Matt Rahaim, “Musicking Bodies: Gesture and Voice in Hindustani Music” (Wesleyan UP, 2012)
Have you seen North Indian vocalists improvise? Their hands and voices move together to trace intricate melodic patterns. If we think that music is just made of sequences of notes, then this motion may seem quite puzzling at first. But… Read More
Markus Vink, “Mission to Madurai: Dutch Embassies to the Nayaka Court in the Seventeenth Century” (Manohar, 2012)
Presenting- and being granted an audience- at the court of a foreign potentate was the way to gain legitimacy, acceptance, and often, protection to be able to trade in the territory. Of course arriving at a court contained an element… Read More
Andrew Muldoon, “Empire, Politics and the Creation of the 1935 India Act: Last Act of the Raj” (Ashgate, 2009)
It was the last in a long line of ‘Acts’ designed to ensure better colonial governance for the Indian sub-continent. It was an Act which was vociferously opposed by, amongst others, Winston Churchill. It is the Act upon which the… Read More
Karen Ruffle, “Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi’ism” (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)
What does a wedding in Karbala in the year 680 have to do with South Asian Muslims today? As it turns out, this event informs contemporary ideas of personal piety and social understanding of gender roles. The battlefield wedding of… Read More
Guy Fraser-Sampson, “Cricket at the Crossroads: Class, Colour and Controversy from 1967 to 1977” (Elliott & Thompson, 2011)
During the 1960s attendance fell at cricket grounds across England. Just as the Church of England lost members in droves in the same period, it appeared that this other pillar of English tradition was becoming irrelevant amidst the social and… Read More
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