‘The Political in Question: Rethinking India’s twentieth century’
Prof. Mrinalini Sinha,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, USA.
Histories of politics in India frequently distinguish between the domains of elite and of popular or subaltern politics. The latter is typically expressed in the idiom of the fragment and identified with the particular rather than with the universal. This talk engages with the popular politics of the anti-indenture movement in India to raise the following questions: What happens when popular politics makes a claim to the universal? What does such an “impossible” politics suggest about the nature of the political itself? What does the history of Indian abolitionism tell us about India’s twentieth century?
Prof. Mrinalini Sinha is the Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is the author of Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century (1995) and of the award-winning book, Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire (2006). She is the immediate past President of the Association of Asian Studies.