The Tale of Hansuli Turn

The Tale of Hansuli Turn

A terrifying sound disturbs the peace of Hansuli Turn, a forest village in Bengal, and the community splits as to its meaning. Does it herald the apocalyptic departure of the gods or is there a more rational explanation? The Kahars, inhabitants of Hansuli Turn, belong to an untouchable "criminal tribe" soon to be epically transformed by the effects of World War II and India's independence movement. Their headman, Bonwari, upholds the ethics of an older time, but his fragile philosophy proves no match for the overpowering machines of war. As Bonwari and the village elders come to believe the gods have abandoned them, younger villagers led by the rebel Karali look for other meanings and a different way of life. As the two factions fight, codes of authority, religion, sex, and society begin to break down, and amid deadly conflict and natural disaster, Karali seizes his chance to change his people's future. Sympathetic to the desires of both older and younger generations, Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay depicts a difficult transition in which a marginal caste fragments and mutates under the pressure of local and global forces. The novel's handling of the language of this rural society sets it apart from other works of its time, while the village's struggles anticipate the dilemmas of rural development, ecological and economic exploitation, and dalit militancy that would occupy the center of India's post-Independence politics. Negotiating the colonial depredations of the 1939–45 war and the oppressions of an agrarian caste system, the Kahars both fear and desire the consequences of a revolutionized society and the loss of their culture within it. Lyrically rendered by one of India's great novelists, this story of one people's plight dramatizes the anxieties of a nation and the resistance of some to further marginalization.

Indigenous Vanguards

Education, National Liberation, and the Limits of Modernism

Indigenous Vanguards

Anticolonial struggles of the interwar epoch were haunted by the question of how to construct an educational practice for all future citizens of postcolonial states. In what ways, vanguard intellectuals asked, would citizens from diverse subaltern situations be equally enabled to participate in a nonimperial society and world? In circumstances of cultural and social crisis imposed by colonialism, these vanguards sought to refashion modern structures and technologies of public education by actively relating them to residual indigenous collective forms. In Indigenous Vanguards, Ben Conisbee Baer provides a theoretical and historical account of literary engagements with structures and representations of public teaching and learning by cultural vanguards in the colonial world from the 1920s to the 1940s. He shows how modernizing educative projects existed in complex tension with impulses to indigenize national liberation movements, and how this tension manifests as a central aspect of modernist literary practice. Offering new readings of figures such as Alain Locke, Léopold Senghor, Aimé Césaire, D. H. Lawrence, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, and Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay, Baer discloses the limits and openings of modernist representations as they attempt to reach below the fissures of class that produce them. Establishing unexpected connections between languages and regions, Indigenous Vanguards is the first study of modernism and colonialism that encompasses the decisive way public education transformed modernist aesthetics and vanguard politics.

50 Writers, 50 Books

50 Writers, 50 Books

A unique anthology of writing on Indian fiction. This book is the first of its kind: 50 essays by 50 writers who thought so passionately of their favourite book that they leapt to the task of representing it here. Within these pages ,Siddharth Chowdhury celebrates Upamanyu Chatterjee as 'a bona fide home-grown rockstar' and Anita Roy quotes David Godwin's description of The God of Small Things as 'a shot of heroin in the arm'. They are all celebrating moments of rupture in literary history. Not all of these essays may convince, or convince equally: some very humbly and modestly focus on what the work offers, without making any worldly claims of it being an 'Indian classic' or 'one of the top fifty'. But each of these essayists, several being novelists themselves, is fashioning their argument in a sarcophagus of their love of this book, not really caring who else will be at this party. And who can resist the beauty of such passionate claims?

