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The Persianate World

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ISBN: 9780520972100 9780520300927 Year: Pages: 366 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.64 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: History --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-05-14 11:21:04
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A world historical exercise in examining ‘out of Asia’ forms of cosmopolitanism, The Persianate World traces the reach and limits of Persian’s usage as a Eurasian lingua franca. From the Balkans via the Caucasus to Bengal, and beyond to the imperial capitals of London, Saint Petersburg and Beijing, the chapters ask how Persian gained its status, maintained it, and finally surrendered it to its many linguistic competitors. Capturing the ‘Persianate’ as process, fourteen essays place transregional Persian in relation to such regional languages as Bengali, Chinese, Turkic, and Punjabi, to trace the expansion and retraction of written ‘Persographia’ between 1400 and 1900.

Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary

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Book Series: South Asia Across the Disciplines ISBN: 9780520286467 9780520961685 Year: Pages: 394 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.3 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-14 11:01:05
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"Writing Self, Writing Empire examines the life, career, and writings of the Mughal state secretary, or munshi, Chandar Bhan Brahman (d. ca. 1670), one of the great Indo-Persian poets and prose stylists of early modern South Asia. Chandar Bhan’s life spanned the reigns of four emperors: Akbar (1556–1605), Jahangir (1605–1627), Shah Jahan (1628–1658), and Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (1658–1707), the last of the “Great Mughals” whose courts dominated the culture and politics of the subcontinent at the height of the empire’s power, territorial reach, and global influence. Chandar Bhan was a high-caste Hindu who worked for a series of Muslim monarchs and other officials, forming powerful friendships along the way; his experience bears vivid testimony to the pluralistic atmosphere of the Mughal court, particularly during the reign of Shah Jahan, the celebrated builder of the Taj Mahal. But his widely circulated and emulated works also touch on a range of topics central to our understanding of the court’s literary, mystical, administrative, and ethical cultures, while his letters and autobiographical writings provide tantalizing examples of early modern Indo-Persian modes of self-fashioning. Chandar Bhan’s oeuvre is a valuable window onto a crucial, though surprisingly neglected, period of Mughal cultural and political history."

Language of the Snakes

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ISBN: 9780520296220 9780520968813 Year: Pages: 324 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.37 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2017-11-03 11:01:49
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Language of the Snakes traces the history of the Prakrit language as a literary phenomenon, starting from its cultivation in courts of the Deccan in the first centuries of the common era. Although little studied today, Prakrit was an important vector of the kāvya movement and once joined Sanskrit at the apex of classical Indian literary culture. The opposition between Prakrit and Sanskrit was at the center of an enduring “language order” in India, a set of ways of thinking about, naming, classifying, representing, and ultimately using languages. As a language of classical literature that nevertheless retained its associations with more demotic language practices, Prakrit both embodies major cultural tensions—between high and low, transregional and regional, cosmopolitan and vernacular—and provides a unique perspective onto the history of literature and culture in South Asia.

Imperial Genus: The Formation and Limits of the Human in Modern Korea and Japan

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Book Series: Asia Pacific Modern ISBN: 9780520289598 9780520964198 Year: Pages: 322 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.9 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Social Sciences --- Philosophy --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-14 11:01:29
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"Imperial Genus begins with the turn to world culture and ideas of the generally human in Japan’s cultural policy in Korea in 1919. How were concepts of the human’s genus‑being operative in the discourses of the Japanese empire? How did they inform the imagination and representation of modernity in colonial Korea? Travis Workman delves into these questions through texts in philosophy, literature, and social science. Imperial Genus focuses on how notions of human generality mediated uncertainty between the transcendental and the empirical, the universal and the particular, and empire and colony. It shows how cosmopolitan cultural principles, the proletarian arts, and Pan‑Asian imperial nationalism converged with practices of colonial governmentality. It is a genealogy of the various articulations of the human’s genus‑being within modern humanist thinking in East Asia, as well as an exploration of the limits of the human as both concept and historical figure."

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