury offers insight into what she calls "the paradoxes of the popular," or the constitutive contradictions of popular politics. The focus here is on mass protests, long considered the primary medium of meaningful change in this part of the world. Chowdhury writes provocatively about political life in Bangladesh in a rich ethnography that studies some of the most consequential protests of the last decade, spanning both rural and urban Bangladesh. By making the crowd its starting point and analytical locus, this book tacks between multiple sites of public political gatherings and pays attention to the ephemeral and often accidental configurations of the crowd. Ultimately, Chowdhury makes an original case for the crowd as a defining feature and a foundational force of democratic practices in South Asia and beyond. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jacqueline H. Fewkes, "Locating Maldivian Women's Mosques in Global Discourses" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
66 perc 179. rész Marshall Poe
What is a mosque? What are women's mosques specifically? What historical values do women's mosques offer, and what is the relationship between mosque spaces and women's religious work? How do women leaders themselves identify with and conceptualize their leadership roles? Why are women's mosques around the world, both historical and contemporary, omitted from both popular and scholarly discourses on women's mosques? Jacqueline Fewkes' excellent and theoretically sophisticated book, Locating Maldivian Women's Mosques in Global Discourses (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), offers answers to these questions and more. Complete with images from Fewkes' research, the book is an ethnography of women's mosques in the Maldives, an almost unheard-of phenomenon. It situates women's prayer places, the Nisha Miskiis, the physical buildings in which women lead prayers for other women, as complex sites of sociohistorical and cultural significance. Ultimately, Fewkes explores the ways in which these spaces relate to, contribute to, and fit in larger conversations about the transnational Muslim community—the global ummah—rather than being limited to the local with no historical significance. Locating Maldivian Women's Mosques in Global Discourses may be assigned in graduate courses in Anthropology, Islamic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, or any combination of these; it would also make an exciting and inviting read for those generally interested in questions of gendered spaces, women's religious works, and specifically in women's mosques. Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. Her primary research areas include Islam, gender, and questions of change and tradition in Islam. She can be reached at haqqani_s@mercer.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Caleb Simmons, "Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India" (Oxford UP, 2020)
61 perc 46. rész Marshall Poe
In his book Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India (Oxford University Press, 2020), Caleb Simmons examines the reigns of Tipu Sultan (r. 1782-1799) and Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (r. 1799-1868) in the South Indian kingdom of Mysore to demonstrate the extent to which both rulers--one Muslim and one Hindu--turned to religion to fortify the royal identity of kings during precarious political times.  Both courts revived pre-modern notions of Indian kingship in reaction to the British, drawing on devotion to Hindu gods, goddesses, and gurus to conceptualize and fortify their reigns. We made mention of images in the interview, and they can be found here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette, "Dialogue and Doxography in Indian Philosophy" (Routledge, 2020)
60 perc 45. rész Marshall Poe
This ground-breaking work on Indian philosophical doxography examines the function of dialectical texts within their intellectual and religious milieu. In Dialogue and Doxography in Indian Philosophy: Points of View in Buddhist, Jaina, and Advaita Vedānta Traditions (Routledge, 2020), Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette examines the Madhyamakahṛdayakārikā of the Buddhist Bhāviveka, the Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya of the Jain Haribhadra, and the Sarvasiddhāntasaṅgraha attributed to the Advaitin Śaṅkara, focusing on each of their representation of Mīmāṃsā, to arguing that each of these doxographies represent forms of spiritual exercise. We refer to Bouthillette's Instragram account in the interview. You can find it here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kevin McGrath, "Vyāsa Redux: Narrative in Epic Mahābhārata" (Anthem Press, 2019)
55 perc 44. rész Marshall Poe
In Vyāsa Redux: Narrative in Epic Mahābhārata (Anthem Press, 2019), Kevin McGrath examines the complex and enigmatic Vyāsa, both the primary creative poet of the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata and a key character in the very epic he composes. In doing so McGrath focuses on what he considers the late Bronze Age portions of the epic feature prioritizing the concerns if the warrior class. In his discussion, McGrath distinguishes between plot and story and how this distinction comes to bear on the differences between preliterate and literate phases of the epic’s compositional history. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lisa Balabanlilar, "The Emperor Jahangir: Power and Kingship in Mughal India" (I. B. Tauris, 2020)
64 perc 169. rész Marshall Poe
Despite a reign that lasted for over two decades, the Mughal emperor Jahangir has often been regarded as a weak ruler who was hobbled by his addictions and dominated in his later years by his wife Nur Jahan. As Lisa Balabanlilar reveals in The Emperor Jahangir: Power and Kingship in Mughal India (I. B. Tauris, 2020), this portrayal often exaggerates Jahangir’s defects and glosses over many important aspects of his rule. Much of this this distortion, she notes, originated with his memoir, in which Jahangir was often frank in his assessment of his own failings. This was exploited by his son and successor, Shah Jahan, who sought to justify his rebellion against his father late in Jahangir’s reign once he ascended to the throne. Balabanlilar shows how this image obscures important aspects of the workings of the Mughal emperorship during the early 17th century. These she uncovers by examining Jahangir’s court, his empire’s relations with other kingdoms, and his patronage of the arts, revealing him in the process as a more capable and consequential monarch than his traditional depiction allows. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sheetal Chhabria, "Making the Modern Slum: The Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay" (U Washington Press, 2019)
38 perc 101. rész Marshall Poe
In the 1870s, as colonial India witnessed some of the worst famines in its history where 6-10 million perished, observers watched in astonishment as famished people set out for the city of Bombay on foot in human caravans thousands of people long. Recently, images of a similar scale of deprivation have resurfaced in India as the COVID-19 crisis has once again forced the laboring poor to migrate in duress, this time in the opposite direction from city to country. Making the Modern Slum: The Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay (University of Washington Press, 2019) seems like a book written to explain precisely this moment. It asks: how can we understand the relationship between “the city” and its laboring poor? Inaugurating a paradigm shift in how we think of cities and urban space, the author Sheetal Chhabria argues that cities are not naturally occurring spaces or innocent administrative categories marked by lines on a map: instead they are spaced produced by constant labors of inclusion and exclusion which serve to keep capital flowing while stigmatizing the laboring poor. The book shows how “the wellbeing of the city–rather than of its people” took precedence starting in the late 19th century, thereby “positioning agrarian distress, famished migrants, and the laboring poor as threats to be contained or excluded” rather than as constitutive parts of city space. This argument is crucial. It shows that the injustices faced by the laboring poor are not mistakes or signs of incomplete or failed urbanism. Those injustices are instead the very essence of what it means to mark a space as a “city.” Combining theoretical acuity and empirical depth with an abiding concern for economic justice, the book takes us on a journey through colonial Bombay as it lurched from crisis to crisis at the turn of the 20th century: poverty, famine, plague, and political unrest. In this volatile climate, it was the continual appeals to the “health of the city” which served to render class warfare subterranean, to generate consensus on anti-poor measures across the colonial divide, and to invent a stigmatized object called “the slum” which could be used as a perpetual foil to the city, making the results of deep capitalist inequality (poverty, unsanitary dwellings, hunger) appear instead like vestiges of an incompletely capitalist society which could then be further commercialized. This book is a must read for everyone interested in urban, housing, and economic justice, as well as for scholars of South Asia concerned with the subcontinent’s enduring inequalities. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at Harvard University studying the reproduction of inequality through development projects in rural western India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Maria Rashid, "Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army" (Stanford UP, 2020)
68 perc 180. rész Marshall Poe
In her spellbindingly brilliant new book, Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army (Stanford University Press, 2020), Maria Rashid conducts an intimate and layered ethnography of militarism and death in Pakistan, with a focus on the lives, aspirations, and tragedies of soldiers and their families in rural Punjab. How does the Pakistani military’s regulation and management of affect and emotions like grief authorize and sustain the practice of sacrificing the self in service to the nation? Rashid addresses this question through a riveting and at many times hauntingly majestic analysis of a range of themes including carefully choreographed public spectacles of mourning, military regimes of cultivating martial subjects, fissures between official scripts and unofficial unfoldings of grieving, anxieties over the representation of maimed soldiers, and ambiguities surrounding the appropriation of martyrdom (shahādat) for death on the battlefield. Theoretically incisive, ethnographically charged, and politically urgent, Dying to Serve is a landmark publication in the study of South Asia, Pakistan, and modern militarism that is destined to become a classic. It is also written with lyrical lucidity, making it an excellent text to teach in a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on modern Islam, South Asia, religion and violence, gender and masculinity, affect studies, and theories and methods in anthropology and religion. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A Conversation with Nicholas Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
49 perc 43. rész Marshall Poe
Today I talked to Dr. Nicholas Sutton speaks about his work at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. We discuss his teaching philosophy, his mandate of making the study of Hinduism accessible to public audiences, and the Centre’s exciting collection of online courses. We also talked about two books he's recently published in the Oxford Centre's series on Hinduism: The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation and Study Guide (Mandala Publishing, 2019) and The Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Study Guide (Mandala Publishing, 2019). For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mythri Jegathesan, "Tea and Solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Postwar Sri Lanka" (U Washington Press, 2019)
55 perc 63. rész Marshall Poe
In recent years, commodity chain analysis – the scholarly effort to piece together the production and consumption ends of various commodities – has really taken off. For goods ranging from cotton to coffee & tobacco to tea, scholars have brought cultivators and laborers into the same frame as factory workers, retailers, taste-makers, and consumers. At first glance, Mythri Jegathesan’s new book Tea & Solidarity: Tamil Women & Work in Postwar Sri Lanka (University of Washington Press, 2019) appears like yet another contribution to a burgeoning literature on the politics of tea’s supply chain. But the book, in fact, is so much more. Based on the author’s rich fieldwork conducted amongst Hill Country Tamil women living on tea plantations, the book uses feminist and decolonial methods to tell the long story of marginalization and struggle in a war-torn Sri Lanka. Hill Country Tamil women trace their descent from indentured coolies brought to Ceylon from southern India; as such, their stories have long been narrated largely as stories of victimization, of structural violence, landlessness, and dispossession. Challenging these conventional narratives, this book aims to recenter Tamil women’s long struggle for dignity on and off tea plantations by paying attention to the aspirations and labors with which they demand recognition for their work, make homes in the wake of dispossession, and desire better futures than those currently on offer. With clear, heartfelt prose, methodological imaginativeness, and careful attention to intersecting axes of power and distinction, this book not only makes essential contributions to the fields of anthropology and gender studies but also to scholars interested in South Asia, decoloniality, and ethical research methods. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at Harvard University studying the reproduction of inequality through development projects in rural western India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mallika Kaur, "Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
61 perc 100. rész Marshall Poe
Punjab was the arena of one of the first major armed conflicts of post-colonial India. During its deadliest decade, as many as 250,000 people were killed. This book makes an urgent intervention in the history of the conflict, which to date has been characterized by a fixation on sensational violence—or ignored altogether. In her book Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Mallika Kaur unearths the stories of three people who found themselves at the center of Punjab’s human rights movement: Baljit Kaur, who armed herself with a video camera to record essential evidence of the conflict; Justice Ajit Singh Bains, who became a beloved “people’s judge”; and Inderjit Singh Jaijee, who returned to Punjab to document abuses even as other elites were fleeing. Together, they are credited with saving countless lives. Braiding oral histories, personal snapshots, and primary documents recovered from at-risk archives, Kaur shows that when entire conflicts are marginalized, we miss essential stories: stories of faith, feminist action, and the power of citizen-activists. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brian Collins, "The Other Rāma: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Paraśurāma" (SUNY Press, 2020)
63 perc 41. rész Marshall Poe
Brian Collins' book The Other Rāma Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Paraśurāma (SUNY Press, 2020) examines a fascinating, understudied figure appearing in Sanskrit narrative texts: Paraśurāma, i.e., “Rāma with the Axe”. Though he is counted as among the ten avatāras of Viṣṇu, his biography is quite grisly: Paraśurāma is best known for decapitating his own mother and launching a genocidal campaign to annihilate twenty-one generations of the warrior caste. Why do ancient Sanskrit mythmakers elevate such an arguably transgressive and antisocial figure to so exalted a religious status? The Other Rāma explores this question by undertaking analysis of the Paraśurāma myth cycle using the methods of comparative mythology and psychoanalysis. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Julia Stephens, “Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in Modern South Asia” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
70 perc 178. rész Marshall Poe
As British colonial rulers expanded their control in South Asia legal resolutions were increasingly shaped by the English classification of social life. The definitional divide that structured the role of law in most cases was the line between what was deemed religious versus secular. In Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in Modern South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Julia Stephens, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Rutgers University, examines how Islam and Muslims were regulated within legal domains that managed various spheres of life. British rule determined that religious laws were most effective in governing family affairs but secular laws would govern markets and transactions. What complicated this simple binary was that Islamic “personal law” was very often bound up with economic issues. In our conversation we discuss British notions of “secular governance,” marriage and women’s property, the role of custom in legal reasoning, rulings around ritual and challenges to conformity, the construction of “personal law,” the relationships between colonial judges and Muslim legal scholars, how colonial law contributed to women’s economic marginalization, the relationship between gender and Islamic law, tensions between Hindus and Muslims, and how South Asia’s past can help us think about the present. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jyoti Puri, "Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India" (Duke UP, 2016)
55 perc 141. rész Marshall Poe
In Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India (Duke UP, 2016), Jyoti Puri tracks the efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in India to show how the regulation of sexuality is fundamentally tied to the creation and enduring existence of the state. Since 2001 activists have attempted to rewrite Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which in addition to outlawing homosexual behavior is often used to prosecute a range of activities and groups that are considered perverse. Having interviewed activists and NGO workers throughout five metropolitan centers, investigated crime statistics and case law, visited various state institutions, and met with the police, Puri found that Section 377 is but one element of how homosexuality is regulated in India. Through a cleverly conceptualized multi-sited ethnography and rigorous historical analysis, Puri masterfully shows how the hypervisibility of Section 377 has consequences for the ways in which sexuality, and the regulation of sexuality, is imagined and reproduced in rationalities of governance.This statute works alongside the large and complex system of laws, practices, policies, and discourses intended to mitigate sexuality's threat to the social order while upholding the state as inevitable, legitimate, and indispensable. By highlighting the various means through which the regulation of sexuality constitutes India's heterogeneous and fragmented "sexual state," Puri provides a conceptual framework to understand the links between sexuality and the state more broadly. That it does so in the context of a postcolonial state like India makes the conceptual framework even more vibrant and provocative. This book is an invaluable contribution to the existing literature that delves into the paradoxes and possibilities of law, biopolitics, and state power and authority in everyday life. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Peter Adamson, "Classical Indian Philosophy" (Oxford UP, 2020)
87 perc 40. rész Marshall Poe
In Classical Indian Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2020), Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri survey both the breadth and depth of Indian philosophical traditions. Their odyssey touches on the earliest extant Vedic literature, the Mahābhārata, the Bhagavad-Gīta, the rise of Buddhism and Jainism, the sūtra traditions encompassing logic, epistemology, the monism of Advaita Vedānta, and the spiritual discipline of Yoga. They even include textual traditions typically excluded from overviews of Indian philosophy, e.g., the Cārvāka school, Tantra, and Indian aesthetic theory. They address various significant themes such as non-violence, political authority, and the status of women, and the debate on the influence of Indian thought on Greek philosophy. Interestingly, this publication stems from a podcast series, which we also discuss in this podcast. Peter Adamson received his BA from Williams College and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He worked at King's College London from 2000 until 2012. He subsequently moved to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, where he is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy. He has published widely in ancient and medieval philosophy, and is the host of The History of Philosophy without Any Gaps podcast. Jonardon Ganeri is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of Attention, Not Self (2017), The Self (2012), The Lost Age of Reason (2011), and The Concealed Art of the Soul (2007). Ganeri's work draws on a variety of philosophical traditions to construct new positions in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology. He became the first philosopher to win the Infosys Prize in the Humanities in 2015. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)
59 perc 193. rész Marshall Poe
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education. Today I spoke with Leslie Harris about the book. Dr. Harris is a professor of history at Northwestern University. She is the coeditor, with Ira Berlin, of Slavery in New York and the coeditor, with Daina Ramey Berry, of Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (Georgia). Adam McNeil is a History PhD student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Archana Venkatesan, "Endless Song: Tiruvaymoli" (Penguin, 2010)
63 perc 39. rész Marshall Poe
Endless Song (Oxford University Press, 2019) is Dr. Archana Venkatesan’s exquisite translation of the Tiruvaymoli (sacred utterance), a brilliant 1102-verse ninth century tamil poem celebrating the poet Nammalvar’s mystical quest for union with his supreme lord, the Hindu great god Viṣṇu. In this interview we discuss the sophisticated structure and profound content of the Tiruvaymoli, along with the translator’s own transformative journey rending into English the meaning, emotion, cadence and kaleidoscopic brilliance proper to this Tamil masterpiece. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Elizabeth A. Cecil, "Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape" (Brill, 2020)
47 perc 38. rész Marshall Poe
Elizabeth A. Cecil's Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India (Brill, 2020) weaves together material from the Sanskrit text Skandapurāṇa, physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons to provide groundbreaking insight into the earliest known community of Śiva devotees: the Pāśupatas. Through examining how the Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional Indian landscapes, this book explores issues of belonging, identity, community building and place-making in Early Medieval India. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Susan Newcombe, "Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis" (Equinox, 2019)
63 perc 37. rész Marshall Poe
Paying special attention to sociocultural threads form the period 1945-1980, Susan Newcombe's new book Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis (Equinox, 2019) charts the trajectory of how yoga in became mainstream in Britain to the point of being taught to thousands of middle-class women in adult education classes. Drawing on archival evidence and interviews, the book shows the diverse figures and movements responsible for the popularization of yoga in Britain. Suzanne Newcombe is a Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University and a Research Fellow at Inform, a charity based at the London School of Economics. She researches yoga and ayurveda from a sociological and social historical perspective. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pawan Dhingra, "Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough" (NYU Press, 2020)
46 perc 137. rész Marshall Poe
Pawan Dhingra's new book Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough (NYU Press, 2020) is an up-close evaluation of the competitive nature of the United States education system and the extra-curricular and co-curricular activities associated with them. Dhingra reveals the subculture of high-achievement in education and after-school learning centers, spelling bees, and math competitions that have spawned as a result of a competitive markets in higher education and in life. This world is one in which immigrant families compete with Americans to be intellectually high-achieving and expect their children to invest countless hours in studying and testing in order to gain an upper-hand in the believed meritocracy of American public education. This is a world where enrichment centers, like Kumon, are able to capitalize and make profitable gains from parents who enroll their children as early as three years of age. There are even families and teachers who avoid after-school academics that are getting swept up in the competitive nature of this subculture called hyper education. Dr. Dhingra draws from more than 100 in-depth interviews with teachers, tutors, principals, children, and parents for this study. He delves into the narratives that parents of elementary and junior high school provide about this phenomenon and examines the roles played by schools, families, and communities. He moves beyond the “Tiger Mom” caricature that is often given to Asian American and white families who practice hyper education and asks if it makes sense. This book provides a behind-the-scenes look at hyper education from parents who have their children participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee, math competitions, and other national competitions, as well as after school learning centers. Dr. Dhingra shows that parents observe an increasingly competitive market for higher education and perceive good schools, good grades, and good behavior to not be enough for their high-achieving students. Pawan Dhingra, Ph.D. is a Professor of American Studies at Amherst College. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He earned his doctoral degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Walden University. He researches place and the process of place making as it is presented in everyday social interactions. You can find more about him on his website, follow him on Twitter @ProfessorJohnst or email him at johnstonmo@wmpenn.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pankaj Jain, "Dharma in America: A Short History of Hindu-Jain Diaspora" (Routledge, 2019)
74 perc 36. rész Marshall Poe
Pankaj Jain, Dharma in America: A Short History of Hindu-Jain Diaspora (Routledge, 2019) provides a concise history of Hindus and Jains in the Americas over the last two centuries, highlighting contributions to the economic and intellectual growth of the US in particular. Pankaj Jain pays special attention to contributions of the Hindu and Jain diasporas in the area of medicine and music. Listen in to learn about these contributions, along with ongoing challenges faced by these ethnic and religious groups face today. For photos related to the book, see this Facebook page. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Maura Finkelstein, "The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai" (Duke UP, 2019)
71 perc 62. rész Marshall Poe
Mumbai's textile industry is commonly but incorrectly understood to be an extinct relic of the past. In The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2019), Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill workers—who are assumed not to exist—to live and work during a period of deindustrialization. Challenging the view that archives are (just) locational, Finkelstein shows how mills are ethnographic archives of the city where documents, artifacts, and stories exist in the buildings and in the bodies of workers. Workers' pain, illnesses, injuries, and exhaustion narrate industrial decline; the ways in which they live in tenements exist outside and resist the values expounded by modernity; and the rumors and untruths they share about textile worker strikes and a mill fire help them make sense of the industry's survival. In outlining this archive's contents, Finkelstein conceptualizes these mills as lively ruins and shows how infrastructures are experienced by those who are rendered “unvisible” in the imagination of the city. An evocative ethnography, Finkelstein’s book, presents us with a lens through which to challenge, reimagine, and alter ways of thinking about the past, present, and future in Mumbai and beyond. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Knut A. Jacobsen, "Yoga in Modern Hinduism: Hariharānanda Āraṇya and Sāṃkhyayoga" (Routledge, 2017)
69 perc 35. rész Marshall Poe
In his book Yoga in Modern Hinduism: Hariharānanda Āraṇya and Sāṃkhyayoga (Routledge, 2017), Knut A. Jacobsen examines the Kāpil Maṭh, a Sāṃkhyayoga institution emerging in the late nineteenth century Bengal. This movement (developing contemporaneously with modern yoga) is centered on the cave-dwelling renunciant yogin Hariharānanda Āraṇya. This book offers a rare glimpse into Sāṃkhyayoga as a living tradition in terms of documenting the practices of modern Sāṃkhyayogins. It moreover maps the production of a novel sort of yogin forged by the nineteenth-century transformations of Bengali upper class religious culture. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Christine Fair, "In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba" (Oxford UP, 2018)
90 perc 74. rész Marshall Poe
The attacks on the luxurious Taj Hotel in Mumbai in 2008 put Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a jihadist terrorist group, in the international / Western spotlight for the first time, though they had been deadly active in India and Afghanistan for decades. In her book In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (Oxford University Press, 2018), Christine Fair reveals a little-known aspect of how LeT functions in Pakistan and beyond, by translating and commenting upon a range of publications produced and disseminated by Dar-ul-Andlus, the publishing wing of LeT. Only a fraction of LeT's cadres ever see battle: most of them are despatched on nation-wide "prozelytising" (dawa) missions to convert Pakistanis to their particular interpretation of Islam, in support of which LeT has developed a sophisticated propagandist literature. This canon of Islamist texts is the most popular and potent weapon in LeT's arsenal, and its scrutiny affords insights into how and who the group recruits; LeT's justification for jihad; its vision of itself in global and regional politics; the enemies LeT identifies and the allies it cultivates; and how and where it conducts its operations. Particular attention is paid to the role that LeT assigns to women by examining those writings which heap extravagant praise upon the mothers of aspirant jihadis, who bless their operations and martyrdom. It is only by understanding LeT's domestic functions as set out in these texts that one can begin to appreciate why Pakistan so fiercely supports it, despite mounting international pressure to disband the group. India and the United States are placed in extremely difficult positions with regard to Pakistan because of this. Christine Fair is a Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor in the Peace and Security Studies Program within Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kate Imy, "Faithful Fighters: Identity and Power in the British Indian Army" (Stanford UP, 2019)
70 perc 174. rész Marshall Poe
In her fascinating and remarkable new book Faithful Fighters: Identity and Power in the British Indian Army (Stanford University Press, 2019), Kate Imy explores the negotiation of religious identity, military service, and imperial power in the context of twentieth century British India. How were preconceived British imperial notions of religion and loyalty to the state attached to indigenous South Asian communities frustrated by the way Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, and Nepali Gurkha (Hindu and Buddhist) soldiers engaged the state and performed their political and religious identities as part of the British Indian army. Faithful Fighters is a powerful and brilliant meditation on the impossibility of modern colonial power to canonize religion and religious identity. The six chapters of this book examine a range of archives, themes, theaters, and actors including tensions surrounding the valorization of Sikh loyalty and controversies shadowing the Kirpān (sword), the cooptation of pan-Islamic sentiments for British imperialism, suspicions and sexual desires invested in the figure of the Pathan, Nepali Gurkhas, caste hierarchies, and rituals of purification, debates of food and religion in the military, projects of nationalism through military academies, and masculinity, fascism, and Hindu nationalism. This thoroughly researched and multidisciplinary book will attract and interest scholars from a range of fields including South Asian history, Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Military History, and Cultural Studies. Beautifully written, and populated with enticing narratives and images, it will also be a delight to teach in a variety of classes. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sanjib Baruah, "In the Name of the Nation: India and its Northeast" (Stanford UP, 2020)
67 perc 61. rész Marshall Poe
Sanjib Baruah’s latest book In the Name of the Nation: India and its Northeast (Stanford University Press, 2020) completes a trilogy on India’s northeastern borderland region of which the first two are India Against Itself: Assam and the Politics of Nationality (1999) and Durable Disorder: Understanding the Politics of Northeast India (2005). Writing about a region that is 'an artifact of a deliberate policy', the directional name--the Northeast--is a postcolonial coinage that refers to the eight states of India that border Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Tibetan areas of China. Baruah's book is a wide-ranging analysis of a mode of governance that has become associated with the region where armed resistance, electoral institutions, states of exception and the force of development co-exist. Baruah's book is a dive into the 'unfinished business of partition' in this borderland region, contested sovereignty, citizenship and mobility and the postcolonial trajectory of the colonial state in its direct and indirect avatar. Scholars studying civil conflict and armed resistance as well as those studying the political economy of borderlands and nationalism will find in Baruah's book deep and comparative insights into universal concerns of federalism, development and democracy. This is a crucial text to introduce students and scholars to the dilemmas and contradictions of a democracy as well as a region to whose concern institutional academia has arrived rather belatedly. Dr. Sanjib Baruah is a Professor of Political Studies at Bard College. Bhoomika Joshi is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology at Yale University.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brian A. Hatcher, "Hinduism Before Reform" (Harvard UP, 2020)
60 perc 34. rész Marshall Poe
Did modern Hinduism truly emerge due to the “reforms” instigated by “progressive” colonial figures such as Rammohun Roy? Brian A. Hatcher's new book Hinduism Before Reform (Harvard University Press, 2020) challenges this prevalent notion. Aimed at sidestepping the obfuscating binary of “progressive” vs “traditional”, this book examines in tandem two early nineteenth-century Hindu communities and their influential leaders: Rammohun Roy (founder of the “progressive” Brahmo Samaj) and Swami Narayan (founder of the “traditional” Swaminarayan Sampraday movement). Hinduism Before Reform advocates a radically different understanding of the origins of modern Hinduism by problematizing the notion of “reform” itself, instead advocating for viewing these movements as “religious polities.” For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matt Cook, "Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy" (MIT Press, 2020)
54 perc 46. rész Marshall Poe
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality, but there can appear to be. In Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2020), Matt Cook and a few collaborators dive deeply into more than 75 paradoxes in mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the social sciences. As each paradox is discussed and resolved, Cook helps readers discover the meaning of knowledge and the proper formation of concepts―and how reason can dispel the illusion of contradiction. The journey begins with “a most ingenious paradox” from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Readers will then travel from Ancient Greece to cutting-edge laboratories, encounter infinity and its different sizes, and discover mathematical impossibilities inherent in elections. They will tackle conundrums in probability, induction, geometry, and game theory; perform “supertasks”; build apparent perpetual motion machines; meet twins living in different millennia; explore the strange quantum world―and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ahmet T. Kuru, "Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
61 perc 100. rész Marshall Poe
Ahmet T. Kuru’s new book Islam, Authoritarianism and Underdevelopment, A Global and Historical Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is a ground-breaking history and analysis of the evolution of the state in Muslim countries. Thoroughly researched and accessibly written, Kuru’s work traces the template of the modern-day state in many Muslim-majority countries to fundamental political, social and economic changes in the 11th century. That was when Islamic scholars who until then had by and large refused to surrender their independence to the state were co-opted by Muslim rulers. It was a time when the merchant class lost its economic clout as the Muslim world moved from a mercantile to a feudal economy. Religious and other scholars were often themselves merchants or funded by merchants. The transition coincided with the rise of the military state legitimized by religious scholars who had little choice but to go into its employ. They helped the state develop a forced Sunni Muslim orthodoxy based on text rather than reason- or tradition based interpretation of Islam with the founding of madrassahs or religious seminaries that were designed to counter the rise of Shiite states in North Africa and counter less or unorthodox strands of the faith. Kuru’s history could hardly be more relevant. It lays bare the roots of modern-day, illiberal, authoritarian or autocratic states in the Muslim world that are characterized by some form of often rent-driven state capitalism and frequently expansionary in their effort to ensure regime survival and increase rents. These states feature education systems that fail to develop critical thinking and religious establishments that are subservient to their rulers. Kuru’s book also in effect describes one of the original sources of the civilizational state that has become a fixture in the struggle to shape a new world order. With his book, Kuru has made an invaluable contribution to the understanding of the stagnation as well as the turmoil that has swept the Middle East and North Africa as well as the wider Islamic world. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Andrew Ollett, "Language of the Snakes" (U California Press, 2017)
65 perc 67. rész Marshall Poe
Andrew Ollett, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, argues in his book, Language of the Snakes: (University of California Press, 2017), that Prakrit is “the most important Indian language you’ve never heard of.” In this book, subtitled "Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India," Ollett writes a biography of Prakrit from the perspective of cultural history, arguing that it is a language which challenges modern theorizing about language as a natural human development grounded in speech. Rather, he claims, Prakrit was "invented" and theorized as a self-consciously literary language, opposed to Sanskrit, but yet still part of the Sanskrit cosmopolis and not a vernacular. His book draws on unpublished manuscripts, royal inscriptions, poetry, as well as literary and grammatical texts. Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
SherAli Tareen, "Defending Muhammad in Modernity" (U Notre Dame Press, 2020)
68 perc 169. rész Marshall Poe
In his new book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020), SherAli Tareen, an associate professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College, takes us into the fascinating world of the ‘ulama (theologians) of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century South Asian Islam. Situated historically within the transitional and transformative period of the end of the Mughal era and the beginning of British colonialism, the book focuses on the native discourses, internal debates, and the ensuing logics utilized by Muslim theologians, such as Shah Muhammad Ismail and Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi. The book is divided into three sections and consists of twelve chapters. Throughout the study, Tareen thickly describes the internal debates surrounding issues of political theology (especially divine sovereignty), normativity and law (issues of bid‘a), and ritual practice (particularly of the mawlid (celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)) as a means to disrupt debates surrounding religious boundary making. Tareen’s close reading of texts in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian unsettles the post-colonial program of the modern secular state, not for the sake of arguing for “native agency” under colonial rule, but rather as a means to amplify how Muslim theologians did not bend to colonial secular norms that they were embedded within. The study models how a focused and nuanced analysis of intra-Muslim debates, such as the one between the Barelvi-Deobandi scholars opens up invigorating possibilities for questions and problem spaces that transcend reductive binaries of law/mysticism, puritan/populist, and reformist/traditionalist. The book is a tremendous contribution to the fields of South Asia and Islamic studies, while its theorizing on the twin forces of religion and secularism also adds greatly to conversations in the study of religion and politics. Tareen also includes a very useful appendix with discussion questions and pedagogical suggestions for how to use sections of the book in various undergraduate and graduate courses. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Patrick Inglis, "Narrow Fairways: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India" (Oxford UP, 2019)
59 perc 120. rész Marshall Poe
Processes of globalization—the liberalization of national markets, the rapid movement of goods, services, and labor across national borders—have had profound impacts on local contexts, perhaps especially so in the Global South. While some people in the worlds of business, media, and even academia praise such policies for benefitting the poor in these countries, others, particular actors on the left, are highly critical of them for leaving impoverished populations and places behind. Entering this conversation with a fresh take and a novel case is sociologist Patrick Inglis, whose new book Narrow Fairways: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India (Oxford University Press, 2019) uses the interactions between elite members of golf clubs in city of Bangalore and the caddies who carry their bags to examine how globalization is both upending and reproducing a status quo of extreme inequality. Based on more than ten years of ethnographic fieldwork, Inglis takes readers inside these clubs to show how the concentrated wealth and the increased privatization of institutions and social services in India—e.g. education, healthcare—have made the low-income, highly precarious caddies highly dependent on the members they serve. Through “upward servility,” a set of strategies of servility and deference, the caddies attempt to show members their worthiness for support and guidance and overcome a caste status they claim doesn’t influence their chances at upward mobility. By showcasing the lives and voices of the caddies, Inglis shows how globalization may not be creating polarized societies of haves and have-nots, but situations in which the rich and poor find themselves closely intertwined and in dubiously sustainable relationships. Richard E. Ocejo is associate professor of sociology at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is the author of Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy (Princeton University Press, 2017) and of Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City (Princeton University Press, 2014). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jennifer B. Saunders, "Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and their Narrative Performances" (Oxford UP, 2019)
73 perc 33. rész Marshall Poe
Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and their Narrative Performances (Oxford University Press, 2019) tells the story of the Gupta family through the personal and religious narratives they tell as they create and maintain their extended family and community across national borders. Based on ethnographic research, the book demonstrates the ways that transnational communities are involved in shaping their experiences through narrative performances. Jennifer B. Saunders demonstrates that narrative performances shape participants' social realities in multiple ways: they define identities, they create connections between community members living on opposite sides of national borders, and they help create new homes amidst increasing mobility. The narratives are religious and include epic narratives such as excerpts from the Ramayana as well as personal narratives with dharmic implications. Saunders' analysis combines scholarly understandings of the ways in which performances shape the contexts in which they are told, indigenous comprehension of the power that reciting certain narratives can have on those who hear them, and the theory that social imaginaries define new social realities through expressing the aspirations of communities. Imagining Religious Communities argues that this Hindu community's religious narrative performances significantly contribute to shaping their transnational lives. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times” (Princeton UP, 2020)
42 perc 154. rész Marshall Poe
How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociological analysis of how critics confront the different types of uncertainty associated with their practice. The book explores how reviewers get matched to books, the ethics and etiquette of negative reviews and ‘punching up’, along with professional identities and the future of criticism. The book is packed with interview material, coupled with accessible and easy to follow theoretical interventions, creating a text that will be of interest to social sciences, humanities, and general readers alike. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
