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Cultivation of Culture and the Global Circulation of Ideas
Through the concept of ‘Romantic nationalism’, this interdisciplinary global historical study investigates cultural initiatives in (British) India that aimed at establishing the nation as a moral community and which preceded or accompanied state-oriented political nationalism. Drawing on a vast array of sources, it discusses important Romantic nationalist traits, such as the relationship between language and identity, historicism, artistic revivalism and hero worship. Ultimately, this innovative book argues that because of the confrontation with European civilization and processes of modernization at large, cultivation of culture in British India was morally and spiritually more important to the making of the nation than in Europe.
Author:
From tenth-century South India to twenty-first-century cultural events, from the court assemblies to the public space: Attentive Minds takes you on a journey through the fascinating world of avadhāna, a complex and long-living performative art of India whose practitioners showcase highly developed cognitive skills (like attention, ability to multitask, memory) and specialized knowledge.
With the help of epigraphic and literary sources and field research, Hermina Cielas reconstructs avadhāna’s history in its socio-cultural context and provides a detailed systematization of the art. Her multifaceted study investigates the cultural phenomenon scarcely known outside of India. It explores avadhāna’s multiple forms, from games and puzzles, through a display of mnemonic or motor skills, to multilingual literary feasts.
Architecture, Theology, and Practice in an Early Modern Pilgrimage Town
The small town of Vṛndāvana is today one of the most vibrant places of pilgrimage in northern India. Throngs of pilgrims travel there each year to honour the sacred land of Kṛṣṇa’s youth and to visit many of its temples.
The Building of Vṛndāvana explores the complex history of this town’s early modern origins. Bringing together scholars from various disciplines to examine history, architecture, art, ritual, theology, and literature in this pivotal period, the book examines how these various disciplines were used to create, develop, and map Vṛndāvana as the most prominent place of pilgrimage for devotees of Kṛṣṇa.
Contributors are: Guy L. Beck, Måns Broo, David Buchta, John Stratton Hawley, Barbara A. Holdrege, Rembert Lutjeharms, Cynthia D. Packert, and Heidi Pauwels.
Daily Life in a Village in the Yasin Valley, Pakistan
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In A Mountain Oasis, Susan York presents a richly illustrated socio-economic study of village life in Pakistan’s Yasin Valley, undertaken during one year spent living with a local family. It documents this dynamic agro-pastoral society at a time when few researchers were recording developments in these far-flung and difficult to reach mountain oases of the Hindukush. It is a record of a time when development interventions were in their beginnings, and before this area in Gilgit-Baltistan entered a crucial period of transformation. It provides solid comparative reference material for future research on this region, which is continuing to undergo challenging and complex changes.
Islamic art is often misrepresented as an iconophobic tradition. As a result of this assumption, the polyvalence of figural artworks made for South Asian Muslim audiences has remained hidden in plain view.
This book situates manuscript illustrations and album paintings within cultures of devotion and ritual shaped by Islamic intellectual and religious histories. Central to this story are the Mughal siblings, Jahanara Begum and Dara Shikoh, and their Sufi guide Mulla Shah.
Through detailed art historical analysis supported by new translations, this study contextualizes artworks made for Indo-Muslim patrons by putting them into direct dialogue with written testimonies.
Abhinavagupta on Dance and Dramatic Acting
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What is Dance? What is Theatre? What is the boundary between enacting a character and narrating a story? When does movement become tinted with meaning? And when does beauty shine alone as if with no object? These universal aesthetic questions find a theoretically vibrant and historically informed set of replies in the oeuvre of the eleventh-century Kashmirian author Abhinavagupta. The present book offers the first critical edition, translation, and study of a crucial and lesser known passage of his commentary on the Nāṭyaśāstra, the seminal work of Sanskrit dramaturgy. The nature of dramatic acting and the mimetic power of dance, emotions, and beauty all play a role in Abhinavagupta’s thorough investigation of performance aesthetics, now presented to the modern reader.
A Multidisciplinary Perspective
Editor:
Re-envisioning Śiva Naṭarāja. A Multidisciplinary Perspective offers new insights into the dancing Śiva as icon and concept. Each of the seven essays in this volume addresses an aspect of the Naṭarāja (a specific form of the dancing Śiva) that has been until now untouched by scholars, or one for which the research is here moved substantially forward. Through the use of hitherto unexplored materials - murals, prints, icons, Sanskrit iconographic and ritual texts, Tamil inscriptions, and the analysis of metal alloys and casting techniques - old views are checked and challenged, and new ideas are proposed. Combining a wide range of fields of expertise, the volume will add to our knowledge about this well-studied, but poorly understood icon. With contributions by Anna A. Ślączka, Anna L. Dallapiccola, Nicolas Cane, Leslie C. Orr, Richard H. Davis, Sharada Srinivasan, Libbie Mills, Corinna Wessels-Mevissen.
An Illustrated Selection from the ABIA Online Bibliography on the Arts and Material Culture of South and Southeast Asia
Reading Śiva is an illustrated bibliography on the Hindu god Śiva in the arts, crafts, coins, seals and inscriptions from South and Southeast Asia. It results from a century of ABIA bibliographic work and covers over 1500 academic publications since 1672. This scholarly and multi-disciplinary volume offers keyword-indexed annotations. The detailed indices on authors, geographic terms and subjects enable an easy search through the data. Links with the entries to resource repositories (such as JSTOR, Persée, Project MUSE, Academia.edu, ResearchGate and the Internet Archive) and links added to the sumptuous illustrations immediately take you to these resource sites.
Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India
In Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India, Elizabeth A. Cecil explores the sacred geography of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the Pāśupatas. This book brings the narrative cartography of the Skandapurāṇa into conversation with physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons in order to examine the ways in which Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional landscapes and to emphasize the use of material culture as media through which notions of belonging and identity were expressed. By exploring the ties between the formation of early Pāśupata communities and the locales in which they were embedded, this study reflects critically upon the ways in which community building was coincident with place-making in Early Medieval India.
Studies in the Cultural History of India
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The 31 selected and revised articles in the volume Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet, written by Hans Bakker between 1986 and 2016, vary from theoretical subjects to historical essays on the classical culture of India. They combine two mainstreams: the Sanskrit textual tradition, including epigraphy, and the material culture as expressed in works of religious art and iconography. The study of text and art in close combination in the actual field where they meet provides a great potential for understanding. The history of holy places is therefore one of the leitmotivs that binds these studies together.
One article, "The Ramtek Inscriptions II", was co-authored by Harunaga Isaacson, two articles, on "Moksadharma 187 and 239–241" and "The Quest for the Pasupata Weapon," by Peter C. Bisschop.