The conception of modernity as a radical rupture from the past runs parallel to the conception of Europe as the primary locus of global history. The essays in this volume contest the temporal and spatial divisions—between past and present, modernity and tradition, and Europe’s progress and Asia’s stasis—which the conventional narrative of modernity creates. Drawing on early modern Chinese and Indian history and culture instead, the authors of the book explore the provenance of modernity beyond the west to see it in a transcultural and pluralistic light.
The central argument of this volume is that modernity does not have a singular core or essence—a causal centre. Its key features need to be disaggregated and new configurations and combinations imagined. By studying the Bhakti movement, Confucian democracy, and the maritime and agrarian economies of China and India, this book enlarges the terms of debate and revisits devalued terms and concepts like tradition, religion, authority, and rural as resources for modernity.
This book will be of great interest to researchers and academicians working in the areas of history, Sociology, Cultural Studies, literature, geopolitics, South Asian and East Asian Studies.
Part I: Transcultural Asian Modernities Introduction Sanjay Kumar, Satya P Mohanty, Archana Kumar & Raj Kumar 1. European Self-Making and India’s Alternative Modernities Arjun Appadurai 2. Circulatory and Competitive Histories Prasenjit Duara 3. Connected Histories: The Asian Roots of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions Arun Balasubramaniam 4. Dominant and Counter-imaginaries: Analysing India’s Modernities Martin Fuchs Part II: China & Southeast Asia5. A Perspective on Confucian Democracy in Cultural China Tu Weiming 6. Chinese Maritime Economy: Historical Globalizing Forces Mayfair Yang 7. Southeast Asia in the 15th Century: Early Modern or What?? Geoffrey Wade Part III: India8. Alternative Modernities and Medieval Indian Literature: The Oriya Lakshmi Purana as Radical Pedagogy Satya P Mohanty 9. Vernacular Modernity and the Public Sphere of Bhakti Purushottam Agrawal 10. Before the Great Divergence: The Early Modern South Asian Agrarian Economy in a Global Perspective Rajat Datta 11. Revisiting the Early Modern Merchant: Caste, Power and Politics of Transition Lakshmi Subramanian 12. Modernity as Renewal Mechanism: Alternative(s) to Modernity in India Avadhesh Kumar Singh. Index