dalits2Dalits 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 interacts with caste, specifically in reference to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, otherwise known as Dalits and Adivasis. A truly unique book, both in terms of how the data has been gathered and presented, the essays are variously wide and deep and ask a host of questions to inspire future research.

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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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Stephen LeggProstitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India

October 7, 2014

The spatial politics of brothels in late-British India are the subject of Stephen Legg‘s second book Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India, published by Duke University Press in 2014. The book explores the complexities of the brothel at the urban, national and imperial scales as campaigns (and campaigners) attempted to [...]

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Iqbal SeveaThe Political Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal: Islam and Nationalism in Late Colonial India

October 2, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies]  The towering Indian Muslim poet and intellectual Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) is among the most contested figures in the intellectual and political history of modern Islam. Heralded by some as the father of Pakistan and by others as a champion of pan-Islam, Iqbal’s legacy is as keenly debated as [...]

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Karen Pechilis and Selva J. RajSouth Asian Religions: Tradition and Today

March 6, 2014

If you’re going to teach a broadly themed survey course, you’ll probably need to assign some readings. One option is to assemble one of those photocopied course readers, full of excerpts taken from different sources. However, what you gain in flexibility may be sacrificed in coherence of presentation. A textbook produced by a single author [...]

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Aswin PunthamabekarFrom Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry

February 20, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Popular Culture] Aswin Punthamabekar‘s From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (New York University Press, 2013) offers a deeply researched and richly theorized look at the evolution of the world’s largest film industry over the past few decades.  Combining ethnographic research with close textual analyses of Bollywood films, Punthamabekar shows how [...]

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Afsar MohammadThe Festival of Pirs: Popular Islam and Shared Devotion in South India

February 18, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] Several studies about Islam in Asian contexts highlight the pluralistic environment that Muslims inhabit and interplay of various religious traditions that color local practice and thought. In The Festival of Pirs: Popular Islam and Shared Devotion in South India (Oxford University Press, 2013) we are given a first hand account of the [...]

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Carla BellamyThe Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place

December 27, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place (University of California Press, 2011), Carla Bellamy explores the role of saint shrines in India, while focusing on a particular venue known as Husain Tekri, or “Husain Hill.” Through her in-depth ethnographic research, Bellamy’s monograph provides vivid description and analysis of the site [...]

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Sunil S. AmrithCrossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants

December 10, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History]  When historians think oceanically, when they populate their books with characters that include seas and monsoons along with human beings, what results is a very different way of thinking about time, space, and the ways that their interactions shape human and terrestrial history. In Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The [...]

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Robert YelleThe Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India

November 19, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Religion] What is the nature of secularization? How distant are we from the magical world of the past? Perhaps, we are not as far as many people think. In the fascinating new book, The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), we witness some of the [...]

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