1st Edition

The Great Rebellion of 1857 in India
Exploring Transgressions, Contests and Diversities

Edited By

Biswamoy Pati

ISBN 9780415627450
Published May 8, 2012 by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

The Great Rebellion of 1857 in India was much more than a ‘sepoy mutiny’. It was a major event in South Asian and British colonial history that significantly challenged imperialism in India.

This fascinating collection explores hitherto ignored diversities of the Great Rebellion such as gender and colonial fiction, courtesans, white ‘marginals’, penal laws and colonial anxieties about the  Mughals, even in exile. Also studied are popular struggles involving tribals and outcastes, and the way outcastes in the south of India locate the Rebellion. Interdisciplinary in focus and based on a range of untapped source materials and rare, printed tracts, this book questions conventional wisdom.

The comprehensive introduction traces the different historiographical approaches to the Great Rebellion, including the imperialist, nationalist, marxist and subaltern scholarship. While questioning typical assumptions associated with the Great Rebellion, it argues that the Rebellion neither began nor ended in 1857-58. 

Clearly informed by the ‘Subaltern Studies’ scholarship, this book is post-subalternist as it moves far beyond narrow subalternist concerns. It will be of interest to students of Colonial and South Asian History, Social History, Cultural and Political Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Great Rebellion, Biswamoy Pati 2. 1857 and the Adivasis of Chotanagpur, Shashank S. Sinha 3. Remembering Gonoo: The Profile of an Adivasi Rebel of 1857, Sanjukta Dasgupta 4. Beyond Colonial Mapping: Common People, Fuzzy Boundaries and the Rebellion of 1857, Biswamoy Pati 5. Forests on Fire: The 1857 Rebellion in Tribal Andhra, B. Rama Chandra Reddy 6. Contested sites: The Prison, Penal Laws and the 1857 Revolt, Madhurima Sen 7. Courtesans and the 1857 Revolt: The Role of Azeezun in Kanpur, Lata Singh 8. Discourses of ‘Gendered Loyalty’: Constructing Indian Women in ‘Mutiny’ Fiction of the Nineteenth century, Indrani Sen 9. The ‘Disposable’ Brethren: European Marginals in Eastern India during the Great Rebellion, Sarmsitha De 10. Sanitizing Indigenous Memory: 1857 and Mughal Exile, Amar Farooqui 11. Ideas, Memories and Meanings: Adi Dravida Interpretations of the Impact of the 1857 Rebellion, Raj Shekhar Basu

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Biswamoy Pati is Associate Professor at the Department of History, University of Delhi, India. His latest publications include two co-edited books published by Routledge The Social History of Health and Medicine in Colonial India (with Mark Harrison, 2009) and India's Princely States (with Waltraud Ernst, 2007) and an edited volume entitled The 1857 Rebellion: Debates in Indian History and Society (2007).


"The chapters add a fascinating depth and variety to any examination of this important period in colonial history... Pati has succeeded in producing an edition that achieves his purpose. Not only does it expand the geographic and chronological scale of the Rebellion, but the The Great Rebellion successfully contests colonial narratives that still seem to dominate today." - Robyn Curtis, University of canterbury; New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 12, 2 (December 2010)