Looking Within, Looking Without: Exploring Households in the Subcontinent Through Time
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edited by Kumkum Roy
Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University
This volume includes discussions based on archaeology, visual representations, the Sanskrit epics, medical literature, early Tamil texts, compositions drawn from a variety of religious traditions, official documents including court records, and inscriptions. Chronologically, it ranges from the early historic to the early modern period. Spatially, the regions explored include the Gangetic Valley, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bengal, and Rajasthan. The contributors envisage the household as a site of production, consumption and distribution, and as one where cultural meanings are constituted, communicated, and contested. Running through the essays is a focus on the everyday, on the ways in which gender, class, caste, and community identities evolve through and revolve around the household. As a tribute to the memory of Nandita Prasad Sahai, a careful, committed and passionate historian and teacher, this volume creates space for dialogue, debate and difference as the contributors bring their distinctive perspectives and questions on the household, an institution that is often naturalized and taken for granted.
Uma Chakravarti • Rajat Datta • Ranjeeta Datta • Sally J. Sutherland Goldman • Monica Juneja • Umesh Ashok Kadam • Gitanjali Kolanand • R. Mahalakshmi • Pius Malekandathil • Jaya Menon • Rosalind O’Hanlon • Leslie C. Orr • Vijaya Ramaswamy • Kumkum Roy • Nandita Prasad Sahai • Martha Ann Selby • Jaya Tyagi • Supriya Varma
‘…the real weight of this volume lies in the interrogation of powerful normative discourses that have sought to name, normativize and interdict the minutiae of everyday relationships in the household.’
Rashmi Pant, The Book Review