The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art

The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art

The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art presents an overview of the issues, methods, and approaches crucial for the study of sound in artistic practice. Thirty-six essays cover a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sounding art from the fields of musicology, cultural studies, sound design, auditory culture, art history, and philosophy. The companion website hosts sound examples and links to further resources. The collection is organized around six main themes: Sounding Art: The notion of sounding art, its relation to sound studies, and its evolution and possibilities. Acoustic Knowledge and Communication: How we approach, study, and analyze sound and the challenges of writing about sound. Listening and Memory: Listening from different perspectives, from the psychology of listening to embodied and technologically mediated listening. Acoustic Spaces, Identities and Communities: How humans arrange their sonic environments, how this relates to sonic identity, how music contributes to our environment, and the ethical and political implications of sound. Sonic Histories: How studying sounding art can contribute methodologically and epistemologically to historiography. Sound Technologies and Media: The impact of sonic technologies on contemporary culture, electroacoustic innovation, and how the way we make and access music has changed. With contributions from leading scholars and cutting-edge researchers, The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art is an essential resource for anyone studying the intersection of sound and art.

Culture, Environment and Ecopolitics

Culture, Environment and Ecopolitics

Culture, Environment and Ecopolitics brings together a series of new reflections on historical and current ecological and environmental predicaments. By way of critical interventions in environmental thought, and through engagements with literary, visual, architectural, philosophical, and more general cultural studies scholarship, this collection of essays by an international panel of writers breaks new interpretative ground. While techno-science has in some quarters been elevated to a master discourse of humanity’s salvation, charged with providing a magical ‘fix’ for planetary ecological dilemmas, the focus of our volume is on the importance of cultural reflection for bringing matters of local and global import to light. Moving from the abstractions of eco-critical utopianisms to the concrete identity of the land in the poetry of John Clare, from British Petroleum’s attempts to re-brand climate change to examples of eco-architecture, and much more besides, these essays exemplify ways in which eco-political thought and practice might now be theorized. The collection is framed by a substantial editors’ introduction which offers but one contextualization of the ideas and critical trajectories that follow. Culture, Environment and Ecopolitics will allow readers to discover original intersections and argumentative cross-references across contested terrains in a world increasingly troubled by ecological crises.

Edward Said

A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation

Edward Said

Edward W. Said (1935-2003) ranks as one of the most preeminent public intellectuals of our time. Through his literary criticism, his advocacy for the Palestinian cause, and his groundbreaking book Orientalism, Said elegantly enriched public discourse by unsettling the status quo. This indispensable volume, the most comprehensive and wide-ranging resource on Edward Said's life and work, spans his broad legacy both within and beyond the academy. The book brings together contributions from thirty-one luminaries--leading scholars, critics, writers, and activists-to engage Said's provocative ideas. Their essays and interviews explore the key themes of emancipation and representation through the prisms of postcolonial theory, literature, music, philosophy, and cultural studies. A deeply humanistic work, the book offers a nuanced and meditative examination of many controversial issues that are as fiercely debated today as they were during Said's life--from imperialism, Zionism, and the Palestinian-Israeli impasse to exile, secularity, and role of the intellectual. Contributors: Bill Ashcroft, Ben Conisbee Baer, Daniel Barenboim, Timothy Brennan, Noam Chomsky, Denise DeCaires-Narain, Nicholas Dirks, Marc H. Ellis, Rokus de Groot, Sabry Hafez, Abdirahman A. Hussein, Ardi Imseis, Adel Iskandar, Ghada Karmi, Katherine Callen King, Joseph Massad, W. J. T. Mitchell, Laura Nader, Ilan Pappe, Benita Parry, Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Jahan Ramazani, Jacqueline Rose, Lecia Rosenthal, Hakem Rustom, Avi Shlaim, Ella Habiba Shohat, Robert Spencer, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Anastasia Valassopoulos, Asha Varadharajan, Michael Wood

Man in India

Man in India


A New History of German Literature

A New History of German Literature

In a collection of essays on key events, works, themes, and other aspects of German literary history, the entries focus on particular literary works, events in the life of the authors, historical moments, pieces of music, technological innovations, and theatrical and cinematic premiers.