K. Linder et al., "Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers" (Stylus Publishing, 2020)
39 perc 103. rész Marshall Poe
If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member whose career has basically consisted of higher ed, switching isn’t so easy. PhD holders are mostly trained to work as professors, and making easy connections to other careers is no mean feat. Because the people you know were generally trained to do the same sorts of things, an easy source of advice might not be there for you. Thankfully, for anybody who wishes there was a guidebook that would just break all of this down, that book has now been written. Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (Stylus Publishing, 2020) by Kathryn E. Linder, Kevin Kelly, and Thomas J. Tobin offers practical advice and step-by-step instructions on how to decide if you want to leave behind academia and how to start searching for a new career. If a lot of career advice is too vague or too ambiguous, this book corrects that by outlining not just how to figure out what you might want to do, but critically, how you might go about accomplishing that. Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a PhD in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to zeb.larson@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dr. Alice Collett, "Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History" (Oxford UP, 2016)
66 perc 62. rész Marshall Poe
Dr. Alice Collett’s monograph Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History (Oxford University Press, 2016) delves into the lives of six of the best-known nuns from the period of early Buddhism: Dhammadinnā, Khemā, Kisāgotamī, Paṭācārā, Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā, and Uppalavaṇṇā, all of whom are said to have been direct disciples of the historical Buddha. Collett does the thankless task of sorting through the biographical information scattered throughout the canonical and commenterial literature to present a richly textured account of the these six extraordinary women’s lives. She further analyzes the differences between the various biographical accounts to glean historical information about the position of women and changing gender relations in the early centuries of Buddhism in India. One of the main contributions of her monograph is the finding that women were treated more favorably in the Pāli Canon than is commonly presented. She also gains insight into an impressive number of other themes ranging from notions of beauty and bodily adornment, to family, class, and marriage to name just a few. This book is sure to be of value to a wide audience, especially those interested in women in Buddhism, early Buddhism and early Indian society. Alex Carroll studies Buddhist Studies at the University of South Wales and is primarily interested in Theravāda and early Buddhism. He lives in Oslo, Norway and can be reached via his website here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kenneth R. Valpey, "Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
59 perc 32. rész Marshall Poe
What does cow care in India have to offer modern Western discourse animal ethics? Why are cows treated with such reverence in the Indian context? Join us as we speak to Kenneth R. Valpey about his new book Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Valpey discusses his methodological odyssey looking at ancient Hindu scriptural accounts of cows, to modern Hindu thinkers (Gandhi, Ambedkar) on cow protection, to ethnographic work on individuals engaged in the modern Indian cow protection movement. This book is Open Access, and you can download a free copy here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kim A. Wagner, "Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre" (Yale UP, 2019)
76 perc 680. rész Marshall Poe
You've probably seen the film Gandhi and you likely think that you know all about the Amritsar Massacre of 1919. After all, Richard Attenborough’s 1982 academy award winning film did an incredible job of recreating every detail of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordering his Gurkha and Sikh troops to open fire on a peaceful crowd listening to a nationalist speech. Right? Well, professor Kim Wagner of the University of London Queen Mary wants to undo the mythology that surrounds this event. Critiquing both Indian nationalist narratives and Raj nostalgia, Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre (Yale University Press, 2019) puts this act of colonial violence in its proper historical context. Based on meticulous archival research and presented in a lively and engaging style, Wagner argues that this massacre was not an aberration from an otherwise just and well-managed British colony. Rather, the massacre was part of a longer history of violence that includes the suppression of the Thugee, the brutal crushing of the 1857 mutiny, and a series of other violent events. Indeed, Wagner sees British violence as central to the imperial project. The book also explores the afterlife of the massacre, including popular British support for the disgraced Dyer and the uses of the event by the Indian nationalist movement. Considering President Trump’s recent pardoning of a Navy SEAL convicted of war crimes, our discussion of Amritsar 1919 resonates with current events. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ajantha Subramanian, "The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India" (Harvard UP, 2019)
65 perc 53. rész Marshall Poe
What is merit? How is it claimed? In her much-awaited book The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India (Harvard University Press, 2019), Ajantha Subramanian addresses the pertinent question of caste inheritance and privilege in the making of merit and meritocracies. Focusing her attention on the premier institutions of engineering education in India, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Subramanian provides an insightful account of their emergence is post-independence India as a set of distinct and “world class” institutions underwritten by the Indian state. As Subramanian traces the colonial career of technical knowledge as the prehistory of the formation of IITs as well as the global circulation of ‘Brand IIT’, she provides us an account of how the alibis of caste inheritance emerge against graded inequalities. Whether it is through the language of law that only names caste discrimination as the basis of non-achievement while leaving unnamed caste inheritances as the basis of achievement, or through the judicial monikers of ‘general category’ and ‘reserved category’ or better still the ‘middle classness’ of those who claim educational achievement as their only capital, Subramanian’s book unravels the claims to casteless-ness crucial to the discourse on meritocracy in India and in the United States. Ajantha Subramanian is a Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Tune in to listen to the author talk about the dual value of technical education, the relationships between caste and mobility, the Indian diaspora in the Silicon Valley and the methodological repertoire and dilemmas of (not) talking about caste privilege. Bhoomika Joshi is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology at Yale University.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Simon Brodbeck, "Krishna's Lineage: The Harivamsha of Vyasa's Mahabharata" (Oxford UP, 2019)
47 perc 31. rész Marshall Poe
While typically circulating as a separate text, The Harivamsha forms the final part of the Mahabharata storyline. Beyond this, it is rich storehouse of cosmological, genealogical, theological materials, detailing the biography of Krishna (avatar of the Hindu great god Vishnu), along with much more mythic material. Join us as we speak with Simon Brodbeck about the significance of the Harivamsha, and about his process producing this fine, accessible English translation, Krishna's Lineage: The Harivamsha of Vyasa's Mahabharata (Oxford University Press, 2019). For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
James M. Vaughn, "The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III" (Yale UP, 2019)
42 perc 61. rész Marshall Poe
In his notes for a speech to be delivered in the House of Commons in the wake of American Independence, the MP and imperial reformer Edmund Burke observed that ‘Some people are great Lovers of uniformity - They are not satisfied with a rebellion in the West. They must have one in the East: They are not satisfied with losing one Empire - they must lose another. Lord North will weep that he has not more worlds to lose’. At its eighteenth-century height, the British Empire extended its power over two vast indigenous spaces: one in North America, and the other in India. The question of what this empire was, and how it should be governed was the subject of intense debate in Britain. For decades, historians have maintained that the acquisition of vast territorial domains was unexpected and unplanned – in a ‘fit of absence of mind’. In The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Crisis and Transformation of Britain’s Imperial State (Yale University Press, 2019), James M. Vaughn offers an powerful challenge to the received view that the Asian domains were acquired by accident and formed part of an empire of liberty. By charting a fundamental shift in British politics during the eighteenth century, he reveals that the imperial project in India was defined by conquest and domination and driven by a new kind of politics. Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull (UK), who has written on the politics of religion in early modern Britain, and whose work has recently expanded to the intersection of colonial, indigenous, and imperial politics in early America. He co-leads the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sidharthan Maunaguru, "Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War" (U Washington Press 2019)
70 perc 52. rész Marshall Poe
Sidharthan Maunaguru’s Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War (University of Washington Press 2019) is an unusual ethnography of the ‘in-betweenness’ and ‘potential’ of marriage in the time of political violence and conflict. Maunaguru sketches for us the journeys and scenes of transnational Sri Lankan Tamil marriage between Sri Lanka, India, the United Kingdom and Canada during the ‘wedding season’ and the lives of those involved in making it happen across time and space. Marriage brokers, relatives and friends, astrologers and priests, wedding photographers and immigration lawyers enact different kinds of possibilities for those seeking to ‘marry for a future’. The fragmented communities from the civil war between the Sri Lankan state and the Tamil militants strive to recreate the communities, rituals and relatedness which is now dispersed across the globe. Maunaguru takes the readers through the offices of the wedding brokers, the guest houses where weddings are celebrated, the archives of colonial law on marriage, the immigration cases and documents of refusal and redress where this striving occurs – first to be united in marriage and then to be reunited as a couple and family. Listen to Maunaguru talk about living with hope in shadow of conflict, the trouble with the dichotomy between ‘arranged marriage’ and ‘love marriage’ and the authority of the ‘modern wedding album’ in the global immigration regime. This is one of the most significant contributions to the anthropological study of migration, mobility, diaspora and kinship. Bhoomika Joshi is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology at Yale University.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information" (Norton, 2019)
57 perc 42. rész Marshall Poe
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and reason; the flashy visuals are both appealing and persuasive. Pie charts, maps, bar and line graphs, and scatter plots (to name a few) can better inform us, revealing patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. In short, good charts make us smarter―if we know how to read them. However, they can also lead us astray. Charts lie in a variety of ways―displaying incomplete or inaccurate data, suggesting misleading patterns, and concealing uncertainty―or are frequently misunderstood, such as the confusing cone of uncertainty maps shown on TV every hurricane season. To make matters worse, many of us are ill-equipped to interpret the visuals that politicians, journalists, advertisers, and even our employers present each day, enabling bad actors to easily manipulate them to promote their own agendas. In How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information (W. W. Norton, 2019), data visualization expert Alberto Cairo teaches us to not only spot the lies in deceptive visuals, but also to take advantage of good ones to understand complex stories. Public conversations are increasingly propelled by numbers, and to make sense of them we must be able to decode and use visual information. By examining contemporary examples ranging from election-result infographics to global GDP maps and box-office record charts, How Charts Lie demystifies an essential new literacy, one that will make us better equipped to navigate our data-driven world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sebastian Prange, "Monsoon Islam: Trade and Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
56 perc 157. rész Marshall Poe
Monsoon Islam: Trade and Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast (Cambridge University Press, 2019) by Sebastian Prange provides a fascinating window into the Muslim world of the medieval (12-16th century) Malabar Coast and the development of Islam that was defined by significant trade networks. Prange conceptualizes this particular development of Muslim communities on the Malabar Coast as Monsoon Islam. Subverting any notions that Islam developed systematically or through organized political efforts, the book uses the history of the pepper trade across the Indian Ocean to map spatial developments, such as of mosques and ports, and the early Muslim trading communities who inhabited these realms. We have before us a global history of Monsoon Islam that utilizes trade networks to capture far more complex cross-cultural exchanges that included kinship, religious, textual, Sufi, and political networks. The latter dynamics led to instances of negotiated establishment of legal and religious codes, as well as familial and economic ties. For instance, the book highlights how legal norms or religious practices became localized and translated to a new context by minority Muslims within a predominately Hindu society, such as in mosque architecture or marriage practices. Prange’s detailed study asks us to think of both global and local processes that led to the formation of a cosmopolitan and transoceanic Monsoon Islam and thus complicates how we study the spread of Islam across diverse regions in South Asia, and the vital role of traders, scholars, and saints. The study’s deep engagement with diverse historical sources, and its beautifully written analysis, makes it an accessible and critical read for scholars interested in the world of Islam in the Indian Ocean and South Asia, as well as Islamic economics, politics, and history broadly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Simon Wolfgang Fuchs, "In a Pure Muslim Land: Shi’ism between Pakistan and the Middle East" (UNC Press, 2019)
49 perc 88. rész Marshall Poe
Scholarly and public discourse on Islamic intellectual thought in the modern period tend to frame it narrowly through the concept of “influence” as it emanates from the Middle Eastern “center” to the non-Middle Eastern “peripheries” without paying sufficient attention to the ways in which these variegated “peripheries” retain the autonomy to form their own conceptions of religious identity in relation to themselves and to those “centers.” In his latest work, In a Pure Muslim Land: Shi’ism between Pakistan and the Middle East (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), Simon Wolfgang Fuchs interrogates this framework with a novel intervention by examining the case of Shi’i Islamic intellectual thought in Pakistan as it relates to the Middle East. Beginning his study with pre-colonial India, Simon explores the internal debates that took place within Shi’i scholarly circles in the subcontinent prior to and after the founding of Pakistan to unearth the myriad ways in which they negotiated and contested their place within their social and intellectual milieus as arbiters of their religious tradition on equal footing with Middle Eastern Shi’i scholars and with their Sunni counterparts in South Asia. Through rigorous research conducted in libraries across the Middle East and South Asia, Simon re-centers the importance of theological ideas – as elaborated in doctrinal texts, journal publications, and speeches – as a necessary complement to material interests in the formation of religious and sectarian identity in modern Islamic thought. He further demonstrates how Pakistani Shi’i intellectuals were not passive recipients of concepts from the Shi’i centers of Iraq and Iran, but active participants in the process of evaluating the usefulness of those ideas, working to re-appropriate or repackage them for their own local circumstances. Pakistani Shi’i scholars thus “indigenized” watershed events like the Iranian Revolution but also retained their own autonomy as actors with full agency to determine to what extent Iranian notions of authority and hierarchy ought be emulated. This work cuts across the fields of Middle East Studies, South Asia Studies, and Islamic Studies, and creates avenues for further research in the history of transnational and transregional Islamic thought by challenging the conventional “center-periphery” binary between the Middle East and South Asia and by drawing our attention to the importance of the bidirectional flow of ideas between those regions. Asad Dandia is a graduate student of Islamic Studies at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nosheen Ali, "Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
42 perc 156. rész Marshall Poe
In her pioneering and politically urgent new book Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier (Cambridge UP, 2019), Nosheen Ali presents a lyrical and at many times haunting account of the aspirations, anxieties, and tragedies enfolding everyday life in the rarely studied Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan. How does the encounter and interplay of love and betrayal inform the relationship between the state and its aspiring citizens? Ali engages and extends this foundational political and conceptual question in a range of discursive sites including the affective dimensions of militarization and state power, sectarianism and education, poetic publics and their alternate imaginaries of Islam and Muslim identity, and the agonistic operations of environmental development on everyday pastoral life. Written with exceptional clarity and extraordinary poetic panache, Delusional States is a landmark publication in the study of Islam, South Asia, Pakistan, and politics that should spark several important and far reaching discussions and debates in the academy and beyond. It will also make a terrific text for undergraduate and graduate seminars on these and many other themes. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Angela Rudert, "Shakti's New Voice: Guru Devotion in a Women-Led Spiritual Movement" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
81 perc 29. rész Marshall Poe
Angela Rudert's Shakti's New Voice: Guru Devotion in a Women-Led Spiritual Movement (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017) is the first academic study of the popular contemporary North Indian female guru Anandmurti Gurumaa. In drawing from, e.g., Sikh and Sufi traditions, Gurumaa’s syncretic approach innovates Hindu religiosity, as does her progressive attitudes towards treatment of women. Is a female guru of benefit to female disciples? What is the role of the internet and modern media in transmitting traditional teachings? What is the relationship between ashram life and social activism? How might Gurumaa compare to other contemporary female gurus, e.g. Amma? Join us as we explore these and other questions. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Karine Gagné, "Caring for Glaciers: Land, Animals, and Humanity in the Himalayas" (U Washington Press, 2019)
100 perc 59. rész Marshall Poe
In her new book, Caring for Glaciers: Land, Animals, and Humanity in the Himalayas (University of Washington Press, 2019), Karine Gagné explores how relations of reciprocity between land, humans, animals, and glaciers foster an ethics of care in the Himalayan communities of Ladakh. She explores the way these relations are changing due to climate change, the growth of the wage economy at the expense of traditional agricultural and pastoral lifestyles, and increased military presence resulting from Ladakh's status as a border area. This book will be of interest to those who are interested in the anthropology of ethics, ethics in Buddhist communities, and the anthropology of climate change. Kate Hartmann is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies at Harvard University. Her work explores issues of perception and materiality in Tibetan pilgrimage literature, and she can be reached at chartmann@fas.harvard.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing
40 perc 45. rész Marshall Poe
As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called "fundamental research." Their authors--dedicated researchers one and all--provide the scholarly stuff upon which many non-fiction trade books are based. So when you are reading, say, a popular history, you are often reading UP books at one remove. Of course, some UP books are also bestsellers, and they are all well written (and, I should say, thoroughly vetted thanks to the peer review system), but the greatest contribution of UPs is to provide a base of fundamental research to the public. And they do a great job of it. How do they do it? Today I talked to Kathryn Conrad, the president of the Association of University Presses, about the work of UPs, the challenges they face, and some terrific new directions they are going. We also talked about why, if you have a scholarly book in progress, you should talk to UP editors early and often. And she explains how! Listen in. Marshall Poe is the editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
J. Neuhaus, "Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers" (West Virginia UP, 2019)
32 perc 81. rész Marshall Poe
The things that make people academics -- as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude that developing expertise requires -- do not necessarily make us good teachers. Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers (West Virginia University Press, 2019) helps us to identify and embrace that geekiness in us and then offers practical, step-by-step guidelines for how to turn it to effective pedagogy. It’s a sharp, slim, and entertaining volume that can make better teachers of us all. Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jessica Hinchy, "Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c.1850-1900" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
63 perc 102. rész Marshall Poe
Until Jessica Hinchy’s latest book, Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c.1850-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2019), there was no single monograph dedicated to the history of the Hijra community. Perhaps this silence can bear the loudest testament of the marginalization this gender non-confirming community was subjected to under British colonial rule. This book is, therefore, important not only because of its efforts to humanize and situate this community amid the anxieties and hubristic ambitions of colonial rule, but also because it documents the ability many Hijras have to preserve in spite of systematic policing and criminalization. More importantly, perhaps, Jessica Hinchy reveals that the Hijras’ were not just surveilled or marginalized; British colonial authorities ultimately aimed to eradicate and eliminate the community entirely. Jessica Hinchy is Assistant Professor in History at the Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore. Her research examines gender, sexuality and colonialism in India. In addition to studying the history of the transgender Hijra community under British colonial rule, Dr. Hinchy has also explored problems related to slavery, masculinity, and indirect colonial rule in India through several publications on Khwajasarai eunuch-slaves. She has also investigated the history of childhood, in particular in relation to sexuality and slavery. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee, "Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism" (Anthem Press, 2018)
67 perc 28. rész Marshall Poe
The Hindu great epic, Mahābhārata, exists today in hundreds of variant manuscripts across India. These manuscripts were painstakingly examined, sorted and reconstituted into the official Critical Edition of the Mahābhārata. Is the Critical Edition a viable means of studying India's great epic?  While several scholars critique this undertaking project, the authors of Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism (Anthem Press, 2018), Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee, present a rigorous defense of the Mahābhārata's Critical Edition. Listen in and hear how and why they've done so. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Farhat Haq, "Shariʿa and the State in Pakistan: Blasphemy Politics" (Routledge, 2019)
63 perc 154. rész Marshall Poe
Few doctrinal and political issues are more controversial in Pakistan today than that of blasphemy. In her excellent and engaging new book Shariʿa and the State in Pakistan: Blasphemy Politics (Routledge, 2019), Farhat Haq presents the history and present of blasphemy laws, debates, and politics in Pakistan, in a manner that carefully weaves the historical backdrop of blasphemy politics with detailed descriptions of important discursive moments and contributions involving a range of different state and non-state actors. Equally conversant with Islamic Studies, South Asian Studies, and Political Science, this book will speak to and interest multiple audiences, while familiarizing readers in eminently accessible prose with the legal, political, and theological complexities invested in the question of blasphemy in Pakistan and beyond. Throughout the book, Haq convincingly shows and argues that blasphemy politics in Pakistan escapes any neat narratives or conceptual framings, and one must attend to its contingencies in order to develop a more nuanced understanding of its thorniest implications and consequences. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the hugely critical and controversial topic of blasphemy in Islam and in Pakistan. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mark McClish, "The History of the Arthaśāstra: Sovereignty and Sacred Law in Ancient India" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
43 perc 27. rész Marshall Poe
Was ancient India ruled by politics or religion? In The History of the Arthaśāstra: Sovereignty and Sacred Law in Ancient India (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Mark McClish explores the Arthaśāstra (ancient India’s foundational treatise on statecraft and governance) to problematize the common scholarly idea that politics in ancient India was circumscribed by religion, i.e., that kings prioritized a sacred duty to abide by the spiritual law of dharma. McClish shows that this model of kingship comes to the fore only in the classical period, demonstrating that the Arthaśāstra originally espoused a political philosophy marked by empiricism and pragmatism. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ather Zia, "Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism" (U Washington Press, 2019)
79 perc 153. rész Marshall Poe
Ather Zia’s Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism (University of Washington Press, 2019) is a brilliant, bold, and urgent ethnography centered on Kashmiri women of the APDP (Association of the Parents of the Disappeared Persons). By combining meticulous historical analysis, ethnographic intimacy, and profound attention to the aspirations and tragedies of everyday life, Zia documents the discursive mechanisms and affective registers through which women of the APDP deploy and enact mourning as a politics of resisting the settler colonial regime of India in Indian Occupied Kashmir, especially its ghastly enforced disappearance of over 10,000 Kashmiris. Lyrically written, this book details and navigates the fascinating as well as courageous strategies of resistance mobilized by members of the APDP, while also sketching a vivid and at many times harrowing picture of Indian state brutalities and conditions of colonial rule that Kashmiris, including women of the APDP, must constantly contend and negotiate. The strength of this book lies in the way it moves seamlessly between crafting intimate individual portraits of resistance, and describing the broader terrain of colonial occupation that informs, shapes, and limits the arc and practice of resistance. In our conversation, we touched on a range of themes including “affective law” and its challenge to modern state sovereignty, gendered choreographies of resistance, military humanitarianism and its insidious operations, archive fever and the politics of mourning, and the interaction of poetry and ethnography. This theoretically sophisticated and politically powerful book marks a groundbreaking moment in the anthropological study of Kashmir and South Asia that will also make an excellent text in undergraduate and graduate seminar on various themes and topics. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kim A. Wagner, "The Skull of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857" (Oxford UP, 2018)
61 perc 623. rész Marshall Poe
How did a Danish historian wind up with a human skull from colonial India in his University of London office? Kim A. Wagner’s The Skull of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857(Oxford University Press, 2018) tells two stories. The first concerns the way in which he came into possession of the skull of a Muslim soldier executed by the British in the aftermath of the rebellion of 1857, also known as the Mutiny. The second story is Wagner’s attempted biography of Alum Bheg, a man who left no trace in the archive but whose head was taken as a battlefield trophy after his body was blown from a cannon in a grisly ceremony of revenge. Wagner uses this man’s life and death to explore British rule in India. The book raises important issues about the history of racialized violence in the colonial world. Wagner’s analysis is sure to challenge the ideas of those nostalgic for the Raj and for those who cherish India’s nationalist mythology. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford, 2018). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Geoffrey Barstow, "Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet" (Columbia UP, 2018)
65 perc 58. rész Marshall Poe
Tibetan Buddhism teaches compassion toward all beings, a category that explicitly includes animals. Slaughtering animals is morally problematic at best and, at worst, completely incompatible with a religious lifestyle. Yet historically most Tibetans—both monastic and lay—have made meat a regular part of their diet. In Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2018) of the place of vegetarianism within Tibetan religiosity, Geoffrey Barstow explores the tension between Buddhist ethics and Tibetan cultural norms to offer a novel perspective on the spiritual and social dimensions of meat eating. Sangseraima Ujeed, ACLS Robert H.N. Ho Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies at UCSB. She read for her graduate degree at the University of Oxford. Her main research focus is the trans-national aspect of Buddhism, lineage and identity in Tibet and Mongolia in the Early Modern period, with a particular emphasis on the contributions made by ethnically Mongolian monk scholars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dolly Kikon, "Living with Oil and Coal: Resource Politics and Militarization in Northeast India" (U Washington Press, 2019)
57 perc 44. rész Marshall Poe
In Living with Oil and Coal: Resource Politics and Militarization in Northeast India(University of Washington Press, 2019), anthropologist Dolly Kikon offers a rich account of life in the midst of a landscape defined by multiple overlapping extractive industries and plantation economies, and of the social relations through which a resource frontier comes into being. Examining the foothills at the border between the states of Assam and Nagaland, she describes the histories of tea plantations, oil exploration, and coal mining, the role of mobility and migration, the security apparatuses that has evolved over decades of conflict and militarization, and, most strikingly, the way these forces shape and are manifest in the daily course of life of those inhabiting the region. In this episode of New Books in anthropology, Dolly Kikon and host Jacob Doherty talk about the role of hospitality in constructing resource frontiers, how morom (‘love’) works as an idiom to police ethnic purity and critique the state, the sociality of local markets, and the dreams and fantasies engendered by the carbon economy. Dolly Kikon is a senior lecturer in anthropology and development studies at the Univerity of Melbourne. She is the author of the book Leaving the Land: Indigenous Migration and Affective Labour in India (Cambridge, 2019), and, among many others, the article “Fermenting Modernity” (South Asia, 2015). Jacob Doherty is a lecturer in anthropology of development at the University of Edinburgh and, most recently, the co-editor Labor Laid Waste, a special issue of International Labor and Working Class History. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shayne Legassie, "The Medieval Invention of Travel" (U Chicago Press, 2017)
40 perc 558. rész Marshall Poe
Shayne Legassie talks about medieval travel, especially long distance travel, and the way it was feared, praised, and sometimes treated with suspicion. He also talks about the role the Middle Ages played in creating modern conceptions of travel and travel writing. Legassie is an associate professor of English and Comparative literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Medieval Invention of Travel (University of Chicago, 2017). Over the course of the Middle Ages, the economies of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa became more closely integrated, fostering the international and intercontinental journeys of merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, missionaries, and adventurers. During a time in history when travel was often difficult, expensive, and fraught with danger, these wayfarers composed accounts of their experiences in unprecedented numbers and transformed traditional conceptions of human mobility. Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He's the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He's also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mubbashir A. Rizvi, "The Ethics of Staying: Social Movements and Land Rights Politics in Pakistan" (Stanford UP, 2019)
54 perc 99. rész Marshall Poe
The military coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power as Pakistan's tenth president resulted in the abolition of a century-old sharecropping system that was rife with corruption. In its place the military regime implemented a market reform policy of cash contract farming. Ostensibly meant to improve living conditions for tenant farmers, the new system, instead, mobilized one of the largest, most successful land rights movements in South Asia—still active today. In The Ethics of Staying: Social Movements and Land Rights Politics in Pakistan (Stanford University Press, 2019), Mubbashir A. Rizvi presents an original framework for understanding this major social movement, called the Anjuman Mazarin Punjab (AMP). This group of Christian and Muslim tenant sharecroppers, against all odds, successfully resisted Pakistan military's bid to monetize state-owned land, making a powerful moral case for land rights by invoking local claims to land and a broader vision for subsistence rights. The case of AMP provides a unique lens through which to examine state and society relations in Pakistan, one that bridges literatures from subaltern studies, military and colonial power, and the language of claim-making. Rizvi also offers a glimpse of Pakistan that challenges its standard framing as a hub of radical militancy, by opening a window into to the everyday struggles that are often obscured in the West's terror discourse. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Arik Moran, "Kingship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland" (Amsterdam UP, 2019)
54 perc 26. rész Marshall Poe
What role did women play in securing power in colonial Himalayan kingdoms? Kingship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland (Amsterdam UP, 2019) specifically documents the key roles played by women - especially queen regents - in the modern transformation of state and society in the Indian Himalaya kingdoms. Arik Moran examines three Rajput kingdoms during the transition to British rule (c. 1790-1840) and their interconnected histories and court intrigues. He draws on rich archival records, local histories, and extensive ethnographic research to offer an alternative to the popular and scholarly discourses that developed with the rise of colonial knowledge. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
William M. Gorvine, "Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint" (Oxford UP, 2018)
66 perc 56. rész Marshall Poe
In his new book, Envisioning A Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Bonpo Saint (Oxford University Press, 2018), William M. Gorvine provides a multifaceted analysis of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859-1934), one of the most prominent modern representatives of the Tibetan Bön tradition. Engaging two written versions of Shardza’s life story as well as oral histories gathered during fieldwork in eastern Tibet and Bön exile communities in India, Gorvine explores the ways in which Shardza has been represented and what such representations can tell us about the religious communities in which Shardza operated as well as the genre of religious biography more generally. In the process, Gorvine also provides an accessible introduction to Bön, a religious minority that remains understudied by scholars of Tibet. This book will be of interest to those who are interested in religious biographies and how they related to the religious, literary, and historical contexts in which they were produced. Catherine Hartmann is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies at Harvard University. Her work explores issues of perception and materiality in Tibetan pilgrimage literature, and she can be reached at chartmann@fas.harvard.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Berthe Jansen, "The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet" (U California Press, 2018)
61 perc 55. rész Marshall Poe
The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet (University of California Press, 2018) discusses the position of the monasteries in pre-1950s Tibetan Buddhist societies and how that position was informed by the far-reaching relationship of monastic Buddhism with Tibetan society, economy, law, and culture. Berthe Jansen's study of monastic guidelines is the first study of its kind to examine the genre in detail. The book contains an exploration of its parallels in other Buddhist cultures, its connection to the Vinaya, and its value as socio-historical source-material. The guidelines are witness to certain socio-economic changes, while also containing rules that aim to change the monastery in order to preserve it. Jansen argues that the monastic institutions’ influence on society was maintained not merely due to prevailing power-relations, but also because of certain deep-rooted Buddhist beliefs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
William Elison, "The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai" (U Chicago Press, 2018)
67 perc 25. rész Marshall Poe
William Elison's The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai(University of Chicago Press, 2018) explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces in Mumbai. Interestingly, not all of Elison's interview subjects identify as Hindu, which bolsters has argument that sacred space in Mumbai is created by visual and somatic practices performed across religious boundaries. Join as as we discuss Elison's rich fieldwork in the streets, slums, and movie studios of Mumbai. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kapila D. Silva and Amita Sinha, "Cultural Landscapes of South Asia : Studies in Heritage Conservation, and Management" (Routledge, 2017)
53 perc 19. rész Marshall Poe
The book today is Cultural Landscapes of South Asia : Studies in Heritage Conservation, and Management (Routledge, 2017) edited by Kapila D. Silva and Amita Sinha. It's the Winner of the Environmental Design Research Association's 2018 Achievement Award. South Asian architecture and landscapes are not as well known in the western design schools. This book adds to our body of knowledge about “how to” design spaces with culturally sensitivity for projects in South Asia but also what we can learn from them. It's about how their multi-faceted cultural appreciation of the land that derives from their religion, food, and way of living with ecologies affects their designs and placemaking. It’s a fascinating book to view western cultures in a new light and also our current struggles with sea level rise and ecological challenges. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ithamar Theodor, "Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning" (Routledge, 2016)
55 perc 24. rész Marshall Poe
The Bhagavad Gītā remains to this day a mainstay of Hinduism and Hindu Studies alike, despite the profusion of books written on it over the centuries. While the Gītā’s profundity is evident, its meaning most certainly is not. Is there a unity within the Bhagavad Gītā? Ithamar Theodor’s Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning (Routledge, 2016) proposes a unifying structure which of this seminal Hindu work, identifying multiple layers of meaning at play. Theodor provides a new translation of the full text of the Bhagavad Gita, divided into sections, and accompanied by in-depth commentary, rendering this ancient Indian classic accessible to scholars and aspirants alike. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Julia Cassaniti, "Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia" (Cornell UP, 2018)
101 perc 53. rész Marshall Poe
How do you understand mindfulness? Is your understanding limited by your own culture’s definition of what mindfulness is? These are some of the questions you will ask yourself while reading Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia (Cornell University Press). In today’s podcast, Prof. Julia Cassaniti takes us on a tour of three Theravada Buddhist countries (Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) to show us how mindfulness is understood in this region and what this, in turn, can teach the West about its own understanding of the concept. This is an insightful read not only for academics interested in contemporary Buddhist studies in the countries surveyed, but also for anyone interested in broadening their perspective on what the term ‘mindfulness’ means. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Harshita M. Kamath, "The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance" (U California Press, 2019)
50 perc 23. rész Marshall Poe
Harshita M. Kamath's new book The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance (University of California Press, 2019) features an investigation of men donning a women’s guises to impersonate female characters – most notably Satyabhāmā, the wife of the Hindu deity Krishna –within the insular Brahmin community of the Kuchipudi village in Telugu-speaking South India. Kamath broaches the practice of impersonation across various boundaries – village to urban, Brahmin to non-Brahmin, hegemonic to non-normative – to explore the artifice of Brahmin masculinity in contemporary South Indian dance. This book is available open access here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert Haug, "The Eastern Frontier: Limits of Empire in Late Antique and Early Medieval Central Asia" (I. B. Tauris, 2019)
63 perc 5. rész Marshall Poe
Robert Haug’s new book, The Eastern Frontier: Limits of Empire in Late Antique and Early Medieval Central Asia (I. B. Tauris, 2019) is an in-depth look at the frontier zone of the Sassanian, Umayyad, and Abbasid Empires. Employing an impressive array of literary, archaeological, and numismatic sources, combined with a solid theoretical foundation, Haug demonstrates the distinct challenges the border region of the empire posed to these imperial powers, but also tracks the emergence and maintenance of unique regional identities and political trends on this frontier. This is essential reading for scholars and enthusiasts of Islamic, Iranian, and Central Asian History, as well as those with an interest in the study of frontiers and border regions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alpa Shah, et al., "Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st-Century India" (Pluto Press, 2017)
65 perc 98. rész Marshall Poe
A recent UNDP report makes the astonishing claim that India has halved its poverty between 2006 and 2016. Moving us past the rosy picture, Alpa Shah and her co-author's  multi-authored, masterful Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st-Century India (Pluto Press, 2017) focuses on those left behind by, and indeed ground down by, India’s much touted growth. Based on intensive fieldwork in multiple locations across India, the book finds that in particular it is India’s ‘untouchables’ (Dalits) and ‘tribals’ (Adivasis) who toil at the bottom of the pyramid in thankless conditions and for little reward. Instead of eradicating inequalities of caste and tribe, the intensification of capitalism has in fact further entrenched them, transforming them into new mechanisms of oppression and accumulation. Analytical rigor paired with lucid prose makes this co-researched and co-authored book indispensable for scholars and citizens concerned with the Global South, inequality, capitalism, economic growth, and social difference. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University with interests in agrarian capitalism in rural Rajasthan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, "Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal" (Oxford UP, 2018)
61 perc 22. rész Marshall Poe
