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History and the Present

History and the Present

Edited by Partha Chatterjee & Anjan Ghosh

Anthem South Asian Studies

The essays in this volume bring together historians and anthropologists to reflect on the place of history within present-day conditions. A compelling collected volume of pertinent and articulate essays.

Hardback, 240 Pages


January 2006

£70.00, $115.00

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

The essays in this volume bring together historians and anthropologists to reflect on the place of history within present-day conditions. The central focus here is on aspects of the popular, on the ways in which the popular relates to the scientific, the professional, the aesthetic, the religious, the legal and the political. These essays represent a critique of the disciplinary practices of history. They examine the historian's practices and assumptions, being mainly concerned with finding a set of practices of history-writing that are both truthful and ethical. They are united by the desire to find a way out of the self-constructed cage of scientific history that has made historians wary of the popular. In his introduction, Partha Chatterjee spells out some of the requirements for this new analysis of the popular. He stresses the fact that in contemporary industrializing societies the popular should not be taken to be a homogeneous mass. On the contrary, he states, an awareness of the variety and innovativeness of the contemporary popular could rejuvenate academic historiography.


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Author Information

Partha Chatterjee is an internationally renowned historian, a founder member of Subaltern Studies, Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.

Anjan Ghosh is a professorial Fellow of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.


Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Plates; Preface; Notes on Contributors; 1. Introduction: History and the Present; 2. On Retelling the Muslim Conquest of North India; 3. Mythicising the White Man: Colonialism and Fantasy; 4. The Edangered Yakshi: Careers of an Ancient Art Object; 5. Genealogy, History and the Law: The Case of the Rajamala; 6. Village Histories: Coalescing the Past and Present; 7. The Two Pasts of Nasser's Peasants: Political Memories and Everyday Life in an Egyptian Village; 8. Writing the Riot: Between the Historiography and Ethnography of Communal Violence in India; 9. Re-Presenting Pasts: Santals in Nineteenth-Century Bengal; Notes

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