The Visual Turn: South Asia Across the Disciplines explores new perspectives made possible by the evidence drawn from visual culture. This evidence is utilized by historians, literary analysts, anthropologists and, in a new way, art historians. Focusing on built environments within their urban contexts; the interactions of buildings, roads, and bodies; the meaning-making achieved through consumption of images (on their own or in concert with literary texts) all contribute to a much broader and deeper understanding of change in South Asia.
Juxtaposed, these case studies not only approach their topics in a multi-disciplinary manner, but also make clear just what scholars from various disciplines can learn from each other to add nuance and depth to their own analyses. In the process, the authors demonstrate how the application of different methods and theorizing, when coupled with a fascinating range of types of evidence, contribute to a significant broadening of our abilities to interpret the past and the present. In particular, these essays bring new ways of thinking about cities as well as the multiple ways that visual culture contributes to individual and collective forms of identity-narratives that are negotiated at key moments of change in South Asia. Readers will see their own materials and historicized contexts with new eyes.
This book was published as a special issue of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.
Table of Contents
1. 'The Visual Turn: Approaching South Asia Across the Disciplines', 2. 'Jaipur, City of Tolerance and Progress', 3. 'A Visual History of Three Lucknows', 4. 'The Urdu Khushtar Ramayan: Verbal- and Visual-Narrative Repertoires and "Sense of Place" ' 5. 'Visual Strategies for Literary Authority in Modern Hindi', 6. 'Imaging Caste: Photography, the Housing Question, and the Making of Sociology in Colonial Bombay, 1900-1939', 7. 'The Visual Turn in Political Anthropology and the Mediation of Political Practice in Contemporary India',
Sandria B. Freitag has long explored a range of source materials used to answer new questions about non-elites in Indian society (ranging from criminality to public-space activities), and tracing change from the British period through the 20th century. Her current work deals with the first two 'mass'-produced and -consumed forms of visual culture.