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz's Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal (Oxford University, 2018) represents the very first study of a fascinating Hindu phenomenon: the Svasthanivratakatha (SVK), a sixteenth-century narrative textual tradition native to Nepal surrounding the Goddess, Svasthānī. This work explores Himalayan Hindu religious tradition in the making during the very self-conscious creation of Nepal as the 'world's only Hindu kingdom' in the early modern period.  Touching on the pan-Hindu goddess tradition, regional ideals of Hindu womanhood, linguistic culture, identity formation and placemaking, Reciting the Goddess makes for a rich read. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
John Stratton Hawley, "Bhakti and Power: Debating India's Religion of the Heart" (U Washington Press, 2019)
50 perc 21. rész Marshall Poe
What is the relationship between religion and power? With this important overarching theme in mind, Bhakti and Power: Debating India's Religion of the Heart(University of Washington Press, 2019), edited by John Stratton Hawley, Christian Lee Novetzke and Swapna Sharma, combines 17 fascinating studies which explore the ways in which bhakti - “India’s religion of the heart”, loosely translated as devotionalism – tears down power barriers, and also build them up. Bhakti and Power offers important insight on both the power and powerlessness of bhakti at various social and historical junctures. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Marko Geslani, "Rites of the God-King: Śānti and Ritual Change in Early Hinduism" (Oxford UP, 2018)
59 perc 20. rész Marshall Poe
Is “Vedic” fire sacrifice at odds with “Hindu” image worship? Through a careful study of ritual (śanti) texts geared towards appeasement of inauspicious forces (primarily the Atharva Veda and in the Bṛhatsaṃhitā, an Indian astrological work), Marko Geslani demonstrates the persistent significance and centrality of the work of Brahmanical priesthood from ancient to medieval to modern times. In doing so he aptly problematizes the scholarly tendency to demarcate Vedic ritual from popular Hinduism. Join me today as I speak with Marco about his new book Rites of the God-King: Śānti and Ritual Change in Early Hinduism(Oxford University Press, 2018). For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hannah Weiss Muller, "Subjects and Sovereign: Bonds of Belonging in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire" (Oxford UP, 2017)
41 perc 25. rész Marshall Poe
There is no denying that the public remains fascinated with monarchy. In the United Kingdom, the royal family commands the headlines, but paradoxically they are distant and knowable all at once. The Queen is an iconic yet reserved figure, what with the kerchiefs, the corgis, and the deftly delivered speeches at state occasions. The younger royals seem to be interested in keeping it real, engaging different publics while maintaining ‘the Firm’s’ commitment to service to the nation. Like Greek Gods or reality show contestants, when it comes to the Royals, we all have our favourites. We have come a long way from the eighteenth century, when monarchs were branded as tyrants. At least that is the impression we get if we read the great anti-monarchical voices of the enlightenment. For Thomas Paine, ‘Monarchy and succession have laid the world in blood and ashes’. But lately historians have been taking a second look at the place of monarchy in the history of a global British empire. Hanna Weiss Muller is Assistant Professor of History at Brandeis University. In Subjects and Sovereign: Bonds of Belonging in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire (Oxford University Press, 2017) she shows that the relationship between ‘subjects’ and ‘sovereign’ was defined by complex and shared bonds. The book takes us around the British empire, from Quebec, to Gibraltar to Calcutta, and reveals the many ways in which the status of subject bound the empire together. Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull (UK), who has written on the politics of religion in early modern Britain, and whose work has recently expanded to the intersection of colonial, indigenous, and imperial politics in early America. He co-leads the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kate Harris, "Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road" (Dey Street Books, 2019)
32 perc 65. rész Marshall Poe
Kate Harris — writer, scientist, and extreme cyclist – talks about the trip she made with her friend Mel, tracing Marco Polo’s route across Central Asia and Tibet. The journey is the subject of Harris’s book, Lands of Lost Borders: a Journey on the Silk Road (Dey Street Books, 2019). Lands of Lost Borders, winner of the 2018 Banff Adventure Travel Award and a 2018 Nautilus Award, is the chronicle of Harris’s odyssey and an exploration of the importance of breaking the boundaries we set ourselves; an examination of the stories borders tell, and the restrictions they place on nature and humanity; and a meditation on the existential need to explore—the essential longing to discover what in the universe we are doing here. Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He's the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He's also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pankaj Sekhsaria, "Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story" (HarperCollins India, 2017)
59 perc 97. rész Marshall Poe
One of the most consistent chronicler of contemporary issues in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Pankaj Sekhsaria's writings on the environment, wildlife conservation, development and indigenous communities have provided insights and perspective on the life of the islands for over two decades. Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story (HarperCollins India, 2017) is a compilation of Sekhsaria's writings on key issues in the Islands over this period and provides an important, consolidated account that is relevant both for the present and the future of this beautiful but also very fragile and volatile island chain. The book is both a map of the region as well as a framework for the way forward, and essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of our world. Pankaj Sekhsaria is Associate Professor at the Center for Technology Alternatives in Rural Areas and the Center for Policy Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Sekhsaria is also a long time member of the Environment Action Group, Kalpavriksh. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Patton E. Burchett, "A Genealogy of Devotion: Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India" (Columbia UP, 2019)
61 perc 19. rész Marshall Poe
How distinct is Indian devotionalism from other strands of Indian religiosity? Is devotionalism necessarily at odds with asceticism in the Hindu world? What about the common contrasting of Hindu devotionalism as ‘religion’ with tantra as ‘black magic’? Patton E. Burchett's new book A Genealogy of Devotion: Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India (Columbia University Press, 2019) re-examines what we assume about the rise of devotionalism in North India, tracing its flowering since India’s early medieval “Tantric Age” to present day.  It illumines the complex historical factors at play in Sultanate and Mughal India implicating the influence of three pervasive strands in the tapestry of North Indian religiosity: tantra, yoga and Sufism. Burchett shows the extent to which Persian culture and popular Sufism contribute to a (now prevalent) Hindu devotionalism that is critical of tantric and yogic religiosity.  Prior to this, argues Burchett, Hindu devotionalism locally flowered in fruitful cross pollination with yogic and tantric forms of Indian religiosity. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A. Nilsen, K. Nielsen, A. Vaidya, "Indian Democracy: Origins, Trajectories, Contestations" (Pluto Press, 2019)
51 perc 204. rész Marshall Poe
More than 70 years after its founding, with Narendra Modi's authoritarian Hindu nationalists in government, is the dream of Indian democracy still alive and well? Indian Democracy: Origins, Trajectories, Contestations (Pluto Press, 2019), a prescient collection of essays, dialogues and commentary from scholars, activists and journalists, tries to come up with answers. India's pluralism has always posed a formidable challenge to its democracy, with many believing that a clash of identities based on region, language, caste, religion, ethnicity and tribe would bring about its demise. With the meteoric rise to power of the Bharatiya Janata Party, its solidity is once again called into question: is Modi's Hindu majoritarianism an anti-democratic attempt to transform India into a monolithic Hindu nation from which minorities and dissidents are forcibly excluded? With examinations of the way that class and caste power shaped the making of India's postcolonial democracy, the role of feminism, the media, and the public sphere in sustaining and challenging democracy, this book interrogates the contradictions at the heart of the Indian democratic project, examining its origins, trajectories and contestations. Alf Gunvald Nilsen is Professor of Sociology at University of Pretoria. He is the author of Dispossession and Resistance in India: The River and the Rage (Routledge, 2010), We Make Our Own History: Marxism and Social Movements in the Twilight of Neoliberalism (Pluto Press, 2014), and Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India's Bhil Heartland(Cambridge University Press, 2018). Kenneth Bo Nielsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo. He is the author of Land Dispossession and Everyday Politics in Rural Eastern India (Anthem Press, 2018), and the co-editor of several books on Indian society and politics. Anand Vaidya is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Reed College. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Paul Thomas Chamberlin, "The Cold War's Killing Fields: Rethinking the Long Peace" (Harper, 2018)
64 perc 90. rész Marshall Poe
Paul Thomas Chamberlin has written a book about the Cold War that makes important claims about the nature and reasons for genocide in the last half of the Twentieth Century. In The Cold War's Killing Fields: Rethinking the Long Peace (Harper, 2018), Chamberlin reminds us that the Cold War was not at all Cold for hundreds of millions of people.  He argues that the Soviet Union and the US competed fiercely over the states and people living in a wide swath of land starting in Manchuria, running south into South East Asia and then turning west into South Asia and the Middle East.  This zone received a huge percentage of aid and support from the superpowers.  This zone saw by far the most military interventions by the superpowers.  And this zone saw millions of people die in conflicts tied to the Cold War. Chamberlin reminds us that these conflicts were not simply instigated and propelled by the superpowers.  Instead, the Cold War intersected with colonial and post-colonial conflicts in complicated and nonlinear ways.  Similarly, he argues that the nature of these conflicts changed dramatically over time, from Maoist people's revolutions to conflicts driven by sectarian struggles. By making the broader contours of this period clearer, Chamberlin is able to put genocides in Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and others into a common framework.   In doing so, he's written a book that is not explicitly about genocide, but says a great deal about genocidal violence in the second half of the twentieth century. Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jane Hooper, "Feeding Globalization: Madagascar and the Provisioning Trade, 1600-1800" (Ohio UP, 2017)
32 perc 495. rész Marshall Poe
Madagascar lies so close to the African coast--and so near the predictable wind system of the Indian Ocean--that it’s easy to overlook the island, the fourth largest in the world, when talking about oceanic trade and exploration. But there is a lot to tell. Jane Hooper talks about Madagascar and its importance to the history of Indian Ocean trade and exploration. Hooper is the author of Feeding Globalization: Madagascar and the Provisioning Trade, 1600-1800, recently published by Ohio University Press (2017). Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He's the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He's also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeevan Sharma, "Crossing the Border to India: Youth, Migration, and Masculinities in Nepal" (Temple UP, 2018)
63 perc 33. rész Marshall Poe
People’s decisions to migrate in search of work are often discussed in terms of economic necessity, but these decisions are also shaped by a host of historical and cultural factors. In his new book Crossing the Border to India: Youth, Migration, and Masculinities in Nepal (Temple University Press, 2018), Dr. Jeevan Sharma sheds light on the migration decisions and experiences of young Nepali men from the western district of Palpa who migrate to India to take up jobs as security guards, domestic workers, or restaurant and hotel workers. These young men are not only seeking gainful employment, but also participating in a gendered rite of passage that allows them to enact culturally specific ideas of masculinity. Despite the fact that the long border between Nepal and India is technically open, Nepali labor migrants encounter various forms of structural violence in their border crossings and in their experiences of living and working in India. This book offers a valuable case study for people who are interested in the intersection of migration, labor, and gender, particularly in the context of South Asia. Dannah Dennis is an anthropologist who studies citizenship, nationalism, and social media, primarily in Nepal. You can find her work at her website and her random musings on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jennifer Fluri and Rachel Lehr, "The Carpetbaggers of Kabul and Other American-Afghan Entanglements" (U Georgia Press, 2017)
64 perc 18. rész Marshall Poe
For most people, geopolitics is something that happens out there, in boardrooms and on battlefields. But critical geographers, and feminist political geographers in particular, have in recent years shown how the geopolitical is something that comes into being in the intimate and the everyday. Enter Jennifer Fluri and Rachel Lehr's 2017 book, The Carpetbaggers of Kabul and Other American-Afghan Entanglements: Intimate Development, Geopolitics, and the Currency of Gender and Grief (University of Georgia Press, 2017). The Carpetbaggers of Kabul takes us on the ground with more than a decade of ethnographic research, and offers a critical perspective that highlights the ways in which post-conflict development works to further American power and not, necessarily, respond to the people it should be accountable to. In documenting the coercive power of white saviors, they show how the discourses of geopolitics have real, material effects for people on the ground. At the same time, they show how development projects initiated and run by communities need not (necessarily) fall into those same neo-colonial logics. In our conversation, we talk about what it’s like to do research in Afghanistan, the way gender and grief become a currency for development organizations, and the ways ordinary people fight back against becoming objectified as poor and in need of help. Dino Kadich is a graduate student in geography at the University of Cambridge. You can follow him on Twitter @dinokadich Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dia Da Costa, "Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theater" (U Illinois Press, 2016)
60 perc 95. rész Marshall Poe
In a world where heritage, culture, creativity, and the capacity to imagine are themselves commodified and sold under the banner of neoliberal freedom, (how) can art be harnessed for anti-capitalist agendas? At a time when scholars along all points of the political spectrum seem to agree that expressing their creativity is good for oppressed groups, whether because creativity makes them entrepreneurial or because creativity is an inherent challenge to capitalism, Dia Da Costa offers a refreshingly nuanced perspective on the dangers that creative economy discourses pose for radical activism. In Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theater (U Illinois Press, 2016)--her multisited ethnography focusing on two activist theater troupes in the Indian cities of Delhi and Ahmedabad--Da Costa shows how these ‘theaters of the oppressed’ exist alongside, fall prey to, re-appropriate, and jostle with capitalist discourses and definitions of ‘creative economy’ which seek to contain and tame the cultural production of oppressed groups. The first troupe Da Costa discusses is the Jan Natya Manch, a Communist-affiliated theater group consisting mainly of middle-class activists who valorize Delhi’s (factory) working-class albeit in a rapidly deindustrializing city, and offer a disenchanted, secular critique of Hindu nationalism albeit in a deeply religious milieu. The second troupe featured is Ahmedabad’s Budhan Theater, run by the lowly and criminalized Chhara caste who hope that through theater they can craft respectable livelihoods and achieve inclusion as citizens while at the same time critiquing the violences of the Indian capitalist state. By analyzing the possibilities and shortcomings inherent in both troupes’ practices and political approaches, Da Costa shows how carefully and critically studying the diversity of left politics is an important part of building solidarities which can ultimately resist fascist neoliberalism. Da Costa also shows how attending to the politics of affect and emotion can help create successful social mobilization; rather than simply lamenting how oppressed people don’t rise up, attention to affective politics helps us shape forms of activism which actually speak to people’s lives, hopes, and hungers. This book will be of interest to activists, radical educators, and scholars in fields ranging from feminist affect theory to development studies. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student in Social Anthropology at Harvard University. Her research focuses on how managing surplus populations and tapping into fortunes at the “bottom-of-the-pyramid” are twin-logics that undergird poverty alleviation projects in rural Rajasthan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nico Slate, "Gandhi’s Search for the Perfect Diet: Eating with the World in Mind" (U Washington Press, 2019)
54 perc 41. rész Marshall Poe
In this this interview, Carrie Tippen talks with Nico Slate, professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, about the intersections between diet, spirituality, health, and politics for one of the world’s most famous nonviolent political activists, Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Slate, who researches anti-racist activism in the United States and India, researched Gandhi’s experiments with vegetarianism and veganism (and vegetarianism again), raw food, nut milks, fasting, and prohibitions against salt, chocolate, coffee, and flavorful foods like ginger and mangoes that might inflame the passions. In Gandhi’s Search for the Perfect Diet: Eating with the World in Mind (University of Washington Press, 2019), Slate explores the ways that Gandhi linked his diet to nonviolent political action through protesting salt taxes, fasting for peace, and abstaining from chocolate produced by slave-like labor. But more importantly, Slate examines the moments when Gandhi’s diet turned from purposeful action to unhealthy obsession, as well as the moments when Gandhi humbly changes his diet to accept new information or welcomes cooperation with individuals and groups who cannot share his convictions. This episode brings a new perspective to a familiar figure through an investigation of the archive of diet. Nico Slate is a professor of history and director of graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University and founder and director of Bajaj Rural Development Lab and SocialChange101.org. Carrie Helms Tippen is Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches courses in American Literature.  Her new book, Inventing Authenticity: How Cookbook Writers Redefine Southern Identity (University of Arkansas Press), examines the rhetorical strategies that writers use to prove the authenticity of their recipes in the narrative headnotes of contemporary cookbooks. Her academic work has been published in Food and Foodways, American Studies, Southern Quarterly, and Food, Culture, and Society. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Scott S. Reese, “Imperial Muslims: Islam, Community and Authority in the Indian Ocean, 1839-1937” (Edinburgh UP, 2017)
64 perc 146. rész Marshall Poe
Religion and empire are often intertwined. Regarding Muslims there are well known dynasties like the Umayyad, the Abbasid, the Fatimid, the Ottoman, and many others. But the empire governing the largest Muslim population was, of course, the British. In Imperial Muslims: Islam, Community and Authority in the Indian Ocean, 1839-1937 (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), Scott S. Reese, Professor at Northern Arizona University, explores the social effects of the British empire, and its attending conditions, on Muslims in the port city of Aden. In the the late 19th/ and early 20th centuries Aden was undergoing tremendous change, which was fostered by its valuable position within the empire. Muslims from both ends of the empire were making Aden their home. The diversity of the community and technological innovations shaped the everyday lives of Muslims. Reese explores Aden’s sacred landscape by investigating how space was produced and organized. He demonstrates how unseen entities affected the activities that these spaces elicited. Questions of authority emerge through an exploration of local Islamic legal discourse, where authority was regularly asserted and contested across differing Muslim groups. The boundaries of religious practice were also being pushed through the practice of spirit possession. He also tackles the tensions between the local and the global when the Muslims of Aden reflect on transnational scripturalist or sufi movements. In our conversation we discuss how local religious actors were shaped by broader Islamic trends, emerging print technologies, maritime flows, law and adjudication, the role of mosques and cemeteries, Salafism, and popular religious practices, Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film(Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Deonnie Moodie, "The Making of a Modern Temple and a Hindu City: Kālīghāṭ and Kolkata" (Oxford UP, 2018)
60 perc 18. rész Marshall Poe
Dr. Deonnie Moodie is Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions at the University of Oklahoma. Her book, The Making of a Modern Temple and a Hindu City: Kālīghāṭ and Kolkata (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines the history of the Kalighat temple of Kolkata and how that temple has been a symbol for competing expressions of Bengali middle class modernity. Shandip Saha is associate professor of Religious Studies at Athabasca University, the world leader in the realm of distance education and open learning. His research interests focus on religion and politics in pre-modern North India and on the changing performance practices in devotional music in India and Pakistan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anway Mukhopadhyay, "The Goddess in Hindu-Tantric Traditions: Devī as Corpse" (Routledge, 2018)
78 perc 17. rész Marshall Poe
Why is the Indian Goddess sometimes figured as a corpse in Tantric Traditions? What is the significance of this? How is it different from when the Hindu god Shiva is figured as a corpse? Centered on the myth of Sati (whereby the Goddess was dismembered after her self-immolation), Anway Mukhopadhyay's new book The Goddess in Hindu-Tantric Traditions: Devī as Corpse (Routledge, 2018) features a fascinating take on why the “death” of the Goddess in this myth is no death at all, especially in contrast to Shiva as corpse. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeremy Black, "Imperial Legacies: The British Empire Around the World" (Encounter Books, 2019)
47 perc 194. rész Marshall Poe
Are you tired of the constant refrain from our campus radicals and their bien-pensant allies in the intelligentsia that the United States and the United Kingdom, AKA the American and the British empires are the source of all the problems in the world, past and present?  Do you not regard Sir Winston Churchill and other heroic figures of the recent and not so recent Anglo-American past as villains and racists to boot? If so University of Exeter Professor of History, Jeremy Black, the most prolific historian writing in the Anglophone world to-day has the very book that you are looking for, Imperial Legacies: The British Empire Around the World (Encounter Books, 2019). Professor Black, in his usual mandarin style, shows the reader how criticisms of the legacy of the British Empire are, in part, criticisms of the reality of American power today. He emphasizes the prominence of imperial rule in history and in the world today as well, and the selective manner in which certain countries are castigated or not castigated. Imperial Legacies is a wide-ranging and vigorous assault on political correctness, its language, misuse of the past, almost total ignorance of history and historical knowledge. All from a past master of the historical art form. Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A. M. Ruppell, "The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit" (Cambridge UP, 2017)
77 perc 16. rész Marshall Poe
Why would anyone want to study Sanskrit, an ancient complex tongue? What’s the best way to go about doing so?  Sanskrit is the highly sophisticated language of ancient India which remained in vogue for Millennia as a medium of philosophy, ritual, poetry – indeed every facet of Indian culture. Above and beyond Indian culture, it affords deep insight into the grammatical structures of language.  Join us as we talk to Antonia Ruppel (Oxford University) about her Sanskrit textbook, The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a much-needed accessible, comprehensive tool for learning this ancient tongue, complete with online handouts, flash cards, and videos. We delve into the unique attributes of the Sanskrit language – for example, 3 numbers, 3 genders, special case endings, sophisticated rules for combinations of sounds (elision) – and the extent to which knowledge of the Hindu ‘language of the gods’ grants us access to millennia of human enterprise that is simultaneously foreign and familiar to our own. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Raj Balkaran, "The Goddess and The King in Indian Myth" (Routledge, 2018)
45 perc 15. rész Marshall Poe
Why are myths of the Indian Great Goddess couched in a conversation between a deposed king and forest-dwelling ascetic? What happens when we examine these myths as a literary whole, frame and all? What interpretive clues might we find in their very narrative design? Join us in the "flip interview" as as your New Books Network Hindu Studies host Raj Balkaran (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studied) is interviewed on his new book The Goddess and The King in Indian Myth: Ring Composition, Royal Power and The Dharmic Double Helix (Routledge, 2018) by guest-interviewer Craig Ginn from the University of Calgary. Learn how the narrative design of Indian Great Goddess myths and the manner in which that design highlights the Goddess' association with royal power. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Muhammad Qasim Zaman, "Islam in Pakistan: A History" (Princeton UP, 2018)
104 perc 145. rész Marshall Poe
Muhammad Qasim Zaman’s Islam in Pakistan: A History(Princeton University Press, 2018) is a landmark publication in the fields of Religious Studies, modern Islam, South Asian Islam, and by far the most important and monumental contribution to date in the study of Islam in Pakistan. This book takes the reader on an intellectual roller-coaster, that through mesmerizingly layered archival work, makes visible for the first time in the Euro-American academy the religious thought of a number of previously unknown yet extremely important actors, while thoroughly complicating conventional wisdom about a number of familiar religious and political actors. As has been the hallmark of Zaman’s previous scholarship that traverses early, medieval, and modern Islam, the main strength of Islam in Pakistan also lies in the way it seamlessly moves between the close and unexpected analyses of complex religious texts and the careful historicizing of the significance and ambiguities invested in those texts and in the careers of their authors. In this book Zaman presents a detailed account of the ambiguities surrounding the relationship between multiple claimants to Islam in Pakistan. The chapters in this book examine a range of critical themes including the career and ethical commitments of modernism in Pakistan, ‘ulama’-state relations, shifting views on religious minorities, the complicated place of Sufism’s religious history, and the nuances involved in understanding jihad and militancy in Pakistan. This lucidly written book is a must-read for all students and scholars of Islam; it will also make a great text for advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars on modern Islam, South Asian Islam, and South Asian Religions. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, "In Dialogue with Classical Indian Traditions: Encounter, Transformation and Interpretation" (Routledge, 2019)
53 perc 14. rész Marshall Poe
Why does the narrative motif of ‘dialogue’ pervade Hindu texts?  What role does it serve?  Join me as I speak with Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Fellow of the British Academy, and distinguished professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy at Lancaster University), co-editor of In Dialogue with Classical Indian Traditions: Encounter, Transformation and Interpretation (Routledge, 2019). This volume presents 13 fascinating studies on the role of dialogue in Indian religious tradition, all of which are touched on in the interview. This book is part of a series entitled "Dialogues in South Asian Traditions: Religion, Philosophy, Literature and History." For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David V. Mason, "The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre" (Routledge, 2018)
54 perc 13. rész Marshall Poe
To what extent may we say that religion is a theatrical phenomenon, and that theatre is a religious experience? Can making sense of one help us make sense of the other? Join us as we dive into The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre (Routledge, 2018) with its author David V. Mason (editor-in-chief for Ecumenica: Performance and Religion and the South Asia area editor for Asian Theatre Journal) who posits an intriguing parity between theatre and religion.  Drawing heavily from Hindu aesthetic theory and Hindu religious performance, Mason examines the phenomenology of religion in an attempt to better understanding of the phenomenology of theatre, arguing that religion can show us the ways in which theatre is not fake. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shonaleeka Kaul, "The Making of Early Kashmir: Landscape and Identity in the Rajatarangini" (Oxford UP, 2018)
72 perc 94. rész Marshall Poe
Dr. Shonaleeka Kaul is a cultural historian of early South Asia specializing in working with Sanskrit texts. She is Associate Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has worked extensively on Sanskrit kavya, a genre of highly aesthetic poetry and prose. She is the author of The Making of Early Kashmir: Landscape and Identity in the Rajatarangini (Oxford University Press, 2018) and Imagining the Urban: Sanskrit and the City in Early India (Permanent Black and Seagull Books, 2010), and has edited Cultural History of Early South Asia: A Reader (Orient BlackSwan, 2013). The interview is about her second and recent book The Making of Early Kashmir, in which she upturns many prevalent views about the cultural history of Kashmir. As many would know, Kashmir is right now a highly contested territory within India, and as it happens with all such spaces, there is equally a contestation over the reconstruction of the historical memory related to the land. In this book, Shonaleeka Kaul challenges the view that Kashmir had an isolated, insular and unique regional and cultural identity, separate from the identity of mainstream India. She argues that it was in fact the opposite, and her argument is based on, among other things, her highly original reading of the Sanskrit kavya, Rajtarangini, composed by the Kashmiri author Kalhana in the 12th century AD. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Borayin Larios, "Embodying the Vedas: Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra" (De Gruyter, 2017)
66 perc 12. rész Marshall Poe
Embodying the Vedas: Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra(De Gruyter, 2017; open access) probes the backbone of what makes Hinduism the world’s oldest living tradition: the unbroken chain of transmission of Vedic texts composed over 3,000 years ago, originating circa 1750-1200 BCE.  What does the process of that transmission look like? What does it take to apprentice to learn the Vedic corpus?  Why is there an emphasis on precise ritual enunciation of these utterances even above and beyond their semantic meaning? Join me as I talk with Dr. Borayin Larios, Assistant Professor at the Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (Vienna) about his work on the traditional “gurukula” education and training of Brahmins. Based on his study of 25 contemporary Vedic schools across the state of Maharashtra, we discover how contemporary Brahmin males learn with scrupulous care how to recite, memorize and ultimately embody the Vedas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Paul J. Kosmin, "Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire" (Harvard UP, 2018)
75 perc 10. rész Marshall Poe
In the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s conquests, the Seleucid kings ruled a vast territory stretching from Central Asia to Anatolia, Armenia to the Persian Gulf. In a radical move to impose unity and regulate behavior, this Graeco-Macedonian imperial power introduced a linear and transcendent conception of time. Under Seleucid rule, time no longer restarted with each new monarch. Instead, progressively numbered years, identical to the system we use today—continuous, irreversible, accumulating—became the de facto measure of historical duration. This new temporality, propagated throughout the empire, changed how people did business, recorded events, and oriented themselves to the larger world. Challenging this order, however, were rebellious subjects who resurrected their pre-Hellenistic pasts and created apocalyptic time frames that predicted the total end of history. The interaction of these complex and competing temporalities led to far-reaching religious, intellectual, and political developments. Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire (Harvard University Press, 2018) by Paul J. Kosmin, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, opens a new window onto empire, resistance, and the meaning of history in the ancient world. Ryan Tripp is an adjunct faculty member in history at Southern New Hampshire University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Richa Kaul Padte, "Cyber Sexy: Rethinking Pornography" (Penguin Viking, 2018)
43 perc 93. rész Marshall Poe
Parents, teachers, feminists, conservatives, lawyers, the concerned citizen – pornography raises everyone's hackles. Author Richa Kaul Padte approaches pornography with a combination of light-hearted camaraderie and intellectual curiosity instead. Taking seriously the notion that every individual has sexual rights, Kaul Padte explores the twinned fates of gendered representations and subjectivity in our digital age. Cyber Sexy: Rethinking Pornography (Penguin Viking, 2018) is smart and funny in equal measure. Discussions on the need to move away from obscenity clauses in the Indian constitution to a more nuanced understanding of consent, and the questions of inequality that lie at the heart of consent, are punctuated by first hand accounts of online sexual experiences (including some of Padte's own). Never pedantic, the book closes with a call for radical empathy as we collectively struggle towards a more open and accepting social order. Richa Kaul Padte is an independent writer currently living in Goa, India. She edits and writes for Deep Dives, a longform digital imprint working at the intersections of sex, gender and technology. Cyber Sexy is her first book. Find Richa on Twitter @hirishitatalkies. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Open Access Publishing
32 perc 15. rész Marshall Poe
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? This podcast addresses this issue. We interview Professor Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, whose book, The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance (forthcoming with MIT Press) is undergoing a Massive Online Peer-Review (MOPR) process, where everyone can make comments on his manuscript. Additionally, his book will be Open Access (OA) since the date of publication. We discuss with him how do MOPR and OA work, how he managed to combine both of them and how these initiatives can contribute to the democratization of knowledge. You can participate in the MOPR process of The Good Drone through this link: https://thegooddrone.pubpub.org/ Felipe G. Santos is a PhD candidate at the Central European University. His research is focused on how activists care for each other and how care practices within social movements mobilize and radicalize heavily aggrieved collectives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Claire Pamment, "Comic Performance in Pakistan: The Bhānd" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
54 perc 143. rész Marshall Poe
Claire Pamment’s book Comic Performance in Pakistan: The Bhānd (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) is a fantastic new book centered on the Punjabi folk art of the Bhānd, or comic performance. Pamment explores the history and present of the Bhānd and Bhānd artists through a thoroughly interdisciplinary lens that engages performance studies, ethnography, history, and the study of Religion. In our conversation on this wonderful new book, we talked about the pre-colonial Islamicate and colonial history of the Bhānd, the way in which this genre complicates the boundaries of Hindu and Muslim folk art, the manner in which the bhānd has disturbed and unsettled class and gender hierarchies in Pakistan, the political work of the bhānd, and the bhānd in the era of satellite television. This lyrically written book on a long-running and hugely important tradition of Islamicate humor will interest much scholars of Islam, South Asia, Anthropology, and Performance Studies. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Prakash Shah, "Western Foundations of the Caste System" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
60 perc 10. rész Marshall Poe
The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it? Join me as I speak with Dr. Prakash Shah (Reader in Culture and Law at the Queen Mary University of London, UK) about his co-edited work, Western Foundations of the Caste System(Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Ranging from ancient Indian history to modern British law, the contributions to this book advance a provocative thesis, namely, that what we refer to as Indian caste is more a function of Western Christian encounters with India than anything historically occurring on Indian soil.  Could this be the case? Could the caste system constitute a projection born of Western interpretive bias rather than an ancient Indian indigenous social institution? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nico Slate, "Lord Cornwallis is Dead: The Struggle for Democracy in the United States and India" (Harvard UP, 2019)
54 perc 479. rész Marshall Poe
In the twenty-first century, India and the United States are two closely connected states. Some of this is economic, and with it comes a concern that jobs in the United States are being outsourced to India. The two countries also face concerns over terrorism, engage in cultural dialogue with each other, and lay claim to being two of the largest and most powerful democracies in the world. However, while many people might be aware of that status for the contemporary world, they are less aware of the long history between the two countries. Dr. Nico Slate’sLord Cornwallis is Dead: The Struggle for Democracy in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2019) draws attention to this long and storied history. Drawing from early mercantile ties, the spiritual and philosophical inspirations that thinkers have drawn from in both countries, cultural connections, criticism of race and caste, and the political engagement that exists between both countries, Slate paints a picture of the two countries as learning perpetually from each other. This can even be elucidated through a close study of language, and in one fascinating chapter Slate traces the complicated history, appropriation, and counter-appropriation of the word “thug.” Ultimately, it all connects to the different struggles for democracy in both countries, and Slate suggests that reformers in both countries have much to learn from their earlier U.S. and Indian counterparts. Zeb Larson is a PhD Candidate in History at The Ohio State University. His research is about the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to zeb.larson@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Richard Salomon, "The Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhāra: An Introduction with Selected Translation" (Wisdom Publications, 2018)
58 perc 45. rész Marshall Poe
In this episode of New Books in Buddhist Studies, Dr. Richard Salomon speaks about his book The Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhāra: An Introduction with Selected Translation (Wisdom Publications, 2018). One of the great archeological finds of the 20th century, the Gandhāran Buddhist Texts, dating from the 1st century CE, are the oldest Buddhist manuscripts ever discovered. Richard discusses his pioneering research on these fascinating manuscripts, how the then obscure Gāndhārī language was deciphered, the historical and religious context from which these texts emerged, and the Gandhāran influence on other parts of the Buddhist world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ethan Mills, "Three Pillars of Skepticism in Classical India: Nagarjuna, Jayarasi, and Sri Harsa" (Lexington Books, 2018)
66 perc 180. rész Marshall Poe
Skepticism has a long history in the Western tradition, from Pyrrhonian Skepticism in the Hellenistic period to more contemporary forms of skepticism most often used as foils to theories of knowledge. The existence of skepticism in Indian Philosophy, however, has long been neglected in favor of dogmatic positions. In Three Pillars of Skepticism in Classical India: Nagarjuna, Jayarasi, and Sri Harsa (Lexington Books, 2018), Ethan Mills considers the thought of three very different philosophers in classical India, representative of Buddhism, Carvaka materialism, and Advaita Vedanta respectively, who can be considered skeptics about philosophy. Each of the three presents his skepticism in sometimes puzzling ways, which is often necessary, given the nature of skeptical claims (or rather, lack of claims). The three philosophers discussed in this book are not universally accepted as skeptics by scholars of Indian Philosophy, but Mills makes a compelling case for understanding them as adopting skeptical positions, and argues that they can be taken to represent a distinct skeptical tradition in classical India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gil Ben-Herut, "Śiva’s Saints: The Origins of Devotion in Kannada according to Harihara’s Ragaḷegaḷu (Oxford UP, 2018)
71 perc 8. rész Marshall Poe
Studies of Hindu saints tend to focus primarily on the saints themselves—their words, teachings, and practices—rather than tending to the often complex and complicated world of texts and traditions about those saints—which is how we have come to know them. Even when hagiographical writings are addressed, more often than not such writings are presumed to belong to a monolithic tradition in which certain texts simply contain more information or stories about the saints than others. In Śiva’s Saints: The Origins of Devotion in Kannada according to Harihara’s Ragaḷegaḷu (Oxford University Press, 2018), Gil Ben-Herut, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida, challenges such presumptions through his close examination of the text and contexts of the 12th-century Vīraśaiva hagiographical text Ragaḷegaḷu written in Kannada by Harihara. Providing theoretical insight into notions of sainthood itself as well as the politics of commemoration and the contentious worlds of ever-changing religious and other social identity formations, Śiva’s Saints examines the multiple goals of hagiographical literature like the Ragaḷegaḷu as well as how this text complicates our understandings of what Vīraśaivas today are most well-known for—their bhakti or inner devotion to Siva, their egalitarianism, and their challenging of Brahmanical norms. In doing so, Ben-Herut reveals significant nuances of the social worlds in which Harihara was embedded and to which his Ragaḷegaḷu is responding, most especially who Harihara casts as distinct but familial “others” versus those intimate “others” he agues should be kept out of the community. Through rigorous analysis and sensitivity to context, Śiva’s Saints demonstrates how close attention to the writings about saints can reveal the complex inner and outer workings of religious groups within specific historical social contexts. Dean Accardi is an Assistant Professor of History at Connecticut College. His work focuses on gender, religion, and politics in early modern Kashmir and how saints and sultans of that period continue to be invoked today in contestations over Kashmir’s social, cultural, religious, and political belonging. You can find out more about him and his work at his website or email him at daccardi@conncoll.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Caleb Simmons, "Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia" (SUNY Press, 2018)
42 perc 7. rész Marshall Poe
Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia (SUNY Press, 2018), edited by Caleb Simmons, Moumita Sen, and Hillary Peter Rodrigues, is a diverse collection of cutting-edge interdisciplinary essays looking at the most ubiquitous festival across the Hindu world: the nine-night autumnal celebration of the Great Goddess, Durgā. This work maps manifestations of the festival across historical periods and local celebrations over the regions of West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal. Spanning the spheres of ritual, myth, history, politics, sociology, anthropology, the essays collected herein examine both massive public events as well as private, domestic celebrations, broaching themes of Indian royal power, conquest over demonic forces, worship of young girls and married women as manifestation of the Goddess, the use of social media for festival participation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Richard Gombrich, "Buddhism and Pali" (Mud Pie Slices, 2018)
71 perc 42. rész Marshall Poe
