Columbia University Press / Collection : Cultures of History / Social science

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The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India

by Rupa Viswanath Columbia University Press (July 08, 2014)

Once known as “Pariahs,” Dalits are primarily descendants of unfree agrarian laborers. They belong to India’s lowest castes, face overwhelming poverty and discrimination, and continue to be a source of...


Creative Pasts: Historical Memory and Identity in Western India, 1700-1960

by Prachi Deshpande Columbia University Press (January 01, 2007)

The "Maratha period" of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when an independent Maratha state successfully resisted the Mughals, is a defining era in the history of the region of Maharashtra in western...


The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics

by Charles Hirschkind Columbia University Press (October 10, 2006)

An essential aspect of what is now called the Islamic Revival, the cassette sermon can be heard in most Middle Eastern cities, punctuating the daily routines of many men and women. Charles Hirschkind shows how...


Lines of the Nation: Indian Railway Workers, Bureaucracy, and the Intimate Historical Self

by Laura Bear Columbia University Press (June 26, 2007)

Lines of the Nation radically recasts the history of the Indian railways, which have long been regarded as vectors of modernity and economic prosperity. From the design of carriages to the architecture of stations,...


Tamil Oratory and the Dravidian Aesthetic: Democratic Practice in South India

by Bernard Bate Columbia University Press (October 06, 2009)

This is a book about the newness of old things. It concerns an oratorical revolution, a transformation of oratorical style linked to larger transformations in society at large. It explores the aesthetics of...


Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory

by Ahmad H. Sa'di & Lila Abu-Lughod Columbia University Press (April 10, 2007)

For outside observers, current events in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank are seldom related to the collective memory of ordinary Palestinians. But for Palestinians themselves, the iniquities of the present are...


Autobiography of an Archive: A Scholar's Passage to India

by Nicholas B. Dirks Columbia University Press (February 10, 2015)

The decades between 1970 and the end of the twentieth century saw the disciplines of history and anthropology draw closer together, with historians paying more attention to social and cultural factors and the...