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Text and Practice: Essays on South Asian History

Daud Ali (Author) Ronald Inden (Author)
Synopsis Tonald Inden’s writings have contributed immensely to the understanding of Indian history. Written over a period of twenty years, this important collection spans three historical periods: ancient, medieval, and modern. It reflects an effective integration of historical and anthropological approaches to the study of the subcontinent. Dwelling upon issues related to caste, religion, and constructions of history, this volume showcases Inden’s seminal contribution to South Asian history. The first section offers a systematic critique of the Orientalist constructions of India. Focusing on the transition from ancient to medieval, the second section traces the transformations in the ceremony of the Great Gift and the institution of Vedic priesthood. In the third section, the author locates the role of dynamically changing caste structures in the formation of polities in the medieval period. The concluding section question notions of linear time and the teleological constructions of the past and present. In a comprehensive introduction, Daud Ali discusses how Inden’s essays reformulate the conceptions of caste, religion, and polity. For the kind of issues it raises, this book will be indispensable for researchers and students of history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and political science.
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About the authors

Daud Ali

Daud Ali is Senior Lecturer in Early Indian History, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Ronald Inden

Ronald B. Inden is Professor of History and of South Asian Language and Civilization , and an Associate Member of the Anthropology Department at the University of Chicago. He is also a Professional Research Associate of the Centre of South Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Among other works, he is the author of Imagining India. He is currently investigating the rise of electronic media in Asia, examining their relationship to world ruling classes and national or ethnic identities in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He is interested in people’s efforts to construct paradises or utopias on earth, practices that range from rituals to media and especially in India the world of cinema.

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Bibliographic information

Title Text and Practice: Essays on South Asian History
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195668952
length vi+372p., Figures; Index; 22cm.
Subjects History