Richard Gombrich's new book, Buddhism and Pali (Mud Pie Slices, 2018), puts the richness of the Pali language on display. He introduces the reader to the origins of Pali, its linguistic character, and the style of Pali literature. Far more than just an introductory book, Richard argues not only that the Pali Canon records the words of the Buddha, but that the Buddha himself is responsible for the Pali language. Richard shows that by learning about Pali, we learn about the spirit of Buddhism itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
B.R. Ambedkar, "Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition" (Verso, 2016)
70 perc 92. rész Marshall Poe
Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition, edited by S. Anand (Verso, 2016) and with an Introduction ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ by Arundhati Roy, is based on a speech by Dr. B.R. Ambedakar who took up the anti-caste struggles for the Untouchables in India. S. Anand’s work with thoroughly researched annotations alongside the speech and introduction by Arundhati Roy makes this a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand India, its society, politics and the caste system. This landmark speech by Dr. B.R. Ambedakar is the pinnacle of his scholarly work and cements his legacy alongside Mahatma Gandhi in Indian politics. In this speech, Dr. B.R. Ambedakar makes arguments against Hinduism, how reforming the Hinduism will not solve the issues of centuries of oppression of Untouchables - the depressed and oppressed castes in India. He argues that Indian society and culture that preaches the spirituality to the world cannot provide liberty, equality, and fraternity until she completely annihilates the caste by eradicating the Vedas, Shastras and their teachings. In this engaging conversation between an Untouchable - Mahendra Kutare and a Brahmin - S. Anand on April 11th, 2018, eighty-two years after this audacious speech was written, they walk through the historical context of the speech, the politics of the pre-independence India, how the caste system works as a social network, and how the caste system is now completely compatible with parliamentary democracy in India. They discuss the fierce arguments and debates between Dr. B.R. Ambedakar and the best-known face of Indian freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi and the current state of caste consciousness in India. Anand is the publisher of Navayana. He is the co-author of Bhimayana and has annotated the critical editions of B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste and Riddles in Hinduism. He collaborated with Venkat Raman Singh Shyam on Finding My Way. Anand lives in New Delhi. Mahendra Kutare is the founder of Kaavya Connections - World Poetry, Literature and Music organization in San Francisco and Bay Area. Mahendra came to the United States for his graduate studies (Ph.D. in Computer Science) in Aug 2007. He graduated with a Masters in Computer Science (Left Ph.D. program) in May 2011. He works at a tech startup and lives in San Francisco. Mahendra is passionate about building communities and making healing accessible with poetry, literary, music, sound, and technology. More details about his work can be found at https://www.kaavyaconnections.com/. He can be reached at mahendra.kutare@gmail.com and tweets @imaxxs Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mani Rao, "Living Mantra: Mantra, Deity, and Visionary Experience Today" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)
64 perc 6. rész Marshall Poe
What role does mantra play in the lives of Hindu practitioners? Mani Rao takes us on a journey to three sacred sites across India’s Andhra-Telangana region. The practitioners she engages at these sites offer insight into their transformative embodied experience of mantra. Rao dovetails scholarship and practice to grapple with the captivating, eye-opening, mind-blowing narratives of the practitioners she engages. Living Mantra: Mantra, Deity, and Visionary Experience Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)broaches compelling questions such as: what is the relationship between mantras and deities? Texts? Gurus? Do practitioners relate to mantra as vehicles of meaning, or as aesthetic entities? What is the relationship to sound and visions in mantra practice? What is the role of imagination here? Celebrating lived experience, Living Mantra documents the modern-day existence of seers (rishis), thus underscoring the open, ongoing nature of divine revelation in Hindu traditions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brannon D. Ingram, "Revival from Below: The Deoband Movement and Global Islam" (U California Press, 2018)
54 perc 141. rész Marshall Poe
Revival from Below: The Deoband Movement and Global Islam (University of California Press, 2018) by Brannon D. Ingram is a timely study of the Deoband movement from its inception in India to its transnational contemporary context in South Africa. Through careful analysis of historical textual discourses, Ingram carefully guides his readers through important polemics that manifested amongst the Deoband ‘ulama and its implications for Muslim publics and their performance of a “traditional” Islam. The study, then, goes onto highlight why and how the Deoband movement’s relationship to Sufism has been miscategorized and crucially situates the Deoband ‘ulama’s own complex relationship with Sufism, especially Sufi ethics and comportment. Overall, Ingram challenges his readers to think more carefully about Sufism in the 21st century. This book is a must read for those interested in Sufism, South Asian Islam, and global transnational Islam. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chinmay Tumbe, "Moving India: A History of Migration" (Penguin/Viking, 2018)
43 perc 91. rész Marshall Poe
Chinmay Tumbe's book Moving India: A History of Migration (Penguin/Viking, 2018) is a brilliant and path-breaking history of Migration in India. Tumbe analyses the interlinked histories of migrations of different communities in and out of India and the world. His focus is novel and he argues for regarding the Great Indian Migration Wave as a unique phenomenon especially in terms of its voluntary character at time and also its consequences in the flow of labor and capital in most parts of the world. Written in a very lively style and backed with solid research and facts; the book is a treat for academics and lay readers alike. Sanjay Kumar teaches at the Central European University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alf Gunvald Nilsen, "Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India's Bhil Heartland" (Cambridge UP, 2018)
42 perc 90. rész Marshall Poe
Almost a decade in the making, Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India's Bhil Heartland(Cambridge University Press, 2018) draws on collaboratively collected oral histories of two social movements in western Madhya Pradesh, the Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath (KMCS) and the Adivasi Mukti Sangathan (AMS). This longue-durée approach allows Alf Gunvald Nilsen to unravel the Indian state's everyday tyranny against its adivasi citizens. The deep tentacles of caste and class power embodied as the state reach into the Bhil everyday, not tethered to single issues of "development" induced displacement or the disappearing commons, but as an all-encompassing structural violence manifested in the realities of malnutrition, agricultural debt and seasonal migration. Alf Gunvald Nilsen is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pretoria. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Patrick Eisenlohr, "Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World" (U California Press, 2018)
40 perc 138. rész Marshall Poe
Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World(University of California Press, 2018) by Patrick Eisenlohr is an exciting ethnographic study of Mauritian Muslims’ soundscapes. Through the exploration of na‘t, or devotional poetic recitations that honor the prophet Muhammad, Eisenlohr captures the sensory dimension of Islam, particularly through a linguistic anthropological analysis of performance, poetry, and acoustics. The book situates Mauritian Muslim’ practices and devotions within the context of Islamic piety both across the Indian Ocean but also through a transnational and diasporic lens. In doing so, it highlights the sectarian differences that follow the performance of na‘t within the Muslim world, signaling to the intersubjectivity of Islamic piety. The study challenges scholars of Islam to take sonic atmospheres seriously, especially as it provides key insights into Islamic identity formation, piety, and ritual practices. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism(Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Radhika Govindrajan, "Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas" (U Chicago Press, 2018)
55 perc 89. rész Marshall Poe
In what is sure to become a classic, Radhika Govindrajan’s Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas (University of Chicago Press, 2018) mobilizes the thematic of “interspecies relatedness” to explore a variety of human/non-human animal encounters in contemporary India. Animal Intimacies is a path paving work that combines theoretical innovation and playfulness, ethnographic depth, and profound attunement to capturing the aspirations and tragedies of everyday life through the art of narrative. By exploring complex modes of relatedness that bind humans with non-human animals ranging from cows, goats, pigs, and bears, in such varied conceptual and political arenas as animal sacrifice, animal protection, the law, and sexuality and queer desire, this book brings into view a vision of love and intimacy that exceeds and subverts the colonizing grammar of often assumed hierarchies like human/animal, state/citizen, and love/violence. Focused on the state of Uttarakhand, Animal Intimacies mobilizes the theme of interspecies relatedness, with much aesthetic poise, to both uncover and bring into question the operation and cooperation of anthropomorphism, the insidious fantasies of modern state sovereignty, and the enduring violence of patriarchy. In addition to its astonishing erudition, Animal Intimacies is also written with breathtaking clarity and lyrical panache. It will also be a delight to teach in undergraduate and graduate seminars on modern South Asia, theories and methods in anthropology and Religious Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Animal Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Snigdha Poonam, "Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World" (Harvard UP, 2018)
41 perc 88. rész Marshall Poe
49.91% of India’s population was below the age of 24 in the 2011 Census. By 2020 India will become the world’s youngest country with 64% of its population in the working age group of 15-64 years. This is India’s much touted “demographic dividend”. Economists anticipate the dividend to yield as much as an additional 2% to the GDP growth rate but this potential is hampered by poor education, plummeting job opportunities and inadequate access to health care. But who are Indian youth? What do they really want? Journalist Snigdha Poonam takes a deep dive into north India's smaller cities in her first book Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World (Harvard University Press 2018), and returns with stories of hustle, aspiration and disenchantment. Poonam is a journalist with the national Indian daily Hindustan Times. Her work has appeared in Scroll.in, The Caravan, The Times of India, The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta and The Financial Times.  Her article 'Lady Singham’s Mission Against Love' was runner-up in the Bodley Head / Financial Times Essay Prize, 2015. She won the 2017 Journalist of Change award of Bournemouth University for an investigation of student suicides that appeared on Huffington Post. Dreamers is her first book. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled "Insurgent Difference: An Ethnography of an Indian Resource Frontier” analyzed resource extraction and development as mutually constitutive logics of rule in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century" (Verso, 2017)
64 perc 14. rész Marshall Poe
McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to important work in Anglophone cultural studies, psychoanalysis, political theory, media theory, speculative realism, science studies, Italian and French workerist and autonomist thought, two “imaginative readings of Marx,” and two “unique takes on the body politic.” There are significant implications of these ideas for how we live and work at the contemporary university, and we discussed some of those in our conversation. This is a great book to read and to teach with! Carla Nappi is the Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. You can learn more about her and her work here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Llerena Searle, "Landscapes of Accumulation: Real Estate and the Neoliberal Imagination in Contemporary India" (U Chicago Press, 2015)
46 perc 87. rész Marshall Poe
Few who have visited India in the past two decades will have failed to noticed the sudden and spectacular urban transformation that has taken place in many of its cities. Gated residential complexes with tennis courts and indoor gyms, glitzy office buildings, gleaming five-star hotels, and of course air-conditioned malls have become ubiquitous as the new face of a “new” India, often understood as symbols of a long-awaited global modernity. Getting behind the glittery facade, Llerena Searle’s new book Landscapes of Accumulation: Real Estate and the Neoliberal Imagination in Contemporary India (University of Chicago Press, 2015) shows that these buildings are not built to service consumer India; they are built for real estate developers and international investors for whom Indian real estate has become a profitable speculative gamble. Indian land and buildings are no longer local resources for production or use; they are turning, or more accurately being turned, into internationally tradeable financial assets. How this happens, by whose effort, and against what frictions is the story that the book tells. Searle shows that it is through the narrative of a rising Indian middle class that investments are solicited and a real estate boom created. Through ethnographic attention to the practices and labors of real estate producers, Searle offers an innovative, sophisticated and refreshingly human story of the making of neoliberal India, a story has ultimately shows that the new landscapes that are cropping up all over India are landscapes first and foremost of accumulation. This book will be of interest to readers in urban studies, economics, anthropology, and of course South Asian Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jessica Marie Falcone, "Battling the Buddha of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built" (Cornell UP, 2018)
62 perc 25. rész Marshall Poe
What can we learn from the anthropological study of projects that are never realized, or of dreams that are never fulfilled? In her new book Battling the Buddha of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built(Cornell University Press, 2018), Dr. Jessica Marie Falcone takes her readers on a transnational journey to explore the history of a giant Maitreya Buddha statue that the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) planned to build in Kushinagar, India. As the title of the book suggests, that statue was never built, as the project became mired in controversy and local opposition. This book traces both the FPMT’s efforts to rally their transnational network of Buddhist students and practitioners around the statue project and the determined resistance efforts of local Indian farmers who were determined not to give up their land without a fight. Along the way, Dr. Falcone offers compelling insights into the concepts of temporality and futurity, grassroots activism in the face of a transnational organization, and the ethics of engaged anthropological practice. Dannah Dennis is an anthropologist currently working as a Teaching Fellow at New York University Shanghai. You can find her on Twitter @dannahdennis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, "The Politics of Common Sense: State, Society and Culture in Pakistan" (Cambridge UP, 2018)
59 perc 67. rész Marshall Poe
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar’s The Politics of Common Sense: State, Society and Culture in Pakistan(Cambridge University Press, 2018) is an incisive study of continuity as well as change in Pakistan that has moved the country towards religious conservatism and increased authoritarianism. Akhtar, a political scientist and self-confessed left-wing activist, documents the development of political power in Pakistan that with the military dictatorship in the 1980s of General Zia ul-Haq ended an era of more liberal and left-wing politics and put the country on a path of right-wing religious ultra-conservatism from which it has yet to deviate. In tracking that development, Akhtar’s book makes a significant contribution by focussing not only on its ideological but also its economic aspects as well as the religious right’s appeal to urban shopkeepers and traders. He projects the religious right as a vehicle for subordinate classes to access the state and claim a stake in status quo politics. Akhtar’s contribution with this book is also his analysis of the waning of counter-hegemonic and transformative politics in Pakistan. Akhtar notes that the perceived benefits of carving out a stake in a patronage-based system far outstrip the cost and risk of efforts to transform the system. It is that cost-benefit analysis that has given Pakistan politics resilience and undergird a system in which religion is the ultimate source of legitimacy at the expense of any opposition to class and state power. In looking at how subordinate classes cope through the politics of common sense, Akhtar’s book represents a significant and innovative addition to the study not only of Pakistan but of an era in which religious, nationalist and populist forces are on the rise. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sumantra Bose, "Secular States, Religious Politics, India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism" (Cambridge UP, 2018)
58 perc 66. rész Marshall Poe
Sumantra Bose's new book Secular States, Religious Politics, India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is a fascinating comparison of the rise of religious parties in the non-Western world’s two major attempts to establish a post-colonial secular state. The secular experiments in Turkey and India were considered success stories for the longest period of time but that has changed with the rise of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party in Turkey and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in India and the capture of state power by political forces with an anti-secular vision of nationhood. In his ground-breaking book, Bose attributes the rise of secularism to the fact that non-Western states like Turkey and India never adopted the Western principle of separation of state and church and instead based their secularism on the principle of state intervention and regulation of the religious sphere. In doing so, Bose distinguishes between the embedding of secularism in Turkey in authoritarianism entrenched in the carving out of the modern Turkish state from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire and the fact that secularism in India is rooted in culture and a democratic form of government. With the anti-secular trend in Turkey and India fitting into a global trend in which cultural and religious identity is gaining traction, Bose’s study constitutes a significant contribution to the study of the future of secularism and the often complex relationship between religious parties and the secular state. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Danna Agmon, "A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French India" (Cornell UP, 2017)
57 perc 162. rész Marshall Poe
People sometimes forget—if they are even aware—that France’s empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries included a colonial presence in South Asia, a presence that at one time rivaled that of the British. Danna Agmon’s A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French India (Cornell University, 2017) zooms in on the 1716 arrest and conviction of a Tamil commercial agent and employee of the French East India Company, a legal case that resonated throughout the empire for decades, even centuries, afterward. The “Nayiniyappa Affair” at the heart of this microhistory is Agmon’s way into a complex web of interests and fractures: the aims and actions of French traders, missionaries, and administrators, as well as the roles and agency of indigenous subjects and intermediaries. Moving from colonial Pondicherry to metropolitan France and back again, A Colonial Affair focuses on a local story and context with much broader implications for how we think about the workings of imperial power, authority, and sovereignty. In chapters that revisit the narrative of Nayiniyappa’s case from different angles, Agmon treats the affair as a prism illuminating aspects of the history of French colonialism. Examining the scandal from various perspectives, A Colonial Affair considers the myriad ways in which the origins and outcomes of the Nayiniyappa scandal were and might be understood. Throughout the book, Agmon weaves together the richness of the abundant archival material on the affair with careful analysis of the social, political, economic, and cultural dynamics of the case and context, including the meanings and effects of language, religious belief, local and kinship networks. A Colonial Affair will be of wide appeal to readers interested in the histories of France, India, Early modern capitalism, law, and empire in its multiple forms. Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. Her current research focuses on the cultural politics of nuclear weapons and testing in France and its empire since 1945. She lives and reads in Vancouver, Canada. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send an email to: panchasi@sfu.ca. *The music that opens and closes the podcast is an instrumental version of “Creatures,” a song written by Vancouver artist/musician Casey Wei (performing as “hazy”). To hear more, please visit https://agonyklub.com/. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sohini Kar, "Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinance" (Stanford UP, 2018)
46 perc 86. rész Marshall Poe
Is microfinance the magic bullet that will end global poverty or is it yet another a form of predatory lending to the poor? In her new book Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinance (Stanford University Press, 2018), Sohini Kar brings ethnography to bear on this urgent question. Drawing on fieldwork with a for-profit microfinance institution (MFI) and its intended beneficiaries in the Indian city of Kolkata, the book brings into view the perils of “financial inclusion” for the poor. Kar argues that new streams of credit are increasingly used to capitalize on poverty rather than to challenge it. Richly peopled, the book evinces a deep commitment to understanding economic life as it is lived and experienced by everyday people rather than through abstract models. We meet founders of MFIs remaking themselves with narratives of social business, loan officers trying to balance the performance of care with pressures of debt-recovery, poor women taking out consumption loans and striving for middle-class identities, and debt-ridden borrowers struggling to manage the costs of living and the pressures of repayment. The experiences of this cast of characters are framed within the larger histories of debt and power in Kolkata, in West Bengal, and in India more broadly. Financializing Poverty combines theoretical sophistication with clear and engaging prose to shed light on the ways in which profit is made off of poverty. The book will be of interest to readers in the fields of anthropology, economics, and development studies, as well as readers interested in South Asia and global poverty. Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student in Social Anthropology at Harvard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shenila Khoja-Moolji, “Forging an Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia” (U California Press, 2018) 
41 perc 160. rész Marshall Poe
Shenila Khoja-Moolji’s Forging an Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia (University of California Press, 2018)  is a pathbreaking and incredibly timely monograph that combines tools of education studies, gender studies, and post-colonial genealogy to interrogate the promises and paradoxes invested in the idea of girls’ education. Shifting her camera of analysis between global discourses on female education and empowerment and the translation of those discourses in the form of educational policies, cultural developments, and political maneuverings in post-colonial societies like Pakistan, Khoja-Moolji masterfully unveils the fraught nature of an otherwise often taken for granted ideal of girls’ education. Through a close and careful reading of varied and often colorful state and non-state archives, this book traces the often contingent and contradictory projects of nationalism and citizenship reflected in competing imaginaries of the ideal of an “educated girl” over time, with a focus on the context of Pakistan. This remarkably lucid text will be widely read by scholars of education, gender, South Asia, and post-colonial thought, and will also make an excellent choice for undergraduate and graduate seminars. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Philip Lutgendorf, “The Epic of Ram” (Harvard University Press, 2016-)
64 perc 159. rész Marshall Poe
Dr. Philip Lutgendorf is Retired Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a seven-volume translation of the Hindi devotional text, the Rāmcaritmānas written by the sixteenth-century North Indian poet, Tulsīdās. The first four volumes of the translation, entitled The Epic of Ram (Harvard University Press, 2016-), are currently available as part of the Murty Classical Library of India Series published by Harvard University Press and distributed in India by Penguin Books. Shandip Saha is associate professor of Religious Studies at Athabasca University, the world leader in the realm of distance education and open learning. His research interests focus on religion and politics in pre-modern North India and on the changing performance practices in devotional music in India and Pakistan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anand Taneja, “Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi”
55 perc 158. rész Marshall Poe
Anand Taneja’s Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (Stanford University Press, 2017) is a landmark publication that interrogates modes of religious practice and imaginaries of time that disrupt dominant claims and narratives of the post-colonial state about religion and religious identity. Centered on the ruins of Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi, this book brings into view visions of sovereignty, ethics, hospitality, and inter-communal encounters that rescue Islam in modern South Asia from the suffocating pressures, anxieties, and amnesias of nationalist politics and historiographies. Conceptually bold, ethnographically vivacious, and historically grounded, this book masterfully carries a tragic sensibility while also offering provocative avenues of hope and optimism. Written with poetic eloquence and lyrical command, this book will not only be widely read and debated by scholars of South Asia, Islam, and religion, it also cries out for adoption as what will surely become a Bollywood blockbuster. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, “What Slaveholders Think: How Contemporary Perpetrators Rationalize what They Do” (Columbia UP, 2017)
39 perc 157. rész Marshall Poe
According to the Walk Free Foundation, there are currently 46 million slaves in the world. Despite being against international law, slavery is not yet culturally condemned everywhere. Despite being human rights violators, many perpetrators are respected members of their communities. In his new book, What Slaveholders Think: How Contemporary Perpetrators Rationalize what They Do (Columbia University Press, 2017), Professor Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, from the University of San Diego and the University of Nottingham, explores how slaveholders rationalize what they do and how they deal with the social changes that confront the status quo from which they benefit. Looking from the lenses of social movement theories, Professor Choi-Fitzpatrick, interviews slaveholders on how they feel about being targets of contention and how they react to it. In this way, he provides an original contribution both to social movement and antislavery studies. From a social movement perspective, he emphasizes the behavior of social movement targets and how they interact with challengers. Additionally, he proposes innovative ways to understand and confront slavery. Felipe G. Santos is a PhD candidate at the Central European University and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of California, Irvine. His research is focused on how activists care for each other and how care practices within social movements mobilize and radicalize heavily aggrieved collectives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jennifer Yusin, “The Future Life of Trauma: Partitions, Borders, Repetition” (Fordham UP, 2017)
33 perc 156. rész Marshall Poe
How does postcolonial theory and the work of Freud help us understand trauma? In The Future Life of Trauma: Partitions, Borders, Repetition (Fordham University Press, 2017), Dr. Jennifer Yusin, Associate Professor of English and Philosophy at Drexel University, explores both of these approaches for thinking trauma in the the context of a range of historical examples. The book offers a detailed engagement with a host of theorists and theoretical positions from Freud and the theory of psychoanalysis, through postcolonial theories of trauma, to Derrida’s political ideas. The extensive discussion of theory is placed in the context of Rwanda, the memorialisation of genocide, and the partition of India and Pakistan. In the current political context the book offers urgent insights into trauma, and will be of interest across the humanities. More information about the Kigali Genocide Memorial is available here along with the organization that supports widows of the genocide. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Benjamin R. Siegel, “Hungry Nation: Food, Famine, and the Making of Modern India” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
42 perc 155. rész Marshall Poe
In his first book Hungry Nation: Food, Famine, and the Making of Modern India (Cambridge University Press 2018), historian Benjamin Robert Siegel explores independent India’s attempts to feed itself between the 1940s and 1970s. Following the devastating Bengal famine of 1943, hunger and malnutrition remained key issues for India’s politicians, planners and citizens as a new nation sought to become self-sufficient in food production. Siegel’s book follows debates on land reform, technology and native diets to understand how the food question became an entry point into larger questions of citizenship, rights and welfare, debates that continue to loom large in the battle against agrarian distress and widespread food insecurity in present-day India. Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Insurgent Difference: An Ethnography of an Indian Resource Frontier” analyzed resource extraction and development as mutually constitutive logics of rule in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michael Levien, “Dispossession Without Development: Land Grabs in Neoliberal India” (Oxford UP, 2018)
56 perc 154. rész Marshall Poe
Historically ubiquitous at least since the 15th century and integral to the rise and consolidation of capitalism, land dispossession has re-emerged as a hot button issue for governments, industries, social movements and researchers. In his first book Dispossession Without Development: Land Grabs in Neoliberal India (Oxford University Press 2018), Michael Levien explores the causes and consequences of India’s land wars in the contemporary neoliberal period. He distinguishes between dispossession in the immediate aftermath of India’s independence (developmentalist) and dispossession in its present-day iteration (neoliberal) as fundamentally different “regimes”. How these regimes of dispossession – their motivations, methods and forms – interact with specific agrarian milieus reveals the mechanics of dispossession as “a social relation of coercive redistribution” in particular contexts and time periods. A longitudinal case study of a village called Rajpura in western India dispossessed for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) housing Mahindra World City (MWC), a private business process outsourcing cum real estate hub, forms the backbone of the book. Deeply unequal and politically quiescent, Rajpura is rain-scarce but predominantly agricultural. Post-SEZ Rajpura is marked by livestock depletion, loss of grazing lands and reduced opportunities for rural wage work, features of a semi-proletarianized condition increasingly common across the global countryside. Minimal linkages between Rajpura and the urbanizing but non-industrial economy initiated by MWC combined with the dramatic booms and busts of real estate speculation driven by state compensation policy on the other hand underscore Levien’s larger argument: “dispossession without development is a broader feature of India’s political economy”. Levien is Assistant Professor of Sociology in Johns Hopkins University.  Madhuri Karak holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Insurgent Difference: An Ethnography of an Indian Resource Frontier” analyzed resource extraction and development as mutually constitutive logics of rule in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Merin Shobhana Xavier, “Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and Contemporary Shrine Cultures” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)
65 perc 153. rész Marshall Poe
In 1971, a Sri Lankan Sufi arrived in Philadelphia to address a group of spiritual seekers. This trip initiated the career of one of the most influential teachers in the history of North American Sufism. In Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and Contemporary Shrine Cultures (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Merin Shobhana Xavier, Assistant Professor of Religion at Queen’s University, provides a rich ethnographic account of his American followers, the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship (BMF), but also introduces us to his devotees in Sri Lanka, the Serendib Sufi Study Circle. The book tells us the story of Bawa’s early life and career in South Asia, his travels to the United States, and the development of his spiritual communities. Xavier narrates this history from oral accounts of followers she gathered during extensive multisited fieldwork. Much of the book reveals the spaces and ritual activities of his contemporary followers in all their diversity. Participants come from Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and “spiritual but not religious” backgrounds, each with their own interpretation of Bawa’s teachings and significance in the universe. Xavier’s fruitful comparative and translational approach forces the reader to rethink many assumptions about the character of Islam in America, how global movements connect and develop over space, and the dynamic relationship between religious leaders and their followers. In our conversation we discussed Sufism in North America, the Sri Lankan religious landscape, the challenges of multisited fieldwork, Bawa’s ashrams, mosque, and mazar, making pilgrimage, the role of women in the movement, the meaning behind Bawa’s multiple designations and titles, and how followers engage Bawa after his death. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeremy Martens, “Empire and Asian Migration: Sovereignty, Immigration Restriction and Protest in the British Settler Colonies, 1888–1907” (UWA Publishing, 2018)
2 perc 152. rész Marshall Poe
In his new book, Empire and Asian Migration: Sovereignty, Immigration Restriction and Protest in the British Settler Colonies, 1888–1907 (UWA Publishing, 2018), Jeremy Martens, a senior lecturer in History at the University of Western Australia, offers a comparative look at the tensions that arose in settler colonies like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa as white settlers protested Asian migration but had only limited sovereignty vis-à-vis the Colonial Office in London.  These competing interests led to a legislative compromise featuring a series of indirect immigration restriction laws that did not explicitly mention race but were still aimed at non-white migrants. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Madiha Afzal, “Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State” (Brookings, 2018)
68 perc 151. rész Marshall Poe
Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State (Brookings, 2018) provides a unique insight into Pakistan’s complex and multi-layered relationship with militancy and the role of the state in Islamicizing society in a way that Pakistanis may in overwhelming majority reject violence, yet endorse attitudes that are not only militant but create an environment conducive to extremism. Based on rigorous analysis of survey data as well as multiple interviews and a keen understanding of the country’s history, Madiha Afzal weaves a highly readable story that focuses not only on the colonial legacy that led to Pakistan’s creation and the often troubled relationship with the United States that left Pakistanis with a bitter taste of betrayal in their mouths but also on how successive Pakistani governments laid the foundations for en environment conducive to extremism through legislation as well as the education system. She highlights how intolerance and anti-pluralist attitudes were nurtured by amending the constitution to declare groups viewed as heretic by mainstream Islam as non-Islamic, enacting a draconic anti-blasphemy law that lends itself to abuse and by mandating throughout the education system a slanted and problematic study of Pakistan as well as of Islam. With her study, Madiha has made a significant contribution to understanding Pakistan at a time that it is approaching a crossroads at which its multiple problems and issues no longer can simply be managed but will have to be tackled. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shyam Ranganathan, “Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation” (Routledge, 2018)
52 perc 150. rész Marshall Poe
In Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation (Routledge, 2018), Shyam Ranganathan argues that a careful philosophical study reveals telling philosophical disagreements across topics such as: ethics, logic, epistemology, moral standing, metaphysics, and politics. His analysis offers an innovative stance on the very study of Hinduism, and tensions between scholars and practitioners of Hindu traditions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Keya Maitra, “Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)
63 perc 149. rész Marshall Poe
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in a war? – leads to an extended discussion of such themes as rebirth and reincarnation and the personal paths to unity with the universe through the yogas of action, knowledge, and devotion. In Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction (Bloomsbury Academic 2018), Keya Maitra presents a new translation aimed at those who are interested in themes that cross-fertilize with Western philosophical debates regarding the nature of morality, the relation between body and self or mind, the roots of character, and the goal of a well-lived life. Maitra, who is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina – Asheville, aims at a middle ground of accessibility with recognition of the multiple and context-dependent meanings of Sanskrit terms, and the philosophical themes are elaborated with the aid of questions that are appropriate for both Western and non-Western approaches. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sumana Roy, “How I Became a Tree” (Aleph, 2017)
6 perc 148. rész Marshall Poe
Sumana Roy‘s first book How I Became a Tree (Aleph, 2017) is impossible to classify. Part-philosophical tract, part-memoir and part-literary criticism, the book is a record of her explorations in “tree-time.” Intrigued by the balance, contentment and rootedness of trees, Roy begins to delve into a corpus of human knowledge devoted to understanding the mysteries of plant life. Effortless and eclectic, she engages with the work of Buddha, Rabindranath Tagore, D.H. Lawrence, the photographs of Beth Moon, the art of Nandalal Bose, Indian folklore, Greek myths, the scientist Jagadish C. Bose’s pioneering work on plant stimuli, Deleuze and Guattari, Bengali novelist Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyaya, O’Henry and Shakespeare alongside autobiographical vignettes about her own gradual awareness of the plant world’s mysteries. Our conversation ranged from the rigidity of scholarly prose and what it inevitably precludes, writing with all five senses, “research” as a search for answers both existential and intellectual, and the importance of cultivating a sensibility over mere scholarship. An essayist, novelist and poet, Roy is currently a Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany. Her novel Missing was published in April 2018, and her poems and essays have appeared in Granta, Guernica, Los Angeles Review of Books, Drunken Boat, Prairie Schooner, Berfrois and The Common. She lives in Siliguri, India. Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier” explores processes of state-making in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sucharita Adluri, “Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana” (Routledge, 2014)
37 perc 147. rész Marshall Poe
What role, if any, do mythological texts play in philosophical discourse?  While modern Hindu Studies scholars are becoming increasingly attuned to the extent to which Indian narratives encode ideology, Sucharita Adluri’s Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana (Routledge, 2014) explores the extent to which the great medieval Hindu thinker Rāmānuja himself looked to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (a 1st-4th century narrative work extolling the glories of the great god Viṣṇu) to bolster his theistic stance on the nature of truth.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lavanya Vemsani, “Modern Hinduism in Text and Context” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)
37 perc 146. rész Marshall Poe
Dr. Lavanya Vemsani is Distinguished Professor of India History and Religions at Shawnee University and the editor of the new volume entitled Modern Hinduism in Text and Context (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018).  The essays in this volume look at a variety of topics ranging from Shaivite religious texts to biographies, novels, and dance forms to show how Hinduism cannot be understood only through texts, but also through the way its lived traditions are informed by changing socio-economic and political conditions. Shandip Saha is associate professor of Religious Studies at Athabasca University, the world leader in the realm of distance education and open learning. His research interests focus on religion and politics in pre-modern North India and on the changing performance practices in devotional music in India and Pakistan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, “Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India” (Harvard UP, 2018)
50 perc 145. rész Marshall Poe
Is India facing a waste crisis? As its population, cities and consumption grow what are the implications for the health, well being and everyday lives of Indians? In Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India (Harvard University Press, 2018), Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey discuss the genealogy of garbage and how it grew in quantity and changed in consistency in liberalising India. The book also provides us with an exhaustive birds eye view of the technological, socio-political and administrative challenges faced by those who work for a cleaner India. Ian Cook is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University, Budapest and also the host of Online Gods: A Podcast about Digital Cultures. Juli Perczel is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Manchester. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sumita Mukherjee, “Indian Suffragettes: Female Identities and Transnational Networks” (Oxford UP, 2018)
42 perc 144. rész Marshall Poe
In her new book, Indian Suffragettes: Female Identities and Transnational Networks (Oxford University Press, 2018), Sumita Mukherjee highlights the centrality of Indian women in the fight for the vote in the first half of the twentieth century. Taking up a geographic organization around global “contact zones,” Mukherjee skillfully guides readers through multiple sites of Indian suffragette networking: from Britain and its commonwealth, to international locales in the US and Europe, to eastern locations like Burma, before concluding in India. This mapping of transnational connections foregrounds the truly global dimensions of the suffrage movement and the ways that Indian women’s locality informed their calls for political equality. Mukherjee broadens our understandings of global histories of suffrage, expanding our focus beyond national borders all while putting Indian women front and centre in the struggle for the vote. Sumita Mukherjee is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Bristol, where she researches transnational mobilities of South Asians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Jess Clark is an Assistant Professor of History at Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario). She is currently writing a history of the beauty business in Victorian London. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Daisy Deomampo, “Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India” (NYU Press, 2016)
49 perc 143. rész Marshall Poe
In Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India (NYU Press, 2016), Daisy Deomampo explores relationships between Indian surrogates, their families, aspiring parents from all over the world, egg donors and doctors in a setting marked by hierarchies of income, race, nationality and gender. Based on three years of fieldwork in Mumbai, India, Deomampo shows how assisted reproductive technologies like IVF, sperm and egg donation, surrogacy and artificial insemination are not neutral scientific advances that enable parenthood, but in fact entrench “certain power relations, notions of gender, and particular constructions of the family.” The transnational surrogacy industry is an example of “stratified reproduction”, a term first coined by Shellee Cohen in her study of female immigrant domestic workers in New York City, to understand the deeply unequal political, economic and social conditions that shape women’s reproductive labor. Deomampo approaches gestational surrogacy as a site of racialization, where actors rely on “racial reproductive imaginaries” to make sense of their relationships and family-making practices across boundaries of race, kinship and class. Writing against narratives of victimhood, Deomampo centers the creative agency exercised by surrogate women in their attempts to eke out opportunities for themselves and their families, albeit within larger structures of power. Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier” explores processes of statemaking in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tarak Barkawi, “Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War II” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
