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Acts of Authority / Acts of Resistance : Theater and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India

Nandi Bhatia (Author)
Synopsis Despite its importance to literary and cultural texts of resistance, theater has been largely overlooked as a field of analysis in colonial and postcolonial studies. Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance seeks to address that absence, as it uniquely views drama and performance as central to the practices of nationalism and anticolonial resistance. Nandi Bhatia argues that Indian theater was a significant force in the struggle against oppressive colonial and postcolonial structures, as it sought to undo various schemes of political and cultural power through its engagement with subjects derived from mythology, history, and available colonial models such as Shakespeare. Bhati's attention to local histories within a postcolonial framework places performance in a global and transcultural context. Drawing connections between art and politics, between performance and everyday experience, Bhatia shows how performance often intervened in political debates and even changed the course of politics. One of the few studies of Indian theater to link the aesthetics and the politics of that theater, Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance combines in-depth archival research with close readings of dramatic texts performed at critical moments history. Each chapter amplifies its themes against the backdrop of specific social conditions as it examines particular dramatic productions, from the Indigo mirror to adaptations of Shakespeare plays by Indian theater companies, illustrating the role of theater in bringing nationalist, anticolonial, and gendered struggles into the public sphere.
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About the author

Nandi Bhatia

Nandi Bhatia is Associate Professor in the Department of English, University of Western Ontario, Canada.

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Bibliographic information

Title Acts of Authority / Acts of Resistance : Theater and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India
Author Nandi Bhatia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195672127
length vii+206p.