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Blood and Water

The Indus River Basin in Modern History

David Gilmartin

The Indus basin was once an arid pastoral watershed, but by the second half of the twentieth century, it had become one of the world’s most heavily irrigated and populated river basins. Launched under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century, this irrigation project spurred political, social, and environmental transformations that continued after the 1947 creation of the new states of India and Pakistan. In this first large-scale environmental history of the region, David Gilmartin focuses on the changes that occurred in the basin as a result of the implementation of the world’s largest modern integrated irrigation system. This masterful work of scholarship explores how environmental transformation is tied to the creation of communities and nations, focusing on the intersection of politics, statecraft, and the environment.

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The Brahmo Samaj and the Shaping of the Modern Indian Mind

David Kopf

As the forerunners of Indian modernization, the community of Bengali intellectuals known as the Brahmo Samaj played a crucial role in the genesis and development of every major religious, social, and political movement in India from 1820 to 1930. David Kopf launches a comprehensive generation- to-generation study of this group in order to understand the ideological foundations of the modern Indian mind. His book constitutes not only a biographical and a sociological study of the Brahmo Samaj, but also an intellectual history of modern India that ranges from the Unitarian social gospel of Rammohun Roy to Rabindranath Tagore's universal humanism and Jessie Bose's scientism.

From a variety of biographical sources, many of them in Bengali and never before used in research, the author makes available much valuable information. In his analysis of the interplay between the ideas, the consciousness, and the lives of these early rebels against the Hindu tradition, Professor Kopf reveals the subtle and intricate problems and issues that gradually shaped contemporary Indian consciousness. What emerges from this group portrait is a legacy of innovation and reform that introduced a rationalist tradition of thought, liberal political consciousness, and Indian nationalism, in addition to changing theology and ritual, marriage laws and customs, and the status of women.

Originally published in 1979.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Breaking the Ashes

The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri Lanka

"I'm going to break the ashes," yelled one daily drinker to another as their paths crossed early in the morning in the Sri Lankan village Michele Ruth Gamburd calls Naeaegama. The drinker's cryptic comment compared the warming power of alcohol-in the form of his first shot of kasippu, the local moonshine-with the rekindled heat of a kitchen fire. As the adverse effects of globalization have brought poverty to many areas of the world, more people, particularly men, have increased their use and abuse of alcohol. Despite Buddhist prohibitions against the consumption of mind-altering substances, men in Naeaegama are drinking more, at a younger age, and the number of problem drinkers has begun to grow.

In Breaking the Ashes, Gamburd explores the changing role of alcohol. Her account is populated with lively characters, many of whom Gamburd has known since visiting the village for the first time as a child. In wonderfully clear prose Gamburd offers readers an understanding of the cultural context for social and antisocial alcohol consumption, insight into everyday and ceremonial drinking in Naeaegama, and an overview of the production of illicit alcohol. Breaking the Ashes includes a discussion of the key economic aspects that fuel conflicts between husbands and wives, moonshine-makers and police. Addressing Western and indigenous ways to conceptualize and treat alcohol dependence, Gamburd explores the repercussions-at the family as well as the community level-of alcohol's abuse.

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Civilizations in Embrace

The Spread of Ideas and the Transformation of Power; India and Southeast Asia in the Classical Age

by Amitav Acharya

This study revisits one of the most extensive examples of the spread of ideas in the history of civilization: the diffusion of Indian religious and political ideas to Southeast Asia before the advent of Islam and European colonialism. Hindu and Buddhist concepts and symbols of kingship and statecraft helped to legitimize Southeast Asian rulers, and transform the political institutions and authority of Southeast Asia. But the process of this diffusion was not accompanied by imperialism, political hegemony, or colonization as conventionally understood. This book investigates different explanations of the spread of Indian ideas offered by scholars, including why and how it occurred and what were its key political and institutional outcomes. It challenges the view that strategic competition is a recurring phenomenon when civilizations encounter each other.

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Clothing Gandhi's Nation

Homespun and Modern India

Lisa Trivedi

In Clothing Gandhi's Nation, Lisa Trivedi explores the making of one of modern India's most enduring political symbols, khadi: a homespun, home-woven cloth. The image of Mohandas K. Gandhi clothed simply in a loincloth and plying a spinning wheel is familiar around the world, as is the sight of Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and other political leaders dressed in "Gandhi caps" and khadi shirts. Less widely understood is how these images associate the wearers with the swadeshi movement -- which advocated the exclusive consumption of indigenous goods to establish India's autonomy from Great Britain -- or how khadi was used to create a visual expression of national identity after Independence. Trivedi brings together social history and the study of visual culture to account for khadi as both symbol and commodity. Written in a clear narrative style, the book provides a cultural history of important and distinctive aspects of modern Indian history.

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Codes of Misconduct

Regulating Prostitution in Late Colonial Bombay

Ashwini Tambe

Across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, legislators in Bombay passed a series of repetitive laws seeking to control prostitution. During the same time, Bombay’s sex industry grew vast in scale. Ashwini Tambe explores why these remarkably similar laws failed to achieve their goal and questions the actual purpose of such lawmaking.