38 perc 142. rész Marshall Poe
Tarak Barkawi, a Reader in International Relations at the London School of Economics, has written an important book that will cause many of us to rethink the way we understand the relationships between armies and societies. In Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War II (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Barkawi argues that many scholars of Western armies tend to overstate the degree to which motivation and fighting spirit as well as the urge to commit atrocity derive from the characteristics, strengths or weaknesses of the societies the solders come from. Studying the British Indian Army in Burma during World War II, Barkawi sees instead the way that ritual, drill, and constructed traditions that are more internal to the army itself do more to explain how that army fought so relatively effectively. The Indian peasants who filled the ranks of the British Army shared little socially, politically or otherwise with the United States Marines who fought the Japanese on Guadalcanal. And yet they fought equally hard and with equal brutality against their foe—on behalf of their colonial overlords. Barkawi attends not only to larger political context of British India and to the recruitment and training of the British Army in India, he also describes in considerable detail specific engagements in Burma that make clear how group solidarity and the will to combat are constructed even in an army for whom the normal Western markers of belonging (patriotism, religion, ethnic heritage, even a common language) are absent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Elaine Fisher, “Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia” (U California Press, 2017)
36 perc 141. rész Marshall Poe
Elaine Fisher’s Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2017) sheds light on the variegated, pluralistic texture of Hinduism in precolonial times. Drawing on Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil sources, Fisher argues for a uniquely South Asian form of religious pluralism, evidenced by religious performances in the public space.  Her work is crucial for considering the development of Hinduism in the early modern era, and that era’s legacy on modern constructions of Hinduism, calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term ‘sectarianism’. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Milan Vaishnav, “When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics” (Yale UP, 2017)
31 perc 140. rész Marshall Poe
Why do Indian voters knowingly vote for politicians with pending criminal proceedings against them? Why do political parties recruit criminal politicians among their rank and file? If money and muscle do not mean the failure of democracy, but instead are how things work under certain circumstances, then what are the remedies against the growing prevalence of criminal politicians? In When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (Yale University Press, 2017), Milan Vaishnav provides an incisive analysis, based on solid data, of what he terms the marketplace for politics which creates a demand for candidates with dubious credentials. Julia Perczel is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Manchester. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Walter N. Hakala, “Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia” (Columbia UP, 2016)
72 perc 139. rész Marshall Poe
For many people language is a central characteristic of their social identity. In modern South Asia, the production of Urdu and Hindi as national languages was intricately tied to the hardening of religious identities. South Asian lexicographers, those folks who were most intimately working with language, were at the center of this political realignment. In Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2016), Walter N. Hakala, Associate Professor of South Asian languages and literature at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, traces the long history of the construction of Urdu as a language of cultural and national identity. Dictionaries are the key source for understanding the changing social and political landscape of South Asia. Beginning in the seventeenth century, Negotiating Languages offers an episodic genealogy of the ideological underpinnings and political consequences of dictionary production. In our conversation we discuss South Asia’s multilingual premodern literature, linguistic authority, “Urdu’s oldest dictionary,” the influence of colonial knowledge production, the changing social and material challenges in 20th century lexicographical production, British lexicographers and their relationship with local linguists, Islamicized Urdu literary culture, and questions of whether non-Muslims could sufficiently produce Urdu dictionaries. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mark Liechty, “Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal” (U of Chicago Press, 2017)
63 perc 138. rész Marshall Poe
How did Nepal become synonymous, in the minds of many Westerners, with the idea of a mystical paradise and a place to find enlightenment? How did Kathmandu become the subject of songs by countercultural icons such as Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens? What did Nepalis make of the strange seekers who turned up on their doorsteps? In his book Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal (University of Chicago Press, 2017), anthropologist and historian Mark Liechty offers a deeply researched and thoroughly engaging to all of these questions and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bhoomi Thakore, “South Asians on the U.S. Screen: Just Like Everyone Else?” (Lexington Books, 2018)
38 perc 137. rész Marshall Poe
How does the portrayal of a character like Apu matter? What does the representation of South Asian TV characters tell us about society at large?  In her new book, South Asians on the U.S. Screen: Just Like Everyone Else? (Lexington Books, 2018), Bhoomi Thakore uses interviews and audience studies to explore these questions and more. By having participants list South Asian characters they’ve seen on TV, she learns a lot about representation in addition to the positive and negative characteristics attributed to these characters. Often times South Asians are relegated to minor characters in shows and Thakore explores how The Mindy Project breaks out of this mold. Exploring ideas and concepts including “forever foreigners,” assimilation, and acculturation, Thakore analyzes this media sociologically. The book also sheds light on the portrayal of South Asian female characters specifically, as well as how some shows emphasize the “every-day”-ness of some South Asian characters versus those portrayed as tokens. Overall, this work highlights important aspects that viewers of these shows may miss in passing. Thakore concludes by giving readers insights from the analysis at hand, but also provides larger insights in terms of racial relations and media portrayals in general. This book is interesting and accessible to a wide audience. Folks interested in general sociology, race/ethnicity, or media studies will find the book enjoyable. This book would be useful for an upper level sociology of race/ethnicity course as well as graduate level courses, especially those that focus on race/ethnicity or media studies. Sarah E. Patterson is a postdoc at the University of Western Ontario. You can tweet her at @spattersearch. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aidan Forth, “Barbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain’s Empire of Camps, 1876-1903” (U California Press, 2017)
67 perc 136. rész Marshall Poe
In his new book, Barbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain’s Empire of Camps, 1876-1903 (University of California Press, 2017), Aidan Forth employs a comparative and trans-imperial approach to map a global network of camps established by Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Between 1876 and 1903, officials set up famine, plague, and wartime concentration camps across India and South Africa in response to a number of interconnected global emergencies. Situating these imperial camps within a longer tradition of Victorian reforms, Forth argues that, while the camps ostensibly provided care and relief for millions of inmates, they simultaneously functioned as sites of social control and confinement. In this way, Barbed-Wire Imperialism challenges existing understandings of British concentration camps, recasting them not as exceptional wartime measures, but as ubiquitous tools of imperial governance. Aidan Forth is an Assistant Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches courses on modern British history, colonialism, transnational urban history and European urban history. Jess Clark is an Assistant Professor of History at Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario). She is currently writing a history of the beauty business in Victorian London. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David Atkinson, “The Burden of White Supremacy: Containing Asian Migration in the British Empire and the United States” (UNC Press, 2016)
71 perc 135. rész Marshall Poe
Recent historical scholarship stresses the transnational linkages between movements to restrict Asian migration in the Anglophone world. David Atkinson’s The Burden of White Supremacy: Containing Asian Migration in the British Empire and the United States (UNC Press, 2016) offers an important revision to this literature by examining legal and social responses to Japanese and South Asian mobility in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and the U.S. between 1896 and 1924. Atkinson argues that, while these various geographies shared similar ideologies and motivations for restricting Asian mobility, local conditions—for example, economic conditions, proximity to Asia, structures of political governance, and the number of real vs. prospective Asian migrants—were far more determinative of exclusionary campaigns and policies. The resulting imperial discord and international tensions constituted the “burden of white supremacy.” In this conversation, Atkinson shares insights from this complex history, as well as his approach to researching and crafting a multi-national, multi-archival project. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, “Indian Muslim Minorities and the 1857 Rebellion: Religion, Rebels and Jihad” (I. B. Tauris, 2017)
37 perc 134. rész Marshall Poe
In her fascinating and path paving new book, Indian Muslim Minorities and the 1857 Rebellion: Religion, Rebels and Jihad (I. B. Tauris, 2017), Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont reorients our understanding of the 1857 rebellion in India, while offering a nuanced theorization of religion, religious identity, and questions of violence. The title of this book announces the key terms and conceptual pillars that sustain it throughout: religion, rebels, and jihad. The brilliance of this book lies in the way it raises and addresses a number of critical questions regarding memory, formations of religious identity, and conceptions of religion as a category through the close and energetic reading of a single event. This book is intellectual history at its fiercest. Nimbly written, it will also make an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate seminars. SherAli Tareen is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available at https://fandm.academia.edu/SheraliTareen/. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Debarati Sen, “Everyday Sustainability: Gender Justice and Fair Trade Tea in Darjeeling” (SUNY Press, 2017)
50 perc 133. rész Marshall Poe
In her new book, Everyday Sustainability: Gender Justice and Fair Trade Tea in Darjeeling (SUNY Press, 2017), Debarati Sen analyzes the paradoxes and promises of Fair Trade-organic tea production in Darjeeling, India. Based on more than a decade of feminist longitudinal ethnographic research, Sen investigates why independent women small farmers growing tea on their own land experience market-based social justice regimes like Fair Trade differently from women wage laborers in tea plantations. Simultaneously circumspect and hopeful of the extent and kind of empowerment Fair Trade can bring about, women workers nonetheless use sustainable development as a space to mobilize for more favorable intra-household relations, collective bargaining and access to resources. Everyday Sustainability received the Global Development Studies Book Award from the International Studies Association in 2018. Sen is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Conflict Management at the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development in Kennesaw State University. Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier explores processes of state-making in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Fahad Bishara, “A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
51 perc 132. rész Marshall Poe
Today I talked to Fahad Bishara about his book A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950 (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Dr. Bishara is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He specializes in the economic and legal history of the Indian Ocean and Islamic world. In this podcast, Dr. Bishara discusses his sophisticated history that explores the intricate legal and economic regimes that traversed the Western Indian Ocean for generations. He also talks about how he effectively mined legal documents to craft this narrative. The following podcast was originally published on H-Law’s Legal History Podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Fareen Parvez, “Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford UP, 2017)
40 perc 131. rész Marshall Poe
Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford University Press, 2017) by Fareen Parvez is a rich ethnographic analysis of Islamic Revival movements in France (Lyon) and India (Hyderabad). In her study, Parvez maps the complex ways in which Muslims, especially women, engage in religious and political activism in secular states where they are minorities. Her study challenges many notions of secularity and political Islam, particularly as it intersects with complex class identities (i.e., those who are marginalized socio-economically) both in India and France. Moving through everyday spaces, such as schools (Islamic and secular), conferences, mosques, and cafes, Parvez’s study attunes us to the intricate realities of women’s political and religious activism. This study is of great importance to scholars invested in minority and Muslim politics in India and France, as well those working on secularism, Muslim women, and political Islam, while Parvez’s ethnographic methodologies and reflections would be of great value for those working in anthropology. M. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Ithaca College. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloomsbury Press, 201800) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2018). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at mxavier@ithaca.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Reiko Ohnuma, “Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination” (Oxford UP, 2017)
53 perc 130. rész Marshall Poe
Reiko Ohnuma‘s Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2017) is a masterful treatment of animals in Indian Buddhist literature. Although they are lower than humans in the paths of rebirth, stories about animals show them as virtuous and generous—and often the victim of human failings. In the life stories of the Buddha, animals serve as “doubles,” thereby adding nuance and complexity to various episodes in the Buddha’s life. Ohnuma, in this groundbreaking study, argues that animals in Indian Buddhist literature serve to illuminate what it means to be a human being. Natasha Heller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. You can find her on Twitter @nheller or email her at nheller@virginia.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Amy Langenberg, “Birth in Buddhism: The Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom” (Routledge, 2017)
59 perc 129. rész Marshall Poe
Birth and suffering are deeply linked concepts in Buddhism, and their connection has shaped how the bodies and status of women were understood. Join us for a conversation with Amy Paris Langenberg about her book Birth in Buddhism: The Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom, published by Routledge in their series Critical Studies in Buddhism. Amy takes as her focus an early first millennium work, the Garbhavakranti-sutra, or Descent of the Embryo Scripture. Using this text as her point of departure, and reading across a wide range of genres, Amy explores birth metaphors, the journey of the fetus, and the concepts of purity, auspiciousness, and disgust, showing how the Buddhist depiction of female bodies operated against a backdrop of earlier South Asian ideas. The Descent of the Embryo Scripture speaks to the human condition, but especially to the status of women, fertility, the female body, and mothers. Amy argues that this Buddhist depiction of women’s bodies as disgusting and impure opened the way for a different kind of femininity for Buddhist nuns. Natasha Heller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. You can find her on Twitter @nheller or email her at nheller@virginia.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ammara Maqsood, “The New Pakistani Middle Class” (Harvard UP, 2017)
36 perc 128. rész Marshall Poe
The relationship between class and religious piety represents a theme less explored in the study of modern Islam in general, and in the study of South Asian Islam in particular. In her incredibly nimble and nuanced recent book The New Pakistani Middle Class (Harvard University Press, 2017), Ammara Maqsood, Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, addresses this lacunae by offering a fascinating narrative of the intersection of religion, class, and piety among the urban Pakistani middle class. With a focus on the history and present of older and the new middle-class communities in Lahore, this book charts with remarkable analytical precision, the interaction of global and local politics, and the choreography of everyday religious life among the urban middle class in Pakistan. Theoretically sophisticated, historically grounded, and ethnographically vivacious, The New Pakistani Middle Class represents a groundbreaking contribution to the study of post-colonial Muslim societies, South Asian Islam, and to the anthropology of religion and Islam. In addition to its intellectual merits, this book also reads lyrically making it eminently usable in undergraduate and graduate seminars on religion and class, Urban Studies, South Asian Studies, Islamic Studies, and Anthropology. SherAli Tareen is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Leo Coleman, “A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi” (Cornell UP, 2017)
52 perc 127. rész Marshall Poe
We take electricity for granted. But the material grids and wires that bring light to homes and connect places are also objects of moral concern, political freedoms and national advancement, suggests Leo Coleman in his new book A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi (Cornell University Press 2017). The book is structured around three historical and ethnographic case studies—the pomp and show at Viceroy Curzon’s 1903 Imperial Durbar that ultimately left no trace on Delhi’s physical landscape; Constituent Assembly debates on nationwide electrification legislation; and anti-privatization consumer activism pursued by New Delhi’s neighborhood associations in the mid 2000s. Coleman argues that technological infrastructures are never a purely technical matter and always already entangled in political, legal and moral processes. Electrification in each historical moment—colonial enclave, fledgling nation and global city—generates meaningful, moral reflection on what constitutes the public sphere, self-determination and collective wellbeing. Leo Coleman is an associate professor of anthropology at Hunter College, City University of New York. Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier” explores processes of state-making in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of her work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Megan Adamson Sijapati and Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, “Religion and Modernity in the Himalaya” (Routledge, 2016)
61 perc 126. rész Marshall Poe
The Himalayas have long been at the crossroads of the exchange between cultures, yet the social lives of those who inhabit the region are often framed as marginal to historical narratives. And while scholars have studied religious diversity in the context of modern nation-states, such as India, Pakistan, Tibet, or Nepal, seldom has the Himalaya been the focus of examination in and of itself. Megan Adamson Sijapati, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gettysburg College, and Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, remedy this scholarly void in their new collection of essays, Religion and Modernity in the Himalaya (Routledge, 2016). The volume explores religious responses to Himalayan modernity as witnessed in the cultural encounter with new social realities, expectations, and limits. The characteristics of the Himalayan region are fluid, moving beyond geographical boundaries, or mountain and valley zones, as are the contemporary human processes of meaning-making in the face of globalization and modernization. In our conversation we discuss how modernity operates, the social and political factors shaping the Himalayan religious environment, processes of emplacement, Tibetan Buddhist media, environmentalism and development, changing pilgrimage practices, the Nepali Goddess tradition, political limits to religious education, and the dynamics of perceived margins and discourses of peripherality. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sareeta Amrute, “Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin” (Duke UP, 2016)
48 perc 125. rész Marshall Poe
Associate professor of anthropology at the University of Washington Sareeta Amrute has written Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin (Duke University Press, 2016), a study of contemporary capitalism, new forms of work, and the racialized underpinnings of immaterial labor regimes. Amrute conducted research among Indian IT workers —“coders”—who were in Berlin for the short-term under Germany’s Green Card program. Instead of tech workers unmarked by race, class or gender, she introduces readers to their “double location”: as unwanted racialized immigrant and simultaneously as part of India’s globalized technoelite. Focusing equally on spaces of work and leisure, jokes circulated over email, gift sharing practices, political cartoons and advertisements, Amrute depicts a world that is constrained but not circumscribed by neoliberal logics. Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier explores processes of statemaking in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michelle Murphy, “The Economization of Life” (Duke University Press, 2017)
42 perc 124. rész Marshall Poe
In The Economization of Life (Duke University Press, 2017), Michelle Murphy pulls apart the late modern concept of “population” to show the lives this concept has produced and continues to produce, and, importantly, the lives it has failed to allow under the banner of postwar development projects. In the post-WWII period of decolonization, experts and state planners in the Global North tested in the real-world the hypotheses of Demographic Transition Theory (industrialization leads to few births which leads to “better” lives). In doing so, they repackaged the racist logic of earlier eugenicist definitions of population in the postwar period by harnessing the concept of population, not to environmental limits, but to economic optimization. Murphy show how this postwar “regime of valuation” played out on the ground through an extended study of population management and family planning projects in Bangladesh. Murphy’s work—which combines a new history of the population concept with an original study of lives lived (and not lived) in Bangladesh—demonstrates her broader point: namely that seemingly abstract, large scale elements of late-capitalist infrastructures of industrial production depend upon emotional, affective sensibilities about sex and reproduction. By telling a history of expert concepts of population, the infrastructures that perform it, the affects that pulse through it, and forms of life it continues to produce and prevent, Michelle Murphy invites readers to speculate towards other worlds—and other words. Murphy teaches us why population is an “intolerable concept” and she does the work of imagining other, more just, more apt words we might use in place of “population.” She suggests that her term “distributed reproduction” might help shift our attention, our thinking, and our practices towards more emancipatory collective responses and responsibilities—given our own existence as part of infrastructures of racism and violence. Laura Stark is Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University and is Associate Editor of the journal History & Theory. Laura’s first book, Behind Closed Doors: IRBs and the Making of Ethical Research, was published in 2012 by University of Chicago Press. Her current research explores how a market for healthy civilian “human subjects” emerged in law, science, and popular imagination in the post-World War Two period. It is based on a vernacular archive she created with more than 100 “normal control” research subjects and scientists who took part in postwar experiments at the US National Institutes of Health, now archived at Countway Library for the History of Medicine. Overall, Stark’s work uses social theory to map the intersections of science, morality and the modern state in a global context.       Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sujatha Gidla, “Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017)
40 perc 123. rész Marshall Poe
In her searing book Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), Sujatha Gidla traces her family’s history over four generations in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. From their conversion into Christianity by Canadian missionaries and her grandfather’s stint in the British army; her uncle Satyamurthy’s rise as a revolutionary poet, labor organizer and eventual founder of the Maoist People’s War Group (PWG) and her mother Manjula’s struggles raising three children in the face of everyday caste discrimination, to her own involvement with the PWG’s radical student wing that ended with brief imprisonment, it is the impossibility of transcending caste even in “modern” India that she circles back to. She writes, “Your life is your caste, your caste is your life.” Her book has been reviewed to critical acclaim in the New York Times, BBC, and Slate among others. Gidla lives in New York City and works as a subway conductor for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation, titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier,” explores processes of statemaking in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of work can be found here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement” (U. Cal Press, 2016)
44 perc 122. rész Marshall Poe
Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent. These public understandings of new religious movements are part of the reason why the Indian Guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh or Osho, is so controversial. In Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement (University of California Press, 2016), Hugh Urban, Professor of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University, explores the Osho Movement as a case study on the intersection of religion, capitalism, sexuality, and globalization. Urban traces the social contexts of the Osho-Rajneesh transnational religious movement as it extends from its local origins in India, across to America, and back to South Asia. He puts textual and ethnographic sources to use in producing a rich account of Osho, his followers, and the social worlds that shape them. At its height, Osho’s archetype of Zorba the Buddha represents the shifting attitudes of the public towards the body, physical pleasure, and material consumption. In our conversation we discuss the social and political atmosphere of post-Independence India, national patterns of socialism, spiritual sexuality and neo-Tantra, New Age debates, questions of religion and law, the 1980s Oregon utopian community, global capitalism, and Osho’s legacy and the continuation of the movement. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jane McCabe, “Race, Tea and Colonial Resettlement: Imperial Families, Interrupted” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017)
18 perc 121. rész Marshall Poe
In her new book, Race, Tea and Colonial Resettlement: Imperial Families, Interrupted (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), Jane McCabe, Lecturer in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago, explores the tale of the “Kalimpong Kids,” 130 Anglo-Indian adolescents who were sent from the tea plantations in northeast India to New Zealand in the early 20th century. Their stories were for decades silenced, but using a wide range of archival sources, McCabe fills in the gaps of these family histories, including her own. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michael J. Altman, “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893” (Oxford UP, 2017)
54 perc 120. rész Marshall Poe
Scholars regularly assert that at Chicago’s World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 Swami Vivekananda initiated Hinduism in America. Many histories of Hinduism in America reproduce this type of synthesizing narrative. But how was Hinduism defined by Vivekananda and how was it understood by his American audience? How did it relate to the various South Asian religious practices and beliefs that are subsumed under this term Hinduism? In Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893 (Oxford University Press, 2017), Michael J. Altman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, tackles literary and visual accounts of religion in India to understand the production of the category Hinduism in America. He provides an episodic genealogy of the ways in which South Asians were constructed in the American imaginary. Instead of reclassifying the various terminology used by missionaries, columnists, or Transcendentalists as Hinduism Altman carefully plots the social, political, and theological claims invested in those terms. In our conversation we discuss early American religious culture, category construction, evangelical knowledge production, orientalist discourses, displays of South Asia material culture, Unitarians, Transcendentalists, and the Theosophical Society, Rammohan Roy, Protestant morality and national culture, public schools education, missionary accounts, and the contours of American Religious Studies. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mengia Hong Tschalaer, “Muslim Women’s Quest for Justice: Gender, Law and Activism in India” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
30 perc 119. rész Marshall Poe
In her inspiring new book, Muslim Women’s Quest for Justice: Gender, Law and Activism in India (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Mengia Hong Tschalaer charts the strivings and creative struggles of Muslim women’s organizations in contemporary North India for gender justice. Carefully historicized and brimming with nuanced analysis, this book shows the discursive and political strategies through which overlapping and at times competing women’s organizations navigate a contested and complicated public sphere, as they seek to curate a gender emancipatory understanding of Islam. The major strength of this book is the way it presents a vivid picture of the quest for gender justice on the ground, leavened by such critical processes as the composition of gender-just nikah-namas. This important book will engage the interests of a range of scholars and courses on Islam, gender, South Asia, and Islamic law and society. SherAli Tareen is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available at https://fandm.academia.edu/SheraliTareen/. He can be reached at stareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rahuldeep Singh Gill, “Drinking From Love’s Cup: Surrender and Sacrifice in the Vars of Bhai Gurdas Bhalla” (Oxford UP, 2016)
48 perc 118. rész Marshall Poe
There is a long tradition of the study of Sikhism in Western academia. However, historiographical accounts still lack a clear vision of the early formation of the tradition. Rahuldeep Singh Gill, Associate Professor of Religion at California Lutheran University, addresses this lacuna in Drinking From Love’s Cup: Surrender and Sacrifice in the Vars of Bhai Gurdas Bhalla (Oxford University Press, 2017). Through a detailed analysis and lucid translation of the literary tradition of Bhai Gurdas Bhalla (d. 1636), the tradition’s most important poet, Gill challenges and critiques current modes of Sikh scholarship. Bhai Gurdas’ poetry shaped early Sikh theology and practice, providing an emotive lexicon for communal identity. Gill highlights some of the most important of Gurdas’vars in articulating key themes in his writing, including spiritual death, martyrdom, sacrifice, and divine love. These tropes often emerge in the context of relationships with Sikh leadership, such as the martyr Guru Arjan and his son Guru Hargobind. In our conversation we discussed the state of Sikh Studies, the founding tradition around Guru Nanak and the transformations that shaped Gurdas’ life, the Sikh canon and its broader textual landscape, Islamicate influences, the manuscript tradition, practices of feet veneration, scholarly orientalism, translational practices, and interfaith engagement. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Manan Ahmed Asif, “A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia” (Harvard UP, 2017)
60 perc 117. rész Marshall Poe
In contemporary South Asia, the question of Muslim origins emerges in school textbooks, political dialogues, or at tourist or pilgrimage cites. The repeated narrative revolves around the foreign Muslim leader, Muhammad bin Qasim, and his conquest of Sind in the year 712. Manan Ahmed Asif, Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, provides a critical interrogation of this narrative in A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia (Harvard University Press, 2017). The crux of this origin narrative stems from the Chachnama, a 13th-century Persian text, which purports to be a translation of an eye-witness account written in Arabic. Asif approaches the Chachnama by initially situating it within the spatial and political context of Medieval Sind. He then places it within the textual universe of the early 13th century, thinking about audience, genre, and themes. Through this process of unreading he concludes that the Chachnama is neither translation nor primarily concerned with conquest but rather provides a coherent political theory for its contemporaneous readers. Thinking about the text in this new light, Asif examines the Chachnama though the lens of advice writing, questions of governing difference, and the calibration of gender and power. Finally, he explores the afterlife of the Chachnama and determines the factors that framed the story of the conquest of Sind as the primary narrative of Muslim origins in South Asia. In our conversation we discussed what origin narratives tell us about the contemporary world, the deployment of notions of conquest and foreignness in South Asian discourse, the maritime orientation of early Sind, literary and social context of the Chachnamas production, genres of advice writing, the political organization of religious difference, the roles women played in articulating just forms of rule, the colonial reframing of Muslim origins, and the social consequences of dominant readings of the Chachnama. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kief Hillsbery, “Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)
62 perc 116. rész Marshall Poe
Kief Hillsbery‘s Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) follows the career of Nigel Halleck, an English tax assessor in employ of the British East India Company and his travels on the Indian frontier from 1841 to 1878. Hillsbery reconstructs his ancestor’s life through his own travels to the region in the late 1970s. Believed by his family to be a gentleman gone rogue, gem smuggler, or possibly eaten by a tiger, Hillsbery unravels a fascinating tale of a man who choked under the stifling conditions of Victorian cultural norms and set out to reinvent himself at the court of Nepal during its years of self-imposed isolation. A man with limited horizons for economic and social advancement in Victorian England, Halleck was obliged to seek employment with the Company. Seeking a life of adventure and self-expression on the other side of the world, Halleck instead found a life of shallow colonial routine in Calcutta. Halleck chaffed under the rules and regulations Company bureaucracy. He became increasingly alienated by his surroundings and began to question the racist assumptions of the British imperial project. Inspired by the career of Henry Lawrence, Halleck left the shadow of Company in search of his own autonomy in Nepal, a distant locale outside the reach of British rule. A linguist and explorer, Hallack became one of the first Europeans to visit the country. Under the Rana court, Halleck found his place as advisor and companion to Jang Bhadur Rana during a period of political reform. Empire Made is an imperial history constructed from fragments of family letters, archival research, and the author’s own extensive travel in the frontier regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan. Hillsbery reconstructs the life of his ancestor while finding many parallels with his own experiences on the Indian frontier as a young man. In search of his uncle’s grave, Hillsbery uncovers the mysteries of Nigel Hallack, a nonconformist who transgressed the boundaries of colonizer and colonized as well as European attitudes towards homosexuality in the Age of Empire. James Esposito is a historian and researcher interested in digital history, empire, and the history of technology. James can be reached via email at espositojamesj@gmail.com and on Twitter @james_esposito_ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Michael Youngblood, “Cultivating Community: Interest, Identity, and Ambiguity in an Indian Social Mobilization” (South Asian Studies Press, 2016)
36 perc 115. rész Marshall Poe
Cultivating Community: Interest, Identity, and Ambiguity in an Indian Social Mobilization by Michael Youngblood, a cultural anthropologist based in San Francisco, was published in November, 2016 by the South Asian Studies Association Press. The book is a winner of the Joseph W. Elder Book Prize (conferred by the American Institute of Indian Studies), and has been very well received by reviewers. Cultivating Community is based on the author’s two and a half years of field research in 1996-1999 with the Shetkari Sanghatana, a massive and influential anti-statist movement in India’s Maharashtra state. The book explores the creation of political meaning and the construction of collective identity in a mass social movement. In it, the author address fundamental questions in making sense of mass movements anywhere: Where do movement ideologies come from and what makes them compelling? What motivates diverse groups of ordinary people to rise together in common cause? How can we make sense of individual participants in a movement when their participation sometimes appears irrational and against their own interests? The book argues for a participant-centric view of the Shetkari Sanghatana, digging beneath the movement’s fantastical mythological idiom and the overarching demands that we hear articulated by leadership to see how the Sanghatana is experienced and constructed by individual participants on the ground. An important part of the analysis focuses on ways that participants and leaders together deploy a pool of shared but highly ambiguous spiritual and political symbols in an ongoing competition to define what the movement stands for, whose interests it represents, and what the future should look like. This is an anthropological ethnography that delves into history, political science, economics, cultural geography, folklore, and religion. Mike Youngblood received his PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at the School for International Training, the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, the Masters in Social Design program at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. Mike’s interests in social innovation, collaborative change, design thinking, and ethnographic methodology are central to his work both inside and outside of academe. His work has received a number of recognitions, including the Sardar Patel Award for Best American Dissertation on Modern India, the Percy H. Buchannan Prize for Writing on Asian Affairs, the Robert Miller Prize for Innovation in Anthropological Research, and the Joseph W. Elder Book Prize. He has been a Fulbright fellow, a Watson fellow, and an American Institute of Indian Studies fellow.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
William Elison, et.al. “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation” (Harvard UP, 2016)
73 perc 114. rész Marshall Poe
Amar Akbar Anthony is a film like no other. When you see it you cannot forget it. Filled with music, comedy, drama, and love it captures audiences in multiple ways. But what can we learn from a deeper look at this classic of Hindi cinema? William Elison, Assistant Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, Christian Lee Novetzke, Professor at the University of Washington, and Andy Rotman, Professor at Smith College offer a layered analysis of the 1977 blockbuster in Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation (Harvard University Press, 2016). The authors examine the film through each of the narratives three brothers, as well as their mother. All four perspectives offer a new vision of modern India. Through their investigation they explore questions of religion and secularism, Indian nationalism, cinematic genres and Bollywood, politics, urban architectural space, and gender. They also examine the film as a powerful allegory of the nation, where differing religious identities, specifically Hindu, Muslim, and Christian, can produce a generative social harmony. Overall, the authors provide a rich portrait of this amazing film and a useful model for the interdisciplinary analysis of cinema. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. His research and teaching interests include Theory and Methodology in the Study of Religion, Islamic Studies, Chinese Religions, Human Rights, and Media Studies. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rajan Gurukkal, “Rethinking Classical Indo-Roman Trade: Political Economy of Eastern Mediterranean Exchange Relations” (Oxford UP, 2016)
37 perc 113. rész Marshall Poe
Rajan Gurukkal‘s Rethinking Classical Indo-Roman Trade: Political Economy of Eastern Mediterranean Exchange Relations (Oxford University Press, 2016) casts a critical eye over the exchanges, usually and problematically termed trade, between the eastern Mediterranean and coastal India in the classical period. Using insights from economic anthropology to recast the standard narrative of the time, the study explores ports and polity in south India as well as the different types of exchange relations in both the eastern Mediterranean and the subcontinent. A provocative, fascinating and deeply detailed study, the book is sure the shake up existing scholarship on the topic. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Audrey Truschke, “Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court” (Columbia UP, 2016)
51 perc 112. rész Marshall Poe
Contemporary scholarship on the Mughal empire has generally ignored the role Sanskrit played in imperial political and literary projects. However, in Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia University Press, 2016), Audrey Truschke, Assistant Professor of South Asian History at Rutgers University–Newark, demonstrates that Sanskrit was central to the process of royal self-definition. She documents how Brahman and Jain intellectuals were working closely with Persian-speaking Islamic elite around the cultural framework of the central royal court. These projects often revolved around cross-cultural textual production and translation, putting Sanskrit and Persian works in conversation. The production of Mughal-backed texts, and the literary reflection or silence about Brahman and Jain participation reveals unexplored horizons for understanding South Asia imperial history. In our conversation we discussed the dynamics of the Mughal court, the influential leaders Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan, Persian translation of Sanskrit epics, the integration of Sanskrit materials into imperial knowledge, the end of Sanskrit at the Mughal court, and the tricky reception of contested histories in contemporary India. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. His research and teaching interests include Theory and Methodology in the Study of Religion, Islamic Studies, Chinese Religions, Human Rights, and Media Studies. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kjpetersen@unomaha.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ronojoy Sen, “Nation at Play: A History of Sport in India” (Columbia UP, 2016)
29 perc 111. rész Marshall Poe
Covering sporting activities from ancient times right up to the modern day, Ronojoy Sen’s Nation at Play: A History of Sport in India (Columbia University Press, 2016) is at once broad in its scope, yet detailed in its analysis of key events. From football, to the Olympics, to cricket the book explores how sporting life changes in relation to wider societal transformations. I found it both highly readable, and packed full of the type of stories that appeal to sports aficionados. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Benjamin Schonthal, “Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of the Law: The Pyrrhic Constitutionalism of Sri Lanka” (Cambridge UP, 2016)
71 perc 110. rész Marshall Poe
