The Afterlives of Monuments  book cover
1st Edition

The Afterlives of Monuments

ISBN 9780415739399
Published March 27, 2014 by Routledge
186 Pages

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Book Description

South Asia is famous for its monuments, past and present. Monuments have been created, destroyed and rescued by competing communities and incoming empires in the making and re-making of history, identity and memory.

This collection brings together an international cohort of senior scholars and younger researchers to examine the vast diversity of monuments (and conceptions of monuments) in South Asia from the 1850s to the present. The chapters investigate what constitutes a monument, and interrogate the conditions for its survival, demise or recycling. To explore the afterlives of monuments is to investigate how, where, when, and why monuments have been remodelled, re-sited, destroyed, defaced, or abandoned. It is to investigate the theories of memory, history and community, as well as new forms of artistic practice and global media. As different South-Asian communities claim a stake in the making of national, religious, cultural and local identities and histories, the status of monuments and debates about cultural memory have become increasingly urgent.

This book was published as a special issue of South Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Afterlives of Monuments  2. Configuring Sacred Spaces: Archaeology, Temples, and Monument-Making in Colonial Orissa  3. The Lives and Afterlives of Charlotte, Lady Canning (1817–1861): Gender, Commemoration, and Narratives of Loss  4. Mosque as Monument: The Afterlives of Jama Masjid and the Political Memories of a Royal Muslim Past  5. The Potala Palace: Remembering to Forget in Contemporary Tibet  6. The Production and Reproduction of a Monument: The Many Lives of the Sanchi Stupa  7. The Afterlives of Images: The Contested Legacies of Gandhi in Art and Popular Culture  8. The Many Lives of Nuclear Monuments in India  9. Permanent Transiency, Tele-visual Spectacle, and the Slum as Postcolonial Monument  10. Monuments and Memory for Our Times

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Deborah Cherry is Professor of Art History at the University of the Arts London and University of Amsterdam. She has published widely on modern and contemporary art.


This essay highlights the encounter between the coloniser and colonised through the archeological efforts to render the temples as secular heritage and temple committees’ efforts to guard the sacred realm.