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Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor


With this pioneering project, Margrit Pernau brings the ‘history of emotions’ approach to South Asian studies. A theoretically sophisticated and erudite investigation, Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India maps the history of emotions in India between the uprising of 1857 and World War I. Situating the prevalent experiences, interpretations, and practices of emotions of the time within the context of the major political events of colonial India, Pernau goes beyond the dominant narrative of colonial modernity and its fixation with discipline and restrain, and traces the contemporary transformation from a balance in emotions to the resurgence of fervor. The current volume is based on a large archive of sources in Urdu, many being explored for the first time. Pernau grounds her work on such diverse sources as philosophical and theological treatises on questions of morality, advice literature, journals and newspapers, nostalgic descriptions of courtly culture, and even children’s literature. This close look into individual experiences, practices, and interpretations reveals the myriad emotions of the day, and the importance of these micro-histories in presenting an alternative account of colonial India. 

Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. 1857: Violence and Emotional Mobilization. 3. Emotion Concepts: From Aristotelian Legacy to Modern Journalism. 4. Tahzib ul Akhlaq: The Negotiation of the Civilizing Mission. 5. The Begams of Bhopal: Three Generations of Advice to Women. 6. Journals for Children: Emotions and Entertainment. 7. Ashraf 'Ali Thanavi: Sermons and Pious Feelings. 8. 'Abdul Majid Daryabadi: The Translation of Psychology. 9. Nostalgia: Tears of Blood for a Lost World. 10. Kanpur 1913: Feeling Passionately for the House of God. 11. Conclusion. Appendix: Emotions in South Asian Historiography and Anthropology. Bibliography. Names Index. General Index.

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Bibliographic information

Title Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor
Format Hardcover
Date published: 04.11.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199497775
length 348p.
Subjects History