Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hyderabad and Hyderabadis & India in Russian Orientalism

Hyderabad and Hyderabadis by Karen Leonard from Manohar Publishers.

This volume presents Karen Leonard's best articles on Hyderabad and Hyderabadis, pieces published since the 1970s that evoke the singular cultural ambience of the vanished princely state. Hyderabad's cosmopolitan Indo-Muslim culture distinguished the state from British colonial India, and Leonard captures the significant changes in state and society from the late eighteenth century to the late twentieth century, stressing the important role of the state in shaping culture and identity.

In our Anthropology section, Rs. 1250, in hardback, 442 pages, ISBN: 9789350980293

India in Russian Orientalism: Travel Narratives and Beyond by Amartya Mukhopadhyay from Manohar Publishers.

Russian Orientalism concerning India, through interpretation of Russian travelogues, is severely under-researched. The few exhaustive Indological studies exploring Indo-Russian cultural links either shun close readings of select texts, or do not make the Indian connection regarding Russian Orientalism in the Saidian sense, which burgeoned after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Rather, contemporary applications of Orientalism as a gaze to Russias activities in the East have remained, with only few exceptions, limited to the Caucasus and Central Asia, seldom extending to India.

Consequently, with the exception of Nikitins Voyage Beyond Three Seas most of the Russian travelogues, predating institutionalisation of Russian Orientlology, are not reinterpreted from modern perspectives. Researches on Lebedev, the most loved of Russian travellers in India, n Russia, Germany and India do not talk with each other, while Orientalist research of European-American provenance for India simply ignores him. Minor travelogues of Efremov and Daniebegov suffer worse fate. Prince Saltykovs travelogues, letters and pictures are the most neglected. Vereshchagins Orientalist, anti-war art and his travelogues in Caucasus and Central Asia receive attention.

But even after the current resurgence of interest in him, his travelogue of India written by him and his wife, where he is the main subject, lies forgotten. The diaries of Minaev are given short shrift, though they problematise Russian Orientalism in India most significantly. Amartya Mukhopadhyays original study, as a social scientist, seeks to fill this gap from an Indian point of vantage, showing how these travellers were imprisoned by, or broke free of, the stereotypes of observation called after Said as Orientalism.

In our History section, Rs. 1095, in hardback, 360 pages, ISBN: 9788173049972

No comments:

Post a Comment