Building Histories: The Archival And Affective Lives Of Five Monuments In Modern Delhi

Hardcover | February 10, 2017

byMrinalini Rajagopalan

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Building Histories offers innovative accounts of five medieval monuments in Delhi—the Red Fort, Rasul Numa Dargah, Jama Masjid, Purana Qila, and the Qutb complex—tracing their modern lives from the nineteenth century into the twentieth.

Mrinalini Rajagopalan argues that the modern construction of the history of these monuments entailed the careful selection, manipulation, and regulation of the past by both the colonial and later postcolonial states. Although framed as objective “archival” truths, these histories were meant to erase or marginalize the powerful and persistent affective appropriations of the monuments by groups who often existed outside the center of power. By analyzing these archival and affective histories together, Rajagopalan works to redefine the historic monument—far from a symbol of a specific past, the monument is shown in Building Histories to be a culturally mutable object with multiple stories to tell.

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Building Histories offers innovative accounts of five medieval monuments in Delhi—the Red Fort, Rasul Numa Dargah, Jama Masjid, Purana Qila, and the Qutb complex—tracing their modern lives from the nineteenth century into the twentieth. Mrinalini Rajagopalan argues that the modern construction of the history of these monuments entailed...

Mrinalini Rajagopalan is assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh.

other books by Mrinalini Rajagopalan

Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.98 inPublished:February 10, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022628347X

ISBN - 13:9780226283470

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“This insightful and eloquent book traces the complex narratives of five buildings in New Delhi, balancing the uniqueness of each example with an eye for larger patterns. Examining a number of violent confrontations—reaching from the Red Fort at the time of early British conquest to recent Hindu-Muslim conflicts over the Qutb Mosque—Rajagopalan shows how each of these monuments unleashed an affective power, an outpouring of popular emotions about subjects like religion, partition, nationalism, and social change. Building Histories signifies an exciting shift in architectural history and colonial studies.”