In Cultural Constellations, Place-Making and Ethnicity in Eastern India, c. 1850-1927, Swarupa Gupta outlines a fresh paradigm moving beyond stereotypical representations of eastern India as a site of ethnic fragmentation. The book traces unities by exploring intersections between (1) cultural constellations; (2) place-making and (3) ethnicity.
Centralising place-making, it tells the story of how people made places, mediating caste / religious / linguistic contestations. It offers new meanings of ‘region’ in Eastern Indian and global contexts by showing how an interregional arena comprising Bengal, Assam and Orissa was forged.
Using historical tracts, novels, poetry and travelogues, the book argues that commonalities in Eastern India were linked to imaginings of Indian nationhood. The analysis contains interpretive strategies for mediating federalist separatisms and fragmentation in contemporary India.
About the Author
Swarupa Gupta, Ph.D. (2004), SOAS, London, is Assistant Professor at the Department of History, Presidency University, Calcutta. She has published monograph(s), edited volumes and many articles on nationhood and religious history, including Notions of Nationhood in Bengal (Brill: 2009).
Table of Contents
1 Ideologues of the Land
2 Imagining the Land: Colonial Cartography and Indigenous Responses
3 The People of the Land: Jatis
4 Societies of the Land: Samajs
5 Landscapes of Language
6 Religious Geographies
7 Religious Travel, Place-Making and Social Collectivity: Connected Space Regional, Interregional and National Contexts