Memory, Identity, Power

Memory, Identity, Power

Product ID: 12823

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Author: Ranabir Samaddar
Publisher: Orient Longman
Year: 1998
Language: multilingual
Pages: 295
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8125010262


This unusual account of territoriality is a full length study of the Jungle Mahals. It reveals the crucial role memory plays in shaping the politics and identity of a collectivity. Based on a variety of texts located in distinct discursive forms-official, legal, oral, popular-it shows, by marking in a hypothetical theme, how these texts can form a historiography, telling of the struggles of a people to construct their identity. It is, thus, also an account of how the past is futurised.

In addressing the ways in which the demands of identity make the existing historiographical method of dealing with village history inadequate, the author traces how memories of forms like fictive genealogies, oral accounts, administrative memory and the rituals and performing arts of the locality-extinct and extant-become crucial elements of the politics and identity formation of a people and region.

Jambani pargana in the Jungle Mahals, was on the margins of a rationally governed empire and civilization. The author elucidates how the transition from custom to contract, necessitated by the extension of an administration based on rationality, unleashed a series of political mobilisations. The book traces the ways in which such mobilizations become elements of a fundamental historiographical operation that puts the stamp of legitimacy on the identification of a territory with a people.



Sources or Texts?

Reflections in Another Mirror

Popular Memory and the Politics of Identity

Administrative Memory

Festivals and Rites: The Public Script of Domination and Power