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A Concise Encyclopaedia of North Indian Peasant Life

Shahid Amin (Editor)
Synopsis During the late-nineteenth century British officials, often doubling as scholar-collectors, created a huge and variegated 'colonial archive', collecting, arranging and recasting information about 'The Natives of India' into compendia for ready reference and administrative recall. Taking these neglected official materials on peasant and rural life, the distinguished historian Shahid Amin has fashioned a new synthesis, one that interrogates the colonial understanding of rural Indians with an insider's historical inflections. Amin's Concise Encyclopaedia weaves an intricate tapestry of crops, seasons, aphorisms and folk adages, showcasing all the while the multiple dimensions of rural life, and the unlikely but enduring threads that bind and sustain the peasant world. In this Encyclopaedia, Amin has reproduced and engaged with the text of Crooke's Glossary. Reid's famous description of the agricultural calendar peasant dictionary. He also incorporates and works with selections from Grierson's voluminous writings on language and literature to explore the issues of 'rusticity', 'simplicity' and 'wisdom' that characterize much of rural life. A marked feature of this work is the constant dialogue that the editor sets up between the late-nineteenth century colonial experts and the contemporary historian, one with a sure grasp both of the colonial archive as well as popular culture and idiom of contemporary north Indian peasant life. Amin's scholarly, incisive and lucid introduction, coupled with his additions and explanatory footnotes are enriched by rare colour plates and line drawings. Together these enable the reader, both scholar and lay person, to understand better Both peasant life and culture, and the Ways of colonial ethnography.
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About the author

Shahid Amin

Shahid Amin is Professor of History at the University of Delhi. A founding member of the Subaltern Stsudies Collective, Professor Amin has been a Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, Shelby Cullom Davies Center, Princeton University and the Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin, and Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. Among his publications are Event, Metaphor, Memory: Chauri Chaura, 1922-1992 (Delhi and Berkeley, 1995).

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Bibliographic information

Title A Concise Encyclopaedia of North Indian Peasant Life
Author Shahid Amin
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173045976
length 596p., Figures; Notes; Appendices; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.
Subjects History