Popular Literature and Pre-Modern Societies In South Asia
Conventional historiography in South Asia relies on official documentation treating the elite as central players... more
Conventional historiography in South Asia relies on official documentation treating the elite as central players in the story of human past. The role of marginalized groups in the making of South Asian history is relegated to the background. Popular Literature and Pre-Modern Societies in South Asia charts a continuous historiographical tension between the archive-centric constructions and marginalized voices of the non-elite. Vernacular literature, fables, folklore, myths, and legends drawn from the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of South Asia are brought together to reconstruct an alternative craft of history writing. Spanning large swaths of pre-modern history and exploring material from diverse regions of the subcontinent, this volume speaks of people, individuals, cultures, and traditions sidelined in modern history. The subjects of this volume retrieve the non-maintstream descriptions/memories of peoples’ past, mapping the contest between the hegemonic and counter-hegemonic forces persisting actively in the domains of state, society, patriarchy, religion, and culture.