The "mad" and the "trifling" in the colonial and postcolonial world
For some time now, scholars have recognized the archive less as a neutral repository of documents of the past, and rather more as a politically interested representation of it, and recognized that the very act of archiving is accompanied by a process of un-archiving. Michel Foucault pointed to "madness" as describing one limit of reason, history and the archive. This book draws attention to another boundary, marked not by exile, but by the ordinary and everyday, yet trivialized or "trifling." It is the status of being exiled within – by prejudices, procedures, activities and interactions so fundamental as to not even be noticed – that marks the unarchived histories investigated in this volume.
Bringing together contributions covering South Asia, North and South America, and North Africa, this innovative analysis presents novel interpretations of unfamiliar sources and insightful reconsiderations of well-known materials that lie at the centre of many current debates on history and the archive.
Table of Contents
1. Unarchived Histories: The "Mad" and the "Trifling" Gyanendra Pandey Part 1: The State and its Record(s) 2. Peasant as Alibi: An Itinerary of the Archive of Colonial Panjab Navyug Gill 3. A Death Without Cause: Mary E. Hutchinson’s Un-archived Life in Certified Death Jae Turner 4. "Standard Deviations": On Archiving the Awkward Classes in Northern Peru David Nugent Part 2: Everyday as Archive 5. Feminine Ecriture, Trace Objects and the Death of Braj Rashmi Dube Bhatnagar 6. Brown Privilege, Black Labor: Uncovering the Significance of Creole Women’s Work Natasha L. McPherson 7. Unfriendly Thresholds: On Queerness, Capitalism and Misanthropy in 19th Century America Colin R. Johnson Part 3: Signs of Wonder 8. Of Kings and Gods: The Archive of Sovereignty in a Princely State Aditya Pratap Deo 9. Geography’s Myth: The Many Origins of Calcutta Debjani Bhattacharyya 10. Un-archiving Algeria: Foucault, Derrida, and Spivak Lynne Huffer
Gyanendra Pandey is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Interdisciplinary Workshop in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, at Emory University, USA. He is the author of Routine Violence: Nations, Fragments, Histories (2006) and A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste and Difference in India and the United States (2013), and editor of Subaltern Citizens and their Histories (2010) and Subalternity and Difference (2011), both published in the Routledge series ‘Intersections’.