The book illuminates the spatial utopianism of South Asian anti-colonial texts by showing how they refuse colonial spatial imaginaries to re-imagine the British Indian colony as the postcolony in diverse and contested ways. Focusing on the literary field of South Asia between, largely, the 1860s and 1920s, it underlines the centrality of literary imagination and representation in the cultural politics of decolonization.
This book spatializes our understanding of decolonization while decoupling and complicating the easy equation between decolonization and anti-colonial nationalism. The author utilises a global comparative framework and reads across the English-vernacular divide to understand space as a site of contested representation and ideological contestation. He interrogates the spatial desire of anti-colonial and colonial texts across a range of genres, namely, historical romances, novels, travelogues, memoirs, poems, and patriotic lyrics.
The book is the first full-length literary geographical study of South Asian literary texts and will be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience in the fields of Postcolonial and World Literature, Asian Literature, Victorian Literature, Modern South Asian Historiography, Literature and Utopia, Literature and Decolonization, Literature and Nationalism, Cultural Geography, and South Asian Studies.
Introduction: Spatial Desire in the Age of Empire
1. Of Good and Evil: The Anxiety of Utopianism
2. Tales of a City: Writing Colonial Calcutta
3. That Magnificent Song: Between the Performative and the Pedagogic
4. A Sense of Place: Narrating Knowable Communities
Epilogue: That Im/Possible Spatial Desire called Decolonization
This series is published in association with the Centre for South Asian Studies, Edinburgh University - one of the leading centres for South Asian Studies in the UK with a strong interdisciplinary focus. It presents research monographs and high-quality edited volumes as well as textbook on topics concerning the Indian subcontinent from the modern period to contemporary times. It aims to advance understanding of the key issues in the study of South Asia, and contributions include works by experts in the social sciences and the humanities. In accordance with the academic traditions of Edinburgh, we particularly welcome submissions which emphasise the social in South Asian history, politics, sociology and anthropology, based upon thick description of empirical reality, generalised to provide original and broadly applicable conclusions.
The series welcomes new submissions from young researchers as well as established scholars working on South Asia, from any disciplinary perspective.