Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, History, New York University (NYU)
International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2000
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Chicago
'Culture' in Bengal, 1870s to 1920s: The Historical Genesis of an Ambivalent Concept
My dissertation examines the history of Bengali appropriations of concepts of "culture," from the late nineteenth century through to the end of the colonial period. It focuses on the process by which Bengalis of the period increasingly came to use humanistic conceptions of "culture" to articulate discourses, and enact practices, of collective particularity and difference - problematics normally associated with the anthropological conception of "culture." I shall explore the social genesis and strategic importance of discourses and practices of "culture" in the historical context of colonial Bengal, as a case study in the global dissemination of this ambiguous, but crucial, category.