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Explorations in Connected History (From The Tagus to The Ganges)

Explorations in Connected History (From The Tagus to The Ganges)
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Item Code: NAF792
Author: Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9780198077169
Pages: 275 (With 1 B/W Map)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 9.5 inch x 6.5 inch
weight of the book: 380 gms

ABOUT THE BOOK

History writing on South Asia has over time debated the politics of its sources. It has also confronted the assumptions underlying the per iodization of Indian history. As reflected in this collection of essays, Sanjay Subramanyam takes a sharp and discriminating look at the archive to challenge certain enduring beliefs regarding temporal and geographical frontiers in the task of history writing.

From the Tagus to the Ganges is a set of interlinked studies that deploys the concept of ‘connected histories’ to shedimportant light on aspects of the history of early modern Eurasia. These studies are based on a wide variety of Asian and Europeans materials, and while their main focus is on relations between Europeans and South Asia, other parts of the world also play a major role in the arguments.

The book also draws attention to hitherto neglected aspects of South and Southeast Asian History, within a new conceptual framework. Like its companion Mughals and Franks, this work revisits some old debates and casts new light on them. These two volume together demonstrate that just as our notions of periodization have to be interrogated, our maps have to be redrawn to address the issues thrown up by the areas we historicize.

This will interest students and scholars of Indian and South Asian history, medieval history, early modern India, as well as politics.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjay Subrahmanyam is Professor and Doshi Chair of Indian History, Department of History, Centre for India and South Asia, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. He is also former Professor of Indian History and Culture, University of Oxford and Former of Economic History, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. Also, taught at Paris as Directeurd’tudes in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales.

PREFACE

The essays that are gathered together in the present collection have had a rather complex evolution, and were written over a period of more than ten years. They reflect my changing interests from the 1990s, when i was resident in Delhi, teaching at the Delhi School of Economics, and writing a general work entitled The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500-1700 ( which appeared from Longman in 1993), to later discussions with colleagues working on latin American history at the Ecole des Hautes en Science Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. A variety of influence will be evident in the pages that follow, notably those of the Portuguese historian Luis Filip Thomaz and the late Denys Lombard, but also of historians such as Muzaffar Alam, Cornell Fleischer, and Serge Gruzinski, with whom I have interacted closely over the years.

As I have noted in a companion volume of essays entitled Mughals and Franks, when the editors at Oxford University Press(Delhi) initially suggested that I bring together a volume of collected essays, my reaction was one of reticence, largely because I wished to do more than bring dispersed essays between two covers. The solution adopted here, as in the other volume, has hence been to follow a modified version of the formula in an earlier work entitled Penumbral Visions (OUP, 2001), namely to insist on at least some semblance of thematic unity, while not forcing the issue to a point that would make it artificial. So, it came to a question of making up a coherent collection of essays around a theme or concept, from those that I had published but not yet incorporated into some other collection.

This volume consists of eight essays, beginning with the inaugural lecture I delivered at Oxford in February 2003. The essays are usually broad- ranging, and cover themes such as the relationship of violence and collective memory in pre-colonial South Asia, to other that attempt explicitly to implement a programme of what I have termed ‘connected history’ reworking the history of South Asia into a larger Eurasian space of conjectural movements . They follow the lead of a programmatic essay that I published some years ago, entitled ‘connected Histories: Notes Towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia’ , which appeared in Modern Asian Studies (Vol. XXXI, No. 3), 1997, pp. 735-62). The partial exceptions are an essay on Gabriel Quiroga de San Antonio, which tough chronologically of a piece with the others , is rather less northen Burmese kingdom of Arakan, which finds a place in this collection to demonstrate the nature of continuities and connections. As will be seen, the idea of ‘connected histories’ was in part a reaction to certain mechanistic forms of in the 1990s. I have argued in the pages that follow that neither the usual success/being practised in “Post- colonial studies”) is of much help. The latter, while ostensibly new, is often a revival by the back door of the most reprehensible clichés concerning India and Indian history.

As is usual, these essays have benefited from the comments of a wide variety of individuals, who heard them presented in oral form, or read through and commented on draft versions. For specific comments on, or help with, one or the order essay, I must thank Muzaffar Alam, jean Aubin , G. Balachandran, maria Augusta Lima Cruz, Jorge Manual Flores, Jos Gommans, Serge Gruzinski, Raj, Catherine Raymond, Luis Filipe Thomaz, and james Tracy. I hope that , in spite of the difference in both tone and content from its companion volume, readers will be able to discern a degree of coherence in what has been attempted in the totality of these essays.

 

CONTENTS

Preface

Acknowledgement

List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1

On the Window that was India

1

Chapter 2

On Indian Views of the Portuguese in Asia 1500-1700

17

Chapter 3

Persianization and ‘Mercantilism’ in Bay of Bengal History, 1400-1700

45

Chapter 4

Violence, Grievance, and Memory in Early Modern South Asia

80

Chapter 5

Sixteenth-century Millenarianism from the Tagus to the Ganges

102

Chapter 6

European Chroniclers and the Mughals

103

Chapter 7

Manila Chroniclers and the

180

Chapter 8

Dutch Tribulations in seventeenth- century Mrank-U

200

Index

249

Sample Pages


















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