Pamela Price

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The Writings of Pamela Price: State, Politics, and Cultures in Modern South India: Honour, Authority, and Morality (Orient BlackSwan, 2013) is a wonderful collection of ten essays by historian Pamela Price, that originally appeared between 1979 and 2010. The essays, as well as touching on the concepts of honour, authority and morality in different south Indian regions also broadly address questions of continuity and change. Drawing on debates from anthropology and political science, the book offers insights into how these above mentioned concepts shift across historical periods and how they appear in different linguistic and cultural regions.

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Sarah BeskyThe Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Plantations in India

January 14, 2015

In this wonderful ethnography of Darjeeling tea, Sarah Besky explores different attempts at bringing justice to plantation life in north east India. Through explorations into fair trade, geographic indication and a state movement for the Nepali tea workers, Besky critically assesses the limits of projects that fail to address underlying exploitative structures. The Darjeeling Distinction: [...]

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Kavita DatlaThe Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India

December 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In her brilliant new book, The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India (University of Hawaii Press, 2013), Kavita Datla, Associate Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, explores the interaction of language, nationalism, and secularism by focusing on the religious and social imaginaries of important twentieth century Muslim scholars [...]

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Jamie CrossDream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India

December 12, 2014

Dream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India (Pluto Press, 2014), the excellent new book by Jamie Cross, explores the ways in which dreams of the future shape the present. Centring in and around a large Special Economic Zone in south India, the book analyses anticipation amongst politicians, managers, workers, land-owners and activists.  

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Loraine KennedyThe Politics of Economic Restructuring in India: Economic Governance and State Spatial Rescaling

November 26, 2014

Loraine Kennedy‘s The Politics of Economic Restructuring in India: Economic Governance and State Spatial Rescaling (Routledge, 2014) is a timely and important intervention into the debate on how economic liberalisation is transforming the Indian state. The book’s central argument is that these reforms have ‘rescaled’ the Indian state, with important consequences for growth and economic governance. [...]

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Harleen SinghThe Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India

November 18, 2014

The Rani of Jhansi was and is many things to many people. In her beautifully written book The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Harleen Singh explores four representations of the famous warrior queen who led her troops into battle against the British. Analysing her various representations – [...]

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Ayona DattaThe Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement

November 12, 2014

The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement (Ashgate, 2012) by Ayona Datta is a detailed account of how the law interweaves in everyday life in a squatter settlement in Delhi. The book forefronts space and gender as it explores the what it means to be illegal, not just informal, and how this distinction [...]

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Amrita PandeWombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India

November 4, 2014

Amrita Pande‘s Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India (Columbia University Press 2014) is a beautiful and rich ethnography of a surrogacy clinic. The book details the surrogacy process from start to finish, exploring the intersection of production and reproduction, complicating and deepening our understanding of this particular form of labour.

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Barbara Harriss-White, et al.Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas

October 23, 2014

Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas (Three Essay Collective, 2013) is a wonderful new book by Barbara Harriss-White and small team of collaborators – Elisabetta Basile, Anita Dixit, Pinaki Joddar, Aseem Prakash and Kaushal Vidyarthee – published by the Three Essays Collective. The book explores the ways in which economic liberalisation [...]

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Tariq JazeelSacred Modernity: Nature, Environment, and the Postcolonial Geographies of Sri Lankan Nationhood

October 16, 2014

Ruhuna National Park and ‘tropical modernism’ architecture are aesthetically analysed in Sacred Modernity: Nature, Environment, and the Postcolonial Geographies of Sri Lankan Nationhood (Liverpool University Press, 2013) by Tariq Jazeel. The book uses these two sites to explore the ways in which non-secular experiences of nature inscribe Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism into the spaces of everyday [...]

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