South Asian History has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance over the past thirty years. Its historians are t only producing new ways of thinking about the imperial impact and legacy on South Asia, but also helping to reshape the study of imperial history in general. The essays in this collection address a number of these important developments, delineating t only the complicated interplay between imperial rulers and their subjects in India, but also illuminating the ecomic, political, environmental, social, cultural, ideological, and intellectual contexts which informed, and were in turn informed by, these interactions. Particular attention is paid to a cluster of binary oppositions that have hitherto framed South Asian history, namely colonizer/colonized, imperialism/nationalism, and modernity/tradition, and how new analytical frameworks are emerging which enable us to think beyond the constraints imposed by these binaries. Closer attention to regional dynamics as well as to wider global forces has enriched our understanding of the history of South Asia within a wider imperial matrix. Previous impressions of all-powerful imperialism, with the capacity to reshape all before it, for good or ill, are rejected in favour of a much more nuanced image of imperialism in India that ackwledges the impact as well as the intentions of colonialism, but within a much more complicated historical landscape where other processes are at work.
Douglas Peers is currently Professor of History and Dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo, having previously held positions at York University, the University of Calgary, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is the author of Between Mars and Mammon: Colonial Armies and the Garrison State in Early-Nineteenth Century India (1995), India Under Colonial Rule, 1700-1885 (2006), and published more than twenty articles and chapters on the intellectual, political, medical, and cultural dimensions of nineteenth-century India in such journals as the Social History of Medicine, Modern Asian Studies, The Historical Journal, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, International History Review, Radical History Review and Journal of World History. Nandini Gooptu is a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. She teaches history and politics at the Department of International Development, the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, and the Department of Politics, University of Oxford. Educated in Calcutta and at Cambridge, and trained as a social historian, she is the author of The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early-Twentieth Century India (2001). While Dr Gooptu's past research has been on colonial India, her current research is concerned with social and political transformation in contemporary India. She has published articles on a variety of subjects, including caste, religion and spiritualism in politics; urban development and politics; poverty, labour, and work.
Oxford University Press
Date of Publication
History: Specific Subjects
Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series