Autobiography of an Archive: A Scholar's Passage to India by Nicholas DirksAutobiography of an Archive: A Scholar's Passage to India by Nicholas Dirks

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

byNicholas Dirks

Paperback | February 10, 2015

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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 significance of everyday experience in the study of the past. The people, rather than elite actors, became the focus of their inquiry, and anthropological insights into agriculture, kinship, ritual, and folk customs enabled historians to develop richer and more representative narratives. The intersection of these two disciplines also helped scholars reframe the legacies of empire and the roots of colonial knowledge.

In this collection of essays and lectures, history's turn from high politics and formal intellectual history toward ordinary lives and cultural rhythms is vividly reflected in a scholar's intellectual journey to India. Nicholas B. Dirks recounts his early study of kingship in India, the rise of the caste system, the emergence of English imperial interest in controlling markets and India's political regimes, and the development of a crisis in sovereignty that led to an extraordinary nationalist struggle. He shares his personal encounters with archives that provided the sources and boundaries for research on these subjects, ultimately revealing the limits of colonial knowledge and single disciplinary perspectives. Drawing parallels to the way American universities balance the liberal arts and specialized research today, Dirks, who has occupied senior administrative positions and now leads the University of California at Berkeley, encourages scholars to continue to apply multiple approaches to their research and build a more global and ethical archive.

Nicholas B. Dirks is the chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a professor of history and anthropology. An internationally renowned historian and anthropologist, he is known for his work on the history of kingship and the institution of caste in India, as well as for his writing on the British empire. ...
Title:Autobiography of an Archive: A Scholar's Passage to IndiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pagesPublished:February 10, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231169671

ISBN - 13:9780231169677

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Passage to IndiaPart I. Autobiography1. Annals of the Archive: Ethnographic Notes on the Sources of History2. Autobiography of an Archive3. Preface to the Second Edition of The Hollow CrownPart II. History and Anthropology4. Castes of Mind5. Ritual and Resistance: Subversion as a Social Fact6. The Policing of Tradition: Colonialism and Anthropology in Southern IndiaPart III. Empire7. Imperial Sovereignty8. Bringing the Company Back In: The Scandal of Early Global Capitalism9. The Idea of EmpirePart IV. The Politics of Knowledge10. In Near Ruins: Cultural Theory at the End of the Century11. G. S. Ghurye and the Politics of Sociological Knowledge12. South Asian Studies: Futures PastPart V. University13. Franz Boas and the American University: A Personal Account14. Scholars and Spies: Worldly Knowledge and the Predicament of the University15. The Opening of the American MindNotesPermissionsIndex

Editorial Reviews

Taut, clear language, which, at times, becomes almost lyrical.