Language, Emotion, And Politics In South India: The Making Of A Mother Tongue

Paperback | March 18, 2009

byLisa Mitchell

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What makes someone willing to die, not for a nation, but for a language? In the mid-20th century, southern India saw a wave of dramatic suicides in the name of language. Lisa Mitchell traces the colonial-era changes in knowledge and practice linked to the Telugu language that lay behind some of these events. As identities based on language came to appear natural, the road was paved for the political reorganization of the Indian state along linguistic lines after independence.

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What makes someone willing to die, not for a nation, but for a language? In the mid-20th century, southern India saw a wave of dramatic suicides in the name of language. Lisa Mitchell traces the colonial-era changes in knowledge and practice linked to the Telugu language that lay behind some of these events. As identities based on lang...

Lisa Mitchell is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and History in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.8 inPublished:March 18, 2009Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253220696

ISBN - 13:9780253220691

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration and Spelling
Introduction: A New Emotional Commitment to Language
1. From Language of the Land to Language of the People: Geography, Language, and Community in Southern India
2. Making a Subject of Language
3. Making the Local Foreign: Shared Language and History in Southern India
4. From Pandit to Primer: Pedagogy and Its Mediums
5. From the Art of Memory to the Art of Translation: Making Languages Parallel
6. Martyrs in the Name of Language? Death and the Making of Linguistic Passion
Conclusion: Language as a New Foundational Category
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"The study subtly identies links that all too often appear lost in the haze of un-critical activism. For that reason, along with its readable and forceful prose, this book makes a lasting contribution to knowledge and offers a valuable addition to any reading list on modern South Asian history." -South Asia Research