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Exploring Medieval India: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries: Culture, Gender and Regional Patterns, Volume 2

Meena Bhargava (Editor)
Bringing together the writings of eminent historians, Exploring Medieval India, volumes I and II, delve into the many interpretations, perspectives and complexities of Indian history across the sixteenth to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Probing different aspects of India’s society and culture, this volume comprises four thematic clusters—diverse forms of culture; gender and medievalism; patterns of transition; and region, regional formations and the Mughal Empire. A comprehensive introduction places the essays in perspective showing how the Mughal Empire remained composite, intricate and loosely-structured, perhaps hegemonic but over a disparate, divergent, energetic and lively economy and society.

Focusing on culture in its diverse forms, section one brings to the fore the expansion of Persian as the language of power, the development of insha as a literary trend, the nuances of Mughal architecture, the importance of Mughal paintings and how they became a medium of recording the history of the Mughal empire, the various genres of music and their explicit manifestations of the gender politics. Concepts of love, the politics of marriage and reproduction, and the role of women within and outside the confines of the Mughal household, form the second section. The third section discusses the emergence of provincial and regional political configurations, the shifts in the Indian economy and traces the growing European influence in the rise of the East India Company. The last section contributes to the understanding of how and to what extent different geographical conditions determined the logistics of the outer frontiers of the Mughal empire, the importance of centralisation of authority around local rulers, the reasons behind Akbar’s territorial expansion, and the continued presence of pluralistic socio-cultural centres characterised by Hindu-Muslim symbiosis.

This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of history, linguistics, art and aesthetics, gender, regional history and those studying the transition period.
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About the author

Meena Bhargava

Meena Bhargava is Associate Professor, Department of History, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. Her publications include several research articles and books.

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Bibliographic information

Title Exploring Medieval India: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries: Culture, Gender and Regional Patterns, Volume 2
Format Softcover
Date published: 15.10.2010
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788125041047
length xi+590p., Illustrations; Figures; Map; 22cm.