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Banaras: Urban Forms and Cultural Histories

Michael S Dodson (Author)

Based on original research and with a fascinating collection of archival and contemporary photographs, this volume is a unique analysis of Banaras in recent times, with its urban and cultural components examined in their many facets. Supplementing earlier, more traditional accounts that have focused on the city’s religious landscape, the book explores the essential ambiguity of colonialism and modernization in a city otherwise defined by narratives of timelessness and religiosity.

The various articles contained here examine the diverse and vast urban identities created in Banaras, in and after the British colonial period. They draw upon archaeology, literature, history, and architecture and demonstrate how the city was forged substantially through its colonial experience while emphasizing the importance of Indian agency in these processes. While all the essays provide radically new interpretations of the city’s cultural landscape, many also uncover hitherto little understood aspects of Banaras, such as the exile of a Mughal prince and his descendants, or the ways in which contemporary Urdu poetry has rendered Banaras an essentially cosmopolitan urban space.

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Bibliographic information

Title Banaras: Urban Forms and Cultural Histories
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780415693776
length 264p., 24cm.