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Age of Entanglement: German and Indian Intellectuals across Empire

Age of Entanglement: German and Indian Intellectuals across Empire

by Kris ManjapraKris Manjapra
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Age of Entanglement explores patterns of connection linking German and Indian intellectuals from the nineteenth century to the years after the Second World War. Kris Manjapra traces the intersecting ideas and careers of a diverse collection of individuals from South Asia and Central Europe who shared ideas, formed networks, and studied one another's worlds. Moving beyond well-rehearsed critiques of colonialism toward a new critical approach, this study recasts modern intellectual history in terms of the knotted intellectual itineraries of seeming strangers.

Collaborations in the sciences, arts, and humanities produced extraordinary meetings of German and Indian minds. Meghnad Saha met Albert Einstein, Stella Kramrisch brought the Bauhaus to Calcutta, and Girindrasekhar Bose began a correspondence with Sigmund Freud. Rabindranath Tagore traveled to Germany to recruit scholars for a new Indian university, and the actor Himanshu Rai hired director Franz Osten to help establish movie studios in Bombay. These interactions, Manjapra argues, evinced shared responses to the cultural and political hegemony of the British empire. Germans and Indians hoped to find in one another the tools needed to disrupt an Anglocentric world order.

As Manjapra demonstrates, transnational intellectual encounters are not inherently progressive. From Orientalism and Aryanism to socialism and scientism, German-Indian entanglements were neither necessarily liberal nor conventionally cosmopolitan, often characterized as much by manipulation as by cooperation. Age of Entanglement underscores the connections between German and Indian intellectual history, revealing the characteristics of a global age when the distance separating Europe and Asia seemed, temporarily, to disappear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674725140
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 01/06/2014
Series: Harvard Historical Studies , #183
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 454
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 11.90(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

Kris Manjapra is Assistant Professor of History at Tufts University.

Table of Contents

Note on Style and Transliteration ix

Introduction 1

I Stages of Entanglement

1 German Servants of the British Raj 17

2 Indian Subjects beyond the British Empire 41

3 German Visions of an Asianate Europe 56

4 Indian Visions of a Germanic Home 88

II Fields of Encounter

5 The Physical Cosmos 111

6 International Economies 143

7 Marxist Totality 171

8 Geocultural Wholes 191

9 The Psychoanalytic Universe 211

10 Worlds of Artistic Expression 238

11 A New Order 275

Epilogue 289

Notes 295

Glossary of Bengali and German Names and Keywords 391

Selected Bibliography 395

Acknowledgments 427

Index 431

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