Against the backdrop of the industrial growth of Bombay, Codes of Misconduct examines the relationship between lawmaking, law enforcement, and sexual commerce. Ashwini Tambe challenges linear readings of how laws create effects and demonstrates that the regulation and criminalization of prostitution were not contrasting approaches to prostitution but different modes of state coercion. By analyzing legal prohibitions as productive forces, she also probes the pornographic imagination of the colonial state, showing how regulations made sexual commerce more visible but rendered the prostitute silent.

Codes of Misconduct engages with debates on state control of sex work and traces how a colonial legacy influences contemporary efforts to contain the spread of HIV and decriminalize sex workers in India today. In doing so, Tambe’s work not only adds to our understanding of empire, sexuality, and the law, it also sheds new light on the long history of Bombay’s transnational links and the social worlds of its underclasses.

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Colonizing the Realm of Words

The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India

Details the transformation of Tamil literary culture that came with colonialism and the encounter with Western modernity. A true tour de force, this book documents the transformation of one Indian literature, Tamil, under the impact of colonialism and Western modernity. While Tamil is a living language, it is also India’s second oldest classical language next to Sanskrit, and has a literary history that goes back over two thousand years. On the basis of extensive archival research, Sascha Ebeling tackles a host of issues pertinent to Tamil elite literary production and consumption during the nineteenth century. These include the functioning and decline of traditional systems in which poet-scholars were patronized by religious institutions, landowners, and local kings; the anatomy of changes in textual practices, genres, styles, poetics, themes, tastes, and audiences; and the role of literature in the politics of social reform, gender, and incipient nationalism. The work concludes with a discussion of the most striking literary development of the time—the emergence of the Tamil novel.

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The Conception of Punishment in Early Indian Literature

Early textual source of the vast body of Dharmasastra literature of India on religion, law, and morality contain numerous statements that present or imply an undefined conception of punishment. Yet nowhere is this conception formally defined, as if knowledge of its nature and structure were generally known.

In this “first-ever” attempt to provide a definition of the conception and to recover its ideational infrastructure, the author has drawn on these sources to reconstruct the theoretical backgrounds of its distinctive metaphysical, religious, juridical, social, and moral components. He shows that the conception is “the totality of correction principles, powers, agents, processes, and operations through which acts contrary to the Universal Order are counteracted and compensated.”

The volume contains extensive documentation, a glossary of Sanskrit terms, a selected bibliography, and an index.

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Diaspora, Development, and Democracy

The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India

Devesh Kapur

What happens to a country when its skilled workers emigrate? The first book to examine the complex economic, social, and political effects of emigration on India, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy provides a conceptual framework for understanding the repercussions of international migration on migrants' home countries.

Devesh Kapur finds that migration has influenced India far beyond a simplistic "brain drain"--migration's impact greatly depends on who leaves and why. The book offers new methods and empirical evidence for measuring these traits and shows how data about these characteristics link to specific outcomes. For instance, the positive selection of Indian migrants through education has strengthened India's democracy by creating a political space for previously excluded social groups. Because older Indian elites have an exit option, they are less likely to resist the loss of political power at home. Education and training abroad has played an important role in facilitating the flow of expertise to India, integrating the country into the world economy, positively shaping how India is perceived, and changing traditional conceptions of citizenship. The book highlights a paradox--while international migration is a cause and consequence of globalization, its effects on countries of origin depend largely on factors internal to those countries.

A rich portrait of the Indian migrant community, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy explores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.

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The Durable Slum

Dharavi and the Right to Stay Put in Globalizing Mumbai

Liza Weinstein

In the center of Mumbai, next to the city’s newest and most expensive commercial developments, lies one of Asia’s largest slums, where as many as one million squatters live in makeshift housing on one square mile of government land. This is the notorious Dharavi district, best known from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. In recent years, cities from Delhi to Rio de Janeiro have demolished similar slums, at times violently evicting their residents, to make way for development. But Dharavi and its residents have endured for a century, holding on to what is now some of Mumbai’s most valuable land.

In The Durable Slum, Liza Weinstein draws on a decade of work, including more than a year of firsthand research in Dharavi, to explain how, despite innumerable threats, the slum has persisted for so long, achieving a precarious stability. She describes how economic globalization and rapid urban development are pressuring Indian authorities to eradicate and redevelop Dharavi—and how political conflict, bureaucratic fragmentation, and community resistance have kept the bulldozers at bay. Today the latest ambitious plan for Dharavi’s transformation has been stalled, yet the threat of eviction remains, and most residents and observers are simply waiting for the project to be revived or replaced by an even grander scheme.

Dharavi’s remarkable story presents important lessons for a world in which most population growth happens in urban slums even as brutal removals increase. From Nairobi’s Kibera to Manila’s Tondo, megaslums may be more durable than they appear, their residents retaining a fragile but hard-won right to stay put.

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