In his recent monograph, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law: The Pyrrhic Constitutionalism of Sri Lanka (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Benjamin Schonthal examines the relationship between constitutional law and religious conflict in Sri Lanka during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Situating his study alongside broader conversations in the field of constitutional law and specifically debates about law’s effects on religion, Schonthal challenges the widely-held idea that constitutional law, properly administered, is a useful tool for reducing conflict between and within religious communities. Drawing on unpublished and previously unexamined archival materials written in Tamil, Sinhalese, and English, Schonthal argues that in the case of Sri Lanka constitutional law has actually hardened pre-existing religious conflicts and encouraged religious actors to use the law and courts to frame a variety of legal fights in explicitly religious terms. The pyrrhic constitutionalism in the subtitle of the book is the term that Schonthal has coined to describe how, in this case, the practice of constitutional law actually exacerbates the very problems it was designed to resolve. In the first half of the book, Schonthal details the fascinating history of two of Sri Lankas most important constitutions–an initial one in 1948, and a revised version ratified in 1972–focusing specifically on the section that addresses Buddhism and religion. Many familiar with the post-independence history of Sri Lanka might interpret this section as but a product of Buddhist chauvinism and Sinhala nationalism. However, by looking at an impressive number of drafts and archival materials, Schonthal reveals that the process of drafting this religious clause was in fact a messy back-and-forth between several competing parties, including those who wanted the government to completely remove itself from religious affairs, those who wanted the government to proactively protect religious rights, and those who hoped the state would grant Buddhism a special, protected status in post-colonial Sri Lanka. He further shows that even among those who wanted Buddhism to enjoy special protection there was much disagreement about how the government should execute such protection, and to what degree the government should assume responsibilities traditionally allocated to the saṅghas elders or sometimes to the king. The second half of the book provides case studies that detail precisely how it is that constitutional law exacerbates extant conflicts within and between religious groups. After providing a number of examples of the way in which the Buddhism and religion clause created an incentive for Buddhist groups to use the courts as a space for publicly airing their grievances, Schonthal then moves on to the case of a monk who applied for a driving license but, after a long legal process, was eventually denied. Scholars of Buddhism will find this case fascinating regardless of their area or period of expertise, for this highly contentious case, which captivated the Sri Lankan media and public, gets to the heart of a perennial issue within Buddhist societies, namely the degree to which secular rulers should be involved in enforcing Buddhist monastic rules. In the book’s penultimate chapter, Schonthal looks at Buddhist anxiety over religious conversion–specifically cases of Buddhists converting to Christianity–and again argues that constitutional law has inadvertently intensified this controversy. In the interview we barely scratch the surface of the book, and listeners interested in following Schonthal’s arguments in greater detail and reading the case studies, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anastasia Piliavsky, ed., “Patronage as Politics in South Asia” (
Cambridge UP, 2014)
40 perc 109. rész Marshall Poe
Does patronage always imply a corruption of democratic political processes? Across sixteen essays by historians, political scientists and anthropologists Patronage as Politics in South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2014), edited by Anastasia Piliavsky, explores this question and many more across a range of historical and cultural contexts. The volume’s collective drive to ask difficult and theoretically nuanced questions about the role of patronage in South Asia, gives the book a coherence that plays wonderfully against the contributions’ eclecticism and diversity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Projit Bihari Mukharji, “Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Science: (University of Chicago Press, 2016)
66 perc 108. rész Marshall Poe
Projit Bihari Mukharji’s new book explores the power of small, non-spectacular, and everyday technologies as motors or catalysts of change in the history of science and medicine. Focusing on practices of Ayurveda in British Bengal between about 1870-1930, Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Science (University of Chicago Press, 2016) is structured around five case studies that each describe the incorporation of a particular technology into Ayurvedic practice, resulting in a braiding together of strands of sciences and the production of a new body image. Mukharji develops and engages a number of key concepts in the work, significantly introducing a notion of physiograms (materialized physiologies or materialized body metaphors, a development of John Tresch’s notion of cosmograms) and a way of thinking about the braiding of strands of science and medicine. It’s a beautifully written and compellingly argued work that will be of interest to a wide range of readers of the history of science and medicine! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
“Best New Books in Political Science 2016: International Politics Edition”
13 perc 107. rész Marshall Poe
Last week featured a year-end-round up of books in American politics. This week I looked back to the past year on the podcast in other subfields. I start with an interview I enjoyed with Prerna Singh. Her book examines sub-nationalism in India. Prerna’s book is How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India and was published by Cambridge University Press. Next up is Marc Lynch who came on the podcast to talk about international relations in the Middle East. Here is an excerpt from our interview. Marc’s book is titled The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East and was published by Public Affairs in 2016. In a year with Republicans on the rise in Washington, I enjoyed Bob Lacey’s book of political theory. Bob’s book is Pragmatic Conservatism. Palgrave MacMillan published the book this year. And finally, Deepa Iyer came on the podcast to talk about social movements and South Asian American politics. Deepa’s book, with my favorite cover of the year, is We Too Sing America, published by The New Press. I hope you enjoyed the podcast in 2016 and come back in 2017 for more. Remember to rate the podcast on iTunes and share on social media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Carol Upadhya, “Reengineering India: Work, Capital, and Class in an Offshore Economy” (Oxford UP, 2016)
41 perc 106. rész Marshall Poe
How is India’s burgeoning IT industry reshaping the country? What types of capital is IT attracting and what formations does it take? How are software engineers managed? What are their goals and aspirations? How are they perceived by their foreign clients? In her new book, Reengineering India: Work, Capital, and Class in an Offshore Economy (Oxford University Press, 2016), Carol Upadhya tackles these questions and many more. Based on extensive research in Bangalore – the large southern Indian metropolis that has led the IT buzz – the book explores the way capital, work and class are remade within the “new India.” Combining deep, rich and detailed accounts of life within “software factories” with a theoretical eclecticism and clear writing style, the book is a truly wonderful anthropological account of an offshore economy. Carol Upadhya is Professor in the School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru, India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rupa Viswanath, “The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India” (Columbia UP, 2014)
34 perc 105. rész Marshall Poe
The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called untouchables). In The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India (Columbia University Press, 2014) Rupa Viswanath unpacks the creation and application of this so called “problem.”The interview explores the ways in which land, labour and ritual combined in producing the Pariah and the affect Protestant missionaries had in reshaping Pariah-ness, as well as the role of the colonial state and changes in house site ownership among other issues. Amazingly rich in detail and theoretically dynamic throughout, the book is relevant to numerous discussions in present day India and beyond. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Roman Sieler, “Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India” (Oxford UP, 2015)
77 perc 104. rész Marshall Poe
Roman Sieler’s

 Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India (Oxford University Press, 2015) is a fine-grained ethnographic study of varmakkalai–the art of vital spots, a South Indian practice that encompasses both martial and medical activities. The interview explores how varmakkalai relates to the wider field of manual therapies and martial traditions in the subcontinent, the theories that inform the practice, the relationship between healing and fighting, as well as the role of secrets. A truly fascinating study that raises questions about topics such as categorisation, concealment and learning that go way beyond the confines of South India, Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets will be of interest to many. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Arie L. Molendijk, “Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East” (Oxford UP, 2016)
52 perc 103. rész Marshall Poe
Arie L. Molendijk is Professor of the History of Christianity and Philosophy in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has written Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East (Oxford University Press, 2016) to study how this seminal series of translations had started a novel way of understanding religions through a comparative study of texts and how it led to the shaping of the Western understanding of Eastern faith-traditions. Molendijk critically analyzes this rise of “big science” and also discusses the problems inherent in this approach of “textualisation of religion.” He revisits the limitations of translation and questions the assumptions behind them. He also looks into the person of Max Muller, specifically his scholarly aspect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Harini Nagendra, “Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future” (Oxford UP, 2016)
41 perc 102. rész Marshall Poe
In Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future (Oxford University Press, 2016), Harini Nagendra traces centuries of interaction between ecology and urban change, revealing not only the destructive tendencies of urbanization, but also the remarkable ways in which nature survives in one of India’s largest cities. From the ecology of slum life and propensity for home gardens to the differing conceptions of parks and uses of trees, the book brings together the various ways in which nature changes and is changed by the city. As such, Nagendra offers a truly unique retelling of Bengaluru’s story that cuts across academic disciplines, making for an outstandingly innovative yet richly detailed book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Liam Brockey, “The Visitor: Andre Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia” (Harvard UP, 2014)
77 perc 101. rész Marshall Poe
The transmission of a religion closely connected to a particular culture into a very different religious and cultural environment is a difficult act of translation in which a balance must be struck between remaining true to doctrine while understanding and accommodating cultural difference. Members of the Society of Jesus were engaged in a series of such projects in Asia in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This already difficult task was made more complex by the need to maintain unity and discipline among individual Jesuits when travel was dangerous and time consuming and letters might take years to reach their destinations. In his masterful book, The Visitor: Andre Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia (Harvard University Press, 2014), Liam Brockey explores these issues through a study of the life of Andre Palmeiro, who traveled throughout Asia settling disputes over complex questions of belief, practice, and ritual. This informative work is not only a biography, as Brockey skillfully uses the career of Palmeiro to complicate the story of the Jesuits in Asia, for instance, showing that national origin was not the main factor determining how much or how little individual Jesuits approved of an “accomodationist” approach. This book is highly recommended, and scholars, graduate students, and those interested in issues of both mission history and the problem of translation will find it well worth reading. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Prerna Singh, “How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
28 perc 100. rész Marshall Poe
Prerna Singh has written How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Singh is the Mahatma Gandhi Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University and faculty fellow at the Watson Institute. How do sub-units of government meet the everyday needs of their residents? Do they vary in how well they provide basic health and education services? Singhs book makes a novel argument about these questions with extensive original data collection. How Solidarity Works suggests that sub-national units, states and provinces, can develop solidarity between residents. When this solidarity is high it is associated with developing strong regimes of social welfare programs. Conversely, when sub-national solidarity is low, there is little basis around which to provide for those in greatest need. This intricately argued book marshals an enormous amount of original information about several states in India. The empirical findings and larger theoretical argument are remarkable and worthy of replication outside of India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Simanti Dasgupta, “BITS of Belonging: Information Technology, Water, and Neoliberal Governance in India” (Temple UP, 2015)
46 perc 99. rész Marshall Poe
What links a water privatization scheme and a prominent software company in India’s silicon city, Bangalore? Simanti Dasgupta’s new book, BITS of Belonging: Information Technology, Water, and Neoliberal Governance in India (Temple University Press, 2015), explores the was in which the corporate governance of IT is seen as a model for urban development in contemporary India. Through ethnographic research into both a water privatization scheme and the practices of an IT company, Dasgupta reveals the similarities that cross-cut both domains as new and old inequalities are produced. Rich in detail and fascinating in its analytical drive the book opens up new avenues for thinking about citizenship and belonging. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
D. Asher Ghertner, “Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi” (Oxford UP, 2015)
56 perc 98. rész Marshall Poe
D. Asher Ghertner explores why the ways things look are fundamental for Delhi’s transformation into a “world class”city. Based on deep ethnographic engagement in one of the city’s slums that is destined to be demolished, Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi (Oxford University Press, 2015) weaves the experiences of these slum dwellers together with an analysis of middle class Resident Welfare Associations, legal rulings, influential reports, and idle chatter to argue that mapping and surveying are no longer the primary means for administering urban space. Rather it is a set of vague and powerful aesthetic norms derived from notions of what it is to be world class that set the contours of Delhi’s change.Theoretically stimulating and rich in narrative drive, Rule by Aesthetics opens up new ways for thinking about urban governance in India and beyond. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lisa Bjorkman, “Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai” (Duke UP, 2015)
62 perc 97. rész Marshall Poe
Mumbai is in many ways the paradigmatic city of India’s celebrated economic upturn, but the city’s transformation went hand-in-hand with increasing water woes. In Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2015), Lisa Bjorkman, Assistant Professor of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Louisville, moves from slums to elite enclaves in analyzing the processesof mapping and politics in the city’s watery infrastructures. Exploring the workings of secondary markets, water brokers, and planning offices she reveals how power, knowledge and authority over how when and why water flows are being reconfigured as Mumbai makes itself a “world class”city. Winner of the 2014 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences the book is both profoundly intimate in its ethnographic depth and wonderfully ambitious with its theoretical reach.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anand Pandian, “Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation” (Duke UP, 2015)
48 perc 96. rész Marshall Poe
Do we live in a real world or a ‘reel world,’ in which life begins to feel like a film? In this wonderful ethnography of the Tamil film industry, Anand Pandian explores topics as grand, rich and timeless as those explored in film itself love, desire, rhythm, wonder as a way of unpacking what it means to be creative. In doing so Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation (Duke University Press, 2015) takes its readers from the deserts of the middle east and the mountains of Europe to India’s archaeological sites and less trodden city streets. Striking in its bold writing choices and occasionally laugh out loud funny in its ethnographic honesty the book is a truly original and engaging study that speaks to topics and themes well beyond the Tamil film industry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Srimati Basu, “The Trouble with Marriage: Feminists Confront Law and Violence in India” (U of California Press, 2015)
10 perc 95. rész Marshall Poe
Are solutions to marital problems always best solved through legal means? Should alternative dispute resolutions be celebrated? In her latest book The Trouble with Marriage: Feminists Confront Law and Violence in India (University of California Press, 2015) Srimati Basu answers such questions and many more through explorations of ‘lawyer free’ courts and questions surrounding understandings of domestic violence, analyses of the way rape intersects with marriage and how kinship systems change with legal disputes and by delineating the most important acts that frame marriage law in India. Theoretically and politically astute the book offers an ethnographic insight into legal sites of marriage trouble in India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sahana Udupa, “Making News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
60 perc 94. rész Marshall Poe
What role does Bangalore’s private news culture play in shaping the southern Indian metropolis’ ongoing urban transformation? Sahana Udupa‘s new book Making News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2015) answers this question through a fascinating and fine grained ethnography of the city’s bi-lingual news media. Exploring differences amongst the English language and local language press, class-based civic activism, novelties in news room practices and layers of journalistic identities the book shows the ways in which a certain type of aspiration that has come to characterize some news outlets, conflicts and contends with the visibility of local urban cultures and the struggle for dominance amongst different actors in the news field. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sangay Mishra, “Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans” (U of Minnesota Press, 2016)
24 perc 93. rész Marshall Poe
Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living in the U.S. has been growing rapidly over the last several decades, many still ignore their politics. Instead, the model-minority myth leads many to assume the community is a homogenous and largely economically successful group. Mishra dispels this dominant myth with his nuanced account of how the desi community has been shaped by recent political events, especially September 11th, 2001, and has begun to itself shape politics. His book draws attention to the trans-national dimensions of this community and the ways links to home country continue to link those living in the U.S. to political events elsewhere. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nayanika Mathur, “Paper Tiger: Law, Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India” (U of Cambridge Press, 2015)
45 perc 92. rész Marshall Poe
A village terrorized by a man eating tiger and a state struggling to implement possibly the largest social security program in the world coalesce in this wonderful ethnography of bureaucracy by Nayanika Mathur. Paper Tiger: Law, Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India (Cambridge University Press, 2015) is a detailed account of paper that reveals the unintended consequences of reforms, the problems with implementing new programs and the inability of state officials to act when faced with crises. Rich, lively, and theoretically compelling Paper Tiger pushes us to rethink how the state operates in India and beyond. Ian M. Cook is a social anthropologist whose research focuses on small cities, rhythms and everyday life in south India. His publications can be accessed at ceu.academia.edu/IanCook. He can be reached at ianmickcook@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeff Koehler, “Darjeeling” (Bloomsbury, 2015)
82 perc 91. rész Marshall Poe
Darjeeling tea, like other members of its artisanal tribe serrano peppers, Champagne, and grana padano,exists through a combination of intimate understanding of natural forces, intensive labor, and lifelong dedication. The result is a small output of unparalleled quality. The town where Darjeeling tea grows, in West Bengal, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, is a setting of immense beauty, complicated history, and environmental fragility. Even transporting this precious tea to Kolkata, where it is traded 400 miles away down on the Indian plains, is subject to the whims of climate: monsoons and narrow mountain roads, often washed out by mudslides. Does a tea warrant such efforts? In Darjeeling (Bloomsbury, 2015), Jeff Koehler explains why the answer is “yes.” There is nothing simple about Darjeeling, this single estate agricultural product. He weaves a web of stories: how this non-native plant came to India, how a tea garden functions, what the role of tea taster is (there’s lots of spitting, as in wine tasting), how many different colors a cup of Darjeeling may have (depends on the pour and the season), how many “plucks”–two young leaves with a bud–make one pound (10,000), and why it continues to hold the highest price paid at auction. For its success, everything depends on the deepest knowledge of unknowable factors. Some of these factors threaten the future of Darjeeling: worker absenteeism, regional political unrest, erosion, climate change, balancing agricultural methods with its Western market’s obsession for “organic.” There are 85 tea gardens in Darjeeling. Glenburn, from which the Himalayan peak Kanchenjunga is visible on a clear day, is one of them. Its manager, Sanjay Bansal, says this about his work: “Tea planting is unrivaled in scope for creativity. It’s endless.” The book is illustrated with maps, archival images, and the author’s evocative photographs. And he has not forgotten to include several recipes for foods to accompany our cup of Darjeeling. Darjeeling has been nominated for the 2016 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award in the Literary Food Writing category. Jeff Koehler is a writer and photographer whose four earlier books have focused on the foods and cultures of Spain and Morocco. Valerie Saint-Rossy is a freelance editor, translator, and writer. She is copy chief of The Explorers Journal. Her literary translations from Spanish and her book reviews can be found online. Raised in a UNESCO family, she has broad international experience and works in four languages. Her editorial specialization is world cuisines. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mitra Sharafi, “Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
45 perc 90. rész Marshall Poe
Parsis, also known as Zoroastrians, were deeply entwined with the colonial legal system of British India and Burma, far beyond what one might expect from their relativity small numbers. Mitra Sharafi, in her wonderful new book Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), explores this anomaly and how – as legislators, lawyers, litigants, judges and lobbyists – they managed to maintain the contours of their distinctive ethno-religious community. With fascinating legal cases, lively personalties and a deep discussion of how identity and litigation interact, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia is a compelling and engaging account of a community with a unique and intriguing relationship with colonial rule. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tasneem Khalil, “Jallad: Death Squads and State Terror in South Asia” (Pluto Press, 2016)
40 perc 89. rész Marshall Poe
State executioners in their various guises are explored in all their horrific detail by Tasneem Khalil, in his new book Jallad: Death Squads and State Terror in South Asia (Pluto, 2016). From the Rapid Action Battalion of Bangladesh to the men in white vans in Sri Lanka, the book interrogates both the brutal specificities of state agents, as well as the underlying themes that cross cut state terror in the region. Strong, brave and relentless Jallad is an important and timely book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sara Shneiderman, “Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
59 perc 88. rész Marshall Poe
Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015) by Sara Shneiderman is the first comprehensive ethnography of the Thangmi, a Himalayan community who move between Nepal, India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. Through a careful and rich analysis of orality, funerary rituals, the practices of gurus and circular migration (to name just a few of the topics covered) the book makes a forceful case for ethnicity as something people do rather than are and explores how such performances of ethnicity speak to questions of citizenship and belonging across national borders. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anita Weiss, “Interpreting Islam, Modernity, and Women’s Rights in Pakistan” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
65 perc 87. rész Marshall Poe
Pakistan is often caricatured and stereotyped as a volatile nuclear country on the precipice of disaster. Such depictions are often especially acerbic when comes to the issue of Women’s rights in the country. In her important new book, Interpreting Islam, Modernity, and Women’s Rights in Pakistan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Anita Weiss, Professor of International Studies at the University of Oregon, provides a much-needed corrective to such sensationalist stereotypes. By exploring how multiple state and non-state actors have engaged the question of gender and women’s rights over time and space, Weiss demonstrates ways in which a diversity of voices in Pakistan conduct what she calls “everyday Ijtihad,” thus offering a much more nuanced and informed perspective. In our conversation, we talked about a range of issues such as the history of the Pakistani state’s approach towards defining and engaging women’s rights, the role of Progressive NGOs like the Aurat Foundation, Orthodox Islamist voices on this question, and the Tehrik-i Taliban in Swat. This lucidly written book contains a plethora of useful information and analysis for specialists and non-specialists alike. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Arthur Dudney, “Delhi: Pages From A Forgotten History” (Hay House India, 2015)
71 perc 86. rész Marshall Poe
Delhi: Pages From A Forgotten History (Hay House India, 2015) by Arthur Dudney tells the story of India’s capital and beyond through the lens of Persian literary culture. A lively read written for a mass readership, the book details the lives of poets and emperors along with the origins, rise and decline of Persian in the subcontinent.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Peter van der Veer, “The Modern Spirit of Asia: The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India” Princeton University Press, 2013
60 perc 85. rész Marshall Poe
What are the differences between religion, magic, and spirituality? Over time, these categories have been articulated in a variety of ways across differing cultures. However, many assume that the multiple understandings are merely derivative of western assertions about secular modernity. In The Modern Spirit of Asia: The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India (Princeton University Press, 2013), Peter van der Veer, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, explores how Chinese and South Asians interpreted western discourses about religion and spirituality. Through his work he demonstrates that cross-cultural comparison provides us with a complex interactional history, where non-western participants shape their own visions of society, nation, and self, often in dialogue with westerners but not dependent on them. In our conversation we discussed scholarly conceptualizations of Asian traditions, secularism, European imperialism, Mohandas Gandhi, nationalism, modern interpretations of Buddhism and Daoism, Christian Missionaries, political spirituality, religious minorities and the state, and Chinese and Indian modernities. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Maria Heim, “The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention and Agency” (Oxford UP, 2013)
59 perc 84. rész Marshall Poe
Buddhaghosa, a fifth-century Pali Buddhist scholar or group of scholars, is the most influential commentator in Theravada Buddhist tradition, who has in many respects created the set of ideas we now associate with Theravada Buddhism today. Maria Heim‘s new The Forerunner of All Things (Oxford University Press, 2013) is one of the few books to explore Buddhaghosa’s extremely wide corpus of work on a whole. She focuses on the theme of intention (cetana) to explore how Buddhaghosa articulates a moral psychology very different from modern Western conceptions of ethics that focus on individual choices and decisions. The book is an important work for philosophers in moral psychology as well as students of Theravada. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sanjay Srivastava, “Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon” (Oxford UP, 2015)
45 perc 83. rész Marshall Poe
Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon (Oxford University Press, 2015) is the latest book by Sanjay Srivastava. A wonderfully readable piece of urban anthropology, the book explores the ways spaces and processes are interconnected in the city. From temples that resemble shopping malls, through the gates of luxury apartments and into the electricity supply networks of slums, the book pulls together the threads that entangle city dwellers with one another. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Amanda Lucia, “Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace” (University of California Press, 2014)
57 perc 82. rész Marshall Poe
Waiting several hours in line for a hug is well worth it for thousands of people, the devotees of the Guru, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi. In Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (University of California Press, 2014), Amanda Lucia, Associate Professor of Religion at UC Riverside, provides a rich ethnographic account of Amma’s American followers and convincingly argues that there is much to learn here about gender, interpretation, and contemporary American religiosity. Amma’s devotees in the United States are usually “inheritors” or “adopters” of Hindu traditions, which shapes their interpretive vantage point and understandings of Amma as Hindu goddesses or feminist. American multiculturalism and romantic orientalist attitudes frequently reifiy cultural differences further structuring the interrelations between South Asian and non-Indian devotees in the American context. In our conversation we discuss female religious leaders, darshan, gurus in American context, purity and ritual, women’s empowerment, village and urban transformations, Devi Bhava, and gendered interpretations of Hinduism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Neha Vora, “Impossible Citizens: Dubai’s Indian Diaspora” (Duke UP, 2013)
54 perc 81. rész Marshall Poe
Neha Vora‘s Impossible Citizens: Dubai’s Indian Diaspora (Duke University Press, 2013) is a wonderfully rich and engaging account of middle class Indians who live and work, supposedly temporarily, in Dubai. Through an analysis of these perpetual outsiders, that are crucial to the Emirati economy, Vora sheds new light on our understanding of citizenship, belonging and Dubai itself. In the finest tradition of anthropology, the book is simultaneously minutely detailed in its descriptions and global in its analytical reach, opening up new ways of thinking about migrants in the contemporary world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bhavani Raman, “Document Raj: Writing and Scribes in Early Colonial South India” (U of Chicago Press, 2012)
32 perc 80. rész Marshall Poe
Bhavani Raman‘s new book Document Raj: Writing and Scribes in Early Colonial South India (University of Chicago Press, 2012) explores the world of colonial clerks in the Madras Presidency. Arguing that paper played an important role in colonial rule, Raman analyses cutcherry scribes and the allegations of corruption that surrounded them, accountant-scribes and their amazing memory skills, the changes in the education system wrought by the colonial encounter, issues of forgery and finally the use of petitions that helped form a particular type of colonial subject. The book details this fascinating topic with extreme subtlety and care and pushes the reader to ask many questions about corruption and the importance of paper not only in colonial but also in contemporary India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, “New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India” (Oxford UPs 2015)
37 perc 79. rész Marshall Poe
New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited by Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, is a wonderfully rich and theoretically coherent collection of texts that critically assess the legacies of Subaltern Studies through research into political movements in India today. The case studies range from students at elite higher education institutes shoring up their privilege, to queer activism in Kolkata, to Dalit villagers fighting land grabs, and the studies’ richness allows for a really nuanced relational understanding of subalternity, hegemony and the state that make the book a truly conceptually and ethnographically innovative collection. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gyanendra Pandey, “A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
57 perc 78. rész Marshall Poe
A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2013) is the latest book by Gyanendra Pandey. The book analyses prejudice and democracy through a comparison of African Americans and Indian Dalits. Pandey’s method of exploring these disparate populations and enormously complex themes, is to focus on particular case studies that are at once both very private and public, and thus allow for a truly unique, subtle and delicate analysis of what would be unwieldy topics in another’s hands. Simultaneously small and large, the book’s protagonists and author’s questions remain in the reader’s mind, long after putting down the book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mrinalini Chakravorty, “In Stereotype: South Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary” (Columbia UP, 2014)
42 perc 77. rész Marshall Poe
In Stereotype: South Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary (Columbia University Press, 2014) is a masterful account of the importance of the stereotype in English language South Asian literature. Mrinalini Chakravorty explores such tropes as the crowd in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children; slums in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger; and death in Michael Ondaatje’s book Anil’s Ghost, amongst others. The focus on the stereotype’s enticing explanatory power casts fresh light on some of the most important contemporary works of South Asian literature and the book is a pleasurable yet challenging read. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Venkat Dhulipala, “Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
61 perc 76. rész Marshall Poe
In the historiography on South Asian Islam, the creation of Pakistan is often approached as the manifestation of a vague loosely formulated idea that accidentally emerged as a nation-state in 1947. In his magisterial new book Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Venkat Dhulipala, Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, thoroughly and convincingly debunks such a narrative. Creating a New Medina is an encyclopedic masterpiece. Through a careful reading of a range of sources, including the religious writings of important 20th-century Muslim scholars, Dhulipala shows ways in which Pakistan was crafted and imagined as “The New Medina” that was to represent the leader and protector of the global Muslim community. What emerges from this thorough examination is a nuanced and complicated picture of the interaction of nationalism, religion, and politics in modern South Asian Islam. In our conversation, we talked about a range of issues including the rise of Muslim nationalism in late colonial India, the contribution of B.R. Ambedkar to the public discussions and debates on Pakistan, ‘Ulama’ discourses and debates on Pakistan, and the partition and its afterlives. This wonderfully written and painstakingly researched book will be of tremendous interest to students and scholars of Muslim politics, nationalism and religion, and South Asian Islam. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeffery Witsoe, “Democracy against Development: Lower-Caste Politics and Political Modernity in Postcolonial India” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
40 perc 75. rész Marshall Poe
Jeffery Witsoe‘s book Democracy against Development: Lower-Caste Politics and Political Modernity in Postcolonial India (University of Chicago Press, 2013) takes the reader to urban and rural Bihar and into the world of so called lower caste politics. Here we see how democratic mobilisation around caste lines destabilizes state development projects. Moving across scales of the state, the books is a wonderful account of how post-colonial democracy functions.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Joyce B. Flueckiger, “When the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess” (Indiana UP, 2013)
59 perc 74. rész Marshall Poe
Joyce B. Flueckiger‘s new bookWhen the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess (Indiana University Press, 2013) is a rich and colorful analysis of the goddess Gangamma’s festival and her devotees. During the festival men take on female guises, whilst women intensify the rituals that they perform throughout the year. The books explores the excess of the goddess and the lives of those who bear her.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Steven E. Kemper, “Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
70 perc 73. rész Marshall Poe
In his recent book, Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Steven E. Kemper examines the Sinhala layman Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) and argues that this figure has been misunderstood by both Sinhala nationalists, who have appropriated him for their own political ends, and scholars, who have portrayed Dharmapala primarily as a social reformer and a Sinhala chauvinist. Making extensive use of theJournal of the Mahabodhi Society,effectively a forum for the expression of Dharmapala’s own opinions, and the entirety of Dharmapala’s meticulous diaries, which cover a forty-year period, Kemper asserts that Dharmapala was above all a religious seeker–a world renouncer who at times sought to emulate the life of the Buddha. Central to Kemper’s study of Dharmapala are the diametrically opposed themes of universalism and nationalism.While Dharmapala was realistic in so far as he understood that the various Buddhist sects and orders could not be united due to sectarian, ethnic, and caste and class-related divisions, his Buddhist identity was in no way based on his own Sinhala identity, and his life was organized around three universalisms: an Asian Buddhist universalism, the universalism of Theosophy, and the universalism of the British imperium.He spent most of his adult life living outside of Sri Lanka and at various times imagined and hoped to be reborn in India, Japan, Switzerland, and England. Dharmapala devoted much of his life to establishing Buddhist control of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India, which had been the legal property of a Saivite monastic order since the early eighteenth century and had since come to be thoroughly incorporated into a Hindu pilgrimage route. His interest in the temple was in part a result of his own efforts to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha, but was also his attempt to establish a geographical point of focus for Buddhists–a Buddhist Mecca, if you will–around which Buddhists could rally and come together. He looked to many sources of potential support, including the Bengali elite, Japan, the Thai royal family, and British government officials in India, but in the end failed to achieve his aim. In contrast to previous depictions of Dharmapala as a Protestant Buddhist who encouraged the laicization of Buddhism, Kemper shows that Dharmapala was if anything an ascetic at heart who believed celibacy was a prerequisite for soteriological progress and participation in Buddhist work (sasana), who emphasized meditation, and whose spiritual aspirations are visible from a very early age.Kemper also shows that the influence of Theosophy on Dharmapala’s interpretation of Buddhism and thought more broadly did not end with his formal break with the American Colonel Olcott and the Theosophical Society in 1905, but continued to the end of his life, a fact obscured by Sinhala nationalistic portrayals of him. At some 500 pages,Rescued from the Nationincludes detailed discussions of many contemporaneous figures, movements, and trends. These include Japanese institutional interest in India, Japanese nationalism, and the struggles of Japanese Buddhism in the aftermath of the Meiji restoration; the World Parliament of Religions that took place in Chicago in 1893 and the emergence of the category of “world religion”; the Bengali Renaissance and associated figures such as Swami Vivekananda; Western interest in Buddhism and Indian religion; and South Asian resistance to British colonial governance. In this way, this book will be of great value to those interested in Asian religions and modernity, Buddhist and Hindu revival movements, Asian nationalisms, and Asia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Julie Billaud, “Kabul Carnival: Gender Politics in Postwar Afghanistan” (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
48 perc 72. rész Marshall Poe
Kabul Carnival: Gender Politics in Postwar Afghanistan (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015) by Julie Billaud is a fascinating account of women and the state and ongoing ‘reconstruction’ projects in post-war Afghanistan. The book moves through places such as gender empowerment training programmes and women’s dormitories, and analyses such topics as the law and veiling in public. Subtle and engaging, Kabul Carnival is a rare and much needed anthropological insight into women’s lives in Afghanistan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tenzin Chogyel (trans. Kurtis R. Schaeffer), “The Life of the Buddha” (Penguin Books, 2015)
63 perc 71. rész Marshall Poe
Kurtis R. Schaeffer‘s new translation of Tenzin Chogyel’s The Life of the Buddha(Penguin Books, 2015) is a boon for teachers, researchers, and eager readers alike. Composed in the middle of the eighteenth century, The Life of the Buddha (or more fully rendered, The Life of the Lord Victor Shakyamuni, Ornament of One Thousand Lamps for the Fortunate Eon) takes the form of twelve major life episodes that collectively provide a “blueprint for an ideal Buddhist life,” as readers follow the Bodhisattva from early pages teaching the gods in the heavenly realm of Tushita, to a descent to the human realm and birth into the world as a prince, his education and general frolicking, his escape from the palace and vanquishing of a demon army, his eventual enlightenment and Buddhahood, and ultimately his death. Tenzin Chogyel, a prominent leader in the Drukpa Kagyu school of Buddhism in Bhutan during the golden age of Bhutanese literature, intended to tell a good story, and tell a good story he did. The account is by turns gripping and exceptionally moving, with a particularly affecting scene toward the end of the work as the Buddha’s son Rahula comes to term with his father’s impending death. The translation is thoughtful and quite beautiful, with the sentences likely to remind a careful reader of the rhythm and pacing of a Cormac McCarthy novel. The book will make an excellent addition to undergraduate syllabi in a wide range of courses (listen to the interview for details!) at all levels. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nicholas B. Dirks, “Autobiography of an Archive : A Scholar’s Passage to India” (Columbia UP, 2015)
53 perc 70. rész Marshall Poe
Nicholas B. Dirks‘ Autobiography of an Archive: A Scholar’s Passage to India (Columbia University Press, 2015) is a wonderful collection of essays, loosely arranged along the line’s of the author’s scholarly life. The chapters touch upon themes such as empire and the politics of knowledge, as well as the experience of archival research. Illuminating, lucid and always challenging, Autobiography of an Archive is a stimulating and pleasurable read.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pedro Machado, “Ocean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, c.1750-1850” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
44 perc 69. rész Marshall Poe
Pedro Machado‘s Ocean of Trade:South Asian Merchants, Africa and the Indian Ocean, c.1750-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2014) is a richly detailed and engaging account of Gujarati merchants and their role in the trade of textiles, ivory and slaves across the Indian Ocean. The book not only enhances our understanding of an under researched pan-continental trade network but also, through its sensitive treatment of local markets as drivers of merchants’ patterns, pushes us to re-examine our understanding of trading networks themselves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ananya Vajpeyi, “Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India” (Harvard UP, 2012)
69 perc 68. rész Marshall Poe
Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India (Harvard University Press, 2012) by Ananya Vajpeyi is a rethinking of the self in self-rule, as understood in the ideas generated and reworked by five leading figures of the Indian independence movement. Analysing crises of the self, which it is argued stem from a crisis of tradition during late colonialism, Righteous Republic retells the movement for self-rule through a history of ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jamal Elias, “Aisha’s Cushion” (Harvard UP, 2012)
52 perc 67. rész Marshall Poe
In his remarkable new book Aisha’s Cushion: Religious Art, Practice, and Perception in Islam (Harvard University Press, 2012), Jamal Elias, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, presents a magisterial study of Muslim attitudes towards visual culture, images, and perception. Through meticulous historical and textual analysis, Elias successfully unravels the stereotype that there is no place for visual images in Islam, or that calligraphy represents the only normative form of art in Islam. He shows that throughout history Muslims have approached the question of images and art in a much more nuanced and complicated fashion, while negotiating important philosophical, theological, and perceptual considerations. He argues that “Muslim thinkers have developed systematic and advanced theories of representation and signification, and that many of these theories have been internalized by Islamic society at large and continue to inform cultural attitudes toward the visual arts.” What is most unusual about this book is the almost overwhelming range and varieties of sources that Elias marshals to construct his argument. The reader of this book travels through a glittering arcade of intellectual histories populated by texts on philosophy, Sufism, alchemy, dreams, optics, and architecture and monuments. This painstakingly researched and lyrically written book is sure to delight the intellectual palate of specialists and non-specialists alike. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ritu G. Khanduri, “Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
34 perc 66. rész Marshall Poe
Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2014) is a wonderful piece of visual anthropology by Ritu Gairola Khanduri, which uses the history of cartoons, from colonial to current times, to talk about various aspects of Indian society from the state, to political society to modernity. Through archival material and fascinating discussions with cartoonists, the book reveals the various ways in which cartoons talk in India, past and present.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Peter Gottschalk, “Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India” (Oxford UP, 2012)
63 perc 65. rész Marshall Poe
When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University, outlines the contingent and mutual coalescence of science and religion as they were cultivated within the structures of empire. He demonstrates how the categories of Hindu and Muslim were constructed and applied to the residents of the Chainpur nexus of villages by the British despite the fact that these identities were not always how South Asians described themselves. Throughout this study we are made aware of the consequences of comparison and classification in the study of religion. Gottschalk engages Jonathan Z. Smith’s modes of comparison demonstrating that seemingly neutral categories serve ideological purposes and forms of knowledge are not arbitrary in order. Here, we observe this work through imperial forms of knowledge production in South Asia, including the roles of cartographers, statisticians, artists, ethnographers, and photographers. In the end we witness the social consequences of British scientism and its effects on the construction of the category of religion in South Asia. In our conversation we discuss mapmaking, travel writing, Christian theology, the authority of positioning, the census, folklore studies, ethnographies, royal societies, museums, indigenous identifications, and theories for the study of religion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dhara Anjaria, “Curzon’s India: Networks of Colonial Governance, 1899-1905” (Oxford University Press, 2014)
47 perc 64. rész Marshall Poe
I won’t speak for you, but I find it utterly remarkable that the British were able to “rule” India. Britain, of course, is a small island off a small continent some significant distance from most of its colonies. India, in contrast, is essentially a continentunto itself and the home of an ancient, sophisticated civilization. How could the tiny UK “rule” an entire continental civilization? Happily, Dhara Anjaria gives us some answers in her excellent Curzon’s India: Networks of Colonial Governance, 1899-1905 (Oxford University Press, 2014).In a word, the Brits didn’t rule Indiaalone, at least when they were ruling India well. Through the lens ofGeorge Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, Anjaria tells the tale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mukulika Banerjee, “Why India Votes?” (Routledge, 2014)
51 perc 63. rész Marshall Poe
Why India Votes? (Routledge, 2014) is the latest book by Mukulika Banerjee and is a deep, engaging and continually surprising account of elections in India. Weaving together ethnographic research in field sites across the country, the book privileges the voice of ordinary voters as they experience the campaign, play with language and enter the polling booth. The answer to Why India Votes? is as complex as it is fascinating and the book will be of interest to scholars of South Asia and democracy, as well as general readers who want to understand the world’s largest regularly organized event. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Cabeiri Robinson, “Body of Victim, Body of Warrior: Refugee Families and the Making of Kashmiri Jihadists” (University of California Press, 2013)
92 perc 62. rész Marshall Poe
The idea of jihad is among the most keenly discussed yet one of the least understood concepts in Islam. In her brilliant new book Body of Victim, Body of Warrior: Refugee Families and the Making of Kashmiri Jihadists (University of California Press, 2013), Cabeiri Robinson, Associate Professor of International Studies and South Asian Studies at the University of Washington engages the question of what might an anthropology of jihad look like. By shifting the focus from theological and doctrinal discussions on the normative understandings and boundaries of jihad in Islam, Robinson instead asks the question of how people live with perennial violence in their midst? The focus of this book is on the Jihadists of the Kashmir region in the disputed borderlands between India and Pakistan, especially in relation to their experiences as refugees (muhajirs). By combining a riveting ethnography with meticulous historical analysis, Robinson documents the complex ways in which Kashmiri men and women navigate the interaction of violence, politics, and migration. Through a careful reading of Kashmiri Jihadist discourses on human rights, the family, and martyrdom, Robinson convincingly shows that the very categories of warrior, victim, and refugee are always fluid and subject to considerable tension and contestation. In our conversation, we talked about the relationship between the categories of Jihad and Hijra as imagined by Kashmiri Jihadists, the ethical and methodological dilemmas of an ethnographer of Jihad, the mobilization of the human rights discourse by Kashmiri militant groups to legitimate violence, and the intersections of family, sexuality, and martyrdom. All students and scholars of Islam, South Asia, and modern politics must read this fascinating book that was also recently awarded the Bernard Cohn book prize for best first book in South Asian Studies by the Association for Asian Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Neilesh Bose, “Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal” (Oxford UP, 2014)
48 perc 61. rész Marshall Poe
In his new book Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal (Oxford University Press, 2014),Neilesh Bose analyses the trajectories of Muslim Bengali politics in the first half of the twentieth century.The literary and cultural history ofthe region explored in the book reveal the pointedly Bengali ideas of Pakistan that arose as an empire ended and new countries were born.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Meir Shahar and John Kieschnick, “India in the Chinese Imagination” (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)
61 perc 60. rész Marshall Poe
In India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), eleven scholars (including editors John Kieschnick and Meir Shahar) examine the Chinese reception of Indian ideas and myth, and address Chinese attempts to recreate India within the central kingdom. Beginning with Victor Mair’s argument that it was Buddhist theories about reality that allowed fiction to flourish in China, and ending with Stephen R. Bokenkamp’s study of celestial scripts that Daoists created in response to the appearance of Sanskrit script in China, the volume focuses primarily on the fourth to tenth centuries but addresses dynamics that were at play both before and after this six-century period. While many previous studies that address the impact of India on China do so by focusing on the Chinese transformation of Buddhism and on the degree to which Chinese Buddhism retained this or that Indian feature, this volume differs in that it looks at the influence of Indian thought (particularly religious thought and myths) beyond the confines of Buddhism proper. Meir Shahar and Bernard Faure’s respective contributions are good examples of this, as they demonstrate that some of the Indian deities and demons who came to China with Tantric Buddhism exchanged their Buddhist robes for Daoist ones, or escaped into the wider world of Chinese religious thought and practice.  Another central theme of the book is the way in which Chinese turned to Indian models for religious and political ends, or, in other cases, attempted to recreate India within China. In addition to the aforementioned scholars, the volume contains chapters by Yamabe Nobuyoshi, Ye Derong, the late John R. McRae, Robert H. Sharf, and Christine Mollier.  This book will be of particular interest to those wanting to learn more about Indian myth in East Asia, the Chinese reception of Indian ideas and symbols, the interaction between Daoism and Buddhism, the adapting of Buddhist monasticism to Chinese familial organization, Bodhidharma, the influence of Buddhism on Chinese literature, and the Chinese response to Buddhist doctrinal dilemmas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Pamela Price, “The Writings of Pamela Price” (Orient BlackSwan, 2013)
50 perc 59. rész Marshall Poe
The Writings of Pamela Price: State, Politics, and Cultures in Modern South India: Honour, Authority, and Morality (Orient BlackSwan, 2013) is a wonderful collection of ten essays by historian Pamela Price, that originally appeared between 1979 and 2010. The essays, as well as touching on the concepts of honour, authority and morality in different south Indian regions also broadly address questions of continuity and change. Drawing on debates from anthropology and political science, the book offers insights into how these above mentioned concepts shift across historical periods and how they appear in different linguistic and cultural regions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sarah Besky, “The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Plantations in India” (U of California Press, 2014)
46 perc 58. rész Marshall Poe
In this wonderful ethnography of Darjeeling tea, Sarah Besky explores different attempts at bringing justice to plantation life in north east India. Through explorations into fair trade, geographic indication and a state movement for the Nepali tea workers, Besky critically assesses the limits of projects that fail to address underlying exploitative structures. The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Plantations in India (University of California Press, 2014) is a readable and theoretically nuanced book that should be of interest to many. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kavita Datla, “The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India”
53 perc 57. rész Marshall Poe
In her brilliant new book, The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India (University of Hawaii Press, 2013),Kavita Datla, Associate Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, explores the interaction of language, nationalism, and secularism by focusing on the religious and social imaginaries of important twentieth century Muslim scholars from the state of Hyderabad, especially those associated with the institution of Osmania University. How were Urdu and Arabic mobilized for projects of nationalism by the pioneers of Osmania University, and in what ways can a history of such intellectual and social projects complicate the religion/secular binary? This is among the central questions that anchor the conceptual stakes of this important book. By effortlessly weaving together a close reading of previously unexplored primary texts with nuanced historiographical analysis of the colonial context, Datla presents an intellectually rich and exciting examination of modern Indian Muslim understandings of and engagements with the question of nationalism. In our conversation, we talked about the problem of the religion/secular binary, Hyderabad and Osmania University, the role of language in the construction of religious and national identity, translation and nationalism, and Urdu’s relationship in colonial India with other languages. This book will be of great interest and benefit to scholars and students of modern Islam, nationalism, South Asia, and Muslim education. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jamie Cross, “Dream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India” (Pluto Books,
53 perc 56. rész Marshall Poe
Dream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India (Pluto Press, 2014), the excellent new book by Jamie Cross, explores the ways in which dreams of the future shape the present. Centring in and around a large Special Economic Zone in south India, the book analyses anticipation amongst politicians, managers, workers, land-owners and activists.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Loraine Kennedy, “The Politics of Economic Restructuring in India” (Routledge, 2014)
52 perc 55. rész Marshall Poe
Loraine Kennedy‘s The Politics of Economic Restructuring in India: Economic Governance and State Spatial Rescaling (Routledge, 2014) is a timely and important intervention into the debate on how economic liberalisation is transforming the Indian state. The book’s central argument is that these reforms have ‘rescaled’ the Indian state, with important consequences for growth and economic governance. This is perused through analyses of state strategies, Special Economic Zones and urban development, amongst others. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Harleen Singh, “The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
51 perc 54. rész Marshall Poe
The Rani of Jhansi was and is many things to many people. In her beautifully written book The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Harleen Singh explores four representations of the famous warrior queen who led her troops into battle against the British. Analysing her various representations – as a sexually promiscuous Indian whore, a heroic Aryan, a great nationalist and a folk symbol of indigenous resistance – the book critically discusses what wider issues are stake in these depictions of such a mythical and marginal woman. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ayona Datta, “The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement” (Ashgate, 2012)
59 perc 53. rész Marshall Poe
The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement (Ashgate, 2012) by Ayona Datta is a detailed account of how the law interweaves in everyday life in a squatter settlement in Delhi. The book forefronts space and gender as it explores the what it means to be illegal, not just informal, and how this distinction plays out in both public and private spaces. Rich in theory and ethnography the book is a beautiful exploration of how macro process invade the most intimate of spaces. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Amrita Pande, “Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India” (Columbia UP, 2014)
64 perc 52. rész Marshall Poe
Amrita Pande‘s Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India (Columbia University Press 2014) is a beautiful and rich ethnography of a surrogacy clinic. The book details the surrogacy process from start to finish, exploring the intersection of production and reproduction, complicating and deepening our understanding of this particular form of labour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Barbara Harriss-White, “Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy” (Three Essays Collective, 2013)
69 perc 51. rész Marshall Poe
Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas (Three Essay Collective, 2013) is a wonderful new book by Barbara Harriss-White and small team of collaborators – Elisabetta Basile, Anita Dixit, Pinaki Joddar, Aseem Prakash and Kaushal Vidyarthee – published by the Three Essays Collective. The book explores the ways in which economic liberalisation interacts with caste, specifically in reference to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, otherwise known as Dalits and Adivasis. A truly unique book, both in terms of how the data has been gathered and presented, the essays are variously wide and deep and ask a host of questions to inspire future research. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tariq Jazeel, “Sacred Modernity: Nature, Environment, and the Postcolonial Geographies of Sri Lankan Nationhood” (Liverpool UP, 2013)
68 perc 50. rész Marshall Poe
Ruhuna National Park and ‘tropical modernism’ architecture are aesthetically analysed in Sacred Modernity: Nature, Environment, and the Postcolonial Geographies of Sri Lankan Nationhood (Liverpool University Press, 2013) by Tariq Jazeel. The book uses these two sites to explore the ways in which non-secular experiences of nature inscribe Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism into the spaces of everyday life. Skilfully weaving together ethnographic and archival material, the book pushes us to re-read the seemingly secular spaces of modernity in Sri Lanka. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Stephen Legg, “Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India” (Duke UP, 2014)
50 perc 49. rész Marshall Poe
The spatial politics of brothels in late-British India are the subject of Stephen Legg‘s second book Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India, published by Duke University Press in 2014. The book explores the complexities of the brothel at the urban, national and imperial scales as campaigns (and campaigners) attempted to reform prostitution. Theoretically driven by a critical reading of Foucault, the book draws on rich archival material to explore the networks, naming and nature that these reforms addressed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Iqbal Sevea, “The Political Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal: Islam and Nationalism in Late Colonial India” (Cambridge UP, 2012)
56 perc 48. rész Marshall Poe
The towering Indian Muslim poet and intellectual Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) is among the most contested figures in the intellectual and political history of modern Islam. Heralded by some as the father of Pakistan and by others as a champion of pan-Islam, Iqbal’s legacy is as keenly debated as it is celebrated and appropriated. In his fascinating new book The Political Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal: Islam and Nationalism in Late Colonial India (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Iqbal Sevea, Assistant Professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, explores Iqbal’s political and religious thought in a remarkably nuanced and dazzling fashion. Bringing into question the tendency to approach Iqbal through the prism of constraining categories like nationalist, modernist, and pan-Islamic, Sevea convincingly shows that the dynamism of Iqbal’s thought lay precisely in how he traversed multiple intellectual and ideological registers. Iqbal’s view of the nation did not correspond to the modern notion of nationalism, Sevea argues. Through a carefully historicized and conceptually invigorating analysis of a range of Iqbal’s writings, Sevea brings into view the palimpsest of discursive reservoirs that animated Iqbal’s thought as an intellectual and as a poet. Sevea brilliantly examines and displays the complexity of Iqbal’s project of comprehensively reimagining Islam in the conditions of colonial modernity, one that contrapuntally engaged Western philosophical traditions and the canon of Muslim intellectual traditions. Carefully researched and wonderfully written, this book will be of much interest to scholars and students of Islam, South Asia, politics, and colonialism. In our conversation we talked about the problem of nationalist historiographies in the study of Iqbal and South Asian Islam, intra-Muslim debates on the interaction of religion and nationalism in colonial India, Iqbal’s agonistic relationship with modernism, his understanding of Islam and nationalism, and the political stakes of this book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Karen Pechilis, “South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today” (Routledge, 2012)
68 perc 47. rész Marshall Poe
If you’re going to teach a broadly themed survey course, you’ll probably need to assign some readings. One option is to assemble one of those photocopied course readers, full of excerpts taken from different sources. However, what you gain in flexibility may be sacrificed in coherence of presentation. A textbook produced by a single author might be more nicely packaged for student consumption, but then, how many different things can one author be an expert in? The best of both approaches would be found in a single-volume collection of essays, written by experts in their respective fields, newly commissioned for the volume in question, and all presented according to a shared format. Karen Pechilis and Selva J. Raj‘s South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today (Routledge, 2012) provides just such a collection, designed with both faculty and students in mind. Contributors to the book include Vasudha Narayanan, M. Whitney Kelting, Sunil Goonasekera, Nathan Katz, M. Thomas Thangaraj, Karen G. Ruffle, Joseph Marianus Kujur, and Pashaura Singh. In this interview, editor Karen Pechilis discusses her decisions behind the form and content of the book, shares her experiences using the book in one of her own classes, and unexpectedly turns the tables on the interviewer regarding how he came to be interested in such things. This podcast is dedicated to the memory of Selva J. Raj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aswin Punthamabekar, “From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry” (NYU Press, 2013)
48 perc 46. rész Marshall Poe
Aswin Punthamabekar‘s From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (New York University Press, 2013) offers a deeply researched and richly theorized look at the evolution of the world’s largest film industry over the past few decades. Combining ethnographic research with close textual analyses of Bollywood films, Punthamabekar shows how the media industry’s growth has been complexly intertwined with India’s emerging place in the global economy. The book offers a nuanced look at globalization, bringing to light the tensions and productivities that emerge when a highly powerful, historically localized industry enters the world of multinational capitalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Afsar Mohammad, “The Festival of Pirs: Popular Islam and Shared Devotion in South India” (Oxford University Press, 2013
22 perc 45. rész Marshall Poe
Several studies about Islam in Asian contexts highlight the pluralistic environment that Muslims inhabit and interplay of various religious traditions that color local practice and thought. In The Festival of Pirs: Popular Islam and Shared Devotion in South India (Oxford University Press, 2013) we are given a first hand account of the devotional life and dynamic setting that produces one such example. Afsar Mohammad, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, documents public rituals and devotional stories revolving around a Sufi master, Kullayappa, and the 300,000 pilgrims from throughout South Asia who travel to the small village of Gugudu. In The Festival of Pirs we are shown how the events occurring during the month of Muharram and the narrative of the Battle of Karbala are transformed into a meaningful local frame. Here, the importance of the ‘local’ becomes clear while both Muslims and Hindus participate in these events. In fact, participants identify their practices as Kullayappa devotion (bakhti) instead of the more singular categories we are more familiar with, such as Muslim and Hindu. Mohammad also examines the tensions between these practices and the reformist activity of Muslims following what they call ‘True’ (asli) Islam. In our conversation we discussed frictions between mosque and shrine cultures, textual authority, the role of Telugu language, local and localized Islam, political sermons, public rituals, temporary asceticism, and religious identity.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Carla Bellamy, “The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place” (University of California Press, 2011)
60 perc 44. rész Marshall Poe
In The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place (University of California Press, 2011), Carla Bellamy explores the role of saint shrines in India, while focusing on a particular venue known as Husain Tekri, or “Husain Hill.” Through her in-depth ethnographic research, Bellamy’s monograph provides vivid description and analysis of the site as well as first-person narratives of pilgrims in order to offer a dynamic portrayal of the shrine complex. Bellamy shows how lines between religious communities are often fluid rather than fixed. She also problematizes notions of so-called spirit possession, interrogates the metaphysical power of frankincense, and articulates myriad perspectives of what healing might mean for those who visit Husain Tekri and participate in its rituals. Bellamy’s rich ethnography should appeal to numerous audiences, including those interested in South Asia, shrine culture, Islam, Indian religion, and Sufism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sunil S. Amrith, “Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants” (Harvard UP, 2013)
66 perc 43. rész Marshall Poe
When historians think oceanically, when they populate their books with characters that include seas and monsoons along with human beings, what results is a very different way of thinking about time, space, and the ways that their interactions shape human and terrestrial history. In Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants (Harvard University Press, 2013), Sunil S. Amrith has produced an elegant, sensitively-wrought account of hundreds of years in the life of the Bay of Bengal. This history of the Bay is also history of the movements and circulations it has engendered, from ocean currents to Tamil migrants, from steamships to Indian laborers, from paper passports to trickles of dammed water, from pails of liquid rubber to wheels on US automobiles. Crossing the Bay of Bengal is simultaneously a political, social, cultural and environmental history: at the same time that it carefully contextualizes the emergence of boundaries (be they the disciplines of area studies or the forms of modern citizenship that follow the emergence of nation-states), it urges readers to transcend those boundaries to produce more integrated narratives of forms of modern life. This wonderful book will be of special import to readers interested in the histories of empire, commerce, labor, migration, the environment, and the maritime world, but it will reward attention regardless of a reader’s background or expertise. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert Yelle, “The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India” (Oxford UP, 2012)
68 perc 42. rész Marshall Poe
What is the nature of secularization? How distant are we from the magical world of the past? Perhaps, we are not as far as many people think. In the fascinating new book, The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), we witness some of the discursive practices formulating the Christian myth of disenchantment. Robert Yelle, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Memphis, aims to pull up some of the religious roots of secularism by highlighting the Christian dimensions of colonialism. He achieves this through an examination of colonial British attitudes toward Hinduism and delineates several Protestant projects that assert an ideal monotheism. British colonial discourse in India was integrally tied to religious reform and located false belief in linguistic diversity. Verbal idolatry was specifically addressed through efforts of codification and transliteration. Overall, Yelle’s work on British critiques of South Asian mythological, ritual, linguistic, and legal traditions offer new insights on modernity, secularization, religious literalism, and colonialism. We also discussed The Language of Disenchantment is reflective of Yelle’s interest in semiotics, which he addressed more explicitly in another new book, Semiotics of Religion: Signs of the Sacred in History (Bloomsbury, 2013). In our conversation we discussed Orientalism, Modernity, Hindu mythology, literary versus oral cultures, Max Muller, magical dimension of ritual, Christian critiques of Jewish law, scripturalism, mantras, and print culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Teena Purohit, “The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India” (Harvard UP, 2012)
61 perc 41. rész Marshall Poe
How does colonial power, both discursive and institutional, transform the normative boundaries and horizons of religious identities? Teena Purohit, Assistant Professor of Religion at Boston University, examines this question in The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India (Harvard University Press, 2012). This book is clearly written and carefully researched straddling multiples fields and disciplinary approaches. The crux of the study is the transformation of Khoja Isma’ili identity in colonial India. The title refers to a case in 1866 lodged by the Khojas of Bombay against the then Aga Khan over the ownership and control of their property. However, this ostensible property dispute spiraled into a much larger debate over religion and religious identity. Through a dazzling analysis of novel historical and textual archives, Professor Purohit demonstrates that the Aga Khan case of 1866 indelibly transformed the nature and boundaries of Isma’ili religious identity in South Asia, often in ways that remain highly relevant even today. In our conversation, we discussed the major themes and arguments of the book. We also talked about the broader theoretical and conceptual interventions of this book in the fields of Religion, Islamic Studies, and South Asian Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Deborah Mayersen and Annie Pohlman, “Genocide and Mass Atrocities in Asia: Legacies and Prevention” (Routledge, 2013)
59 perc 40. rész Marshall Poe
Genocide studies has been a growth field for a couple of decades. Books and articles have appeared steadily, universities have created programs and centers and the broader public has become increasingly interested in the subject. Nevertheless, there remain some aspects of the field and some geographic regions that remain dramatically understudied. Deborah Mayersen and Annie Pohlman’s new edited collection Genocide and Mass Atrocities in Asia: Legacies and Prevention (Routledge, 2013) is an excellent step toward filling one of these gaps. The book adds greatly to our understanding of mass violence in East and Southeast Asia. As the title suggests, Mayersen and Pohlman focus not the violence itself, but on its long-term impact on Indonesia, East Timor and other regions in Asia. Deborah and Annie are, besides being solid scholars, delightful conversationalists. The result, I hope, is an interview well worth listening to. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
James A. Milward, “The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford UP, 2013)
69 perc 39. rész Marshall Poe
James A. Milward‘s new book offers a thoughtful and spirited history of the silk road for general readers.The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013) is part of the Oxford “A Very Short Introduction” series. The book is organized into six chapters that each take a different thematic approach to narrating aspects of silk road history from 3000 BCE to the twenty-first century, collectively offering a kind of snapshot introduction to major conceptual approaches to world history writing. In the course of learning about the Xiongnu and the history of dumplings, then, the reader simultaneously gets a crash course in environmental, political, bio-cultural, technological, and artisanal historiographies. Millward has filled the pages of this concise and very readable text with evocative (and sometimes very funny) stories, vignettes, and objects from the historical routes of Central Eurasia, weaving together the histories of lutes, horses, and silkworms with a sensitive and critical reading of the modern historiography of the Eurasian steppe. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matthew W. Mosca, “From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy: The Question of India and the Transformation of Geopolitics in Qing China” (Stanford, 2013)
65 perc 38. rész Marshall Poe
Matthew Mosca‘s impressively researched and carefully structured new book maps the transformation of geopolitical worldviews in a crucial period of Qing and global history. From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy: The Question of India and the Transformation of Geopolitics in Qing China (Stanford University Press, 2013) traces a shift in the Qing state’s external relations from a “frontier policy” at the height of the Qianlong Emperor’s power in the middle of the eighteenth century, to a “foreign policy” by the time Qing scholars, officials, and rulers of the mid-nineteenth century perceived the weakness of their empire when faced with European rivals. At the crux of this change, Mosca demonstrates, was a major shift in the way the empire collected and interpreted information about the world both within and beyond Qing borders. With Qianlong’s death, private Qing scholars who began to take an interest in the empire’s administration transformed the geographical epistemology of the empire, creating a standardized geographical lexicon, a means of reconciling diverse place names in many different languages, and a way of comparing different local reports on major events that were impacting the state. Mosca illustrates this history by taking the Qing understanding of India (and British activities therein) as a case study, but the book is absolutely not limited to the case of India in the scope of its arguments and the potential reach of its conclusions about Qing geopolitics. Readers from beyond the field of Chinese studies will find useful discussions here of multiple Qing modes of cartography, geography, and lexicography that inform a broader historical epistemology of the early modern world. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Samir Chopra, “Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket” (HarperCollins, 2012)
47 perc 37. rész Marshall Poe
The sixth season of the Indian Premier League recently concluded, and once again off-field problems cast light on the league’s growing pains. For the fifth year in a row, no Pakistani players were selected for the league’s teams, while other foreign cricketers were withdrawn by their national boards at various points in the tournament for service in international matches. Political and ethnic tensions in the state of Tamil Nadu required a change in host cities, from Chennai to Delhi, for playoff matches. After a dispute over franchise fees and three unsuccessful campaigns on the field, the franchise in Pune folded at the season’s end. And most significantly, the playoff rounds took place under the cloud of a spot-fixing scandal, as three players for the Rajasthan Royals and eleven bookies were arrested in Delhi in May. Following upon previous scandals, the fixing arrests brought another blow to the IPL’s integrity. Observers point to the flood of cash that has overwhelmed Indian cricket in such a short time, rendering franchise owners, administrators, and players unable to withstand its force. The question arises, as the IPL aspires to build a structure that will tower alongside the world’s other great sports brands, will it manage to establish solid footings? Plenty of cricket fans take a good measure of satisfaction in watching the IPL’s problems. In its short life, the league has upended the game from its time-honored traditions. Samir Chopra is among those who lament some of the changes that the IPL and T20 have brought to the sport. But he also recognizes that the Indian Premier League offers a model that can potentially improve cricket. A philosopher at Brooklyn College and a regular contributor to ESPN Cricinfo, Samir is alert to the profound identity crisis in which world cricket finds itself. He plumbs various aspects of this current turmoil in his thoughtful and eloquent book Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket (HarperCollins, 2012). But rather than denouncing the IPL and all its vulgar wealth as the cause of the crisis, he points to a franchise-based form of international cricket, with players treated as professionals rather than servants indentured to national boards, as something that can potentially benefit all forms of the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Prasannan Parthasarathi, “Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600-1850” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
58 perc 36. rész Marshall Poe
It’s a classic historical question: Why the West and not the Rest? Answers abound. So is there anything new to say about it? According to Prasannan Parthasarathi, there certainly is. He doesn’t go so far as to say that other proposed explanations are flat out wrong, it’s just that they don’t really focus on the narrow forces that, well, forced English business men to innovate in the 18th century. In Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Parthasarathi says that those forces were economic. English textile merchants were getting trounced by imported Indian cotton. They found that they couldn’t produce cotton goods in the same way the Indians did for all kinds of reasons. So, they had to create a new, more efficient, production process. They did. According to Parthasarath, the “Industrial Revolution” was born out of economic competition and innovation (with, of course, a helping hand from the state). That makes a lot of sense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Justin Jones, “Shi’a Islam in Colonial India: Religion, Community and Sectarianism” (Cambridge UP, 2012)
68 perc 35. rész Marshall Poe
Justin Jones‘ book, Shi’a Islam in Colonial India: Religion, Community and Sectarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2012) is all about Lucknow, and colonial India, and Shia Islam – and the links and interlinks between these and the outer world. Jones’ is a fascinating study, that draws upon English, Persian and Urdu sources, official and otherwise, to detail a narrative of Shi’ism in Lucknow after the deposition of its nawabs – who had done more than most to foster a Shi’ite ‘culture of governance’ – down to today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Amanda Weidman, “Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India” (Duke UP, 2006)
69 perc 34. rész Marshall Poe
In Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India (Duke University Press, 2006) ) Amanda Weidman (scroll down to see her profile) explores how the colonial encounter profoundly shifted the ways South Indian Karnatic music was performed, circulated, and talked about in the twentieth century. The violin became the standard accompanying instrument largely because of the way it could imitate the voice and was seen as modernizing the musical tradition. Karnatic music began to be performed in large concert halls where music reformers expected “pin drop silence” as one would find in European symphony orchestra halls. When musicians published various forms of notation to capture music that had been traditionally passed down orally, new ideas came into being about the composer having sole authorship of a composition. The performers of the music changed as well. Before the early decades of the twentieth century, the only women who could perform South Indian music in public were devadasis, women who came from a community of hereditary musicians and dancers whose repertoire included erotic songs. In the twentieth century various legal, societal, and musical reforms led to the stigmatization of devadasis and their repertoire, while it became acceptable for high-caste Brahmin women to sing in public. Meanwhile, debates about what should be included in the canon of Karnatic music were connected to the language politics of the time, leading to a movement to put Tamil-language compositions on par with the “classical” Telugu and Sanskrit compositions that had become central to the Karnatic music canon of the twentieth century. Amanda was kind enough to speak with me about Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern. I hope you enjoy the interview. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matt Rahaim, “Musicking Bodies: Gesture and Voice in Hindustani Music” (Wesleyan UP, 2012)
46 perc 33. rész Marshall Poe
Have you seen North Indian vocalists improvise? Their hands and voices move together to trace intricate melodic patterns. If we think that music is just made of sequences of notes, then this motion may seem quite puzzling at first. But the physical motion of singers reveal that there is much more going on than note combinations: spiraling, swooping, twirling–even moments of exquisite stillness in which time seems to stop. This kinetic aspect of melodic action is the topic of Matt Rahaim‘s new book, Musicking Bodies: Gesture and Voice in Hindustani Music (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). Rahaim first traces a history of ideas about moving and singing in Indian music, from Sanskrit treatises to courtesan dance performance to the 20th century boom in phonograph recordings. He then leads the reader through vivid melodic and gestural worlds of ragas with illuminating and concise analyses of video data and interviews from years of training in North Indian vocal music, and suggests ways in which melodic motion serves as a vehicle for traditions of ethical virtue. In this interview, Rahaim discusses the bodily disciplines of gesture, posture, and voice production that are so fundamental to singing. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Markus Vink, “Mission to Madurai: Dutch Embassies to the Nayaka Court in the Seventeenth Century” (Manohar, 2012)
68 perc 32. rész Marshall Poe
Presenting- and being granted an audience- at the court of a foreign potentate was the way to gain legitimacy, acceptance, and often, protection to be able to trade in the territory. Of course arriving at a court contained an element of risk; and not every representative returned from such a venture, but it was imperative to make these visits. Of course, the most well-documented of such encounters are those of the English to the Mughal courts, but there were other players in other regions of the sub-continent. Markus Vink‘s book Mission to Madurai: Dutch Embassies to the Nayaka Court in the Seventeenth Century (Manohar, 2012), looks at these highly formalized points of contact between the Dutch and the people of southern India; specifically the state of Madurai. Mission to Madurai is about three encounters between representatives of the Dutch East India Company and the state of Madurai. As the author notes, they shared an interest in trade, of course- the Dutch were some of the earliest European traders in South Asia, and the Southern India had long been exporting its spices across the world. There was, of course, suspicion about the other’s motives; there was barely contained hostility, even; but there was also the fascination of the exotic- and this was what the ambassadors of the Dutch East India Company so richly documented in their accounts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Andrew Muldoon, “Empire, Politics and the Creation of the 1935 India Act: Last Act of the Raj” (Ashgate, 2009)
68 perc 31. rész Marshall Poe
It was the last in a long line of ‘Acts’ designed to ensure better colonial governance for the Indian sub-continent. It was an Act which was vociferously opposed by, amongst others, Winston Churchill. It is the Act upon which the Constitution of modern India is for the most part based. Andrew Muldoon‘s new book, Empire, Politics and the Creation of the 1935 India Act: Last Act of the Raj (Ashgate, 2009) is all about the Government of India Act, 1935. The Act was long in the making; it replaced the eponymous 1919 Act, and there were many who were interested in it- politicians Indian and British, commercial conglomerates, and of course, your average Indian or Briton. When it took shape, after six years of ‘legislative, administrative and political’ work, it met with receptions ranging from the welcoming to the hostile; despite everything, it became the blueprint for the development of post Independence Indian polity and its impact may be yet be discerned today. It was an act which provided for a federal structure for British India, under the ultimate control of a Central power. So the 1935 Act was not a just a major piece of legislation; it was also an event that said much about prevailing ideas of Empire, identity, autonomy and governance.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Karen Ruffle, “Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi’ism” (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)
65 perc 30. rész Marshall Poe
What does a wedding in Karbala in the year 680 have to do with South Asian Muslims today? As it turns out, this event informs contemporary ideas of personal piety and social understanding of gender roles. The battlefield wedding of Qasem and Fatimah Kubra on 7 Muharram is commemorated annually by Hyderabadi Shi’a Muslims. In Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi’ism (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), Karen Ruffle, Assistant Professor of History of Religions and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, explores the relationship between devotional literature and ritual practice in the formulation of social consciousness and embodied ethics. She accomplishes this task through great ethnographic detail and deep investigation into a rich literary tradition of devotional hagiographical texts. Ruffle argues that hagiography when enacted through contemporary ritual performances establishes typologies of Shi’i sainthood. Altogether, these localized models of ethics and gendered normativity reflect the realities of the religiously plural geographies Hyderabadi Shi’a Muslims inhabit. In our conversation, we discuss annual mourning assemblies, Husaini ethics, imitable sainthood, gender roles, martyrdom and kinship, the relationship between texts and performance, The Garden of the Martyrs, vernacular and cosmopolitan Islams, sectarian affiliation and religious identity, and the homogenization of Shi’ism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guy Fraser-Sampson, “Cricket at the Crossroads: Class, Colour and Controversy from 1967 to 1977” (Elliott & Thompson, 2011)
