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Power in Print

Anindita Ghosh (Author)
Synopsis Print-languages and literature were vital instruments for crafting identities in colonial India, generating complex power struggles in the process. Contrary to the popular belief that flourishing ‘high’ literatures succeeded in wiping out ephemeral and cheap prints in nineteenth-century Bengal, power in Print demonstrates that the latter survived with much strength and vitality. Ghosh argues that cheap printing techniques and the spread of basic literacy in Bengal in fact created a sizeable body of printer-publishers, authors, and readers of relatively plebeian origin. In this pioneering study, she unearths the substantial low-life ‘popular’ print-cultures that made use of the vibrant publishing milieu to proudly assert their linguistic (and social) alterity. Challenging conventional understandings of the cultural experience of the period, this book reopens some fundamental debates on the social structure of literacy and the Bengali bhadralok intelligentsia. It offers a reassessment of the groups previously thought to inhabit the peripheries of printcultures-petty urban dwellers, women, impoverished Muslims, and low castes. On account of the originality and richness of the source material and innovative approach towards understanding the vernacular print, this interdisciplinary study will appeal to historians, sociologists, and linguists alike. It will be important reading for students and scholars working in areas related to print, language, popular literature, social identity, and culture in colonial societies and those interested in the history of colonial Bengal.
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About the author

Anindita Ghosh

Anindita Ghosh is Lecturer in Modern History, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester.

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Bibliographic information

Title Power in Print
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195673298
length xi+348p., Figures; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.
Subjects History