1st Edition

Atomic Mumbai
Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns

ISBN 9781138659827
Published December 26, 2015 by Routledge India
328 Pages

USD $60.95

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Book Description

Atomic Mumbai offers an insightful historical and ethnographic account of how nuclear issues are represented in popular culture, print media, films, documentaries, advertising and superhero comics, driven by perceptions of those based in the city of Mumbai, a prime site of nuclear establishments in India since the mid-1940s. Based on long-term fieldwork, and including rare photographs, narratives and extensive interviews, the volume documents urban nuclear imaginaries, along with their terrifying association with genetic mutation and death.

Table of Contents

List of Plates. List of Abbreviations. Acknowledgements. 1. Atomic Mumbai 2. The Dawn of the Atomic Age in India 3. Atomic Schizophrenia 4. The Wavering Spell of the Atom Bomb 5. Nuclear Truths and Cracks in the Surface 6. City of Smoky Quartz 7. A Patchwork of Portraits 8. Observing the Instruments of Armageddon 9. Atomic Comics 10. A Thousand Suns. Bibliography. About the Author. Index

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Raminder Kaur is Professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.


Raminder Kaur gives us a brilliant and compelling account of Mumbai as the maximum atomic city. She leads us through the myriad pathways of nuclear lifeworlds with which she is intimately familiar, illuminating the aspirations, anxieties, desires, and nightmares that saturate everyday existence. Incarnated as science and religion, the material and immaterial, and both poison and cure, Kaur provides a memorable and vividly realised analysis of a key element in the imaginary of modern India.

Christopher Pinney, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Raminder Kaur’s survey of all things atomic in India is very welcome, and indeed urgent . . . That popular, traditional and vernacular culture become bound up with ideologies of science and militarism should be no surprise, but the relentless alignment of comic book heroes and the atomic nation simply underlines the overdeterminaton of an iridescent field. In general, a great read, an explosive text, of seismic importance.

John Hutnyk, Department of Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London