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The Colonial State and Forms of Knowledge The British in India

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Item Code: HAN947
Author: Edited By Vinay Lal
Publisher: Primus Books, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789355721648
Pages: 293
Other Details 9.5x6.5 inch
Weight 520 gm
Book Description
About The Editor

Vinay Lal is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a cultural critic, writer, and blogger. His intellectual interests include South Asian history, comparative colonial histories, the Indian diaspora, public and popular culture in India, cinema, and the global histories of non-violence. He has authored and edited numerous books which include The Fury of Covid-19: The Politics, Histories, and Unrequited Love of the Coronavirus (2020); the two- volume Oxford Anthology of the Modern Indian City (2013); Deewaar: The Footpath, the City, and the Angry Young Man (2011); Political Hinduism (2009); Of Cricket, Guinness and Gandhi (2005); The History of History (2003); and two books co-edited with Ashis Nandy.

About The Book

Colonialism is generally understood to encompass political domination, military expansion, and economic exploitation, but the British, in their nearly two centuries of rule over India, also achieved a thoroughgoing conquest of knowledge. In the backdrop of the Enlightenment impulse, which held that everything can be known, mapped, counted, categorized, and bounded, and the knowledge thus acquired reshaped into useable forms, the British in India created an epistemological state. The Colonial State and Forms of Knowledge: The British in India examines the fields and bodies of knowledge through which this state was created.

The colonial state not only produced historical, linguistic, religious, and purportedly scientific accounts of the people of India, but also founded organizations such as the Linguistic Survey of India and the Anthropological Survey of India, besides deploying such forms of institutionalizing knowledge as the report of the committee of inquiry in their quest to know and govern India. The discursive formation that the British put into place as they brought India under their control, and instances of their more precise interventions in history, geography, cartography, anthropology, lexicography, and veterinary science, among other areas of knowledge, are delineated in this volume.

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