Space, Sociality, and Sources of Pleasure: A Response to Sanjay Subrahmanyam

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Author: Mana Kia1
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  • 1 Columbia University

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Abstract

This response essay engages with the themes of space, sociality, and sources (of pleasure and of scholarship) in Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s article in this issue, “The Hidden Face of Surat.” I reflect on how the Persianate adab that was a dominant cultural form in this port city might cause us to mitigate our analytical concepts when approaching phenomena from different historical contexts. I propose historical inquiry as a form of translation, to look for ways of understanding difference and engaging across it that may or may not be the same as European cosmopolitanism.

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