47 perc 29. rész Marshall Poe
During the 1960s attendance fell at cricket grounds across England. Just as the Church of England lost members in droves in the same period, it appeared that this other pillar of English tradition was becoming irrelevant amidst the social and cultural developments of the times. Making the situation worse were the guardians of the sport, who were reluctant to respond to the changes around them. The men of the Marlyebone Cricket Club and administrators of county sides held to the old class division, preferring amateur gentlemen to serve as their captains, even when there were few Oxbridge graduates with enough money or free time to devote themselves to the sport–or enough talent to merit a captaincy. And while other governing bodies of international sport were cutting ties with apartheid South Africa, the MCC still saw that country’s side as a legitimate competitor and made plans for tours. As Guy Fraser-Sampson shows in his history of English cricket in the late Sixties and early Seventies, these obstinate positions led English cricket into one controversy after another. When the professional Brian Close, son of a weaver, became captain of the England side in 1966, he went on to lead the team to successful series against the West Indies, India, and Pakistan. But the following year the MCC stripped Close of the captaincy on feeble charges that he had violated the code of the game. And when South African cricket officials warned the MCC that a team which included Basil D’Oliveira, a “colored” native of Cape Town, would not be welcome in the country, the talented D’Oliveira was excluded from the England side. Both decisions brought scorn from English cricket fans. But as Guy explains in our interview, the MCC was not an institution responsive to public mood. Cricket at the Crossroads: Class, Colour and Controversy from 1967 to 1977 (Elliott & Thompson, 2011) tells the stories of the Close and D’Oliveira affairs, along with the successes achieved on the field by Ray Illingworth’s side in the 1970s. The book concludes with Kerry Packer’s creation of World Series Cricket and the challenge that it posed to the English cricket establishment. But even more significant, in Guy’s treatment, is the turn toward aggressive bowling in the 1970s, which left batsmen battered and ushered in what he terms “a dark age” for cricket. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Carolien Stolte, “Philip Angel’s Deex-Autaers: Vaisnava Mythology from Manuscript to Book Market in the Context of the Dutch East India Company, c. 1600-1672 (New Delhi: Manohar, 2012)
68 perc 28. rész Marshall Poe
In 1658, a Dutch East India Company merchant by the name of Philip Angel presented a gift manuscript to Company Director Carel Hartsinck. It was intended to get into Hartsinck’s good books; Angel had been recalled to the VOC-headquarters at Batavia in disgrace for engaging in private trade and was to account for his actions in a hearing. Back home in Holland, Philip Angel had been a painter and a published author. The manuscript, convincingly edited by Carolien Stolte as Philip Angel’s Deex-Autaers: Vaisnava Mythology from Manuscript to Book Market in the Context of the Dutch East India Company, c. 1600-1672 (Manohar, 2012) recounts the well-known Puranic myths of the avataras of Vishnu. It conformed to all the contemporary conventions of an ‘exotic’ gift manuscript and reflects his artistic skills. But Angel offered no details of how he acquired the manusc ript, in what language, or who assisted him. This requires an investigation into the practices of information-gathering on Indian religious texts by important players of the time, ranging from Portuguese Jesuits to the court scriptoria of the Mughals. Finally, without acknowledgment of its author, Angel’s manuscript ended up on the commercial European book market, where it gained a conspicuous place within the corpus of seventeenth century Dutch literature on the East. Angel’s almost forgotten manuscript is not only a superb example of Dutch Orientalism, it also stands in a long tradition of borrowing and buying information on Indian religions. This fifth volume of Dutch Sources on South Asia consists of two parts. Part one traces the history of the manuscript and its maker, as well as the larger historical context in which it was assembled. The second part provides the reader with a transcription of the original manuscript and an annotated translation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anne M. Blackburn, “Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka,” (The University of Chicago Press, 2010)
60 perc 27. rész Marshall Poe
In this important contribution to both the study of South Asian Buddhism as well the burgeoning field of Buddhist modernity, Anne Blackburn‘s Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka (The University of Chicago Press, 2010) discusses the life and times of the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hikkaduve. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Donna Landry, “Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture” (John Hopkins UP, 2009)
68 perc 26. rész Marshall Poe
This is a book about horses. Donna Landry‘s Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture (The John Hopkins University Press, 2009) is all about how horses were a means of cultural exchange between the Orient and England. More than just exchange- there was theft and diplomacy as well. Over two hundred horses were imported into the British Isles from the Orient between 1650 and 1750. Some of these, like the Bloody Shouldered Arabian, became cultural icons in their own right; the others spawned a whole industry of horse traders and trainers, breeders and riders- a whole equestrian sub-culture, in fact, one that was moreover celebrated in art and verse, and not just in the racing hubs of Newmarket and the far off outposts of Empire, where enthusiasts plotted how to get hold of the best the local equine stock had to offer. So it was more than just genetic strains and riding styles that were affected by this influx from the East; these horses in fact helped create a way of life that is now seen as quintessentially English. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Susan Harris, “God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898-1902” (Oxford UP, 2011)
68 perc 25. rész Marshall Poe
Mark Twain called it “pious hypocrisies.” President McKinley called it “civilizing and Christianizing.” Both were referring to the U.S. annexation of the Philippines in 1899. Susan K. Harris‘ latest book, God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898-1902 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) targets the religious references in McKinley’s and Twain’s comments, assessing the role of religious rhetoric in the national and international debates over America’s global mission at the turn into the 20th century. She points out that no matter which side Americans took, all assumed that the U.S. was founded in Protestant Christian principles. Harris probes the ramifications of this assumption, drawing on documents ranging from Noah Webster’s 1832 History of the United States through Congressional speeches and newspaper articles, to In His Steps, the 1896 novel that asked “What Would Jesus Do?” Throughout, she offers a provocative reading both of the debates’ religious framework and of the evolution of Christian national identity within the U.S. She also moves outside U.S. geopolitical boundaries, reviewing responses to the Americans’ venture into global imperialism among Europeans, Latin Americans, and Filipinos. Harris works through key voices, including Twain, U.S. Senators Albert Beveridge and Benjamin Tillman; Filipino nationalists Emilio Aguinaldo and Apolinario Mabini; Latin American nationalists José Martí, José Enrique Rodó, and Rubén Darío; and the voices of Americans who wrote poems, essays, and letters either endorsing or protesting America’s plunge into colonialism. This book matters: in the process of uncovering the past, Harris shows us the roots of current debates over textbooks, Christian nationalism, and U.S. global imaging. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Peter Robb, “Richard Blechynden’s Calcutta Diaries, 1791-1822” (Oxford UP, 2011)
68 perc 24. rész Marshall Poe
Richard Blechynden came to Calcutta in 1782 as a twenty two year old, and stayed there for the rest of his life, working as a surveyor and architect. From 1791 he maintained daily diaries, and it is these that Peter Robb has so magnificently re-worked as Richard Blechynden’s Calcutta Diaries, 1791-1822 (Oxford University Press, 2011, 2 vols). Richard’s diaries are quite literally a chronicle of the everyday and the ordinary, what might even be called mundane and the petty, in Calcutta in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In these diaries Richard talks about his children, his loves, his network of colleagues, helps, acquaintances, what might today be dubbed ‘frenemies’, people, European, Indian, ‘half-caste,’ who exasperated him but without whom it was well nigh impossible to function in a city where everyone needed everyone else to get their work done. Peter Robb’s edited compendium of these diaries is a record of how social networks operated in a very cosmopolitan city, yet one whose inhabitants were always all too aware of their social, religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Sometimes the lines between the personal and the professional blurred, and sometimes favors were given and taken from unlikely persons, and people were not always, by modern standards, ethical, yet in the end everyone managed to establish for themselves a position that would guarantee, if not prosperity, survival. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nabil Matar and Gerald MacLean, “Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713” (Oxford UP, 2011)
68 perc 23. rész Marshall Poe
Nineteenth-century observers would say that the British Empire was an Islamic one; be that as it may, before Empire there was trade- and lots of it. Nabil Matar and Gerald MacLean‘s book, Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), though, goes beyond trade- there was also lots of curiosity, in Britain and abroad, about the strange new peoples and products beginning to move more freely across the world than ever before. It is this aspect of British-Muslim interaction – (or more accurately interactions; the Islamic world was vast and encompassed a dizzying diversity of peoples and cultures) that Matar and MacLean emphasise- the wondering, bemused, gleeful, fascinated, at times despairing accounts of travellers, diplomats, traders -and pirates and their captives- as they sought to convey their impressions of the new worlds they encountered. Nor did everyone think the same; not every factor in Surat went fantee, and not every potentate and cleric disapproved of tobacco and coffee, which North Africans and Britons were wont to accuse each other of having introduced to their lands- and some people tried both lifestyles before settling on one- or neither. It was this celebration of the exotic that made the trading ports and cities of early modern Britain and the Islamic powers such fascinating places to be in- and MacLean and Matar’s book evokes perfectly the heady atmosphere of the contemporary world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jeff Sahadeo, “Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865-1903” (Indiana UP, 2010)
68 perc 22. rész Marshall Poe
Konstantin von Kaufmann, Governor-General of Russian Turkestan from 1867 until his death in 1882, wanted to be buried in Tashkent if he died in office; so that, he said, ‘all may know that here is true Russian soil, where no Russian need be ashamed to lie.’ Certainly not after Kaufmann’s efforts- he set out to create a planned city on the lines of St. Petersburg, and in fact succeeded in creating a ‘charming…little European capital’ as one traveller said; though that was just restricted to the buildings- local customs Kaufmann left alone and actively discouraged importation of ‘Russian’ religious customs and culture. Jeff Sahadeo‘s new book, Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865-1903 (Indiana University Press, 2010) looks at how Russian colonial administrators went about building Tashkent, sometimes with the help of, and sometimes with resistance from locals, and the effects of 1905, the Great War and 1917 on a city already greatly transformed after the transition to Russian rule in 1865. So this is a book which takes the reader through the process of creating a ‘colonial’ city and the negotiations, interactions and engagements it involved- Tashkent was more than just a staging post en route to the Indian Empire. It was a city which housed many distinct groups of people- the Russian colonial elite, to local leaders, the traders and the merchants, and the many Russians who came down to work in this rapidly growing regional capital. Nor did all these people always get on well with each other- but their spats helped shape Tashkent just as much as their collaborations did. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Marcus Franke, “War and Nationalism in South Asia: The Indian State and the Nagas” (Routledge, 2011)
68 perc 21. rész Marshall Poe
North East India is, as Marcus Franke’s War and Nationalism in South Asia: The Indian State and the Nagas (Routledge, 2011) all too convincingly demonstrates, often considered peripheral to ‘India (or even South Asia) proper.’ A densely wooded, sparsely populated tract of hills (in fact the Eastern Himalayas), the moniker refers to the Indian states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura, with the former kingdom of Sikkim often included. This beautifully diverse, hard to reach region is today home to dozens of separatist movements, fighting against what is often referred to as the Government of India’s indifference, perhaps hostility, to the cultures and lifestyles of the region- customs and rituals which vary sharply from those of the plains of India. Border disputes with China and Bangladesh, and amongst the states, add to regional instability and have resulted in heavy militarization- Marcus’ book talks about the engagement between the Indian governmental apparatus and the Naga people right from the time the British were drawn into these wild hills down to the blockades and skirmishes that attest to the region’s uneasy engagement with the Indian political metropole. The Indian State and the Nagas is an excellent, detailed analysis of the political and cultural history of the region, and a great primer for understanding the dynamics of the groups fighting to preserve their tribal identities even as they call for greater economic investment in the region. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Diane Kirkby and Catherine Coleborne, “Law, History, Colonialism: The Reach of Empire” (Manchester UP, 2011)
68 perc 20. rész Marshall Poe
English common law is prevalent across large parts of the world; and all thanks to the British Empire. It was not just culture and commerce that came along to the colonies; English law, as Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne‘s new book, Law, History, Colonialism: The Reach of Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011) demonstrates, made the trip as well, and it was English law that was used to combat many a ‘barbarous’ (or simply inconvenient) native custom. Of course it didn’t go unaltered; English law interacted with local customs and laws, resulting in ‘legal syncretism’ as local laws were modified and codified and set down in statutes; they dealt with title to land, sovereignty, citizenship, and also more everyday things like whom one could marry, where one could trade, and how one could go about getting an education. Many of these statutes and codes remained in operation throughout decolonization and after and yet endure; legal systems are perhaps one of the strongest continuities between the colonial and the post-colonial state. So this is a very welcome work, analyzing as it does the space where law, history (historiography) and colonialism intersected and engaged with each other. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Parna Sengupta, “Pedagogy for Religion: Missionary Education and the Fashioning of Hindus and Muslims in Bengal” (University of California Press, 2011)
71 perc 19. rész Marshall Poe
What is the relationship between religion, secularization, and education? Parna Sengupta, Associate Director of Introductory Studies at Stanford University, explores their connections as she reexamines the categories religion, empire, and modernity. In her new book, Pedagogy for Religion: Missionary Education and the Fashioning of Hindus and Muslims in Bengal (University of California Press, 2011), she challenges the myth that Western rule secularized non-Western societies. Pedagogy for Religion focuses on missionary schools and their influence in Bengal from roughly 1850 to the 1930s. Sengupta’s conclusions are drawn from reading what she calls the “mundane aspects of schooling,” rather than high religious discourse. The replication of religious, gender, and social identities, as they were established through textbooks, objects, language, and teachers, redefined modern definitions of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. Altogether, Sengupta demonstrates that modern education effectively deepened the place of religion in colonial South Asia. However, this contemporary return to religion was not a “backward” or “irrational” resurgence of religious beliefs and practices. Religion was transformed into the carrier of modernity and education became the means for recreating religious identity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Eugenia Herbert, “Flora’s Empire: British Gardens in India” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)
68 perc 18. rész Marshall Poe
Horticulture is not an activity normally associated with Empire building. But Eugenia Herbert‘s book Flora’s Empire: British Gardens in India (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). But ‘garden imperialism’ was all too common in the Indian subcontinent, as its many conquerors attempted to tame and order a land that seemed simultaneously alien and unwelcoming. The last of these conquerors were the British, and the passion for laying out gardens and otherwise landscaping their surrounds was a trait they shared with those from whom they took over the governance of India, the Great Mughals. Most of the time gardens and landscapes were built to remind the British of home, and many an Anglo-Indian tried to re-create England by planting English flowers- in pots which could be taken along when the civilian was invariably transferred to a new station. But there were times when the British tried to re-create India’s past by -recreating Indian gardens. So it was that George Curzon when restoring the Taj added what now seems to be the classic Mughal garden around it; but as Herbert shows, the Taj gardens were not always these austere geometric rows and squares of controlled growth; rather they were overrun with luxuriant tropical verdure that partly threw a veil over the lovely facadeof the Taj itself. Gardens built to evoke memories thus did not always offer an accurate re-construction of the past, or indeed of places far away. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Steve Inskeep, “Instant City: LIfe and Death in Karachi” (Penguin, 2011)
36 perc 17. rész Marshall Poe
In his new book, Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi (Penguin Press, 2011), Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition, chronicles the story of Karachi’s seemingly instantaneous population explosion, from only 350,000 inhabitants in 1941 to well over 13 million today. Inskeep looks at the circumstances that encouraged and supported the near-overnight formation of what he terms an “instant city,” and provides an analysis of the multiple political and economic problems created by such rapid growth. In our interview, we talked about The Wire’s David Simon, stolen elections, and America’s own ethnic and racial challenges. Read all about it, and more, in Inskeep’s eye-opening new book. Please become a fan of “New Books in Public Policy” on Facebook if you haven’t already. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Philip Stern, “The Company-State: Corporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India” (Oxford UP, 2011)
68 perc 16. rész Marshall Poe
‘Traders to rulers’ is an enduring caption insofar as the English East India Company is concerned. But were they ever just traders to start off with, and they eventually morph into mere temporal rulers unconcerned with the dynamics of the global economy? Philip Stern‘s book, The Company-State: Corporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) explores just this: the changing boundaries and demarcations between corporate bodies and sovereign states, and the ‘rightful’ spheres of action of each. This is not to suggest that the English East India Company was a sort of half-way house, or that it occupied a zone of hybridity; it was merely that, in those days (as is perhaps increasingly the case again),  the ‘business of government’ was often assumed by ‘corporations and non-state actors’; and they went about their job just as well as any political government with sovereign powers. So it was that the East India Company’s factors, based in coastal entrepots, built forts, codified law, brought in settlers, collected taxes, waged war, and generally laid down a framework for the governance of the environs they operated in- and carried on trade. The Company-State couldn’t carry on for ever though; as Stern points out, it eventually became a casualty of the ‘evolving definitions’ of what constituted an economic body and what constituted a political body, and eventually ceded all political space to the British Crown, even as its economic avatar just celebrated a quatercentenary of existence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alexander Morrison, “Russian Rule in Samarkand, 1868-1910: A Comparison with British India” (Oxford UP, 2008)
68 perc 15. rész Marshall Poe
Great Britain and Russia faced off across the Pamirs for much of the nineteenth century; their rivalries and animosities often obscuring underlying commonalities; these were, after all, colonial Empires governing ‘alien’ peoples, and faced much the same problems insofar as maintaining their rule was concerned. Alexander Morrison‘s Russian Rule in Samarkand, 1868-1910: A Comparison with British India (Oxford University Press, 2008) does exactly that; traces the issues faced by the Russian administration in the region around Samarkand and the British administration in the Punjab, issues ranging from judicial systems and grassroots administration to dam building and educating the colonized local populace. This is a book that is at once fluent and erudite; its the great strengths are a very detailed bibliography, and an extensive use of Russian archival sources, as well as local sources in Persian; too often has the story of Russia in Central Asia been recounted to an Anglophone audience from the works and thoughts of British colonial administrators. This is also a work that analyses macro, holistic administrative structures and does not rely on the retelling of anecdotes involving flamboyant frontier officials; a recounting that delves behind the sabre-rattling of the Great Game suffices in itself to make this book a must-read. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chris Poullaos and Suki Sian, “Accountancy and Empire: The British Legacy of Professional Organization” (Routledge, 2010)
68 perc 14. rész Marshall Poe
For an empire supposedly founded on the back of trade, not much attention has been paid to how the finances of the British Empire were organized- or to the people who organized them. Chris Poullaos‘ and Suki Sian‘s pioneering compendium, Accountancy and Empire: The British Legacy of Professional Organization (Routledge, 2010), however, changes all that as it examines how Chartered Accountants fought for the right to be so called from Trinidad to India to Malaysia, and how the profession negotiated the change from colonialism to post-colonialism. Initially it was British Chartered Accountants who went out to work in the Empire, and in time local accounting bodies gradually codified and standardized the accounting profession as it existed in their countries, even as many people continued to travel to England to obtain the British Chartered Accountancy qualification. So Chartered Accountancy was never just about numbers. It might be said that all that should have mattered was that at the end of the day’s work, the books should balance; but the profession could not insulate itself from the socio-political context of the world in which it operated. Close to half a century after the last wave of decolonization, questions linger as to the role the organization and codification of the accountancy profession played in perpetuating British, or ‘Western’ influence, across the globe – and whether this globalization by default is commendable or not, especially in view of the desirability of integrating world accounting systems. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Yasmin Saikia, “Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971” (Duke UP, 2011)
58 perc 13. rész Marshall Poe
It’s almost a cliche to say that war dehumanizes those who participate in it – the organizers of violence, those who commit violent acts, and the victims of violence. In her new book, Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971 (Duke University Press, 2011), historian Yasmin Saikia seeks to explore humanity lost, and humanity reclaimed, by women and men who experienced the war that resulted in Bangladesh’s independence. At the center of her story are women whose bodies became the battleground, as they were subjected to a wave of rapes perpetrated by enemy armies, local militias, and even civilians. Their stories were omitted from national histories of the conflict and they risked ostracism from their communities – unless they remained silent. And so they remained silent. But even thirty years later, the memories burned, and by finally telling their stories, they showed Saikia – and they show us – a different way to think about the war. Rather than competing Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi versions of the 1971 war, we see an utterly human story of ordinary people living with war and its aftermath. Other experiences come to light too: Women who sought to participate in the war but were shoved aside by men. Women in the helping professions who tried to assist the victims. And men who committed acts of violence, and who now struggle to come to terms with their consciences. The Hardt-Nichachos Chair in Peace Studies at Arizona State University, Saikia lets ordinary people speak for themselves – and in so doing, she humanizes a story that’s usually told as a struggle of nations. Together, she and her interview partners make us think anew about the possibilities for remorse, recovery, and forgiveness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Vera Tolz, “Russia’s Own Orient: The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods” (Oxford UP, 2011)
68 perc 12. rész Marshall Poe
Everyone knows that the late nineteenth-century Russian Empire was the largest land based empire around, and that it was growing yet- at fifty-five square miles a day, no less. But how did Moscow and St. Petersberg go about making the bewildering array of peoples and ethnicities into subjects subject of a Russian empire? Vera Tolz’s Russia’s Own Orient: The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods (Oxford University Press, 2011) examines ‘Orientalism’ as it evolved in the Russian metropole, developed by scholars and pedagogues from every corner of the far flung Russian Empire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These turn-of-the-century Russian Orientologists (note, not ‘Orientalists’) saw themselves as ‘Empire-savers;’ promoting ethnic nationalism, they felt, would only strengthen ultimate allegiance to the Russian Empire. The result of their efforts was an emphatic celebration of the ‘non-European’ cultures that made up much of Central Asia and the Caucasus, whose peoples were encouraged to consolidate their ethnic and cultural identities even as they were supposed to be part of a larger Russian entity- a policy that persisted through the many changes of power at the metropole. And even as the Russian state continued to be shaped and influenced by peoples and cultures away from from its political centre, the Orientologists who did so much to integrate this diversity of Russians were themselves influenced by, and counted among their ranks of, people from all over Russia. Orientology in Russia was then a rejection of the East -West dichotomy, a view that early on anticipated and matched many of the cannons of modern postcolonial scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Cecilia Leong-Salobir, “Food Culture in Colonial Asia: A Taste of Empire” (Routledge, 2011)
68 perc 11. rész Marshall Poe
Hobson-Jobson was not just about administration and geopolitics- the language of Empire extended to its culinary endeavours as well. Thus chota hazri, tiffin,and curry puffs at Peliti’s were the things that sustained an army of civil servants as they went about registering land records in the United Provinces, negotiating with Malay sultans or checking out logging operations in Sabah. Cecilia Leong-Salobir’s book, Food Culture in Colonial Asia: A Taste of Empire (Routledge, 2011), looks at the gastronomic side of things in Britain’s tropical, Asiatic Empire -India, Malaya and Singapore. It looks at the things administrators, soldiers and commercial workers ate on various occasions- in the dak bungalow, on camping tours, at grand dinner parties – and how they went about preparing their victuals- mostly with the help of domestic staff, Muslim, Goan, Malay and Chinese, cooks of whom they had criticisms aplenty to make, yet in the end trusted with the task of cooking for their families. And they made sure to write down all they gleaned about rustling up pastries and souffles in lands where rice and chappatis were the staple dishes. Cecilia researched the cookbooks, colonial archives, correspondence, and prepared questionnaires for old Empire hands to come up with a comprehensive report on what the Empire builders ate- and the result is a deliciously detailed work, which explores how the socio-cultural structure of Empire dictated and determined what would be cooked and eaten at specific times and places. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mark Bradley, “Classics and Imperialism in the British Empire” (Oxford UP, 2010)
68 perc 10. rész Marshall Poe
The Greco-Roman world was the prism through which the British viewed their imperial efforts, and Mark Bradley’s compendium Classics and Imperialism in the British Empire (Oxford University Press, 2010) explores the various ways in which this reception of the classics occurred. From museums, to oratorical texts, to theories of race, the classical world was a reference point for the imperial British. Bradley’s book looks at how the British thought about the classical world at a time when they were confronted by their own role as empire builders. There was the desire to reinforce, to justify their claims to being the greatest imperial power after Rome. There was doubt; the need to reconcile the colonized to their rule even as they learnt how ancient Britons had resisted Roman rule. There was a certain humbled pride that they had managed to supplant the Romans insofar as claims to being the ‘greatest imperial power’ were concerned. There was also puzzlement; the jewel in the crown, India, was nothing like any Roman province or territory-how did this place them in relation to the Romans, who after all went about subjugating ‘barbarians’ as opposed a people with a highly sophisticated civilization of their own? These are some of the issues that concerned the Britons of the Empire, and that this book analyses with great sensitivity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Vinayak Chaturvedi, “Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India” (University of California Press, 2007)
68 perc 9. rész Marshall Poe
The odds are that if you don’t figure in an administration’s records, you won’t figure in the historical record. But what do you do to get into those records? Raising a ruckus is one way. But that works only if someone else hasn’t managed to raise more of a ruckus than you can ever hope to – and this, as Vinayak Chaturvedi tells us in Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India (University of California Press, 2007) was exactly the situation the peasants of Gujarat faced during the last century of British rule in India. The Dharala peasants lived and worked in the Kheda district, the stomping ground of the powerful Patidar community, who formed a support base for Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha campaigns. The Mahatma’s nationalism did not, however, attract the Dharalas, given that the Patidars had co-opted it for themselves. The Dharalas felt they stood nothing to gain by joining forces with groups that locally exercised economic power over them. But that is not to say they didn’t have their own ideas about the way they wished to live, as Chaturvedi shows.Peasant Pasts skillfully traces how the Dharalas, through many demonstrations employing traditional as well as more recent forms of protest, managed to form a distinct political identity of their own, one that is current and excites much debate in the region. And yes, they did manage to get themselves into the administrative records of the Indian state as well. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Howard Spodek, “Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth Century India” (Indiana University Press, 2011)
68 perc 8. rész Marshall Poe
As Ahmedabad, the chief city of Gujarat state in Western India, puts itself up as a contender for World Heritage status, Howard Spodek’s lovely book, Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth Century India (Indiana University Press, 2011), can only give a boost to its campaign. This book is a discrete, yet integrated, collection of narratives from Ahmedabad throughout the twentieth century. The stories trace how this city quietly and unobtrusively sent out people and ideas into the rest of India, and on occasion acted out events that were reflective of trends across the wider Indian landscape. But, as Howard emphasizes, this is also a city that despite everything has remained staunchly and proudly Gujurati, its luminaries basing their power on resources and support from the surrounding regions. Mohandas Gandhi made this industrial city his base, as did many of his followers; the mills came and went, cultural and educational institutions sprang up, and Ahmedabad itself might yet undergo a change in moniker to Karnavati. None of this affects its mediaeval monuments, and patterns of life in its gated bylanes of pols, even as they retain characteristics from long ago, yet subtly, imperceptibly, shift and change in response to changing times.. Howard’s book is a must read for an insight into century of the many that this many layered city has been in existence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nile Green, “Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
68 perc 7. rész Marshall Poe
Bombay (Mumbai), India, is a city that has never lacked chroniclers from Rudyard Kipling to Salman Rushdie to Suketu Mehta, bards of pluralism have written about Bombay’s divers religions and peoples and the interactions between them. Now here comes a fantastic new book on the much touted ‘cosmopolitan culture,’ as the natives call it, of colonial Bombay- with a twist. Nile Green‘s well received Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) masterfully weaves together the dizzying varieties of Islams current in this port city -Islams that grew up as the Deccan, the Konkan, Gujurat, East Africa, Central, West and Southeast Asia all converged upon the crowded lanes and workshops of Bhendi bazaar, Haji Ali, Mazgaon, Chira Bazaar, Dongri. These neighbourhoods in turn exported systems of belief and practice wherever their denizens went beliefs that were themselves shaped and modified by the time they had spent, and the adherents they had won, in Bombay. Never before has Muslim Bombay been presented as part of a global network – this is a book that traces Muslim life in Bombay and beyond in a framework transcending nationality, race and spatial demarcations- a book, in short, that tells the story of what happened when a global religion came to a global city. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert Parthesius, “Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters: The Development of the Dutch East India Company Shipping Network in Asia 1595-1660” (Amsterdam UP, 2010)
68 perc 6. rész Marshall Poe
The Dutch broke the Portuguese commercial and colonizing monopoly in the East in 1595; the seal might have been said to have been set on this triumph when they took over the port of Melaka in 1641, effectively replacing the Portuguese as the masters of maritime Asia. The famed ‘Dutch spirit of commerce’ was, as Robert Parthesius’s fine book Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters: The Development of the Dutch East India Company Shipping Network in Asia 1595-1660 (Amsterdam UP, 2010) demonstrates, a very tangible and concrete network of ships and ports. Between Yedo and Galle and Bandar Abbas, the Dutch East India Company maintained a fleet of often purpose built, extraordinarily well-maintained, and staggeringly well-organised ships, boats, and divers other vessels, each performing a specific function that formed a link in the web of their Asian holdings and ports of call. While for other European powers with aspirations to Asian dominions the most important sea-route was that linking Europe to Asia, it was this focus on intra-Asian trade that made the Dutch masters of the East for much of the seventeenth century. This is a highly technical work, and adds mightily to what we know about the Dutch merchant fleet in the East. Naval strength has always been considered to have been the main reason European colonial enterprises succeeded as well as they did; but studies of the specifics involved are very rare. Packed with maps, statistics, and charts, in addition to integrating the political and commercial exigencies driving the growth of Dutch shipping, and interspersed with biography and anecdote, this book will fascinate all those who seek a case study of how to establish an organization in new territories. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Katharine E. McGregor, “History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of Indonesia’s Past” (NUS Press, 2007)
68 perc 5. rész Marshall Poe
Nugroho Notosusanto (1930-1985) never pursued a military career; but all the same he did his bit for the Indonesian armed forces. He was co-opted into the Armed Forces History Centre as a young academic, and dedicated the greater part of his life to writing official histories of post-colonial Indonesia in the format prescribed by the Centre of which he was an integral part ever since its inception. Katharine E. McGregor‘s book, History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of Indonesia’s Past (NUS Press, 2007), examines the historiographic projects undertaken by the Indonesian military as they fought to check threats–perceived or otherwise–to their influence from a diverse array of opponents: political society, civil society, religious groups, communist groups, the global political situation. They produced official histories and textbooks- a good many of which were authored by Nugroho- built monuments, memorials, and museums, all to ensure that their version of an Indonesian national past won currency among the people over their rivals’ versions. For a little over three decades, they exercised a near monopoly over history writing in Indonesia. Their understanding of the Indonesian past is often contested. It is certainly not the only version, especially given the size and diversity of this sprawling archipelago. But it is a cohesive body of work that offers valuable insights into the minds of a section of Indonesians as they were at a particular point in time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tilman Nachtman, “Nabobs: Empire and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
68 perc 4. rész Marshall Poe
The many penniless English servants of the East India Company who landed at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta in the eighteenth-century were not terribly interested in uplifting the natives. They were, however, very keen to enrich themselves. And, by wheeling and dealing in the markets and courts of the subcontinent, a good number of them did just that, going, as we say, from rags to riches. This class of imperial nouveau riche might have gone unnoticed if, like their successors in the Indian Civil Service, they had stayed in India and, at the end of their careers, returned to modest retirements in Cheltenham. But they did nothing of the sort. As Tillman Nechtman‘s new book Nabobs: Empire and Identity in Eighteenth Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2010) demonstrates, as often as not they waddled back to the British Isles dripping diamonds and proceeded to exchange their new found wealth for positions of power in the British socio-political system. The press dubbed them the “nabobs”–a corruption, or modification, of the Indian nawab, or “governor.” The name was hardly complimentary; they were ruthlessly caricatured for their perceived ambition and arriviste pretensions. Influential though they were, many fell hard–Hastings faced an impeachment trial, Clive, hauled up before Parliament, took his own life, and yet others lost battle after battle with their rapacious colleagues. Listen to Tillman discussing these pioneers and the impact they had on the imaginations of the English speaking world, an impact that lingers to the present day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Noboru Ishikawa, “Between Frontiers: Nation and Identity in a South East Asian Borderland” (NUS Press, 2010)
68 perc 3. rész Marshall Poe
Borneo is an island where three very different nation-states meet: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. The Indonesian province of Kalimantan occupies most of the island; of the rest, all except one percent is taken up by the Malaysian provinces of Sabah and Sarawak. The tiny but wealthy Sultanate of Brunei occupies that one percent. So, people living in the northern parts of the island have lots of borders to cross. It’s almost like having your own mini-continent; and one that the outside world doesn’t really think of in terms of barbed wire and immigration check points- such imagery being reserved for the more famous borders of India and Pakistan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, or even Thailand and Cambodia. Borneo to most of us out here is all about orangutans, long houses, and tropical rainforest. But Noboru Ishikawa‘s magnificent, trail-blazing book, Between Frontiers: Nation and Identity in a South East Asian Borderland (NUS Press, 2010) is all about the borders and frontiers that slice up Borneo, the people who have to live around them, and the daily negotiations that take place on them. Noboru conducted extensive fieldwork in the villages on the border demarcating Malaysian Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan to see how the people lived the experience of being on a borderland- for the Malaysian village of Telok Melano, for instance, it was 3 kilometres to Indonesia, and an 8 hour walk (tide permitting) to Sematan in Malaysia when the sea was too rough for boats to traverse. The result of his work is a marvelous fusion of historiography and anthropology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bhanu Athaiya, “The Art of Costume Design” (HarperCollins, 2010)
68 perc 2. rész Marshall Poe
Bollywood, the Hindustani film genre based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), has long been known for its lavish costumes and sets. Now comes a sumptuous book from a master costume designer, and the first ever Indian to win an Oscar, Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya. Her The Art of Costume Design (New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2010), explores in lavish detail all the components that make a Bollywood movie so visually arresting–the clothes, the fabrics, the make up, even the jewellery without which no Indian outfit is ever complete. It is impossible, in this book, to tell where the personal leaves off and the professional begins, because Bhanu Athaiya’s life and career have been intertwined with the Indian film industry from the early colour movies of the 1950s, down to Gandhi (1982) and Lagaan (2001). In this richly illustrated work she profiles some of the most challenging films she has worked on, giving the reader a superb insight into the work that goes into creating an authentic ‘look’ to a film, be it a period film or a more contemporary flick – indeed, creating the ‘modern’ look for films in an urban setting often demanded the most work from her. Interspersed are anecdotes about her collaboration with all of Bollywood’s biggest stars and filmmakers. Listen to Bhanu Athaiya discuss her life and work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Giancarlo Casale, “The Ottoman Age of Exploration” (Oxford UP, 2010)
61 perc 1. rész Marshall Poe
You’ve probably heard of the “Age of Exploration.” You know, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Columbus, etc., etc. But actually that was the European Age of Exploration (and really it wasn’t even that, because the people who lived in what we now call “Europe” didn’t think of themselves as “Europeans” in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but no matter…). There were, however, other Ages of Exploration. Giancarlo Casale‘s wonderful book is about one of them, one you haven’t heard of. It’s called, appropriately enough, The Ottoman Age of Exploration (Oxford UP, 2010) and is about–you guessed it–the Ottoman Age of Exploration. Like their “European” counterparts, the Ottoman explorers were pursuing two interests: spices and salvation. The former were found (largely) in Southern Asia and the latter was of course in Mecca. To ensure access to both, the Ottomans built–nearly from scratch–an large, ocean-going navy and set out to dominate the Indian Ocean. And they almost did it, though they faced fierce competition from the Portuguese, Safavids, and Mughals. Read all about it in Casale’s terrific book. Please become a fan of “New Books in History” on Facebook if you haven’t already. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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