History and Collective Memory in South Asia, 1200–2000
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
152.00 x 229.00 mm, 1 b&w illus (frontispiece)
- ISBN: 9780295746210
- Published: November 2019
In this far-ranging and erudite exploration of the South Asian past, Sumit Guha discusses the shaping of social and historical memory in world-historical context. He presents memory as the result of both remembering and forgetting and of the preservation, recovery, and decay of records. By describing how these processes work through sociopolitical organizations, Guha delineates the historiographic legacy acquired by the British in colonial India; the creation of the centralized educational system and mass production of textbooks that led to unification of historical discourses under colonial auspices; and the divergence of these discourses in the twentieth century under the impact of nationalism and decolonization.
Guha brings together sources from a range of languages and regions to provide the first intellectual history of the ways in which socially recognized historical memory has been made across the subcontinent. This thoughtful study contributes to debates beyond the field of history that complicate the understanding of objectivity and documentation in a seemingly post-truth world.
Guha’s expertise in early modern Indian history allows him to explore “social structure and historical narration in western India” in great depth.~Journal of Asian Studies
Guha brings together sources from a range of languages and regions toprovide the rst intellectual history of the ways in which socially recognized historicalmemory has been made across the subcontinent. This thoughtful study contributes todebates beyond the eld of history that complicate the understanding of objectivityand documentation in a seemingly post-truth world.~New Books in South Asian Studies
Guha’s book comes at a time when the authority of specialist historians is increasingly under challenge, while the gap between academic and public history seems larger and more in open conflict than ever. Through meticulous presentation of how the practice of history writing is shaped by the social-political context of the recording agents, Guha problematises the view that history writing can be seen as an autonomous cognitive practice of a specialised group.~South Asia Research
[D]evelops important arguments about the public significance of historical knowledge and the essential role of historians in public life.~History and Theory
[O]ffers the most recent reflection on historiography, history, and memory by a leader in the discipline of South Asian history. Given publications spanning a range of topics in South Asian history, such as caste in social and cultural history, environmental history, health and population history, and agrarian history, Guha gives a veteran practitioner’s perspective on history and memory in South Asian history.~South Asian History and Culture
[A] welcome addition to the burgeoning scholarship around the practices of history writing in India and its relationship with the public sphere.~Contemporary South Asia