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  • Bibliotheca Wittockiana x
  • Social Sciences x

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Gail Coelho

Beṭṭa Kurumba is a Dravidian language spoken in the Nilgiri and Waynad Hills of India. Annotated Texts in Beṭṭa Kurumba presents folktales and dialogues in this language, together with a grammatical sketch and a glossary. These interlinearised texts provide rich data for linguistic analysis, as well as some of the earliest published cultural information about a highly understudied ethnic group. The cultural information is presented, for the most part, by the Beṭṭa Kurumbas themselves, who speak in their own native language about aspects of their lifestyle, spiritual beliefs, and social organization into clans.

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Edited by Barbara Schuler

In Historicizing Emotions: Practices and Objects in India, China, and Japan, nine Asian Studies scholars offer intriguing case studies of moments of change in community or group-based emotion practices, including emotionally coded objects. Posing the questions by whom, when, where, what-by, and how the changes occurred, these studies offer not only new geographical scope to the history of emotions, but also new voices from cultures and subcultures as yet unexplored in that field. This volume spans from the pre-common era to modern times, with an emphasis on the pre-modern period, and includes analyses of picturebooks, monks’ writings, letters, ethnographies, theoretic treatises, poems, hagiographies, stone inscriptions, and copperplates. Covering both religious and non-religious spheres, the essays will attract readers from historical, religious, and area studies, and anthropology.
Contributors are: Heather Blair, Gérard Colas, Katrin Einicke, Irina Glushkova, Padma D. Maitland, Beverley McGuire, Anne E. Monius, Kiyokazu Okita, Barbara Schuler.

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Swarupa Gupta

In Cultural Constellations, Place-Making and Ethnicity in Eastern India, c. 1850-1927, Swarupa Gupta outlines a fresh paradigm moving beyond stereotypical representations of eastern India as a site of ethnic fragmentation. The book traces unities by exploring intersections between (1) cultural constellations; (2) place-making and (3) ethnicity.
Centralising place-making, it tells the story of how people made places, mediating caste / religious / linguistic contestations. It offers new meanings of ‘region’ in Eastern Indian and global contexts by showing how an interregional arena comprising Bengal, Assam and Orissa was forged.
Using historical tracts, novels, poetry and travelogues, the book argues that commonalities in Eastern India were linked to imaginings of Indian nationhood. The analysis contains interpretive strategies for mediating federalist separatisms and fragmentation in contemporary India.

India, Modernity and the Great Divergence

Mysore and Gujarat (17th to 19th C.)

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Kaveh Yazdani

India, Modernity and the Great Divergence is an original and pioneering book about India’s transition towards modernity and the rise of the West. The work examines global entanglements alongside the internal dynamics of 17th to 19th century Mysore and Gujarat in comparison to other regions of Afro-Eurasia. It is an interdisciplinary survey that enriches our historical understanding of South Asia, ranging across the fascinating and intertwined worlds of modernizing rulers, wealthy merchants, curious scholars, utopian poets, industrious peasants and skilled artisans. Bringing together socio-economic and political structures, warfare, techno-scientific innovations, knowledge production and transfer of ideas, this book forces us to rethink the reasons behind the emergence of the modern world.

Naturopathy in South India

Clinics between Professionalization and Empowerment

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Eva Jansen

In Naturopathy in South India – Clinics between Professionalization and Empowerment, Eva Jansen offers a rich ethnographic account of current naturopathic thinking and practices, and examines its complex history, multiple interpretations, and antagonisms. This book presents two major forms of Naturopathy in contemporary South India: On one side, a scientific, professional branch models themselves after allopathic practitioners. On the other side, a group of ideologists uses an approach to patient treatment that is grounded in the principles of simplicity, transparency, a critique of globalization, and a focus on patient empowerment. Jansen discusses the current political and medical clash between Naturopaths in South India from the perspectives of practitioners, employees, the media and patients.

Annexation and the Unhappy Valley

The Historical Anthropology of Sindh’s Colonization

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Matthew A. Cook

Annexation and the Unhappy Valley: The Historical Anthropology of Sindh’s Colonization addresses the nineteenth century expansion and consolidation of British colonial power in the Sindh region of South Asia. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach and employs a fine-grained, nuanced and situated reading of multiple agents and their actions. It explores how the political and administrative incorporation of territory (i.e., annexation) by East India Company informs the conversion of intra-cultural distinctions into socio-historical conflicts among the colonized and colonizers. The book focuses on colonial direct rule, rather than the more commonly studied indirect rule, of South Asia. It socio-culturally explores how agents, perspectives and intentions vary—both within and across regions—to impact the actions and structures of colonial governance.

The Postcolonial Orient

The Politics of Difference and the Project of Provincialising Europe

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Vasant Kaiwar

In The Postcolonial Orient, Vasant Kaiwar presents a far-reaching analysis of the political, economic, and ideological cross-currents that have shaped and informed postcolonial studies preceding and following the 1989 moment of world history. The valences of the ‘post’ in postcolonialism are unfolded via some key historical-political postcolonial texts showing, inter alia, that they are replete with elements of Romantic Orientalism and the Oriental Renaissance. Kaiwar mobilises a critical body of classical and contemporary Marxism to demonstrate that far richer understandings of ‘Europe’ not to mention ‘colonialism’, ‘modernity’ and ‘difference’ are possible than with a postcolonialism captive to phenomenological-existentialism and post-structuralism, concluding that a narrative so enriched is indispensable for a transformative non-Eurocentric internationalism.

René Kolkman and Stuart Blackburn

Traditional houses among the tribal populations of northeast India have long attracted the interest of anthropologists and visitors. Until now, however, they have not been carefully documented. René Kolkman, a professional architect in Amsterdam, studied the homes of 37 different ethnic groups in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. His detailed drawings, photographs and personal stories show us the diversity of living spaces in this fascinating cultural area. Longhouses and square houses, built on platforms, built on plinths and housing as many as eighty-six people, these traditional houses are distinct. And although they have changed and are changing still, each of these 34 individual house-types remains immediately recognisable.

Beyond Caste

Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present

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Sumit Guha

'Caste' is today almost universally perceived as an ancient and unchanging Hindu institution preserved solely by a deep-seated religious ideology. Yet the word itself is an importation from sixteenth-century Europe. This book tracks the long history of the practices amalgamated under this label and shows their connection to changing patterns of social and political power down to the present. It frames caste as an involuted and complex form of ethnicity and explains why it persisted under non-Hindu rulers and in non-Hindu communities across South Asia.

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Pia Brancaccio

This is a study that focuses on the art and architecture of a group of Buddhist rock-cut monuments excavated on the western edge of the Deccan Plateau in India. It analyses the various cultural, historical and religious phenomena that shaped the caves at Aurangabad through the first seven centuries of the Common Era and it comments on the Buddhist tradition of the western Deccan as a whole. The result is a comprehensive work that does not address exclusively iconography and chronology, but looks beyond Aurangabad to the larger artistic and religious traditions of the Indian Subcontinent.